Military education and preparation of the young Spartans, all aimed at forming strong and fearless warriors, culminated in the most stringent tests and often cruel. Among these was the Kryptéia (from krypto, < I hide >): the boy was left alone, in the countryside or in the Woods, armed with only a small dagger; he had to show his worth attacking at night also worth killing the Helots (slaves: the Helots were the lower social class).
These customs, which had a ritual character, was a ritual character, marked the passing of the young from puberty to the Spartan Warrior (or adult). The authorities sent out at different places of the campaign young people who seemed wiser, allowing them to carry only a dagger, you need to eat and nothing else.
The youths dispersed during the day in hidden places, where they rested undisturbed; When night fell, they descended into the streets and killed as many Helots that occurred between their hands.
Also in other respects the conduct of the Spartans to the Helots was hard and cruel. For example, forcing them to drink lots of wine and then pushed them in public canteens to show young people the show degrading of a drunk; or required them to sing songs and to dance outrageous and ridiculous dances, and abstain from those worthy of free people.