Images of ancient Sparta have had a major impact on Western thought. From the Renaissance to the French Revolution she was invoked by radical thinkers as a model for the creation of a republican political and social order. Since the 19th century she has typically been viewed as the opposite of advanced liberal and industrial democracies: a forerunner of 20th-century totalitarian and militaristic regimes such as the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. Yet positive images of Sparta remain embedded in contemporary popular media and culture. This is the first book in over 40 years to examine this important subject. Eleven ancient historians and experts in the history of ideas discuss Sparta's changing role in Western thought from medieval Europe to the 21st century, with a special focus on Enlightenment France, Nazi Germany and the USA. Images of ancient Sparta have had a major impact on Western thought. From the Renaissance to the French Revolution she was invoked by radical thinkers as a model for the creation of a republican political and social order. Since the 19th century she has typically been viewed as the opposite of advanced liberal and industrial democracies: a forerunner of 20th-century totalitarian and militaristic regimes such as the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. Yet positive images of Sparta remain embedded in contemporary popular media and culture. This is the first book in over 40 years to examine this important subject. Eleven ancient historians and experts in the history of ideas discuss Sparta's changing role in Western thought from medieval Europe to the 21st century, with a special focus on Enlightenment France, Nazi Germany and the USA.
Both in antiquity and in modern scholarship, classical Sparta has typically been viewed as an exceptional society, different in many respects from other Greek city-states. This view has recently come under challenge from revisionist historians, led by Stephen Hodkinson. This is the first book devoted explicitly to this lively historical controversy. Historians from Britain, Europe and the USA present different sides of the argument, using a variety of comparative approaches. The focus includes kingship and hegemonic structures, education and commensality, religious institutions and practice, helotage and ethnography. The volume concludes with a wide-ranging debate between Hodkinson and Mogens Herman Hansen (Director of the Copenhagen Polis Centre), on the overall question of whether Sparta was a normal or an exceptional polis.
In this volume Robin Barrow traces ancient education from the time of Homeric poems to the age of St. Augustine. Without minimising differences between educational practice of particular periods or places, the author stresses similarities and common origins and relates ancient ideas on education tour own. He uses the evidence of a wide range of ancient authors who are extensively quoted.
The smaller of twins, born long after two elder brothers, Leonidas was considered an afterthought from birth -- even by his mother. Lucky not to be killed for being undersized, he was not raised as a prince like his eldest brother, Cleomenes, who was heir to the throne, but instead had to endure the harsh upbringing of ordinary Spartan youth. Barefoot, always a little hungry, and subject to harsh discipline, Leonidas had to prove himself worthy of Spartan citizenship. Struggling to survive without disgrace, he never expected that one day he would be king or chosen to command the combined Greek forces fighting a Persian invasion. But these were formative years that would one day make him the most famous Spartan of them all: the hero of Thermopylae. This is the first book in a trilogy of biographical novels about Leonidas of Sparta. This first book describes his childhood in the infamous Spartan agoge. The second will focus on his years as an ordinary citizen, and the third will describe his reign and death. About the Author Helena P. Schrader holds a PhD in history from the University of Hamburg, which she earned with her groundbreaking biography of General Friedrich Olbricht, the mastermind behind the Valkyrie plot against Hitler. She has published four nonfiction works on modern history and has been published in academic journals including Sparta: Journal of Ancient Spartan and Greek History. Helena has done extensive research on ancient and archaic Sparta. She has combined her research with common sense and a deep understanding of human nature to create a refreshingly unorthodox portrayal of Spartan society in this biographical trilogy of Leonidas, as well as in her three previously published novels, The Olympic Charioteer, Are They Singing in Sparta? and Spartan Slave, Spartan Queen. Visit her website at www.helena-schrader.com or learn more about Sparta from her website Sparta Reconsidered at www.elysiumgates.com/ helena.
The image of Sparta has long been of an egalitarian, military society. Yet property and wealth played a critical role in her history. The success of Sparta's classical society rested upon a compromise between rich and poor citizens. Privilege and display were combined with ingenious techniques of outward uniformity and of sharing between rich and poor. Later, increasing inequality led to plutocracy and the decline of Spartan power. Using a combination of historical, archaeological and sociological methods, Stephen Hodkinson challenges traditional views of Spartan separateness from general Greek culture.
The image of Sparta, and the Spartans, is one dyed indelibly into the public consciousness: musclebound soldiers with long hair and red cloaks, bearing shiny bronze shields emblazoned with the Greek letter lambda. 'This is Sparta!', bellows Leonidas on the silver screen, as he decides to lead his 300 warriors to their deaths at Thermopylae. But what was Sparta? The myths surrounding Sparta are as old as the city itself. Even in antiquity, Sparta was a unique society, considered an enigma. The Spartans who fought for freedom against the Persians called themselves 'equals' or peers, but their equality was reliant on the ruthless exploitation of the indigenous population known as helots. The Spartans' often bizarre rules and practices have the capacity to horrify as much they do to fascinate us today. Athenian writers were intrigued and appalled in equal measure by a society where weak or disabled babies were said to have been examined carefully by state officials before being dumped off the edge of a cliff. Even today their lurid stories have shaped our image of Sparta; a society in which cowards were forced to shave off half their beards, to dress differently from their peers, and who were ultimately shunned to the extent that suicide seemed preferable. Equally appalling to us today is the brutal krypteia, a Spartan rite of passage where teenagers were sent into the countryside armed with a knife and ordered to eliminate the biggest and most dangerous helots. But the truth behind these stories of the exotic other can be hard to discover, lost amongst the legend of Sparta which was even perpetuated by later Spartans, who ran a thriving tourist industry that exaggerated the famed brutality of their ancestors. As Andrew Bayliss explores in this book, there was also much to admire in ancient Sparta, such as the Spartans' state-run education system which catered even to girls, or the fact that Sparta was almost unparalleled in the pre-modern world in allowing women a clear voice, with no fewer than forty sayings by Spartan women preserved in our sources. This book reveals the best and the worst of the Spartans, separating myth from reality.
This is the 7th volume from the International Sparta Seminar. Chapters by distinguished scholars deal with the politics of Spartan nudity; the insecurity of Spartan kings and their involvement with divination; the social meaning of the prominence of animals in Lakonian vase-painting and in naming; what Lakonian vase-painting reveals about local consumerism; the ' ghost of the Lakedaimonian state' and the position of Sparta's perioikoi; Ephorus' idealising view of Sparta; how Spartan women policed the behaviour of men; and how 20th-century intellectuals compared Sparta with Nazi Germany. Anton Powell is the author of Athens and Sparta (2nd edn., 2001) and of Virgil the Partisan (2008). He founded and, with Stephen Hodkinson, organises the International Sparta Seminar. He has conceived and edited numerous collective volumes in Ancient History. He is the editor of Wiley-Blackwell's Companion to Sparta (2011, forthcoming). Powell has recently been Visiting Professor at L'Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris and at the University of Bordeaux. Stephen Hodkinson is an internationally-recognised authority on the history of Sparta. Author of numerous influential studies in Greek history, his book Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta (2000) is the leading work in its field. Stephen Hodkinson is Professor of Ancient History and Director of the Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies at the University of Nottingham.
Ancient polemics on Sparta (by Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, and others) have had a remarkable afterlife in the political and educational thought of Renaissance Italy, the France of the Philosophes, Whig England, and Nazi Germany. This book outlines the little we know of ancient Sparta, describes Greek reaction to the ambiguous institutions of the great rival to democratic Athens, makes a first attempt to follow the subsequent fortunes of the debate, and indicates Sparta's role--over twenty-five centuries--in the intellectual history of Europe.