Skip to main content

CLAS3650
CLAS2650/3650 Image of Sparta Reading List

The Image of Sparta, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr Sam Gartland
s.d.gartland@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Sparta has fascinated people from across all areas of Classical studies for hundreds of years. As such we have a long and varied tradition of scholarship, which ranges from literary studies of the works by and about Spartans, to more historical and archaeological work informed by decades of fieldwork in the region. As such there is a great variety of work in journals and edited books which we will look at carefully across the semester, and a good tactic is to become well acquainted with the Sparta section in the Brotherton library (Ancient History K.36). 

In 2017 there was a very helpful Companion to Sparta published, which acts as a good starting point for many of our themes, and also to get an overall sense of the historical changes in Sparta over the several hundred years we conisider in this module. This is available online and in the Brotherton.

Key Text:

Powell, A. (ed.) A Companion to Sparta (Oxford, 2017)  

 

Collected Essays (individual titles listed in sections below where relevant)

Birgalias, N., Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds)Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002)

Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004)

Hodkinson, S. and Powell, A. (eds) Sparta & war(Swansea 2006)

Powell, A. (ed.) Classical Sparta: Techniques Behind Her Success (London 1989)

Powell, A. (ed.) A Companion to Sparta (Oxford, 2017)  

Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta (Swansea and London 1994)

Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999)

Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : the body politic (Swansea and London 2009)

*Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, (Edinburgh 2001)

[These are articles published previously elsewhere, with useful introductions by the editor.]

Top of page

 

Top of page

I. SPARTA IN LITERATURE

 

Top of page

 

Top of page

1. The Spartan mirage 

*Rawson, E. The Spartan tradition in European thought (Oxford 1969) — this covers both ancient and post-classical views of Sparta. See also below Part III.

Carey, C. Thermopylae (Oxford 2019) - The newest (And best) account of the battle and its cultural legacy. 

Top of page

 

Top of page

2. Epic and Lyric 

Calame, C. Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece (Oxford 2001)

Finley, M.I. The World of Odysseus (2nd ed. London 1978)

[On the Homeric epics as documents for Bronze Age, Dark Age and archaic Greek history.]

Lipka, M. ‘Notes on the influence of the Spartan Great Rhetra on Tyrtaeus, Herodotus and Xenophon’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 219-25

Robbins, E. ‘Alcman’s Partheneion: legend and choral ceremony’, The Classical quarterly. 44 (1991), 7-16

Wees, H. van ‘Tyrtaeus’ Eunomia: nothing to do with the Great Rhetra’, in Hodkinson, S. and Powell, A. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (London 1999), 1-42

Top of page

 

Top of page

3. Creation of the Myth

Boedecker, D. ‘The two faces of Demaratus’, Arethusa. 20 (1987), 185-201

Bradford, A.S. ‘The duplicitous Spartan’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta(Swansea and London 1994), 59-85

Cawkwell, G. Thucydides and the Peloponnesian war (London and New York 1997)

Clarke, M. ‘Spartan ate at Thermopylai: semantics and ideology at Herodotus, Histories 7.234’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 63-84

*Debnar, P. Speaking the same language : speech and audience in Thucydides' Spartan debates (Ann Arbor 2001)

Griffiths, A. ‘Was Kleomenes mad?’, in Powell, A. (ed.) Classical Sparta: Techniques Behind Her Success(London 1989), 51-78

☺Harvey, D. ‘Leonidas the regicide?: speculations on the death of Kleomenes I’, in Bowersock, G.W., Burkert, W. and Putnam, C.J. (eds) Arktouros : Hellenic studies presented to Bernard M.W. Knox on the occasion of his 65th birthday (Berlin 1979)

Hornblower, S. A commentary on Thucydides (2 vols., Oxford 1991 and 1996)

[See especially I 107-33 on the ‘Debate at Sparta’ passage.]

Humble, N. ‘Xenophon’s sons at Sparta? Perspectives on xenoi in the Spartan upbringing’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 231-50

Luce, T.J. (1997) The Greek historians (London and New York: Routledge)

Harvey, D. ‘Lacomica: Aristophanes and the Spartans’, in A. Powell and S. Hodkinson (eds) The shadow of Sparta (London and Swansea 1994), 35-58 [cf. W. Poole on Euripides in the same volume, 1-34]

Harvey, D. ‘The clandestine massacre of the helots (Thucydides 4.80)’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 199-218

MacDowell, D.M. Aristophanes and Athens : an introduction to the plays (Oxford 1995)

Millender, E. ‘Herodotus and Spartan despotism’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 1-61

Munson, R.V. ‘Three aspects of Spartan kingship in Herodotus’, in Rosen, R.M. and Farrell, J. (eds), Nomodeiktes : Greek studies in honor of Martin Ostwald(Ann Arbor 1993), 39-54

Paradiso, A. ‘The logic of terror: Thucydides, Spartan duplicity and an improbable massacre’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 179-98

Stadter, P. ‘Herodotus and the cities of mainland Greece’, in Dewald, C. and Marincola, J. (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Herodotus (Cambridge 2006), 242-56

Top of page

 

Top of page

4. Sparta as Ideal State 

Cartledge, P. ‘The Socratics’ Sparta and Rousseau’s’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 311-37

Humble, N. ‘Sophrosyne and the Spartans in Xenophon’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 339-53

Humble, N. Xenophon of Athens: A Socratic on Sparta (Cambridge 2021)

Lintott, A. ‘Aristotle and the mixed constitution’, in Brock, R.W. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Alternatives to Athens (Oxford 2000), 152-66

Lipka, M. Xenophon's Spartan constitution : introduction, text, commentary (Berlin 2002)

[Includes English translation and facing Greek text, with introduction on all aspects of the text.]

Powell, A. ‘Plato and Sparta: modes of rule and of non-rational persuasion in the Laws’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta (Swansea and London 1994), 273-321

Proietti, G. Xenophon's Sparta : an introduction (Leiden 1987)

Shütrumpf, E. ‘Aristotle on Sparta’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta(Swansea and London 1994), 323-45

Tuplin, C. ‘Xenophon, Sparta and the Cyropaedia’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta (Swansea and London 1994), 127-181

Tuplin, C, ‘Xenophon, Artemis and Scillus’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 251-82

Top of page

 

Top of page

5. Plutarch and the Art of Biography 

[Some of these are not specifically on Lives we are studying, but nonetheless contain some useful material.]

Aalders, G.J.D. Plutarch's political thought (Amsterdam etc 1982)

Duff, T. Plutarch's Lives : exploring virtue and vice (Oxford 2000)

Lamberton, R. Plutarch (New Haven 2001)

Mossman, J. (ed.) Plutarch and his intellectual world : essays on Plutarch (London 1997)

Pelling, C. Plutarch and history : eighteen studies (London 2002)

*Powell, A. ‘Spartan women assertive in politics? Plutarch’s Lives of Agis and Cleomenes’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (London 1999), 393-419

Russell, D.A. Plutarch (London 1973)

Scardigli, B. (ed.) Essays on Plutarch's "Lives" (Oxford 1995)

Shipley, D.R. A commentary on Plutarch's life of Agesilaos : response to sources in the presentation of character (Oxford 1997)

Stadter, P.A. Plutarch and the historical tradition (London 1992)

Wardman, A. Plutarch's Lives (London 1974)

Writing even later than Plutarch, Pausanias is an important source for the ‘image’:

S.E. Alcock, J.F. Cherry and J. Elsner (eds) Pausanias : travel and memory in Roman Greece (Oxford 2001) [see especially articles by Alcock pp.142-53, Cartledge pp.167-72, and Bann pp.240-6]

 

Top of page

 

Top of page

II. Spartan history and society

 

Top of page

 

Top of page

1. General Accounts

*Cartledge, P. Sparta and Lakonia: a regional history (2nd ed. London 2002)

Cartledge, P. Spartan reflections (London 2001)

Cartledge, P. The Spartans: an epic history (London 2002) [Accompanied TV series…]

Finley, M.I. ‘Sparta and Spartan Society’, in Economy and society in Ancient Greece (London 1981), ch.2. Also = ‘Sparta’, in The use and abuse of history (London 1986), 161-77

*Forrest, W.G. A History of Sparta 950 (4th ed., London 1998)

Hansen, M.H. Polis : an introduction to the ancient Greek city-state (Oxford 2006)

*Hooker, J.T. The ancient Spartans (London 1980)

Malkin, I. Myth and Territory in the Spartan Mediterranean (Cambridge 1994)

Powell, A. Athens and Sparta: constructing Greek political and social history from 478 BC (2nd ed. London and New York 2001)

Tigerstedt, E.N. The legend of Sparta in classical antiquity (Stockholm 1965-78)

Top of page

 

Top of page

2. Archaic Sparta and the material evidence

*Fitzhardinge, L.F. The Spartans (London 1980)

Hodkinson, S. ‘The development of Spartan society and institutions in the archaic period’, in Mitchell, L.G. and Rhodes, P.J. (eds) The development of the polis in archaic Greece (London 1997), 83-102

Hodkinson, S. ‘Lakonian artistic production and the problem of Spartan austerity’, in Fisher, N. and Wees, H. van (eds) Archaic Greece : new approaches and new evidence (Swansea/London 1998), 93-118

Murray, O. Early Greece, Fontana (2nd ed. London 1993) [Esp. 159-80, ‘Sparta and the hoplite state’, and 262-87, ‘The leadership of Greece: Sparta and Athens’.]

Pipili, M. Laconian iconography of the sixth century B.C. (Oxford 1987)

Powell, A. ‘Sixth-century Lakonian vase-painting: continuities and discontinuities with the “Lykourgan” ethos’, in Fisher, N. and Wees, H. van (eds) Archaic Greece : new approaches and new evidence(Swansea and London 1998), 119-146

Starr, C.G. ‘The Credibility of early Spartan history’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta (in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 26-42

Top of page

 

Top of page

3. Wealth and the problem of Spartan austerity

Christien, J. ‘Iron money in Sparta: myth and history’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 171-90

Figueira, T.J. ‘Iron money and the ideology of consumption in Laconia’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 137-70

Hodkinson, S. ‘Inheritance, marriage and demography: perspectives upon the success and decline of Classical Sparta’, in Powell, A. (ed.) Classical Sparta: Techniques Behind Her Success (London 1989), 79-121

Hodkinson, S. ‘Warfare, wealth, and the crisis of Spartiate society’, in Rich, J.W. and Shipley, G. (eds) War and society in the Greek world (London 1993), 146-76

Hodkinson, S. ‘“Blind Ploutos”? Contemporary images of the role of wealth in classical Sparta’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta (Swansea and London 1994), 183-222

Hodkinson, S. ‘Land tenure and inheritance in Classical Sparta’ The Classical quarterly. 36 (1986) 378-406

*Hodkinson, S. Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta (Swansea and London 2000)

Holladay, A.J. ‘Spartan austerity’ The Classical quarterly. 71 = new series 27 (1977) 111-26

Top of page

 

Top of page

4. Spartan law, social order and government

Andrewes, A. ‘The government of classical Sparta’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 49-68

de Ste Croix, G.E.M. ‘Trials at Sparta’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 69-77

de Ste Croix, G.E.M. ‘Sparta’s “foreign policy”’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 218-22

Figueira, T.J. ‘Xenelasia and social control in classical Sparta’, The Classical quarterly. 53 (2003) 44-74

Hodkinson, S. ‘Social order and the conflict of values in classical Sparta’, Chiron.13 (1983) 241-65 [repr. in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings…, Edinburgh 2001), 104-30]

Hodkinson, S. ‘Spartan society in the fourth century: crisis and continuity’, in Carlier, P. (ed.) Le IVe siècle av. J.-C. : approches historiographiques : études (Paris 1996)

Lazenby, J.F. The Spartan army (Warminster 1985)

MacDowell, D.M. Spartan law (Edinburgh 1986)

Richer, R. Les éphores : études sur l'histoire et sur l'image de Sparte (VIIIe-IIIe siècle avant Jésus-Christ)(Paris 1998) [Yes, it’s in French, but it’s the fullest account available!]

Singor, H.W. ‘Admission to the syssitia in fifth-century Sparta’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 67-89

Top of page

 

Top of page

5. Helots and perioikoi

Birgalias, N. ‘Helotage and Spartan social organization’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds)Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 249-266

Cartledge, P. ‘Appendix 4’ in Sparta and Lakonia (London 2002) [= translated ancient sources on helots]

Eremin, A. ‘Settlements of Spartan perioikoi in the classical period’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 267-283

de Ste Croix, G.E.M. ‘The helot threat’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001) 190-5

Ducat, J. ‘The obligations of helots’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 196-211

*Fisher, N.R.E. Slavery in classical Greece (Bristol 1993), 22-33

Luraghi, N. ‘Helotic slavery reconsidered’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 227-48

Luraghi, N. and Alcock, A. (eds) Helots and their masters in Laconia and Messenia : histories, ideologies, structures (Cambridge, Mass. 2004)

Mertens, N. ‘ouk homoioi, agathoi de: the perioikoi in the classical Lakedaimonian polis’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 285-303

Ridley, R.T. ‘The economic activities of the Perioikoi’, Mnemosyne. 27 (1974), 281-92

Shipley, G. ‘Perioecic society’, in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings, Edinburgh 2001), 182-9

Whitby, M. ‘Two shadows: images of Spartans and helots’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) The shadow of Sparta (Swansea and London 1994), 87-126

Top of page

 

Top of page

6. Spartan women

Blundell, S. Women in ancient Greece (Cambridge, Mass. 1995), 150-9, ‘Sparta and Gortyn’

Cartledge, P. ‘Spartan wives: liberation or licence?’, The Classical quarterly. 75 = n.s. 31 (1981) 84-105 [repr. in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 131-60]

French, V. ‘The Spartan family and the Spartan decline: changes in child-rearing practices and failure to reform’, in Hamilton, C.D. and Krentz, P. (eds) Polis and polemos : essays on politics, war, and history in Ancient Greece, in honor of Donald Kagan (Claremont, Ca. 1997), 241-74

Hodkinson, S. ‘Female property ownership and empowerment in classical and Hellenistic Sparta’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 103-36

Kunstler, B. ‘Family dynamics and female power in ancient Sparta’, in Skinner, M. (ed.) Rescuing Creusa : new methodological approaches to women in antiquity (Lubbock 1987)

Millender, E.G. ‘Athenian ideology and the empowered Spartan woman’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 355-91

Mosse, C. ‘Women in the Spartan revolutions of the third century BC’, in Pomeroy, S.B. (ed.) Women's history and ancient history (Chapel Hill 1991), 138-53

Pomeroy, S.B. Spartan women (Oxford and New York 2002)

Powell, A. ‘The women of Sparta – and of other Greek cities – at war’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 137-50

Top of page

 

Top of page

7. Education and homosexuality

Boring, T.A. Literacy in ancient Sparta (Mnemosyne Suppl. 54, Leiden 1979)

Cartledge, P. ‘Literacy in the Spartan oligarchy’, The journal of Hellenic studies. 98 (1978) 25-37

Cartledge, P. ‘The politics of Spartan pederasty’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society. 207 (1981) 17-30

Dover, K.J. Greek Homosexuality (2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass. 1989), 185-96, ‘The Dorians’

Ducat, J. ‘Perspectives on Spartan education in the classical period’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 43-66

Ducat, J. Spartan education : youth and society in the classical period (Swansea 2006)

*Hodkinson, S. ‘An agonistic culture? Athletic competition in archaic and classical Sparta’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds)Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 147-87

*Kennell, N.M. The gymnasium of virtue : education & culture in ancient Sparta (Chapel Hill/London 1995)

Percy, W.A. III Pederasty and pedagogy in archaic Greece (Chicago 1996)

Top of page

 

Top of page

8. Spartan religion

Brulé, P. ‘Women’s way of death: fatal childbirth or hierai? Commemorative stones at Sparta and Plutarch, Lycurgus 27.3’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 151-78

Palagia, O. (2006) ‘Art and royalty in Sparta of the third century BC’, Hesperia.75: 205-17

*Parker, R. ‘Spartan religion’, in Powell, A. (ed.) Classical Sparta: Techniques Behind her Success, London, 142-72

[repr. as ‘Religion in public life’ in Whitby, M. (ed.) Sparta(in Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient Worlds Series, Edinburgh 2001), 161-73]

Pettersson, M. Cults of Apollo at Sparta : the Hyakinthia the Gymnopaidiai and the Karneia (Stockholm 1992)

Richer, N. ‘Aidōs at Sparta’, in Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : new perspectives (Swansea and London 1999), 91-116

Richer, N. ‘The Hyakinthia of Sparta’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 77-102

Richer, N. ‘The religious system at Sparta’, in Ogden, D. (ed.) A companion to Greek religion(Oxford2007), 236-52

Scanlon, T.F. Eros & Greek athletics (Oxford 2002)

Top of page

 

Top of page

III. POST-CLASSICAL VARIATIONS

Bridges, E., Hall, E. and Rhodes, P.J. (eds), Cultural responses to the Persian wars : antiquity to the third millennium (Oxford 2006) — see especially the paper☺Levene, D. ‘Xerxes goes to Hollywood’.

Clough, E. ‘Loyalty and liberty: Thermopylae in western imagination’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society (Swansea 2004), 363-84

Flower, M.A. ‘The invention of tradition in classical and hellenistic Sparta’, Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S. (eds) Sparta : beyond the mirage (Swansea and London 2002), 191-217

Macgregor Morris, I. ‘The paradigm of democracy: Sparta in Enlightenment thought’, in Figueira, T.J. (ed.) Spartan society(Swansea 2004), 339-62

Top of page

 

Top of page

Historical Novels

NB I’ve not read all of these myself, I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

Edward Bulwer Lytton, Pausanias, the Spartan (1873)

Caroline Dale Snedeker, The Spartan (1911)

Naomi Mitchison, Black Sparta : Greek stories (1928)

Naomi Mitchison, The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931)

F. Van Wyck Mason, Lysander (1957)

John Burke, The lion of Sparta (1961)

Roderick Milton, Tell them in Sparta (1962)

Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, 300 (Dark Horse Comics, 1998)

Steven Pressfield, Gates of fire : an epic novel of the Battle of Thermopylae (1998)

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Spartan : a novel (2002)

This list was last updated on 26/09/2021