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Three studies that offer close readings concerning the interaction of the source material on Spartan history with the unfolding of actual historical events. These contributions take the position that not only political, but also social, policies at Sparta, as well as the historical actors giving them shape, were intensely─and to an unusual degree─influenced by myth, tradition, and popular memory about the Laconian past.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0595-9
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 14,2016
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 353
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0595-9
$95.00
$57.00

Myth, Text, and History at Sparta unites three studies that offer close readings concerning the interaction of the source material on Spartan history with the unfolding of actual historical events. These contributions take the position that not only political, but also social policies at Sparta, as well as the historical actors giving them shape, were intensely─and to an unusual degree─influenced by myth, tradition, and popular memory about the Laconian past. Sparta drew strength from its professed adherence to the legacy of the Dorian conquest and to the legislative program of Lykourgos. And, objectively, Sparta represented the most tightly articulated instance of an archaic Greek sociopolitical order. However, past and present at Sparta co-evolved. The reader will find in the studies brought together in this volume that ideology, recollection, and wish-fulfillment stood in dynamic tension not only with practical decision-making, but also with the enthralling, centuries-long quest by individual Spartans for authority, legitimacy, and authenticity.

Myth, Text, and History at Sparta unites three studies that offer close readings concerning the interaction of the source material on Spartan history with the unfolding of actual historical events. These contributions take the position that not only political, but also social policies at Sparta, as well as the historical actors giving them shape, were intensely─and to an unusual degree─influenced by myth, tradition, and popular memory about the Laconian past. Sparta drew strength from its professed adherence to the legacy of the Dorian conquest and to the legislative program of Lykourgos. And, objectively, Sparta represented the most tightly articulated instance of an archaic Greek sociopolitical order. However, past and present at Sparta co-evolved. The reader will find in the studies brought together in this volume that ideology, recollection, and wish-fulfillment stood in dynamic tension not only with practical decision-making, but also with the enthralling, centuries-long quest by individual Spartans for authority, legitimacy, and authenticity.

"Clearly, brilliant intellects produced it: nearly each sentence in each essay brims with insight… there is little to criticize in these fine contributions to Spartan mythology and history."

- Timothy Doran, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2017

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Contributor Biography

Thomas Figueira

Thomas Figueira is Distinguished Professor of Classics and of Ancient History

Aaron Hershkowitz

Aaron Beck-Schachter

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Introduction (Thomas Figueira) (page 11)
  • Politeia and Lakonika in Spartan Historiography (Thomas Figueira) (page 17)
  • The Lysandreia (Aaron J. Beck-Schachter) (page 115)
  • Getting Carried Away With Theseus: The Evolution and Partisan Use of the Athenian Abduction of Spartan Helen (Aaron Hershkowitz) (page 179)
  • General Index (Aaron Hershkowitz) (page 335)
  • Index Locorum (Aaron J. Beck-Schachter) (page 347)
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