Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC
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In this fully revised and updated edition of his groundbreaking study, Paul Cartledge uncovers the realities behind the potent myth of Sparta.
The book explores both the city-state of Sparta and the territory of Lakonia which it unified and exploited. Combining the more traditional written sources with archaeological and environmental perspectives, its coverage extends from the apogee of Mycenaean culture, to Sparta's crucial defeat at the battle of Mantinea in 362 BC.
the side of oligarchy, in Sikyon, Argos, Achaia and Tegea (5.81.2; 82.1; 82.3). The only failure was at Argos, where a democratic restoration brought the state back into alliance with Athens. Thucydides mentions almost in passing a winter campaign of the Spartans against the Argolis in 417–416, their capture of Hysiai and massacre of the free population (5.83.1f.). He is also careful to remind readers of the continued occupation of Pylos, noting that in 416 the Athenians there captured a great
However, the chief evidence for the Lakonian Neolithic is its pottery, although this was a concomitant, rather than a basic ingredient, of Neolithic culture. It was hand-made (like all pottery in Greece before the Middle Bronze Age) and sometimes beautifully decorated, as was for example the late polychrome ware at the Alepotrypa cave and Apidia. By the Late Neolithic it is possible to speak, with special reference to the pottery, of a cultural ‘koine’ stretching from Thessaly to the Mani. More
Menelaion complex in the Spartan basin, Karaousi and Ay. Stephanos on either side of the Helos plain, and Anthochorion in west Vardhounia. The results from Karaousi and Anthochorion were relatively disappointing, but the other three were interesting in their different ways. Amyklai’s chief significance lies in its evidence of late Mycenaean cult (below). The akropolis of Ay. Stephanos was fortified, perhaps more than once, during LH IIIB (to judge from the associated pottery). It thereby takes
– at the border sanctuary of Artemis Limnatis. It is now time to consider what may have prompted this first intervention of the Spartans in Messenia in the light of their full-scale invasion a generation or so later. First it must be made abundantly clear how poor is the available literary evidence for this crucial moment in Lakonian history. Apart from a few scraps of the fourth-century Ephorus, we are chiefly dependent on the fourth book of Pausanias, who utilized, directly or indirectly, the
societies generally. This debate is focused on two main problems: how typical of Greek sentiment as a whole was the hostile attitude towards ‘banausic’ (manual) enterprise manifested by intellectuals and aristocrats like Sophokles, Xenophon and Plato? Second, if their attitude was typical, was it long or recently established? Briefly, my own view is that the attitude was largely confined to the propertied classes, whose members did not have to work for their living, and that it only took on its