Item description for Sparta by Whitby M & Michael Whitby...
This volume introduces the reader to every important aspect of the society of Sparta, the dominant power in southern Greece from the seventh century B.C. and the great rival of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries. Michael Whitby presents essays on key aspects of Spartan history and society, by some of the leading classicists in the world, such as Paul Cartledge, Anton Powell, and Stephen Hodkinson.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.46" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.65" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 9, 2001
ISBN 0415939577 ISBN13 9780415939577
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This book is a collection of essays by several experts on Sparta covering all the major aspects of their culture. Those used to studying such books may be jaded by the number of them that seem to serve no other purpose than to give the various contributors a place to hear themselves talk while adding little to the reader's knowledge as they verbalize vague thought processes that lead to theories on relatively insignificant matters. Not so this one.
Laid out in a logical progression, the various essays provide the "meat-and-potatos" of Spartanology including coverage of land ownership, sexuality, perioicoi, reliability of early spartan history, Sparta's decline, etc. Also, the contributors have mostly written their articles in an accessible fashion.
Like the previous reviewer said, this book may require some knowledge of Sparta, and Paul Cartledge's "the Spartans" makes the perfect introduction to this volume, almost like 2 halves makiing a whole.
Michael Whitby's "Sparta", better than any other collection on Sparta I've read, should be required reading for the ancient greekophile seeking info on the Spartans.
Behold the Spartans! Dec 1, 2003
If classical history is your interest, this is a book you need to check out. It covers a broad array of topics concerning the ancient Spartans, from their emergence onto the world-historical stage to their ultimate decline at the Battle of Leuctria in 371BCE. Along the way we learn about their customs, the male educational system (the Agoge), their economic base, the subjection of the Helots, their relations with other Greek states and much more.
The present book is a collection of essays that cover all of these topics and more. The authors are among the foremost scholars of ancient Sparta in the world. The conglomerate of historians include Paul Cartledge, G.E.M. de Ste Croix and A. Andrewes, among others.
While the book is basically written for the novice and serious classical history buff alike, it would nonetheless be prudent to have some degree of familiarity with the Spartans prior to turning the front cover. Those persons who pick this up without any prior knowledge of Spartan history will be apt to get lost.
This book is highly recommended for people who have a basic understanding of Laconian history. You won't find a better collection of essays on the Spartans anywhere else; of that much I am certain.