Item description for Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC by Paul Cartledge...
Sparta is one of the best-documented states of ancient Greece. Its political and social systems have fascinated and perplexed generations. 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.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Jul 16, 2005
ISBN 0415262763 ISBN13 9780415262767
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Cartledge
Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College and A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. He was the Hellenic Parliament Global Distinguished Professor in the History and Theory of Democracy at New York University. His previous books include After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars, Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction, Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World, and The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece. He is an honorary citizen of modern Sparta and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor awarded by the President of Greece.
Paul Cartledge currently resides in the state of Colorado. Paul Cartledge has an academic affiliation as follows - Clare College, Cambridge University University of Cambridge University.
Reviews - What do customers think about Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC?
An extensive history of Sparta Mar 15, 2003
Paul Cartledge of the university of Cambridge is arguably the foremost authority on ancient Sparta in the entire world. His erudition of this culture is unmatched and the bibliography of this book is quite a read in-itself.
In this work Cartledge undertakes the massive task of tracing the history of Lacedamon from 1300-362BCE. In other words, right around the time of the mythical / quasi-historical Trojan war (1283BCE) down to the time of the decisive Spartan defeat @ the battle of Leuctra (371BCE).
The reader should be advised that the opening stanzas of this book are difficult to follow. Cartledge casually alludes to endless archeological digs all over Laconia at such a rapid pace that it's apt to make the reader feel like it's information overload. While grad students in archeology and anthropology might feel right at home, the rest of us may feel a bit lost.
When Cartledge arrives in the more familiar historical territory of Herodotus and Thucydides the book seems to improve a great deal. At least for me, anyway. The exegesis of historical records has always been easier for me to comprehend than the interpretation of pre-literate societal structures.
One of the highlights of the book is Cartledge's discussion of the 3 classes of Spartans (Homoioi, Perioikoi & Helot). I had some degree of knowledge of the Homoioi & Helots before reading this work, but virtually no understanding of the Perioikoi. Thanks to his chapter on these people I now have a much better comprehension.
I would recommend this book only to those who have an ambitious yearning to understand the history of the Spartans. For those who would rather have a more concise and slightly more reader-friendly work I would recommend A HISTORY OF SPARTA 950-192 by W.G. Forrest (ASIN: 0393004813). Forrest's book also goes a few hundred years past Leuctra while the present book does not.
Also, it is imperative that prior to reading the present text that the reader first peruse Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon & a little Plutarch mixed in wouldn't hurt. I do not think it prudent for someone to undertake the present work without at least a working knowledge of the primary sources.