The Spartans

The Spartans

The World of the Warrior-heroes of Ancient Greece, From Utopia to Crisis and Collapse

Book - 2003
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The Spartans is a compellingnarrative that explores the culture and civilization of the most famous"warrior people": the Spartans of ancient Greece, by the world'sleading expert in the field. Sparta has often been described as the originalUtopia--a remarkably evolved society whose warrior heroes were forbidden anyother trade, profession, or business. As a people, the Spartans were the livingexemplars of such core values as duty, discipline, the nobility of arms in acause worth dying for, sacrificing the individual for the greater good of thecommunity (illustrated by their role in the battle of Thermopylae), and thetriumph of will over seemingly insuperable obstacles--qualities that today arefrequently believed to signify the ultimate heroism. Paul Cartledge is thedistinguished scholar and historian who has long been seen as the leadinginternational authority on ancient Sparta. He traces the evolution of Spartansociety--the culture and the people, as well as the tremendous influence theyhad on their world and even ours. He details throughout the narrative the livesof such illustrious and myth-making figures as Lycurgus, King Leonidas, Helenof Troy (and Sparta), and Lysander, and explains how the Spartans, althoughthey placed a high value on masculine ideals, nevertheless allowed women anunusually dominant and powerful role--unlike Athenian culture with which theSpartans are so often compared. In resurrecting the ancient culture and societyof the Spartans, Cartledge delves deep into ancient texts and archeologicalsources and complements his text with illustrations that depict originalSpartan artifacts and drawings, as well as examples of representationalpaintings from the Renaissance onwards--including J.L. David's famouslybrooding "Leonidas." This illuminating volume that ties in with thePBS television series of the same name, airing in the summer of 2003. Booklistcalled Cartledge's The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization, a companion to the PBSseries, "superb," while The International History Review calledCartledge's The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece "anoriginal and insightful work."
Publisher: Woodstock, N.Y. : Overlook Press, 2003.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9781585674022
1585674028
Characteristics: 304 p. :,ill., maps.

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