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Michael Whitby

Hardback i (Printed to Order)

This volume introduces the reader to every important aspect of the society of Sparta, the dominant power in southern Greece from the seventh century BC and the great rival of democratic Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries. During this period Sparta evolved a unique social and political system that combined egalitarian structures, military ideals and brutal oppression, and permitted male citizens to focus on the practice of war. The system fascinated scholars at the time and has done so ever since: its outlines are clear, but because of the nature of the evidence almost all detailed aspects of Spartan social practices and constitutional affairs are open to debate.

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About the Author

Michael Whitby studied Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. After several years at St Andrews, where he became Professor of Ancient History, he was appointed Professor of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick University in 1995. He is co-editor of Classical Review, Cambridge Ancient History XIV, and the forthcoming Cambridge History of Ancient Warfare. His publications include Theophylact Simocatta (OUP); The Emperor Maurice and his Historian (OUP); and Evagrius Scholasticus (LUP).


Academics and students alike will welcome this addition to the useful Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient World series … as an introductory reader for the advanced study of Sparta, it is difficult to see how [the] book could be bettered.

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