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Books > History > Ancient Civilizations > Greece > 0300219016
  1. The Spartan Regime: Its Character, Origins, and Grand Strategy (Yale Library of Military History)
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  2. The Spartan Regime: Its Character, Origins, and Grand Strategy (Yale Library of Military History)

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (3 reviews)
    Price R937.00

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An authoritative and refreshingly original consideration of the government and culture of ancient Sparta and her place in Greek history

For centuries, ancient Sparta has been glorified in song, fiction, and popular art. Yet the true nature of a civilization described as a combination of democracy and oligarchy by Aristotle, considered an ideal of liberty in the ages of Machiavelli and Rousseau, and viewed as a forerunner of the modern totalitarian state by many twentieth-century scholars has long remained a mystery. In a bold new approach to historical study, noted historian Paul Rahe attempts to unravel the Spartan riddle by deploying the regime-oriented political science of the ancient Greeks, pioneered by Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, and Polybius, in order to provide a more coherent picture of government, art, culture, and daily life in Lacedaemon than has previously appeared in print, and to explore the grand strategy the Spartans devised before the arrival of the Persians in the Aegean.

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Paul Anthony Rahe
Yale University Press
Yale University Press
Yale University Press
Yale University Press
Yale University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Sparta has loomed large in men's thinking down through the ages, from Rousseau, to John Stuart Mill, to the American founders. Many place names commemorate it, like Spartanburg, Laconia, etc., and it is common to name sports teams "Spartans." (I know of no team called "Athenians.") Sparta has stood for a vision of intense community and selfless citizenship. On the negative side, it has often been analogized, mistakenly I think, to modern fascist regimes.

This volume serves as a prequel to the author's projected trilogy on Sparta, the first volume of which, The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge, has already been published. Here Rahe describes the Spartan politeia, a term which translates as "constitution," but means much more than that: it comprehends the manners, customs, and habits of a people. Of particular interest is his discussion of the rise of hoplite warfare with troops organized into phalanxes.

Life for... Read more
A realistic and more contemporary look at Sparta and its militaristic orientation in ancient Greece.
Book bought through the UK sitre and review first posted there a few minutes ago...

This is the author’s second volume on Sparta, although I would advise to start with reading this one rather than the one about Sparta and the Persian Wars. This is because the present volume focuses on the city’s institutions. It shows, among other things, how little is really known about them, to what extent their origins are shrouded in legend.

One of the main merits of this excellent and clearly written book is to analyse the sources and develop plausible interpretations explaining the emergence and the instauration of Sparta’s institutions.

One finding is that the so-called reforms of Lycourgos and their original purpose can only be understood when put in the historical, political, social and economic context (7th century BC). Another related feature shows how at least some of these institutions, in particular the Agoge and the transformation of... Read more
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