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Athens and SpartaThe Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC. The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC. An immensely readable, brilliant, brutal and vivid history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece. The Peloponnesian War, fought 2,500 years ago between oligarchic Sparta and democratic Athens for control of Greece, is brought spectacularly to life in this magnificent study. Kagan demonstrates the relevance of this cataclysmic event to modern times in all its horror and savagery. As two uncompromising empires fight a war of survival from diametrically opposing political, social and cultural positions, the seemingly invincible glory of Athens crumbles in tragedy. Athenian culture and politics was unmatched in originality and fertility, and is still regarded as one of the peak achievements of Western civilisation. Dramatic poets such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes raised tragedy and comedy to a level never surpassed; architects and sculptors were at work on the Acropolis; natural philosophers like Anaxagoras and Democritus were exploring the physical world, and philosophers like Socrates were dissecting the realm of human affairs. All this was lost to this bloody conflict. In this work of brilliant scholarship, Kagan illustrates his remarkable ability to interpret these events as a part of the universality of human experience. His clear expertise in both the ancient world and the wars of the 20th century are combined with his storytelling gifts to give an unforgettable portrait of this pivotal war which has shaped the world as we know it.

On Sparta (Penguin Classics). On Sparta. Plutarch's vivid and engaging portraits of the Spartans and their customs are a major source of our knowledge about the rise and fall of this remarkable Greek city-state between the sixth and third centuries BC. Through his Lives of Sparta's leaders and his recording of memorable Spartan Sayings he depicts a people who lived frugally and mastered their emotions in all aspects of life, who also disposed of unhealthy babies in a deep chasm, introduced a gruelling regime of military training for boys, and treated their serfs brutally. Rich in anecdote and detail, Plutarch's writing brings to life the personalities and achievements of Sparta with unparalleled flair and humanity.

Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 BC. Athens and Sparta is an essential handbook to the study of fifth century Greek history and society. It encourages the reader to engage critically with the evidence, presenting a wide selection of ancient source material along with clear analysis and narrative. This fully revised and updated second edition contains a new appendix on the controversy over the truthfulness of Thucydides, and fresh material on the representation of Athenian women in vase painting.

Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC. Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC. Sparta is one of the best-documented states of ancient Greece. Its political and social systems have fascinated and perplexed generations of classical scholars, as well as having a powerful influence on European civilization to this day. 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. One of the major themes examined is the relationship between the Spartans, the Perioikoi, the free but politically disenfranchised, and the Helots, unfree peoples. Cartledge demonstrates convincingly that the system of land-tenure based on the exploitation of the helots carried within it the seeds both of Spartan grandeur, and of Spartan decadence.

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