Spartans: A New History
Nigel M. Kennell
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Spartans: A New History chronicles the complete history of ancient Sparta from its origins to the end of antiquity.
Helps bridge the gap between the common conceptions of Sparta and what specialists believe and dispute about Spartan history
Applies new techniques, perspectives, and archaeological evidence to the question of what it was to be a Spartan
Takes into account new specialist scholarship and research published in Greek, which is not readily available elsewhere
Places Spartan society into its wider Greek context
the role of debate in the Assembly. Differing opinions were certainly expressed there. Hetoimaridas successfully persuaded the majority of the Assembly to abandon their support for a war to regain hegemony of the Hellenic Coalition in 477 (Diod. Sic. 11.50.2–6). In 432, king Archidamus vigorously opposed taking the steps towards war which the ephor Sthenelaidas advocated and an overwhelming majority supported (Thuc. 1.80.1–85.3). In 415/14, Alcibiades persuaded the Spartans to send military aid
democratic constitution – not the Spartans’ favored form of government. The earthquake and subsequent revolt in 465 had far-reaching political consequences. Because of their desperate situation, the Spartans were unable to carry out their secret pledge of support for Thasos when that northern Aegean island tried to withdraw from the Delian League in protest over an attempted Athenian seizure of valuable trading and resource assets on the Thracian mainland (Thuc. 1.101.1–3). Thasos was besieged
(Thuc. 1.110). Important allies revolted against the Delian League, and Athenians felt the need in 454/3 to centralize League institutions on their own territory (Plut. Per. 12.1). A five-year peace between Athens and Sparta was concluded in 451, facilitating Cimon’s return from ostracism (Thuc. 1.112.1; Plut. Cim. 18.1). Sparta’s position was also secured by a thirty-year truce with Argos (Thuc. 5.14.4). Regaining confidence, the Spartans sent another expedition across the Corinthian Gulf
Pleistoanax, son of the notorious Pausanias, was surely not so foolish as to accept a bribe on his first major mission outside the Peloponnese. Much more likely is that the Athenian general agreed to abandon any claims to Megara and the northern Argolid in return for Sparta allowing the Athenians a free hand in Euboea. The two Spartan leaders likely fell afoul of Sparta’s vicious political infighting upon their return when the “hawks” used the courts to make a point about foreign policy. Calmer
Achaeans ravaged the Eurotas valley for a month (Livy 34.36–9). Later, when an Aetolian force came to Sparta on the pretext of offering him aid, Nabis welcomed them, only to be treacherously murdered by an Aetolian as he was participating in a parade outside the town (Livy 35.35). Using the confusion that followed Nabis’ death as a pretext, Philopoemen entered Laconia and persuaded (or threatened) the “leading citizens” to have Sparta join the Achaean League (Livy 35.37.1–3; Plut. Philop. 15.4).