In Defence of Sparta

In Defence of Sparta

The resurgence of classical Sparta in popular media notwithstanding, the city-state has long been looked down on by the chattering classes and academia.  In comparison to Athens, the eminent city-state of classical Greece, Sparta has often been stereotyped as its...
The Battle of Thermopylae, 480 BC

The Battle of Thermopylae, 480 BC

Thermopylae (480 BC) was the first land battle of the second Persian War.  It pitted a small force of mainland Greeks against the huge Persian army in the narrow confines of a coastal pass.  While the Spartan-led Greeks lost at Thermopylae, their decision to stand...
Spartan Politics and Society

Spartan Politics and Society

Classical Sparta produced a nearly unique socio-political structure in history.  The structure employed elements of monarchy, oligarchy and democracy combined with a highly stratified class system.  Its chief characteristic was its totalitarianism; the individual...
When Did Sparta End?

When Did Sparta End?

The decline of classical Sparta was relatively rapid viewed externally: its shocking defeat at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC was the beginning of the end of its military hegemony of Greece.  Within a few years, Sparta’s power would be reduced to its Laconian...
Lysander: The Ambitious Admiral

Lysander: The Ambitious Admiral

Lysander rose to fame by defeating the Athenian navy at Aegospotami in 405 BC which led to victory for Sparta in the Peloponnesian War.  His rise to power both enabled and heralded the establishment of the brief Spartan empire, yet it also prompted the further...
The Classical Agoge

The Classical Agoge

The agoge was the public education system for Spartan boys.  Similar in fashion to a military boarding school, the purpose of the agoge was to mould the boys into elite hoplites as well as to prepare them for their lives as Spartiates, the citizen-soldiers and ruling...
Masters of the Phalanx

Masters of the Phalanx

The phalanx was the primary infantry battle formation in classical Greece.  The Spartans achieved a level of mastery of the phalanx and its associated tactics which for two centuries was unparalleled by contemporary powers.  This mastery was achieved through years of...