The Reforms of Lycurgus

The Reforms of Lycurgus

Lycurgus was the mythical founder of classical Sparta’s totalitarian regime.  Sanctified by Apollo, Lycurgus’ laws were the key to the city’s stability and success for centuries.  The fantastic story of these laws was likely propaganda that hid a more complicated...
Brasidas: The General in the North

Brasidas: The General in the North

Brasidas was one of the greatest generals of classical Sparta.  As a leader in the Peloponnesian War (431-405 BC), he proved himself a shrewd battlefield tactician, a brilliant strategist and diplomat, and a bold combatant.  His actions against Athenian interests in...
When Was Sparta Established?

When Was Sparta Established?

Classical Sparta traces it roots to the Dorian invasion of the Peloponnese around 1000 BC.  Legend has it that the Dorians crossed the Corinthian Gulf, and defeated the Achaean/Mycenean inhabitants of the Peloponnese, including those of the Eurotas valley in Laconia....
Leonidas: Hero and Legend

Leonidas: Hero and Legend

Leonidas was the Agiad king of Sparta from 490 BC until his death at the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.  His heroic stand against impossible odds became a legend not just in Sparta but across Greece; his death galvanized what was a shaky Greek alliance against the...
Who Won: Sparta or Athens?

Who Won: Sparta or Athens?

Sparta won the Peloponnesian War by decisively crushing the Athenian navy at the battle of Aegospotami in 405 BC. Earlier in the war, Sparta had inflicted a severe naval defeat on Athens at the battle of Syracuse in 413 BC. The ability to defeat Athens at sea came...