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Curricular information is subject to change
Upon successful completion of this module, students will:
• possess a deeper understanding of the political and social history of Sparta from its mythical origins to its incorporation into the Roman empire.
• be able to analyse a variety of forms of ancient evidence used to reconstruct Spartan history and culture, including: literary, numismatic, and epigraphic sources.
• be able to demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving by engaging with key debates in the study of ancient Sparta as well as the ongoing impact of invented traditions and the ‘Spartan mirage’.
• have honed their ability to communicate their ideas and arguments through oral and written presentations delivered in class or through writing and/or recording.
• have developed their ability to manage their time by working to deadlines, balance conflicting demands, recognising when support is required and asking for help.
Indicative Module Content
This module offers overviews of key episodes in Spartan history across the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods and examines topics and case studies that cut across these eras. Lectures and seminars will engage closely with the sources and methods used to study Sparta from extant material culture to the literary works of ancient authors who wrote about the Spartans, predominantly from the perspective of an outsider. These include: Alcman, Aristotle, Diodorus Siculus, Herodotus, Pausanias, Plato, Plutarch, Polybius, Simonides, Thucydides, Tyrtaeus, and Xenophon.
Specific topics will vary from year to year, but lectures, tutorials, and coursework will invite you to examine topics such as:
• The ‘Spartan mirage’
• Sparta as a Greek polis
• Sparta, the Heraclids, and Myths Underpinning Dorian Identity
• The dyarchy: kings and queens of Sparta
• Lykourgos the lawgiver and the political and social structures of Sparta
• Education in Sparta: the 'upbringing' and later traditions of the 'agoge'
• Eating at Sparta: the common messes and Spartan food
• The homoioi and social identities and status in Spartan society
• Gender norms at Spartan
• Slavery in Sparta: the Helots
• Spartan Religion
• Sparta at war
• Sparta as hegemon and narratives of decline
• Spartan poetry and art
• Money and the Spartan economy
• Modern depictions of ancient Sparta and Spartan culture
|Student Effort Type
|Specified Learning Activities
|Autonomous Student Learning
Not applicable to this module.
|% of Final Grade
Not yet recorded.
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities
Not yet recorded.