Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta
by Stephen Hodkinson }

ISBN 978-1-905125-30-2, paperback, xiii+498 pp., maps, figs., 2009, GB £25.00

 

Stephen Hodkinson is the author of innovative studies of ancient Greek society, and especially of classical Sparta, on which he is now one of the world's most respected commentators. He was joint editor of The Shadow of Sparta (1994), Sparta: New Perspectives (1999), Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organisation and community in Ancient Greece (2000), and The Sea in Antiquity (2000). Stephen Hodkinson is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Nottingham.

The standard image of Sparta is of an egalitarian, military society which disdained material possessions. Yet property and wealth played a critical role in her history. Classical Sparta's success rested upon a compromise between rich and poor citizens. Economic differences were masked by a uniform lifestyle and a communal sharing of resources. Over time, however, increasing inequalities led to a plutocratic society and to the decline of Spartan power. Using an innovative combination of historical, archaeological and sociological methods, Stephen Hodkinson challenges traditional views of Sparta's isolation from general Greek culture. This volume is the first major monograph-length discussion of a subject on which the author is recognised as the leading international authority.

 

CONTENTS
List of figures
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
PART I: SPARTAN PERCEPTIONS
1. Spartan economic egalitarianism and communitarianism in modern thought
2. The growth of the dominant egalitarian image in ancient thought
PART II: THE ANATOMY OF THE SPARTIATE PROPERTY SYSTEM
3. The ownership and inheritance of land - revisited
4. Helotage and the exploitation of Spartan territory
5. Movable wealth: ownership, acquisition and exchange
6. Public rights over private property
PART III: RICH CITIZENS AND THE USE OF PRIVATE WEALTH
7. Restrictions on the use of wealth in Spartiate life
8. Restrictions on the use of wealth: burial and funerary practice
9. Material and religious investment: bronze dedications at Sparta and abroad
10. Equestrian competition: participation and expenditure
11. The use of wealth in personal and political relations
PART IV: PROPERTY AND THE SPARTAN CRISIS
12. Spartiate household economies: towards an estimate of a balance-sheet
13. Property concentration and the emergence of a plutocratic society
Bibliography
Index

Available from January 2009