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.