For sales information, please contact our distributors:
Bloomsbury Academic
For North American and all e-book sales:
ISD Distribution


Sparta in Plutarch's Lives.

Philip Davies & Judith Mossman (eds)


Plutarch (born before AD 50, died after AD 120) is the ancient author who has arguably contributed more than any other to the popular conception of Sparta. Writing under the Roman Empire, at a time when the glory days of ancient Sparta were already long in the past, Plutarch represents a milestone in Sparta’s mythologisation, but at the same time is a vital source for our historical understanding of Sparta. In this volume, eight scholars from around the world come together to consider Plutarch’s understanding and presentation of Sparta, his flaws and significance as an historical source, and his development of Sparta as a resonant subject and theme within his bestknown work, the Parallel Lives.

Introduction ix Philip Davies & Judith Mossman
1. Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus: Greek lawgivers and the construction of Spartan exceptionalism
Ália Rodrigues
2. Plutarch and Sparta’s military characteristics in the Parallel Lives of Lykourgos and Numa
Stephen Hodkinson
3. Plutarch on Tyrtaios and the Great Rhetra
Andrew Bayliss
4. Narrative techniques, literary echoes and interpretation: Lysander and Agesilaus
Egidia Occhipinti
5. Equal contributors? Agesilaus and Lysander within Plutarch’s ‘ Spartan Cycle’
Philip Davies
6. A doubles match: Agis–Cleomenes and the Gracchi
Christopher Pelling
7. Plutarch and Spartan Speech(es)
Judith Mossman
8. Smelling the black soup: Sparta, moralism, and political allusion in Plutarch
Alexei Zadorojnyi
Index of passages discussed