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Thucydides and Sparta
Edited by Anton Powell and Paula Debnar

ISBN-13 9781910589755 Hardback ppxiv,285 2021

Thucydides is widely seen as the most dispassionate and reliable contemporary source for the history of classical Sparta. But, compared with partisan authors such as Xenophon and Plutarch, his information on the subject is more scattered and implicit. Scholars in recent decades have made progress in teasing out the sense of Thucydides’ often lapidary remarks on Sparta. This book takes the process further. Its eight new studies by international specialists aim to reveal coherent structures both in Thucydidean thought and in Spartan reality. This volume is the second of a series in which the Classical Press of Wales applies to Spartan history the approach it is already using for the history of Rome’s revolutionary era: focusing in turn on each of the main sources on which historians depend, and analysing them with a combination of historical and literary methods.

The editors:
Anton Powell † has published extensively on the history of Sparta, Athens – and the literature of the Roman Revolution. He was the author of an introduction to source-criticism in Greek history, Athens and Sparta (3rd edition 2016), the editor of Wiley Blackwell’s Companion to Sparta (2 volumes, 2018), and co-editor (with Nicolas Richer) of Xenophon and Sparta (2020). His monograph Virgil the Partisan (2008) was awarded the prize of the American Vergilian Society for ‘the book that makes the greatest contribution toward our understanding and appreciation of Vergil’. He has twice been Invited Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, in 2006 for Greek history and in 2008 for Latin literature.

Paula Debnar is a distinguished analyst of both Thucydides and Sparta. Her monograph Speaking the Same Language: Speech and audience in Thucydides’ Spartan debates (2001) studies the role of rhetoric in creating a sense of ethnic identity (and difference). Among her numerous other publications is ‘Sparta and Spartans in Thucydides’, a joint study with Paul Cartledge in Brill’s Companion to Thucydides (2006). Paula Debnar is Professor of Classics on the Alumnae Foundation at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

The contributors:

Paula Debnar
Jean Ducat
Thomas J. Figueira
Maria Fragoulaki
Emily Greenwood
Polly Low
Ellen Millender
Anton Powell