Thucydides and Sparta Edited by
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
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.
Debnar is a distinguished analyst of both Thucydides
and Sparta. Her monograph Speaking the Same Language: Speech and
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.
Thomas J. Figueira