Xenophon has long been identified as a chief
contemporary source, if not the chief source, for the history of
classical Sparta. But his information has commonly been treated
in restricted ways. Scholars who have studied Xenophon’s oeuvre
have tended to apply a knowledge of Athenian history and of general
Greek literature rather than a specialist knowledge of Sparta. And
specialist students of Sparta have commonly `mined’ elements
of Xenophon’s work without sufficient regard either for the
author’s general characteristics and biases or for the variety
of his literary genres.
In this volume, 12 internationally-recognised experts on Sparta
examine the quality of Xenophon’s information on central topics of
Laconian history, in the light of the author’s political,
literary and intellectual characteristics.
This book is the first of a series in which the Classical Press
of Wales will apply to Spartan history the approach it is already
for the history of Rome’s revolutionary era: focusing in
turn on each of the main sources on which historians depend, and
with a combination of historical and literary methods.