History of Sparta

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Icon tools.svg This article or section was due to content flaws on the quality assurance side of the editorial history entered. This is done in order to bring the quality of the articles in the field of history to an acceptable level. Articles that cannot be significantly improved are deleted. Please help fix the shortcomings in this article and please join the discussion !
Hoplite , 5th century BC BC Sparta

Mythical prehistory

The first mythical king of the region is Lelex , the eponymous hero of the Lelegia landscape , as Laconia is said to have been called in ancient times. The Leleges (Λέλεγες) lived in various Greek and especially Asia Minor landscapes, including the southern Troas , Ionia , Caria and Pisidia , on the Aegean islands , but also on Leukas (after Aristotle ), on Euboea and on the Greek mainland in Locris , Thessaly , Boeotia , Megaris and Messenia . The Lokrians are said to have been called Leleger in the past.

Lelex was the father of Myles (μύλη <gr., Myle "Mill") which, when Alesiai (ἀλέω gr. "Aleo" I grind "), a mill built, and Polycaon (the first mythical king of Messinia ). His grandson was Eurotas , tamer and eponym of the river of the same name . Classical Sparta, especially in the suburb of Limnai , was built on old marshland; A kind of primitive cultural history has been deposited in the earliest Lelex descendants. King Eurotas was followed by Lakedaimon , son of Zeus and the mountain nymph Taygete and husband of the division , daughter of Eurotas. Lakedaimon is the mythical founder of Sparta and the father of Amyklas and Eurydice , the ancestor of Perseus . Gradually, Laconia is also called Lacedaemon . Among the Achaeans who immigrated from the north, the Lelegs are said to have withdrawn to agriculture and animal husbandry . In the Achaean capital of Amyklai the left kadmeischen Aigiden down.

The last descendants of the mythical forefather Lelex are the Tyndarids , i.e. the five children of Tyndareos and Leda , on the one hand the Dioscuri Castor and Polydeukes, on the other hand Clytaimnestra , Helena and Phoibe . With Menelaus , who married Helena, the atrids installed themselves on the laconic throne. Through the marriage of the Agamemnon son Orestes to the Menelaus daughter Hermione , Laconia and the Argolis were united.

In the course of the conquest of the Peloponnese by the Herakleids , Laconia fell to Aristodemus or directly to his sons Eurysthenes and Prokles , who are considered the founders of the Spartan state . The Achaeans were partly led to Achaia and Asia Minor by the sons of Orestes, Tisamenus and Penthilos , while the remaining Dorians, according to Ephorus, were entitled to isotimy. It was also the Heraclus and Dorians who made Sparta, previously insignificant, the capital of the country. Eurysthenes and his son Agis I founded the royal house of the Agiads , while the Eurypontids can be traced back to Prokles.

The Herakleiden myth is regarded as an etiological tale , which the claim of the Dorians to Laconia and Sparta since the 6th century BC. Chr. To justify. Accordingly, Laconia rightfully belonged to the heirs and descendants of the demigod Heracles . These were expelled from there and were accepted by the Dorians. According to this myth, their immigration should not be seen as a hostile conquest of land, but as the reconquest of the land stolen from the Heracleans.

Doric migration

Finds Protogeometric ceramic according populated proto-Dorer the area around the later Sparta during the so-called Dorian migration v possibly as early as the 10th century. Four villages were built on the middle course of the Eurotas: Kynosura, Mesoa, Limnai and Pitane, the beginnings of which, however, cannot be precisely dated. These four settlements formed the core of the future Polis of Sparta. The fact of the dual kingship characteristic of Sparta could have its origin in the political union of the founding settlements.

The location of Kynosura and Mesoa allows speculation about a strategic conception of the settlement. Both are laid out on elevated sites with natural protection facing south. Some historians suggest that they may have served as outposts and to protect the Doric immigrants in the north against the city of Amyklai in the south . Amyklai formed the last pre-Doric (according to the mythical tradition: Achaean ) center in the river valley of the Eurotas. In the 8th century BC BC the Doric immigrants, presumably under Teleklos , succeeded in taking Amyklai. Amyklai was integrated into their city-state by the Dorians and is probably the fifth founding settlement in Sparta. Excavations near Amyklai at the beginning of the 20th century uncovered the so-called dome tomb of Vaphio . The art treasures found there confirmed the importance of the place in Mycenaean times. After the occupation of this important cultural center, the expansion of the Spartan domain is directed to the west.

One of John Chadwick's theory is that Doric-speaking Greeks lived in southern Greece as early as the Mycenaean palace period . The absence of traces of the Doric dialect in the Linear B texts is explained by the fact that the Dorians did not belong to the ruling class in the regions ruled by the Mycenaean palace centers. The destruction at the beginning of the 12th century could therefore be the result of a Dorian uprising. The Chadwick theory could not prevail in research, however; that the palace culture collapsed as a result of a Dorian uprising can hardly be proven.

Dark centuries and archaic times

During the so-called Dark Centuries (from the destruction of the Mycenaean centers and the collapse of the palace economy shortly after 1200 BC to the works of Homer around 750 BC) a general decline began in many regions of Greece. Cities and plants were destroyed and knowledge was lost. The tribes increasingly splintered, there were more and more small wars. Since the earth was fertile enough to enable subsistence farming , the Greeks were not forced to cooperate extensively. Because of the division of inheritance and because those who had no other means besides their small farmland had to take out loans from the wealthy few, the property was concentrated on fewer and fewer people, and poverty eventually led to slavery among the Greeks.

The territory of ancient Sparta

These unfinished states threw the young city-state of Sparta into disorder, from which the presumably mythical Lycurgus legislation freed it. This so-called rhetra was actually not ordered all at once, but arose gradually. It established inner peace between the individual groups within the Spartians .

Map of the Peloponnese

The wars with Messenia (735–715 BC and 650–620 BC) resulted from border disputes , which ended with the subjugation of this country and the remaining population. This was pushed onto the status of the helots , who were regarded as "public slaves" or at least as a population that stood between freedom and slavery. For Sparta existentially threatening military situations in the Messenian Wars and the long-term submission of the Helots led to a further militarization and professionalization of the Spartians. Around the middle of the 7th century BC In addition, the hoplite order was introduced, which was supposed to bring Sparta to perfection: The hoplite order was considered a model for the equality of the Spartians. Only those who could serve as an armed man were considered “equal”. Homoioi thus became a synonym for the Spartan full citizens.

Sparta had to wage protracted wars with Arcadia . Not until 550 BC The Spartans gained the upper hand and forced Tegea (not far from today's Tripoli) to recognize their hegemony , which at that time already extended over most of the Peloponnese. The arch rivalry with Argos persisted, although Argos was ruled by the Spartan hoplites in 546 BC. BC had been crushed.

The Olympic Games were explicitly under the protection of Sparta.

In contrast to other Greek cities, Sparta only founded a few colonies except Taras and instead concentrated on maintaining power in the Peloponnesian League , which Sparta around the middle of the 6th century BC. Founded. It acted as a fighter against tyranny and, wherever possible, supported the oligarchy , thereby attempting to consolidate its political influence. The island settlements on Melos and Thera then Morphou on Cyprus and Herakleia Trachinia in central Greece are among the few colonies of Sparta .

Persian Wars

The Persian Wars began as a common Hellenic turning point when the Persian Empire under Darius I in 490 BC. Began to campaign against the Greek mainland in order to enforce his claim to hegemony in the Greek area and to punish the Greeks in the motherland who had supported the Ionian uprising in Asia Minor.

The destination should also be Athens . When the Persians positioned themselves on the northern side of the bay of Marathon , the Athenians moved to the south of the bay to block access to Athens. They asked for help from Sparta, which, however, did not want to move out immediately because of a religious festival and only arrived after the battle.

To avert the continuing danger, several city-states ( Poleis ) founded in 481 BC. The so-called Hellenic League . A year later, the Persian great king Xerxes I invaded Greece with a huge army (the numbers in Herodotus are exaggerated, however). Sparta made a name for itself in the Persian Wars, when King Leonidas tried with three hundred Spartans and 7000 Greeks to defend the Thermopylae against a great overwhelming force, but they were finally defeated by the Persians (but only after seven days). This gained some time and the Persians were defeated in the sea battle of Salamis . 479 BC The Persians were also defeated on land, at Platää . Shortly thereafter, the Greeks counterattacked and liberated the Greek cities of Asia Minor.

The continuation of the war was left to the Athenians by the Spartans as they focused on stabilizing their rule over the Peloponnese after some Allies began to emerge autonomously. After the Persian Wars, Sparta was still the leading military power, but the state grew up in that of Athens in 477 BC. A very dangerous enemy, founded by the Delian-Attic Sea League .

Before the Peloponnesian War (Pentekontaetie)

The term "Pentecontaetie" goes back to the most important historiographer of antiquity, Thucydides (460–396). He used the term to describe a period of almost 50 years (479–431), immediately before the Peloponnesian War . The tendencies of this period already suggest that there could be an internal Greek war, because the time is mainly characterized by the dualism between the most powerful city-states Athens and Sparta. Above all, the aggressive, imperialist policy of Athens is mentioned as a constant factor of this time, which had to lead to the Peloponnesian War. The Central Powers, which in their striving for autonomy did not want to subordinate themselves to Athens, also play an important role.

When the supreme command for the fleets of the Hellenic League in 478/77 BC BC was transferred to the Athenian Aristeides , he used the opportunity to build a new alliance system with a more solid form of organization. This alliance was later to be referred to as the “ Attic Sea Confederation ”. The main principle of the League was the recognition of "equal friends and enemies". In the 460s and 450s, Sparta was primarily concerned with maintaining its own system of alliances, the Peloponnesian League . Various refuse movements by their own allies focused the Spartans' gaze on the Peloponnese. Athens' view, on the other hand, was broader under Kimon's policy : the Athenians fought back the Persians and expanded the League. When after the battle of Eurymedon there was no longer any danger from the Persians, many allies saw no point in the alliance. In addition, Athens' interference in the internal affairs of the allied cities led to conflict. This led to revolts (Naxos, Thasos), which were successfully suppressed.

In the framework of the still wavering Athenian policy, Athens terminated the Hellenic League in 461 and broke with Sparta. In addition, Athens tried to weaken the influence of Sparta and its ally Corinth through clever alliance policies and "constricted" the Peloponnese through new conquests, which made Corinth feel threatened. However, there was still no reaction. At the same time, Athens was increasingly fighting on another front: Persia. After the Attic fleet was defeated in the Nile Delta in 454 , the city was weakened. 451 BC Chr. Was therefore by Kimon initially negotiated a five-year truce with Sparta. This was followed in 449 by the Peace of Callias with Persia and in 446/445 by a thirty-year peace treaty with Sparta. Athens' aim at that time was to keep the peace in order to keep what had been achieved. (These two decades of tension between Sparta and Athens are often referred to as the "First Peloponnesian War".)

The fact that the peace treaty with Sparta would last less than thirty years became increasingly apparent in the following years. Athens interfered more and more in the internal affairs of the other cities of the Attic League. Their autonomy was increasingly restricted. Sparta was directly confronted with the clashes as the renegade allies of Athens sought help from the Spartans. The polis was still holding back, however, so that Athens was able to force its apostate allies back into the union again and again. Only when Athens intervened in the dispute between the Spartan ally Corinth over the city of Epidamnos and Corinth also campaigned for a war against Athens did the Peloponnesian War break out .

Peloponnesian War

Sparta had not worked towards the outbreak of war. The lack of economic potency - especially in comparison to Athens -, a sharp decline in population and the fear of Helot uprisings were reasons for the Spartans' rather low belligerence. The Peloponnesian War, which lasted a total of almost thirty years (431–404), can be divided into three different phases. On the one hand in the Archidamian War (431–421), then in the time of the Nicias Peace (421 to around 413) and finally in the phase of the Decelean War (413–404).

In the first phase, named after the Spartan king and general Archidamos II , Athens and Sparta focused on their respective military strengths. The Athenians used their superior fleet to wear down the Spartans and their allies with surprise attacks on the Peloponnese. Otherwise they pursued a more defensive tactic, which was supposed to avoid a clash with the superior Spartan army . The population of Attica was therefore evacuated behind the long and difficult-to-defeat city walls of Athens when the Spartans attacked, and the focus was on defending the city. This tactic is also known as the Plan of Pericles . The Spartans, on the other hand, who had a much stronger army, invaded Attica several times during the first years of the war under the leadership of Archidamos, devastating the country and destroying the fields. A serious epidemic (probably a form of the plague ) quickly broke out among the population of Athens, as it were crowded together behind the walls , which caused the Athenians to suffer severe population losses. The most important Athenian politician Pericles was found among the victims in 429. Still, the Athenians still seemed to have some advantages on their side. In particular, when 120 Spartans were captured by Athens after the defeat of the Spartans on Sphakteria (425), Sparta was quite ready to make a peace agreement. But the Athenians rejected peace talks mainly under the influence of the demagogue and radical war supporter Kleon .

After the army reform of Brasidas in 424, the Spartans invaded Thrace under his leadership and were able to persuade the coastal cities there to secede from the League. Athens suffered a devastating defeat at Amphipolis in 422. After Brasidas fell in this battle alongside Kleon from Athens, the voices for peace grew louder on both sides. With the mediation of the moderate Athenian Nikias , a fifty-year peace between the parties, the so-called Nicias Peace, was concluded in 421, i.e. after ten years , which largely restored the status quo ante of the time before the war began.

However, the peace treaty proved to be fragile. The Spartan allies Thebes and Corinth in particular saw themselves disadvantaged by such a war outcome. There was an interplay between the coalitions and the most varied of new alliances, but these did not last. While Sparta concentrated in the following years on the fight with the Peloponnesian arch rival Argos , Athens focused its efforts on the maintenance of the sea league (see Melierdialog in Thucydides ). Above all, the expansion policy pursued intensively by Athens under Alkibiades made a lasting peace solution difficult. In the course of this expansion policy, Athens plunged into the daring " Sicilian expedition " in 415 . What is meant here is the sending of a large Athenian force to Sicily to support the Polis Segesta against the mighty Syracuse . After the first initial successes of the expedition, there was a devastating defeat of the Athenian fleet in the port of Syracuse and the Athenian army near Asinaros in 413. The leading head of the expedition, Alkibiades, was charged with religious crime and removed from his command before the actual fighting began.

Alkibiades then fled capture and found asylum in Sparta, where he was welcome as an advisor. On his advice, the Spartans occupied the fortress Dekeleia in Attica in 413 and launched raids into the area around Athens from this strategically favorable base. This is how the last section of the Peloponnesian War, the " Dekeleisch-Ionian War ", got its name. After internal disputes in Athens, in the course of which Alcibiades was even briefly taken back to his home country and again achieved some military successes, the tide finally began to turn in Sparta's favor.

The appearance of the ingenious Spartan general Lysander and, above all, the (financial) support of Sparta by the Persians (to whom the Ionian cities were given in return) ultimately led to the final victory of Sparta and his allies over Athens and the capture of the city from 412 onwards (404) . For strategic reasons, however, Sparta refrained from destroying Athens, as demanded by Thebes and Corinth. Athens had to surrender all but twelve ships of its fleet, tear down its city wall and commit itself to military service against Sparta. In addition, an oligarchy loyal to the economy was introduced in Athens (rule of the thirty).

Sparta's hegemony

As a result of the victory over Athens in 404 BC. Considerable riches in booty, personal payments and tributes reached Sparta. In addition, the Spartans were confronted with intellectual currents in their new territory that were new and unfamiliar to them and that did not get along with the simple Spartan life. Corruption, fraud and intrigue, especially to gain political advantage, were on the agenda at that time. Some Spartian leaders had freedom of action in the newly won territories; when these men returned home, it was not easy to reintegrate them into the phalanx of equals.

An example of this is the development of the general Lysander , to whom Sparta owed its victory over Athens to a large extent, especially in the last years of the Peloponnesian War. Lysander was then given the power to organize in Thrace and the Aegean Sea, but was not inclined to submit to the political laws of his hometown. He preferred to be worshiped personally in his domain and expressed his intention to change the traditional order in Sparta. In addition to Lysander's party, which could be described as imperialist , another political group was formed, the conservative and constitutional counter-movement around King Pausanias , which stood up for Sparta and its basic principles.

However, Sparta could not single-handedly decide on the future of the newly won territories, because the victory over Athens was linked to different political expectations, both on the part of the allies and on the part of the donors from Persia as well as on the part of the neutral Greek cities and finally also on the part of the former Athenian allies. After all, Sparta had gone to war with the intention of putting a stop to Athenian imperialism and had granted all Greek cities freedom, autonomy and security. It also promised a policy of peace and prosperity and assured the Persian donors not to interfere in their rule over the Greeks of Asia Minor. However, after it turned out that Sparta could not live up to all of these expectations and hopes, the situation inside also deteriorated. The question of how this situation should be dealt with was increasingly discussed in public.

The Spartans showed a will to maintain their new supremacy in Greece, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Examples of this were undertakings against Elis in the northwest of the Peloponnese and against the Persian Empire, which was in a phase of weakness, led by King Agesilaos II (399-360 BC), who wanted to protect the Greeks of Asia Minor from Persian attack. Agesilaos brought only 30 Spartans, about 2000 neodamodes and 6000 allies the Persian Empire 396/395 indeed in trouble and won even after his return to Greece military victories, but was much more important (and therein lay the tragedy) that all these victories Basically they were worthless, for they showed Sparta no way to get out of its lost position, both internally and externally.

Two events in the initial phase of Agesilaus' rule made the extent of this crisis clear: the Corinthian War (395–386) and the Kinadon conspiracy (398). Kinadon was not a Spartiate, but wanted to be treated like a full citizen of the city. So he tried to instigate a conspiracy with the help of inferior groups. However, this was uncovered in time by the ephors. Thebes declared war on Sparta in order to relieve it of its supremacy in Greece. The course of the Corinthian War remained changeable and no clear winner emerged from it. Fearing that Athens would regain strength, the Persian great king finally enforced the royal peace named after him , the first example of a general peace . In it Sparta was once again recognized as a hegemonic and regulatory power in Greece.

Sparta's decline

Sparta had bought its position as the only hegemonic power in Greece by making substantial concessions to Persia. a. by abandoning the Greek cities of Asia Minor. The Persian great king acted as an arbitrator and mediator between the city-states in the peace of the king and was contractually assured of rule over the city-states of Asia Minor. Sparta was now regarded within Greece as a kind of patron ( ancient Greek προστάτης prostátes ) with Persian backing, which led to a certain loss of reputation. Sparta sought to expand its position of power by dissolving existing and preventing new alliances. Initially, it met with understanding from many Greeks, as it was cleverly presented as a guardian of the autonomy of the individual poles. So Sparta forced Thebes to surrender its colonies and Argos to withdraw its garrison from Corinth. However, Sparta's reputation as the protector of autonomy was badly damaged when it began to interfere in the internal affairs of the city-states.

The occupation of the Theban city castle of Kadmeia by the Spartan Phoibidas in 382 BC. BC caused indignation throughout the Greek world and ushered in the overthrow of the Spartan hegemony. The 377 BC The Second Attic League, founded under the leadership of Athens, had the express goal of ending Spartan domination. Athens built from 378/377 BC. A fleet of 83 ships, financed by voluntarily paid taxes and commanded by the strategist Chabrias , was rebuilt. Sparta's attack on this fleet ended in his complete defeat.

After 375 BC A general peace ( ancient Greek κοινή εἰρήνη , koiné eiréne) agreed for all city-states led Sparta's efforts to weaken Theben's position of power into final defeat. The Boeotian troops led by the Theban strategist Epameinondas defeated in the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. A Spartan alliance army. This first serious defeat of a Spartan army in open field battle shook Sparta's internal Greek position of power forever. The reputation of invincibility was gone, and over half of the full citizens involved in the battle had died - a bloodletting Sparta could not make up for.

The Thebans did not attack Sparta directly afterwards, but ended its hegemony over the Peloponnesian League , liberated Messenia , marched in 369 BC. BC with an army of the Boeotian League invaded Laconia and took Sparta a third of its national territory. The loss of Messinia in particular hit Sparta decisively.

However, the social disintegration of the Spartan state had started decades earlier. The inequality of the "same" full citizens and the partial impoverishment of the population brought with it social unrest ( Hypomeiones , Mothakes ), the military force of the Spartan hoplites melted together. The city, which had already bought the victory over Athens with high sacrifices, emerged from the Boeotian War demographically, militarily and above all politically clearly weakened.

Thebes could not permanently take over Sparta's role as the supreme power of Greece. Rather, Philip II of Macedonia emerged as the actual victor of the Greek Fraternal Wars , who decisively defeated Thebes and Athens in 338 and established Macedonian rule, which his son Alexander the Great then expanded.

Change in Spartan Society

The Spartan cosmos had been eroded over time by influences from abroad and social developments in Sparta itself. Sparta had become one of the richest cities in Greece through booty, subsidies, contributions and contributions. The Theban soldiers found treasures and monetary values ​​in the manor houses of the Spartan nobles that were not allowed to exist according to the Lycurgian constitution. The extent to which this constitution was actually implemented is still a point of contention among academics, since most of the information came from outside (usually from Athens) and was ideologically influenced. Sparta was not seen as a horror picture, but was also often portrayed as an ideal state, as it had the oldest and most stable constitution at the time. Although “foreigners” were forbidden to stay for longer, opposition nobles from Athens and other Greek cities stayed in Sparta as an electoral resort. The choir competitions were a tourist attraction. Wealthy women drove up to pageants with their own floats. Young girls could take part in running games, for example, and, contrary to the etiquette of the time, their bare knees could be seen.

As a result of the perpetual wars, however, the number of the male population fell, and at the time of Aristotle it did not exceed 1,000 hoplites. If this class of the population had to abolish the equality of property by itself, this disruption was further promoted by the law of the Ephoren Epitadeus, according to which it was permitted to freely dispose of the land by donation or will.

The Spartan social system gradually turned into a narrow-minded, selfish oligarchy . Sick at home and robbed of its allies, Sparta has never been able to rise to its former influence since the Battle of Leuctra.

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Period

Alexander the Great refused the Spartans arms aid against the Persian Empire. On the contrary, King Agis III used. 331 BC The absence of the Macedonian main army led to a fruitless attempt to overthrow Macedonian rule. The Spartans eventually had to fortify their city to protect themselves against the attacks of Demetrius (296 BC) and Pyrrhus (272 BC).

At the time of King Agis IV the number of full citizens had dropped to 700. The dwindling number of full citizens and the prevalent custom of dowry made the disproportion in property ever greater.

Unsuccessful attempts at renewal

The attempts of the Eurypontid Agis IV. (244–241 BC) and the Agiad Cleomenes III. 235-222 BC BC, to restore essential parts of the Lycurgian constitution (reform of the Agoge and the Syssitien , debt relief, land distribution, increase of full citizenship) failed.

After the assassination of the tyrant Nabis and the conquest of Sparta by the Aetolians in 192 BC. BC Philopoimen , the strategist of the Achaean League , forced the city to become a member of this alliance. The old hatred of the Spartans against the Achaeans remained. When Sparta in 188 BC When he fell away from the covenant and placed himself under Roman protection, Philopoimen advanced before Sparta, had the heads of indignation executed, the walls torn down and the foreign mercenaries and the helots taken in by the tyrants among the citizens. Sparta now had to accept Achaean institutions.

Roman and post-Roman times

Rome watched as the Achaeans and Spartans debilitated each other through their quarrels until the appropriate time came to intervene. After the annihilation of the Achaean League and the submission of all of Greece (146 BC), Sparta shared the lot of the other Greek states; However, the Romans are said to have given the Spartans a special honor: They remained free and nominally rendered no service other than friendship.

Under the Roman emperors after Augustus , the Lacedaemonians hardly had a shadow of freedom, even if the city was not nominally part of a province as a civitas libera until the 3rd century . The Lycurgian institutions existed until the 5th and 6th centuries. Century; According to Pausanias (8.23.1) , some sporting and musical competitions were practically a tourist attraction, for which grandstands were built especially for foreign guests; only the Christianity displaced by gradual ban the last remnants of these customs.

In late antiquity , Sparta was plundered several times, including a. from the Goths under Alaric I in 395 and from the Avars in 581. In the late Middle Ages , one of the last Byzantine bastions in the Peloponnese was built in the area of ​​Sparta with the new city of Mistra . Mistra, on the other hand, was badly damaged during the Greek War of Independence . Therefore, in 1836, modern Sparta was founded in the southern part of the ancient city area .

The sources

There are three groups of sources for the history of Sparta: archaeological remains, inscriptions and, above all, literary sources.

Sparta has no history of its own; historical representations came from outside until the Hellenistic period, with those by Athenian authors predominating. The existing literary sources therefore fall again into three groups: contemporary literature that originated in Sparta, contemporary literature that Sparta viewed and judged from the outside, and later authors who used works that are now lost.

The poets Tyrtaios and Alkman (second half of the seventh century BC) came directly from Sparta . They sang about the military and festive Sparta, although their historical value is limited. In addition, there are fragments of the Hellenistic grammarist Sosibios .

The first real historian was Herodotus from Athens (approx. 485–424), who recorded orally transmitted events in writing. Although it is clear in his work that Sparta was already subject to typification and exaggeration from the outside at this time, his information does not reveal that Sparta was a special case among the Greek states ( Poleis ). The closest literary source in time is the description of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides . He already complained about the difficulty of getting information about Sparta. An already firmly established image of Sparta is recognizable in him, which is mainly characterized by negative topoi (xenophobia, anti-innovation, ingenuity, paternalism and subordination of the individual) and which was contrasted with the ideal of Athens . The constitution of the Spartans (early fourth century), written by Xenophon , is based on his own views, but spreads an idealized and therefore tendentious image. Also from Aristotle existed a description of the Spartan constitution. Today this is largely lost. We have a report from Polybius from the late Hellenistic period , who witnessed Sparta's struggles with the Achaean League up to its admission into the Roman Empire in 146. The Roman Sparta eventually described Pausanias (second half of the second century) in its description of Greece .

As a third group, those authors also offer information who have evaluated and used largely lost sources and authors today. Among these are Strabo (approx. 63 BC - 23 AD), Plutarch (beginning of the second century AD), and Pausanias again. These authors rely largely on Hellenistic predecessors, so that their statements often represent anachronisms.

See also


supporting documents

  1. Pausanias 3, 1, 1 ff. (Cf. 4, 1, 2); Apollodor 2, 10, 3; Scholiast zum Orestes des Euripides , V. 626. - Cf. Johann Kaspar Friedrich Manso : Sparta. An attempt to elucidate the history and constitution of this state. Volume 1, part 1. In the Dyckische Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1800, p. 8.
  2. See Fritz Gschnitzer: Leleges . In: The New Pauly. Edited by Hubert Cancik, Helmuth Schneider and Manfred Landfester. Published online in 2006. Accessed June 7, 2020.
  3. Homer, Iliad 20, 89 ff .; 21, 86 f.
  4. Pherecytes of Athens , The Fragments of the Greek Historians 3 F 155; Philippos von Theangela, FGrH 741 F 3; Strabo 7, 7, 2; 13, 1, 58 f .; Stephanos of Byzantium , sv Νινόη and Μεγάλη πόλις; see. Herodotus 1, 171.
  5. ^ Hesiod , Catalogus feminarum 234 Merkelbach-West; Aristotle fr. 473 r .; Skymnos 590 f .; Dionysios Kalliphontos, GGM 1, 240, 70 f .; Dionysius of Halicarnassus , Antiquitates Romanae 1, 17, 3; Stephanos of Byzantium, sv Φύσκος.
  6. Cf. Strabon 8, 363 a; Aristotle, Meteorologica 1, 14. Cf. Manso: Sparta. P. 11, footnote i.
  7. a b [F.]: Sparta . In: Real Encyclopedia of Classical Ancient Science . Ed. August Pauly et al. Volume 6.1. Verlag der JB Metzler'schen Buchhandlung, Stuttgart 1852, pp. 1338–1362, here pp. 1338 f.
  8. Herodotus 4, 149.
  9. Pausanias 2, 18, 4 ff.
  10. Herodotus 6:52.
  11. ^ Pausanias 3: 1, 5.
  12. Pausanias 3: 2, 1; 7, 1, 3; Strabo 13, 582.
  13. Strabon 8, 364.
  14. Lukas Thommen: The territory of early Sparta in myth, epic and research. In: Andreas Luther et al. (Ed.): The early Sparta. Franz Steiner, Munich 2006, pp. 15–28, here p. 17 f.
  15. ^ Karl-Wilhelm Welwei : Greek history. From the beginnings to the beginning of Hellenism. Ferdinand Schönigh, Paderborn 2001, ISBN 978-3-506-77306-7 , p. 52 f.
  16. ^ Karl-Wilhelm Welwei: Greek history. From the beginnings to the beginning of Hellenism. Ferdinand Schönigh, Paderborn 2001, p. 53.
  17. ^ John Chadwick, Who were the Dorians? , in: Parola del Passato 31 (1976), pp. 103-117.
  18. ^ Ernst Baltrusch : Sparta: Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Kultur , Beck, Munich 1998, p. 56.
  19. ^ Morphou , in: Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister, Stillwell, Richard, MacDonald, William L., McAlister, Marian Holland (Eds.): The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites ; this because of the cult of Aphrodite Morpho, which is widespread in both cities .
  20. Herakleia Trachinia - Central Greece , in: Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister, Stillwell, Richard, MacDonald, William L., McAlister, Marian Holland (Eds.): The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites .
  21. (mainly from Roman times, collected in the Inscriptiones Graecae (IG). Bd 5,1.)