Sparta was one of the most important Greek city-states throughout the Archaic and Classical periods and was famous for its military prowess. The professional and well-trained Spartan hoplites with their distinctive red cloaks, long hair, and lambda-emblazoned shields were probably the best and most feared fighters in Greece, fighting with distinction at such... [continue reading]
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An excellent and comprehensive overview of the Greek world from the early 5th to late 4th century BCE. Divided into 27 chapters, each written by an expert in the field, all the major themes of Classical Greece are covered: politics, society, war, philosophy, colonies, economics and religion. Written in an accessible way, it is suitable for general... [continue reading]
Dept. of History, U.S. Military Academy
published on 24 June 2013
The possible positions taken in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BCE between Sparta and Thebes. The Thebans, led by the brilliant general Epaminondas, won the battle and established Thebes as the most powerful polis in Greece.
Dept. of History, US Military Academy
published on 06 April 2013
A map indicating the location and military positions taken in the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE between the Persian invading forces of Xerxes I against a small Greek force led by Spartan king Leonidas. Defending the pass for three days, the Greek force was ultimately defeated.
Smarthistory, Art History at Khan Academy
published on 04 April 2014
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=pdqOIg_QYSc East and West Pediments from the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, c. 490-480 B.C.E. (Glyptothek, Munich) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris & Dr. Steven Zucker
The ancient Greeks were particularly concerned with such fundamental questions as who should rule and how? Should sovereignty (kyrion) lie in the rule of law (nomoi), the constitution (politea), officials, or the citizens? Not settling on a definitive answer to these questions, government in the ancient Greek world, therefore, took extraordinarily... [continue reading]
published on 26 April 2012
Modern illustration of a 4th century BCE Greek hoplite.
Although the male citizen, with his full legal status, right to vote, hold public office, and own property, may well have dominated Greek Society, the social groups which made up the population of a typical Greek city-state or polis were remarkably diverse. Women, children, immigrants (both Greek and foreign), labourers, and slaves all had defined roles... [continue reading]
In the ancient Greek world, warfare was seen as a necessary evil of the human condition. Whether it be small frontier skirmishes between neighbouring city-states, lengthy city-sieges, civil wars, or large-scale battles between multi-alliance blocks on land and sea, the vast rewards of war could outweigh the costs in material and lives. Whilst there... [continue reading]
A hoplite (from ta hopla meaning tool or equipment) was the most common type of heavily armed foot-soldier in ancient Greece from the 7th to 4th centuries BCE, and most ordinary citizens of Greek city-states with sufficient means were expected to equip and make themselves available for the role when necessary. Athens had a system of compulsory military... [continue reading]
published on 11 May 2013
A 5th century BCE marble figure of a Spartan hoplite, perhaps of Leonidas in memory of his sacrifice at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE. (Archaeological Museum of Sparta, Greece).