CLS 150-01

Sparta: a summary II

  • a mixed constitution: TWO kings, oligarchy (rule of the few): the board of Ephors; some democratic elements – Apella
  • very small percentage of people are full citizens
  • full time military to keep helots (most of population) in line
  • secrecy valued, conservative foreign policy (risky to take army out of Sparta); encouraged myths/legends about themselves: the mystique of Spartan invincibility
  • Agoge produced good followers but poor leaders
  • steady drop in number of “equals” a long term problem
  • Herodotus (of Halicarnassus), Persian Wars, Archaic period

  • Sparta major power in Peleponnesus in archaic period
  • Persian empire founded/expanded by Cyrus (mentioned in Holey Babble by Isaiah)
  • Persian wars lead to the recording of history
  • Athens emerges as equal in power to Sparta after Persian Wars
  • Herodotus: (c.484-425): Father of History or Father of Lies?
  • early anthropology in Herodotus
  • historia: learning by inquiry; information by inquiry; historical narrative
  • His goal: preserve great deeds — war between East & West (PR & GK)
  • influence of Homer: technique and subject matter — war but not just war
  • travels and research; result of exile
  • customs, beliefs, religion, daily life, origins/history of both sides
  • there is a role for the gods in human affairs; inclusive attitude toward religion
  • gives alternative versions, identifies and assess his sources
  • loves a good story, personal details, paradigms: Croesus – Xerxes
  • contrast with Thucydides
  • The Persian Empire

  • Cyrus the Great (559-530BC)
  • defeats Croesus of Lydia 546; adds all of western Asia
  • same as Cyrus in Old Testament – ended babylonian captivity
  • Cambyses (530-522)
  • conquered EG (during Gk Peisistratid period)
  • Darius (522-486)
  • reorganizes empire, 20 satrapies, central govt, coinage; adds parts of Thrace, Thasos & Macedonia; invasion of Scythia (modern Ukraine) fails
  • Ionian Gk cities revoltt 499; put down harshly
  • invasion of Attica to reinstall Hippias repelled at Marathon in 490
  • Xerxes (486-465)
  • by 484 clear he will invade Gr; many Gks medize (adopt Mede ways) by 481, 31 Gk states — Athens, Sparta & Peleponnesian cities — from league to resist
  • Persian Empire
  • Persian Wars: background

  • Post-Cleisthenes (508 BC) trend in Gk world towards broader govt
  • rise of Sparta & Athens as major powers in Gk world
  • naval power & democracy; silver strike in SE Attica (at Laureion)
  • Themistocles of Athens: calls for naval expenditures instead of wealth distribution
  • conflict: Persia constantly expands
  • many Gk polises Medize (side w/ Persia)
  • remaining Gks fail to unite until almost too late; disagree on strategy. Where to fight? Athenians agree to evacuate homeland
  • upset victory creates power void in Aegean: Persia driven inland
  • prehistory:homer & Trojan war?
  • Cyrus the Great, Croesus of Lydia (546 BC)
  • 1. Ionian revolt 499-494
  • Athenians help Ionian cities v. Darius/Persians; Miletus/Lade
  • 2. Marathon 490
  • Miltiades/Athens v. Hippias (Darius)/Persians
  • 3. Thermopylae, Salamis 480: Xerxes invades
  • King Leonidas & 300 Spartans, Themistocles & allied Gk fleet
    — and Plataea 479
  • Spartan Pausanias & Spartan infantry; allied Gk fleet
  • From “Bruce M. Laforse”
    Sent Saturday, April 19, 2008 1:32 pm
    Subject CLS 150 Herodotus Questions

    Questions to keep in mind while reading Herodotus (on reserve)

    Who is Croesus? Is he Greek? What is his personality like? Does he take
    advice well? What is his attitude towards the gods?

    In what city and region does Croesus live?

    What is Solon’s view of human prosperity?

    Who is Cyrus?

    Who are Cleobis and Biton?

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