Prof. Paul Cartledge - Sparta, A Remarkable Polis

Join us as we take you on an exploration of the fascinating world of the ancient Spartans. With Professor Paul Cartledge, a leading historian on the Spartans, as our guide, we will demystify the intriguing tales, values, and societal structure of this resilient warrior society. We’ll wade through the Spartan mirage, unveiling the unique education system, political structure, and unrivalled military prowess that have shaped our understanding of this ancient civilization.

We’re not stopping at the surface; we whisk you into the depth of the Spartan world and the wider Greek realm. We’ll probe into the Spartan lifestyle, the Greek ideal of freedom, participation, agency, and involvement. Can you imagine a society where women commanded respect and power unlike their contemporaries? Well, get ready, we’ll be discussing the unique status of Spartan women, their education, physical strength, and property rights. 

What if we told you that Sparta’s influence extends far beyond the ancient world, even to our modern-day society? Brace yourself for our exploration of the legacy of Sparta, its influence and misappropriation throughout history. We’ll dissect the portrayal of the Battle of Thermopylae in the movie 300, contrast views of Sparta in the French Revolution, and examine how the Spartan mirage is perpetuated in North America. Immerse yourself in this captivating journey as we unravel the enigma that is Spartan society, their enduring values, and their lasting legacy.

Prof. Paul Cartledge was educated at Oxford. He is A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and emeritus AG Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the University of Cambridge (retired 2014). He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of some 30 books, the most recent being Democracy: A Life (2018) and Thebes: the Forgotten City of Ancient Greece (2021). He is a Commander of the Order of Honour (Helenic Republic) and an Honorary Citizen of Sparti (today’s Sparta) 

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