History Department - Courses


Teaching Staff: Kralli Ioanna
Course Code: ΙΑΕ609
Course Type: Seminar
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Delivery method: In the classroom
Semester: 6

Short Description:

The main subjects of the seminar course are: the change of the geo-political map in the Peloponnese after the Spartan defeat at Leuktra in 371 BC; the chronic socio-economic as well as political problems which rendered Sparta a second rate city after their defeat; the relations of the Spartans with other Peloponnesian cities, the Achaian Confederacy as well as Macedon, in the context of their attempts to re-acquire hegemony.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

After successfully completing the seminar the students are expected to be able to analyze and criticize the information provided by the sources, develop questions; to distinguish the elements of continuity as well as change in the social and political situation of Sparta.


Week #1: Brief review: the Spartan constitution, the society, the hegemony over the Peloponnese; Sparta in the early 4th BC.

Week #2: The change of the geo-political map after the Spartan defeat at Leuktra in 371 BC.

Week #3: Philip II of Macedon and further reduction of Spartan state.

Week #4: The War of Agis III against Macedon (331/0 BC) and the establishment of Peloponnesian attitudes towards Sparta.

Week #5: The era of the Diadochoi and the non-involvement of the Spartans from their struggle for power.

Week #6: The kingship of Areus (309-265 BC) and his attempt to restore Spartan leading role and to modernize Spartan kingship.

Week #7: Problems of property and oliganthropia (mainly on the basis of Aristotle and Plutarch)

Weeks #8 + 9: The failed attempt of Agis IV (244-241 BC) at redistribution of the land and cancellation of the debts.

Weeks #10-12: The social reforms of Kleomenes III (235-222 BC) and his attempts to restore Spartan hegemony in the Peloponnese.

Week #13: Instructions on how to approach the long essay.

Suggested Bibliography:

Cartledge, P., Spawforth, A., Hellenistic and Roman Sparta. A Tale of Two Cities, Λονδίνο/Νέα Υόρκη 20022.

Cartledge, P., Spartan Reflections, London 2001.

Hodkinson, S., Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta, Swansea 2000.

Lévy, Ε., Sparte:. histoire politique et sociale jusqu' à la conquête romaine, Paris 2003.

Pomeroy, S. B., Spartan Women, Oxford 2002.

Walbank, F. W., The Hellenistic World, London 19812.

Will, É., Histoire politique du monde hellénistique, Nancy 1979/1982.

Teaching Methods:

3 hour weekly seminar based on the study of ancient literary sources.  The syllabus includes passages from Xenophon’s Hellenika, Aristotle’s Politics, Diodorus; also Polybius and, mainly, the following Plutarchean Lives: Pyrrhos, Aratos, Agis and Kleomenes. Εvery two or three weeks the students have to answer questionnaires related to the sources and the subjects examined each time (3-4 questionnaires, consisting of 7-10 questions each). The aim is for the students to acquire a basic knowledge of the sources and thus proceed to analysis in class.


Evaluation Methods:

Assessment of the students is based on their answers to the afore-mentioned questionnaires (30%), on a long essay (c.2000 words; 35%) and on a written examination (35%).  In the case of failure in either the long essay or in the written examination, students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment in September.   

Academic Calendar 2019-2020
Posted: 18-04-2019 18:05 | Updated: 26-08-2019 15:56