CLCV 205 - Lecture 8 - Sparta

Lecture 8 - Sparta


In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the rise, fall, and significance of tyrannies in the Greek polis. He argues that the various tyrannies in the Greek world had both negative and positive aspects, which need to be appreciated. For instance, on the one hand, tyrannies promoted economic, commercial and artistic advances. On the other hand, tyrannies ruled absolutely and curbed the freedom of the polis. Finally, Professor Kagan intimates that tyrannies in many ways were a necessary step in the development of the classical polis. In short, through tyrannies, the power and influence of the aristocracy was broken and the hoplite farmer grew greater in significance.



Pomeroy, Burstein, Donlan and Roberts. Ancient Greece. Oxford University Press: New York, 1999, pp. 131-158.

Kagan, Donald. "Problems in Ancient History." In The Ancient Near East and Greece. 2nd ed., vol. 1. Prentice-Hall: New York, 1975, chapter 3.

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