Both in antiquity and in modern scholarship, classical Sparta has typically been viewed as an exceptional society, different in many respects from other Greek city-states. This view has recently come under challenge from 'revisionist' historians, led by Stephen Hodkinson. This is the first book devoted explicitly to this lively historical controversy. Historians from Britain, Europe and the USA present different sides of the argument, using a variety of comparative approaches. The focus includes kingship and hegemonic structures, education and commensality, religious institutions and practice, helotage and ethnography. The volume concludes with a wide-ranging debate between Hodkinson and Mogens Herman Hansen (Director of the Copenhagen Polis Centre), on the overall question of whether Sparta was a normal or an exceptional polis.
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