Greek Writers’ Views of Sparta (Plutarch (Wrote life of Lycurgus, as well…
Greek Writers’ Views of Sparta
"Father of History", but also known as the "father of lies"
Interviewed eye witnesses
Divine influences appear in his work and due to this he was a product of his times.
He was writing at a time of worsening Sparta/Athens relations and this might be a factor in his playing up the role of Athens and not Sparta
Believed he was writing for posterity and expected his work to last through the ages
"Father of scientific history" and prided himself on his rigorous checking of sources
Aimed at objectivity, but at times he cannot prevent his admiration for Pericles and Athens from coming through
Funeral Oration - in which he compares Athens and Sparta, clear piece of Athenian propaganda aimed at denigrating the Spartan way of life
Lived in Greece
Info is very detailed, but archaeologists often found his material to be an invaluable aid in the search for lost ancient remains
Was not a historian but the legends and anecdotes are useful background material.
Wrote life of Lycurgus, as well as the Lives of the Spartan Kings
He collected Spartan sayings and wrote many other philosophical and literary works. He had access to the archives of the shrine as well as a wide range of written sources.
He provided much useful material on Spartan society
His aim was not to record historical events but to provide his readers with the lives of great individuals who wrote moral qualties were worthy of emulation. Plutarch therefore sought to
Plutarch was writing at least 700 years after his death
Drew on a huge range of sources, but he found all sorts of inconsistencies when he tried to tie material together.
Historians found that his life of Lycurgus to be the most valuable as a record of what people thought about Lycurgus and Spartan traditions, rather than facts about the man himself. Themes of loss of virtue and the corrupting influence of money.
Greek philosopher who lived when Sparta was in decline, was extremely critical of the Spartan system
Illustrated that other historians favoured the Spartan systems compared to him