Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta

Paperback / softback
The standard image of Sparta is of an egalitarian, military society which disdained material possessions. Yet property and wealth played a critical role in her history. Classical Sparta's success rested upon a compromise between rich and poor citizens. Economic differences were masked by a uniform lifestyle and a communal sharing of resources. Over time, however, increasing inequalities led to a plutocratic society and to the decline of Spartan power. Using an innovative combination of historical, archaeological and sociological methods, Stephen Hodkinson challenges traditional views of Sparta's isolation from general Greek culture. This volume is the first major monograph-length discussion of a subject on which the author is recognised as the leading international authority.