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Stephen Hodkinson

Professor of Ancient History; Director, Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies; Director, Institute for the Study of Slavery, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

Born in Manchester, I was brought up in south London and educated at St Cecilia's School and Wimbledon College. But my Mancunian roots have remained strong in my lifelong support for Manchester United football club.

I returned to Manchester for my undergraduate studies, gaining a First Class Honours degree in History (Ancient, Medieval, Modern). I then went to Cambridge to undertake doctoral study in Ancient History, writing my PhD dissertation on 'Explorations in Classical Spartan Economy and Society', under the supervision of Moses Finley and Paul Cartledge.

I returned again to the University of Manchester as Lecturer in History, being promoted to Senior Lecturer, then Reader in Ancient History.

I joined the University of Nottingham in 2003 to take up my current post of Professor of Ancient History. In 2005 I co-founded the university's Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies, along with colleagues in Archaeology. In 2010 I became Director of the university's Institute for the Study of Slavery.

Expertise Summary

My broad area of expertise is the social, economic, political and military history of ancient Greece. Within that broad area, I have special expertise in

  • archaic and classical Sparta, especially its social, economic, and military organisation
  • Sparta in modern politics and thought, especially in the 20th century
  • slavery, especially helotage and other forms of unfree agrarian labour
  • the agrarian economy of ancient Greece, especially the role of animal husbandry

My training as a historian covered the full chronological range from the ancient to the modern worlds. I am therefore particularly interested in examining ancient Greece within the comparative perspective of other historical societies and in antiquity's role in modern political and intellectual thought .

Teaching Summary

I teach a wide range of subjects within ancient Greek history.

Undergraduate modules

  • Q81HIS Interpreting Ancient History (units on the development of Athenian democracy & warfare in Greek society)
  • Q82ESS Extended Source Study (worksheet on the law code of Gortyn)
  • Q82SCS Studying Classical Scholarship (case study on the 19th-century historian George Grote)
  • Q83062 Sparta
  • Q83066 The Greek Countryside
  • Q83SRR Classical Sparta: Receptions and Realities

Masters modules

  • Ancient War and its Representations

Postgraduate Research. I am currently supervising students researching PhDs on:

  • Issues of Status in Classical Sparta
  • The Lakedaimonian Perioikoi
  • Social Change in Hellenistic Greece;
  • The American conservative movement and its use of Greek thought

I welcome enquiries from students interested in pursuing doctoral research on any aspect of ancient Greek history or its modern reception, especially in the areas of Sparta and the Peloponnese; slavery; agrarian society and economy. I can offer joint co-supervision with colleagues with specialist expertise in other areas of Greek history and society and also in Greek Archaeology.

Research Summary

My main current interest is ancient Sparta and its reception in modern times. Since 2004 I have been directing a project on Sparta in Comparative Perspective, Ancient to Modern. The project compares… read more

Selected Publications

  • HODKINSON, S., ed., 2009. Sparta: comparative approaches Classical Press of Wales.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2008. Spartiates, helots and the direction of the agrarian economy: toward an understanding of helotage in comparative perspective. In: DAL LAGO, E. and KATSARI, C., eds., Slave Systems, Ancient and Modern Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 285-320
  • HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., eds., 2006. Sparta and war Swansea: Classical Press of Wales.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2006. Was classical Sparta a military society?. In: HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., eds., Sparta and War Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. 111-162

Current Research

My main current interest is ancient Sparta and its reception in modern times. Since 2004 I have been directing a project on Sparta in Comparative Perspective, Ancient to Modern. The project compares classical Sparta with other ancient Greek city-states and with societies at other historical times and places. It also examines the way in which Sparta has been appropriated as a comparative model in modern political and intellectual thought.

As part of this project, I have recently published two edited volumes: Sparta: Comparative Approaches and Sparta in Modern Thought , See also the full list of project publications by myself and other members of the project team.

I am also working on the interaction between war and society, especially Sparta's reputation as a military society and the reality behind that reputation, leading to book titled 'Comparing Spartan Militarism'.

Allied to my research on Sparta, I direct the University of Nottingham's Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies.

My other current research interest is in ancient slavery, especially helotage and unfree rural labour in ancient Greece. I am editing the Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Slaveries with Kostas Vlassopoulos and Marc Kleijwegt.

I am Director of the University of Nottingham's Institute for the Study of Slavery and have recently co-edited its latest conference volume on Slaves and Religions in Graeco-Roman Antiquity and Modern Brazil.

Past Research

My past research has been directed at two important subjects within ancient history: (i) the agrarian economy of ancient Greece, especially the role of animal husbandry; (ii) the economy and society of archaic and classical Sparta.

These subjects are central to the understanding of ancient Greek society; but research in both areas had become somewhat stagnant, owing to the long-standing dominance of old-fashioned approaches. My work aimed to challenge the old orthodoxies with radically new approaches and interpretations. My core methods have been a close re-reading of both well-known and neglected ancient texts, together with use of hitherto under-utilised archaeological and epigraphic evidence, informed by insights drawn from other disciplines, especially the social sciences.

My approach to these subjects has viewed them against the comparative context of other areas of the ancient world and, cross-culturally, from the perspective of other historical times and places. My research ranges over many aspects of economy, society and culture, including education and upbringing; food and commensality; pederasty and homosexuality; patronage and friendship; political organisation and community; property and wealth; money and coinage; religious sanctuaries and votive offerings; slavery and unfree labour; sport and agonistic contests; warfare; women and gender.

Main past publications:

Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta (Duckworth & Classical Press of Wales, London 2000)

Sparta: New Perspectives, edited with Anton Powell (Duckworth & Classical Press of Wales, London 1999)

Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece, edited with Roger Brock (Oxford University Press, paperback re-issue 2002)

Sparta: Beyond the Mirage, edited with Anton Powell (Duckworth & Classical Press of Wales, London 2002)

Sparta and War, edited with Anton Powell (Classical Press of Wales, Swansea 2006)

Sparta: Comparative Approaches (Classical Press of Wales, Swansea 2009)

Sparta: The Body Politic, edited with Anton Powell (Classical Press of Wales, Swansea 2010)

Sparta in Modern Thought, edited with Ian Macgregor Morris (Classical Press of Wales 2012)

Future Research

I am currently in the early stages of developing a future research project on Sparta and Totalitarianism in 20th century Western Democratic Thought. It will examine the way in which Sparta has been used in modern thought as an ancient analogy for 20th century totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Two publications from this research have appeared to date:

'Sparta and Nazi Germany in mid-20th-century British liberal and left-wing thought', in A. Powell & S. Hodkinson (eds.), Sparta: The Body Politic, Swansea 2010, pp. 297-342.

'Sparta and the Soviet Union in U.S. Cold War foreign policy and intelligence analysis', in S. Hodkinson & I. Macgregor Morris (eds.), Sparta in Modern Thought, Swansea 2012, pp. 343-392.

  • HODKINSON, S., 2013. New Approaches to Classical Sparta The Journal of Classics Teaching. 27(Spring), 16-25
  • HODKINSON S. and MACGREGOR MORRIS, I., eds., 2012. Sparta in modern thought: politics, history and culture The Classical Press of Wales.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2012. Sparta and the Soviet Union in U.S. Cold War Foreign Policy and Intelligence Analysis. In: HODKINSON, S. and MACGREGOR MORRIS, I., eds., Sparta in Modern Thought: Politics, History and Culture The Classical Press of Wales. 343-392
  • MACGREGOR MORRIS, I. and HODKINSON, S., 2012. Introduction. In: HODKINSON, S. and MACGREGOR MORRIS, I., eds., Sparta in Modern Thought: Politics, History and Culture The Classical Press of Wales. vii-xxvi
  • HODKINSON, S. and GEARY, D., eds., 2012. Slaves and Religions in Graeco-Roman Antiquity and Modern Brazil Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • HODKINSON, S. and GEARY, D., 2012. Slaves and Religions: Historiographies, Ancient and Modern. In: HODKINSON, S. and GEARY, D., eds., Slaves and Religions in Graeco-Roman Antiquity and Modern Brazil Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 1-31
  • HODKINSON, S. and HALL, E., 2011. Appropriations of Spartan helotage in British antislavery debates of the 1790s. In: HALL, E., ALSTON, R. and MCCONNELL, J., eds., Ancient slavery and abolition: from Hobbes to Hollywood Oxford University Press. 65-102
  • HODKINSON, S., 2010. Sparta and Nazi Germany in mid-20th century British liberal and left-wing thought. In: POWELL, A. and HODKINSON, S., eds., Sparta: the body politic Classical Press of Wales. 297-342
  • POWELL, A. and HODKINSON, S., eds., 2010. Sparta: the body politic Classical Press of Wales.
  • HODKINSON, S., ed., 2009. Sparta: comparative approaches Classical Press of Wales.
  • HANSEN, M.H. and HODKINSON, S., 2009. Spartan exceptionalism? Continuing the debate. In: HODKINSON, S., ed., Sparta: Comparative Approaches Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales. 473-498
  • HODKINSON, S., 2009. Introduction. In: HODKINSON, S., ed., Sparta: Comparative Approaches Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales. ix-xxxiii
  • HODKINSON, S, 2009. Was Sparta an exceptional polis?. In: HODKINSON, S., ed., Sparta: Comparative Approaches Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales. 417-72
  • HODKINSON, S., 2008. Bill Cavanagh: a personal appreciation. In: GALLOU, C., GEORGIADIS, M. and MUSKETT, G. M., eds., Dioskouroi: Studies presented to W.G. Cavanagh and C.B. Mee on the anniversary of their 30-year joint contribution to Aegean Archaeology Oxford: Archaeopress. 3
  • HODKINSON, S., 2008. The European Review of History-Revue europeenne d'Histoire: some reflections European Review of History: Revue Europeenne D'Histoire. 15(1), 13-14
  • HODKINSON, S., 2008. Spartiates, helots and the direction of the agrarian economy: toward an understanding of helotage in comparative perspective. In: DAL LAGO, E. and KATSARI, C., eds., Slave Systems, Ancient and Modern Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 285-320
  • HODKINSON, S., 2007. L'elevage dans la polis grecque. In: BRULE, P., OULHEN, J. and PROST, F., eds., Economie et Societe en Grece antique (478-88 av. J.-C.) Paris: PUDR.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2007. The episode of Sphodrias as a source for Spartan social history. In: SEKUNDA, N.V., ed., Corolla Cosmo Rodewald Gdansk. 43-65
  • HODKINSON, S., 2007. Five words that shook the world: Plutarch, Lykourgos 16 and appropriations of Spartan communal property ownership in eighteenth-century France. In: BIRGALIAS, N., BURASELIS, K. and CARTLEDGE, P., eds., The contribution of ancient Sparta to political thought and practice Alexandria Publications. 417-430
  • HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., eds., 2006. Sparta and war Swansea: Classical Press of Wales.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2006. Was classical Sparta a military society?. In: HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., eds., Sparta and War Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. 111-162
  • HODKINSON, S., 2005. The imaginary Spartan <i>Politeia</i>. In: HANSEN, M.H., ed., The Imaginary Polis Copenhagen: Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. 222-281
  • HODKINSON, S., 2005. Female Property Ownership and Status in Classical and Hellenistic Sparta Available at: <http://www.chs.harvard.edu/activities_events.sec/conferences.ssp/conference_women_property.pg>
  • HODKINSON, S., 2004. Female property ownership and empowerment in classical and Hellenistic Sparta. In: FIGUEIRA, T.J., ed., Spartan society Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. 103-136
  • HODKINSON, S., 2004. Idioktesia kai ploutos ste Sparte tes klassikes epoches. (Modern Greek translation of: Property and wealth in Classical Sparta, London 2000) Athens: Patakh.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2003. Spartiates, helots and the direction of the agrarian economy: towards an understanding of helotage in comparative perspective. In: LURAGHI, N. and ALCOCK, S.E., eds., Helots and their masters in Laconia and Messenia: histories, ideologies, structures Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 248-285
  • HODKINSON, S., 2003. Animal husbandry in the Greek polis (Spanish Translation). In: GALLEGO, J., ed., El mundo rural en la Grecia antiqua Madrid: Editorial Akal Universitaria. 134-184
  • POWELL, A. and HODKINSON, S., eds., 2002. Sparta: beyond the mirage Swansea: Classical Press of Wales.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2002. Spartiate landownership and inheritance. In: WHITBY, M., ed., Sparta Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 86-89
  • HODKINSON, S., 2002. Social order and the conflict of values in classical Sparta. In: WHITBY, M., ed., Sparta Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 104-130
  • HODKINSON, S., 2002. Introduction. In: POWELL, A. and HODKINSON, S., eds., Sparta: beyond the mirage Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. vii-xx
  • HODKINSON,S., 2001. Wealth and private property in ancient Sparta He Istorika. 14th June, 16-21
  • HODKINSON, S., OLIVER, G., BROCK, R. and CORNELL, T.J., eds., 2000. The sea in antiquity Oxford: J. and E. Hedges.
  • HODKINSON, S., 2000. Property and wealth in classical Sparta London: Duckworth.
  • HODKINSON,S., 2000. Economy and commerce in ancient Sparta He Istorika. 14th December, 32-37
  • HODKINSON, S., 2000. Alternatives to the democratic polis. In: BROCK, R. and HODKINSON, S., eds., Alternatives to Athens: varieties of political organization and community in ancient Greece Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1-31
  • BROCK, R. and HODKINSON, S., eds., 2000. Alternatives to Athens: varieties of political organization and community in ancient Greece Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • HODKINSON, S., 1999. An agonistic culture?: athletic competition in archaic and classical Spartan society. In: HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., eds., Sparta: new perspectives London: Duckworth. 147-187
  • HODKINSON, S., 1999. Introduction. In: HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., eds., Sparta: new perspectives London: Duckworth. ix-xxvi
  • HODKINSON, S. and POWELL, A., 1999. Sparta: new perspectives London: Duckworth.
  • HODKINSON, S., 1998. Lakonian artistic production and the problem of Spartan austerity. In: FISHER, N. and WEES, H. VAN, eds., Archaic Greece: new approaches and new evidence London: Duckworth. 93-117
  • HODKINSON, S., 1998. Patterns of bronze dedications at Spartan sanctuaries, c.650-350 BC: towards a quantified database of material and religious investment. In: CAVANAGH, W.G. and WALKER, S., eds., Sparta in Lakonia London: British School at Athens. 55-63
  • HODKINSON, S., 1997. The development of Spartan society and institutions in the archaic period. In: MITCHELL, L.G. and RHODES, P.J., eds., The development of the polis in archaic Greece London: Routledge. 83-102
  • HODKINSON, S., 1997. Servile and free dependants of the Spartan oikos In: Schiavi e dipendenti nell'ambito dell'oikos e della familia. 45-71
  • HODKINSON, S., 1996. Spartan society in the fourth century: crisis and continuity. In: CARLIER, P., ed., Le IVe siècle av. J.-C.: approches historiographiques: études Nancy: A.D.R.A. 85-102
  • HODKINSON, S., 1996. 'Archaic & classical Sparta'; 'Pastoralism, Greek'; and 20 other articles. In: HORNBLOWER, S. and SPAWFORTH, A., eds., Oxford classical dictionary 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • HODKINSON, S., 1994. 'Blind ploutos'?: contemporary images of property and wealth in classical Sparta. In: POWELL, A. and HODKINSON, S., eds., The shadow of Sparta London: Routledge. 183-222
  • POWELL, A. and HODKINSON, S., eds., 1994. The shadow of Sparta London: Routledge.

Department of Classics

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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