Warlike Spartans? Competing memories on Spartan militarism

Microsoft Teams online event
Thursday 10th December 2020 (17:00-18:00)
Registration URL
A bareback horse rider in side profile surrounded by birds and a harpy. Figures are drawn in black and terracotta against a cream background.

Warlike Spartans? Competing memories on Spartan militarism

Join Elena Franchi for a discussion exploring Spartan history

On the eve of the Peloponnesian war, the Spartans had to decide whether to launch an offensive attack or not. King Archidamus advised them to be warlike but also wise, and to wait for the right moment, as their ancestors had done on other occasions; the ephorus Stenelaidas instead argued that it was necessary to act immediately, in a manner worthy of Sparta. Both invoked, more or less directly, continuity with the past.

But were the Spartans historically warlike or prudent?

In her lecture, Dr Elena Franchi will explore Spartan history by examining the situations in which the Spartans were belligerent and those in which they were more prudent. S (hippeus), attributed to the Rider Painter from Laconia (c. 550-530 BC) he will show that on the eve of the Peloponnesian war there were two competing memories on Sparta at war: one portraying them as more πολεμικοί, the other as more σώφρονες. She will also try to understand what purposes these memories served.

All are very welcome. Free to attend. 



The event will be hosted on Microsoft Teams via a link that will be shared here prior to the event. Simply follow the link to join the event. 

Link to the Microsoft Teams live event (activates on the day of the event) 


Event image is of a black-figured kylix with victorious horse rider (hippeus), attributed to the Rider Painter from Laconia (c. 550-530 BC).

Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 4800
fax: +44 (0)115 951 4811
email: csps@nottingham.ac.uk