CSPSCentre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies

Lessons from Spartaland

Project summary

This project introduces Nottingham school children to the history and customs of Sparta through a wide range of fun and engaging activities developed by the project team. 

We are privileged that talented Nottingham-based comic artist Matt Brooke (aka D’Israeli) has produced a series of fabulous drawings for this project!

Many thanks also to University of Nottingham colleague Dr Lynn Fotheringham for all their valuable contributions!

Image from graphic novel of swaddled baby abandoned in a wood. In the tree above is an owl silhouetted by the moon
'Sleeping rough' artwork by Matt Brooke (aka D'Israeli)



Did you know...

Are you fond of ancient warriors? We are pretty sure you know about the the Romans and the Vikings, but what about the Spartans? 

Below are a few fun facts about their history that children can explore through this project: 

  • Have you ever heard of king Leonidas and his 300 warriors that fought the Battle at Thermopylae 2500 years ago? Did you know that the king’s name means ‘lion’ (surely, he fought like one!)?
  • How about learning more about the Spartan educational system (the agoge) – how boys were taken away from home and entered military training at the age of 7, and how and why they were taught to steal and survive in the wild? 
  • Did you know that every year boys participated in an event during which they had to steal cheese from the altar of Artemis Orthia without being caught (tough one … hm!)? 
  • What about princess Kyniska and Spartan girls who were allowed to exercise in public unlike girls in other ancient Greek cities?
  • Do you want to learn more about the favourite gods and goddesses of the ancient Spartans? 
  • Or find out more about Helen of Troy and the Mycenaean ‘Lord of Vapheio’ with his two gold cups?

The 'Lessons from Spartaland' project is designed to help children learn about all these things and more through a range of engaging, practical  activities.

Project activities

The team are currently working with schoolchildren from Nottinghamshire who learn about Sparta while having fun! Activities include: 

  • making clay replicas of votive offerings   
  • producing promotional posters about life in ancient Sparta 
  • decorating the veil of goddess Artemis Orthia with their wishes and dreams 
  • dyeing a Spartan red cloak 
  • making perfumed oil for queen Helen and Artemis Orthia
  • and many other fun activities!

Get in touch with the project team to organise a visit. 

Project leader

Dr Chrysanthi Gallou (University of Nottingham)

Project team

Matt Brooke (artist aka D'Israeli)Dr Lynn Fotheringham (University of Nottingham)


Project gallery

See some of the masterpieces made during previous sessions in the project's online gallery.   


Related research groups




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