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Homework for Tuesday, December 1st

November 30, 2015

Tonight you will read a selection from another of the great early historians, Plutarch. He was a 1st century AD figure of Greek birth who became a Roman citizen. He was born near the town of Delphi, and later studied in Athens. In addition to his work as a historian, Plutarch worked as a magistrate and an ambassador. He was also a priest for many years at the famous temple in Delphi. Probably his most famous work is Parallel Lives. In it he compares the lives of Greek and Roman leaders, noting particularly their similarity of virtue (or not). You will be reading one of the biographies The Life of Lycurgus. Lycurgus was the semi-mythical Spartan leader who is credited with creating the Spartan system which we will be studying over the next several class periods.

For tonight, please read sections 1-23 (pages 1-7) in The Life of Lycurgus by Plutarch attached below. Be able to define the following terms:

1. Prodikoi
2. Gymnosophists
3. Agora
4. Gerousia
5. Rhetra
6. Apella
7. Oligarchy
8. Ephors
9. Spartiate
10. Perioikoi
11. Kothon
12. Kaddished

Also consider the following questions:

1. What do the stories of Charilaus and Alcander tell us about the characteristics of leadership valued by the Spartans?
2. What bias from Plutarch must one consider when reading his account of Lycurgus’ trip to Delphi in section #8?
3. What impact did the reforms below have on the nature of Spartan society?

a. Redistribution of land
b. Currency reform
c. Useless and superfluous foreign crafts
d. Syssitia/Phiditia

Life of Lycurgus by Plutarch

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