Sparta in Modern Thought
edited by Stephen Hodkinson and Ian Macgregor Morris
ISBN-13: 978-1-905125-47-0 ISBN-10: 1-905125-47-X, 400pp, 2012, GB£60
 
Images of ancient Sparta have had a major impact on Western thought. From the Renaissance to the French Revolution she was invoked by radical thinkers as a model for the creation of a republican political and social order. Since the 19th century she has typically been viewed as the opposite of advanced liberal and industrial democracies: a forerunner of 20th-century totalitarian and militaristic regimes such as the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. Yet positive images of Sparta remain embedded in contemporary popular media and culture. This is the first book in over 40 years to examine this important subject. Eleven ancient historians and experts in the history of ideas discuss Sparta's changing role in Western thought from medieval Europe to the 21st century, with a special focus on Enlightenment France, Nazi Germany and the USA.
 

Contents
Introduction - Stephen Hodkinson and Ian Macgregor Morris

Part I. Medieval and Early Modern Europe
1. The lode-star of chivalry: Sparta and Spartans in the medieval imagination - Ian Macgregor Morris
2. Sparta and Rome in early modern thought: a comparative approach - Kostas Vlassopoulos

Part II. Enlightenment to Post-Revolutionary France
3. Sparta and the French Enlightenment - Haydn Mason
4. Spartans and savages: mirage and myth in eighteenth-century France - Michael Winston
5. Spartan land tenure and French socialism from Mably to Fustel de Coulanges - Paul Christesen

Part III. Germany: From Pre-unification to National Socialism
6. Spartanic verses: the role of Sparta in German literary hellenism around 1800 - Uta Degner
7. The Spartan tradition in Germany, 1870-1945 - Volker Losemann
8. The role of Sparta in the educational ideology of the Adolf Hitler Schools - Helen Roche

Part IV. Cold War and Contemporary Political and Popular Culture
9. Sparta and the Soviet Union in U.S. Cold War foreign policy and intelligence analysis - Stephen Hodkinson
10. The positive portrayal of Sparta in late twentieth-century fiction - Lynn Fotheringham
11. “This is Cake-Town!”: 300 (2006) and the death of allegory - Gideon Nisbet