The standard image of Sparta is of an egalitarian, military society which disdained material possessions. Yet property and wealth played a critical role in her history. Classical Sparta's success rested upon a compromise between rich and poor citizens. Economic differences were masked by a uniform lifestyle and a communal sharing of resources. Over time, however, increasing inequalities led to a plutocratic society and to the decline of Spartan power. Using an innovative combination of historical, archaeological and sociological methods, Stephen Hodkinson challenges traditional views of Sparta's isolation from general Greek culture. This volume is the first major monograph-length discussion of a subject on which the author is recognised as the leading international authority.
List of figures Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction PART I: SPARTAN PERCEPTIONS 1. Spartan economic egalitarianism and communitarianism in modern thought 2. The growth of the dominant egalitarian image in ancient thought PART II: THE ANATOMY OF THE SPARTIATE PROPERTY SYSTEM 3. The ownership and inheritance of land - revisited 4. Helotage and the exploitation of Spartan territory 5. Movable wealth: ownership, acquisition and exchange 6. Public rights over private property PART III: RICH CITIZENS AND THE USE OF PRIVATE WEALTH 7. Restrictions on the use of wealth in Spartiate life 8. Restrictions on the use of wealth: burial and funerary practice 9. Material and religious investment: bronze dedications at Sparta and abroad 10. Equestrian competition: participation and expenditure 11. The use of wealth in personal and political relations PART IV: PROPERTY AND THE SPARTAN CRISIS 12. Spartiate household economies: towards an estimate of a balance-sheet 13. Property concentration and the emergence of a plutocratic society Bibliography Index