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Most accounts i.e. Plutarch written during Roman period.
Sparta not easily accessible to strangers, so little information available so sources may have
faulty information, as probably did not go to Sparta themselves.
No sources actually written by Spartans, Spartans did not write about themselves.
Only Spartan sources were…

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Lycurgus was at the centre of the Spartan mirage, but it has been concluded that he was only a
mythical character. Plutarch expresses his doubts at the beginning of his biography on Lycurgus but
nevertheless continues to write his biography. Nothing can be said about him that isn't disputed…

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Applies Roman politic to Sparta- explains preference for one man story- similar to Emperor in Rome.
Doesn't appreciate effect of a man's action on future generations


Thucydides ­Born to upper class Aristocratic Athenians

Travelled Widely
Often reaches judgement
Attempted to discover truth about events, rather than just taking…

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Tyrtaeus- Poet; writing during 2nd Peloponnesian war (680-688BC) around time when early
institutional laws were being installed. Army listened to his poetry, aimed to inspire reminding
Spartans of honour or duty.

Tyrtaeus gives insight into life of homioi- physical and mental strain felt.
Only Spartan source
Show some of…


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