Myth and Territory in the Spartan Mediterranean

Myth and Territory in the Spartan Mediterranean


By (author) Irad Malkin


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Hardback $134.99
  • Format: Paperback | 300 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 26mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 30 April 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 052152024X
  • ISBN 13: 9780521520249
  • Edition: Annotated
  • Illustrations note: 8 maps
  • Sales rank: 135,889

Product description

This book discusses Greek attitudes to settlement and territory as articulated through myths and cults. The emphasis is less on the poetic, timeless qualities of the myths, than on their historical function in the archaic and Classical periods, covering the spectrum from explicit charter myths legitimating conquest, displacement and settlement, to the 'precedent-setting' and even aetiological myths, rendering new landscapes 'Greek'. This spectrum is broadest in the world of Spartan colonisation - the Spartan Mediterranean - where the greater challenges to territorial possession and Sparta's acute self-awareness of her relative national youthfulness elicited explicit responses in the form of charter myths. The concept of a Spartan Mediterranean, in contrast to the image of a land-locked Sparta, is a major contribution of this book.

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Review quote

"...this book provides a densely detailed and richly annotated gazetteer of every myth concerning Sparta." Pericles Georges, American Historical Review

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. The 'colony of the Dorians' and the Return of the Herakleidai; 2. The Homeric king of Sparta: Menelaos in a Spartan Mediterranean; 3. Spartan colonisation in the Aegean and the Peloponnese; 4. Taras: native hostility, territorial possession, and a new-ancient past; 5. Foundation and territory: the cults of Apollo Karneios and Zeus Ammon; 6. Myth and colonial territory: Libya; 7. Promises unfulfilled: Dorieus between North Africa and Sicily; 8. Myth and decolonization: Sparta's colony at Herakleia Trachinia.