Sparta and Greece: Archaic and Classical - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Assessment - Minor Essay (10%) , Essay 1 (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as HST335 Sparta and Greece: Archaic and Classical.

Sparta was a powerful city-state in Greece from the eighth to the fourth centuries BC, and sometimes the most powerful. This unit examines the growth of Sparta from the Mycenaean period, through the phase of overseas settlement and the 'Spartan Mediterranean', the years of conflict against Persia then against Athens, and into the generation which ended with defeat at Leuctra and the establishment of Messene and Megalopolis. Spartan society, politics and upbringing will be examined, with reference to their broader context in Greece and beyond, along with the theme of change and opposition to change at Sparta.

At the completion of this unit students will have attained:

  1. enhanced generic skills including assembling information to develop an argument, comparing different points of view, arguing your own view and finding creative ways to present ideas
  2. up-to-date familiarity with the academic debate over the origins and nature of Sparta as a Greek state and regional power
  3. familiarity with a source-based methodology for study of the ancient world, including critical approaches to literary material and an eclectic approach to synthesis of data
  4. familiarity with the debate over statehood and military service (especially hoplite service) in ancient Greece
  • Assessment — Minor Essay (10%)
  • Essay 1 (20%)
  • Essay 2 (20%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam — Take Home Exam (40%)
  • Online Discussion (10%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HST335 — Sparta and Greece: Archaic and Classical

You must complete Level 1 and 2 studies in Ancient History before starting this unit.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The Spartans and their lawgiver in Xenophon's Constitution of the Lacedaimonians
2Sparta and the hoplite revolution
3Aristotle's politics and lawgivers in Greece
4Herodotus and the Spartans
5Herodotus, Sparta and Athens
6Thucydides and the Spartans
7Thucydides 2: "the secret character of the political system"
8Sparta and Greece after the Peloponnesian war
9Xenophon, leadership and political theory
10The second Athenian confederacy and the growth of Theban power
11Fourth-century Panhellenism
12Quellenkritik and the fragments of the Greek historians
13Plutarch's Pelopidas

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Sparta & Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362bc


    ISBN: 9780415262767


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Myth & Territory Spartan Mediterrn


    ISBN: 9780521520249


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Sparta

    By:Michael Whitby

    ISBN: 9780748612932


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Spartan Reflections

    By:Paul Cartledge

    ISBN: 9780715629666


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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