30 episodes

Presenting a chronological history of the ancient Spartan peoples. Beginning with their earliest mentions in the epics of Homer, the Iliad and Odyssey, right through to the collapse of Spartan dominance in the 4th century BCE.

Spartan History Podcast Steven

    • History
    • 4.6 • 9 Ratings

Presenting a chronological history of the ancient Spartan peoples. Beginning with their earliest mentions in the epics of Homer, the Iliad and Odyssey, right through to the collapse of Spartan dominance in the 4th century BCE.

    030. A Summary of Lycurgan Sparta with Professor Paul Cartledge

    030. A Summary of Lycurgan Sparta with Professor Paul Cartledge


    Over the past half a century no one has done more to forward the field of ancient Spartan research than Professor Paul Cartledge. His gravitas and authority on the topic are second to none and his eloquence in describing these ancient warriors is more akin to poetry than prose.

    His presence on the Spartan History Podcast is most fitting, in that without his extensive body of work, the show would in all likelihood not exist.

    This is the final episode on the topic of archaic, or more specifically Lycurgan, Sparta . Having previously described the different facets of Spartan societal, political and religious reforms I invited the Professor on to bring's his considerable knowledge to bear in a succinct summary of the time frame.

    The conversation at certain points got extremely academic and specific in it's approach to the task of summary, just the way I like it. It added immense value to my understanding of this confusing era and I trust it adds value to your own.

    Enjoy, and as always, take good care.


    • 1 hr 17 min
    029. Castes of Sparta

    029. Castes of Sparta


    This time around I take a look at the various castes and sub-castes within Spartan society.  What we see in popular culture is but the tip of the iceberg, those mighty red cloaked warriors bestriding battlefields like giants from myth. 

    Banned from any art other than that of war, the Spartiate ruler class was supported in their endeavours by a silent multitude of people, divided into several different classes and all denied the full rights of equal political enfranchisement.

    The Helot's, or slave class, were a massive chunk of the population within Sparta's empire of whom we here scant about. Stories of their poor treatment and the horror of their particular servitude circulate but as we'll see do not necessarily tell the full story.

    The Perioikoi, or dwellers around, also form an extremely important element of society. They were the Spartans blacksmiths, artisans but when the drums of war sounded lined up as Hoplites as well.

    We'll take a look at the dynamics between the different strata and finish with a look at some of the other, less well known sub-castes.

    Hope you all enjoy and take good care.


    • 43 min
    028. The Bronze Lie with Myke Cole

    028. The Bronze Lie with Myke Cole


    I had the honour, pride and privilege of sitting down with author Myke Cole for this instalment of the Spartan History Podcast.

    His recently released book, the Bronze Lie: Shattering the myth of Spartan warrior supremacy, tackles the often ill conceived appropriation of the Lacedaemonian story in it's most mythical and fantastical form.  Often being used to promote ultra nationalist movements, fallacies surrounding the Spartan legend can be particularly pernicious in the current polarised political climate. 

    Myke crystallises the Spartan mirage into an easy to understand concept and then proceeds to dismantle it piece by piece, leaving his readers with a fair and unbiased representation of the real Spartan story.

    We discuss his premise in detail and go through the work in relatively broad strokes to outline his propositions. It was an invigorating and vibrant discussion that I thoroughly enjoyed and I trust you all do to. Links for Myke and his work are all listed below and I can't recommend the Bronze Lie enough for anyone looking to peer behind the glare of Sparta's mystique.

    The below handles and links are where you can find Myke and his work.

    Website   - https://mykecole.com/
    Email          - myke@mykecole.com
    Book           - https://www.amazon.com.au/Bronze-Lie-Myke-Cole/dp/1472843754/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
    Twitter      - https://twitter.com/MykeCole
    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/mykecole

    Below is the link for Prof. Livingstone who was mentioned during the show and assisted Myke with his work in the role of friend and mentor.



    • 1 hr 6 min
    027. Heavy Metal Spartans with Dr Jeremy Swist

    027. Heavy Metal Spartans with Dr Jeremy Swist


    We're shifting gears a little with this episode as I'm joined by Dr Jeremy Swist, lecturer and classicist at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

    Dr Swist is an expert in the field of classical reception within the genre of Heavy Metal Music. This style exhibits a very particular type of Laconophilia or, affection for Sparta. In our discussion we go back to the beginnings of Laconophilia and trace its transcendence through time to the current era.

    Classical reception itself is a fascinating field and we take a look at its traditions and various facets along with the burgeoning study of it within fields a little more eclectic.

    The concepts of duty, defiance and dedication are ones easily associated with Sparta and in turn, lend themselves to Heavy Metal which was born out of governmental tyrannies, real and perceived of the early 1970s. 

    This episode was the most fun I've ever had on the show since its inception and I wholeheartedly thank Dr Swist for his time and expertise. So, put your index and pinky finger up proudly and enjoy the latest from Spartan History Podcast.

    The below link is for Dr Swists playlist of Spartan inspired Metal, aptly named the Spartan Metal Mirage.

    Dr Swist can be found on twitter @metalclassicist and his blog link is the following https://heavymetalclassicist.home.blog/

    Anyone interested in the 2021 Symposium being hosted by Classical Wisdom can find tickets here, https://classicalwisdom-symposium-2021.eventbrite.ie
    The event runs on August the 21st and the 22nd with an amazing line up of speakers including, Paul Cartledge, Edith Hall and many, many more.


    • 1 hr 7 min
    026. The Spartan Regime with Professor Paul Rahe

    026. The Spartan Regime with Professor Paul Rahe


    Author, classicist and historian Professor Paul Rahe was kind enough to sit down with your host for this instalment of Spartan History Podcast.

    Paul has authored several books on the Lacedaemonians and his work, the Spartan Regime, is incredibly poignant to our current narrative. Focusing on the archaic formation of the Spartan institutions and character, it has been a great help to me as I've tried to reconstruct the various elements of what would constitute the classical Sparta so heavily romanticised.

    The Professor takes us back to the bronze age briefly, and we work through the consequent dark age and into the early period of the Dorian migration into Laconia. It is, I hope, a great summarisation of our journey so far and hope you all enjoy the conversation  as much as I did.

    I'm very grateful for Paul's time and if anyone is interested in his work links will be listed below for the E titles of his books.

    Take good care.


    The Spartan Regime


    • 1 hr 14 min
    025. Spartiates

    025. Spartiates


    Welcome back folks to the Spartan History Podcast. Stepping back into the solo format to once again put another facet of pre-classical Sparta under the microscope. This time it is the ruling class, the Homoioi or Spartiates as they referred to themselves. 

    This section of society, dedicated entirely to the pursuit of warfare, were propped up by the helot class who managed their vast land holdings. There was a complex system of land tenure within Sparta which was designed to provide for each the cost of his citizenship, that is the monthly contribution of produce to the dining halls every Spartiate was obliged to dine at.

    We'll break down the system of land ownership and how it relates to the mess halls. Along with this I'll describe in brief the marital practices within the upper echelons of the Spartan world.

    Famed for their equality, we'll finish this episode by looking at the massive differences between the individual Homoioi and see why that word is better translated as 'similars,' rather than 'equals.' 

    I hope you all enjoy and take good care.


    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Mark@casting greece ,

He knows his stuff

Steve does a fantasic job drilling down into detail on this often glossed over subject. He tells Greek history through the eyes of the Spartans, giving a clearer account of this often misunderstood city state in ancient Greece. The show is well researched and has a very nice flow to it, never bogging down with to much infomation. plus you can't beat an Austrlian accecnt, a refreshing change in the history podcast world.

happyflygirl ,

An interesting look into the Ancient Greek world!

Very informative and easy to understand insight into one of the more interesting Ancient Greek peoples. Steve is very clear and entertaining at times with his story telling. I look forward to hearing more soon!!

stooge 47 ,

Molon labe

Informative and interesting podcast with a good host. This series is shaping up to be a ripper. Detailed and well researched without being too heavy or dry. An excellent listen for anyone wanting to know more about one of the most famous ancient Greek factions. The associated webpage has some awesome additional material. Steve the salesman really knows his stuff and I am hoping he will pump out many more episodes.

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