19. Study Questions Copy

Both writers were writing after the event (Herodotus 50 years after, Diodorus 450 years afterwards). Neither were there. Think about the sources they may have used, and how reliable they may have been.

Sparta was a closed society, which tended to expel foreigners. How can we trust the information? The so-called ‘Spartan mirage’ refers to the ultimate unknowability of Sparta, given that virtually all our sources are non-Spartan. Although the Spartans military prowess is not under question, much of the ‘threat’ of Sparta may have been a smokescreen to put fear into their enemies. The heroic nature of Sparta is often extended to Greece as a whole (incorporating both the Athenian victory at Marathon, and later at Salamis and Platea).


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