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Hellenistic and Roman Sparta (323 BC. 476 AD.) Important Events of Global Significance 330-323: Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire 323: After his ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hellenistic%20and%20Roman%20Sparta

Hellenistic and Roman Sparta
  • (323 BC. 476 AD.)

Important Events of Global Significance
  • 330-323 Alexander the Great conquers the Persian

323 After his Death the empire is broken to
pieces by his generals (Diadochi)
The Roman Conquest
  • 146 BC The Romans complete the conquest of
    Greece and turn it into a Roman province
  • 48 Caesar v. Pompey
  • 42 Antony v. Brutus
  • 31 Octavian v. Antony
  • After 31 BC Empire

The Roman World
  • Under Rome there is widespread peace within the
    borders of the empire (Pax Romana)
  • 313 The Edict of Milan allows for tolerance of
    all religions in the Roman Empire and stops the
    persecution of Christianity
  • Under Constantine Christianity florishes
  • 391 An edict of Theodosius makes Christianity
    obligatory and the official religion
  • 476 The western part of the Roman Empire is
    overrun by the barbarians. The Christianized and
    Hellenized eastern part continues the name and
    traditions of ancient Greece and Rome. Modern
    scholars have called this Byzantium, and was
    destined to last until the late middle ages. The
    fall of Byzantium jump-starts the Renaissance
    and the modern Era.

Byzantium under Basil II (around 1000)
The Roman Theater at Sparta
Areus (309-265 BC)
  • Sparta, although diminished and demoralized was
    not yet finished at the time of Alexander
  • She abstained from the Lamian war (a revolt of
    the southern states from Macedonian control,
    after Alexanders death)
  • Under King Areus the dual kingship will start to
    falter and eventually will disappear, as Sparta
    increasingly becomes a true Hellenistic monarchy
  • Whatever is left of the Lycurgan laws is
  • Areus partially succeeds in re-establishing local
    dominance for Sparta as a Hellenistic Kingdom
  • Now Sparta has silver coinage, with Areus head
    on it

Agis IV (265-241) Eurypontid Line
  • With youthful enthusiasm he wished to restore
    Sparta to its past glories and restore the
    Lycurgan system
  • He proposed a land re-distribution (4500 lots of
    homoioi 15000 lots of perioikoi)
  • He planned to repopulate the homoioi with
    naturalizations from respectable perioikoi
  • The Ephors, gerousia and Agiad King Leonidas II,
    serving the interests of the rich resisted his
    plan fiercely
  • Agis overturned the ephors
  • When he was on campaign the exiled Leonidas II
    returned and staged a revolt
  • Agis was arrested and hurriedly executed
  • His widow Agiatis became the wife of the heir to
    the Agiad throne Cleomenes III
  • Character noble, well-intentioned but not
    decisive enough to quash opposition

Cleomenes III (R 235-222 BC.)
  • Through his wife he came to admire the plan of
  • Unlike the idealistic Agis, a more pragmatic
    Cleomenes began his reform with the assassination
    of the Ephors
  • He then proceeded with the redistribution of land
  • He created 4000 new homoioi and equipped them
    Macedonian Style with long, heavy spears
  • He restored, at least nominally, the Lycurgan
  • Characteristically in this period the ephors are
    no longer seen as the guardians of the state, but
    as an instrument for the rich and the privileged

Greece around 200 BC
The Battle of Sellasia (222 BC)
  • Cleomenes was a great man, perhaps the last truly
    great man in the Greek World
  • However, the tide of history was against him
  • The Achaean League, which dominated northern
    Peloponnese and Boeotia, finally moved to annex
  • Cleomenes was decisively defeated at Sellasia by
    the superior forces of the League, Sparta was
    eventually annexed, and lost its independence

Nabis The Last Stand (207 - 192)
  • He claimed descent from the Eurypontid line
  • In reality a usurper and dictator, who killed the
    descendants of the two royal households
  • He seized power, and tried to introduce reforms
    by force
  • He adhered to the policies of Cleomenes, but
    imposed them with violence and extreme measures
  • He finally built walls around Sparta
  • Famous for his cruelty, he even invented a
    torture machine Apega of Nabis.
  • In his foreign policy, like his predecessors,
    opposed the Achaean League and concluded peace
    with Rome
  • He re-conquered Messenia but was forced to
    abandon it, when he was defeated by the brilliant
    general of the Achaean League Philopoemen.
  • Under Nabis Sparta became again a credible power,
    but since he was seen as a threat by the Achaean
    and Aetolian League and Rome too, eventually he
    was assasinated in 192 and Sparta was annexed
    into the Achaean Leagure.
  • With Nabis ends Spartan Independence

The Roman Period
  • Roman Sparta becomes a tourist attraction for
    people drawn to her glorious past
  • Since it was the only Greek city which supported
    Augustus in his struggle with Marc Antony,
    generous gifts brought prosperity
  • More monumental structures than ever before are
    constructed (e.g. the large theater)
  • The re-instituted agoge becomes like a Roman
    theme park
  • This re-invented Sparta lasts well into the
    Christian era, when Sparta drops out of the
    picture, and at some point the site of the
    ancient city is abandoned altogether
  • In the late Byzantine period (2nd millenium)
    Mystras, a new development on a fortified
    position west of the ancient city, dominates the
    Peloponnese, and becomes an important center as
    the ailing capital Constantinople comes under
    constant pressure by Latin invaders and then the
    Ottoman Turks
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