We always hear about Socrates and Athens. How about another culture, let’s see what we can learn from this one
Probably more than any other major writer of classical Greece, Xenophon knew about Sparta from close experience.
This is the same Xenophon from a couple days ago who wrote about education. Besides always being contrasted with Plato, his non-Socratic works are neglected as well.
As with most times and places, all most tend to know about Sparta is from a movie
Xenophon wasn’t just a writer, he actually fought side by side with these types of guys. He also teamed up with Persians at one point. For this very reason he tends to be dismissed- as a mere military man.
Sparta was a culture that focused more on military, Athens was a culture that focused more on education. For that reason, Athens had to surrender to Sparta in 404 BC. Doesn’t matter how smart you are if someone hostile to you spends all their time honing their military prowess. The fall of Athens is usually attributed to this. Some scholars wonder to what degree Xenophon’s writings on Sparta are accurate because they suspect he had to write in a climate that required ketman. SOG.
Ahh the Loeb library of Greeks and Romans – we can only do one writer at a time
(Try not to masturbate looking at that.)
Everything on those shelves is perfectly in line with progressivism.
Some Chinese person in the year 2421 might have shelves like that of German and French books that the barbarians of the west don’t read anymore.
I usually try to talk about those I consider the best ones, because there are many
There are doubtlessly some forgotten gems among the ancients that modern eyes simply can’t understand the value of, and so most of us have probably never heard of them.
What made the west unique was that they were Christians who also had shelves of these old books on the side.
Do you want to know about another culture remote from our own?
To determine what is special about the Sparta of the Hellenica, we need to note both its various peculiarities and the way in which it converges and diverges from the Sparta of the Lakedaimonion Politeia and of the Agesilaos – these three works together forming the literary triptych by which Xenophon depicts the city.
Names familiar to you from the history of ideas have looked to Sparta as a political model.
This is something our culture could learn from
Spartan eloquence was characterized by an absolute minimum of words… were expected to speak only when they had something worth saying.
This would devastate the lives of the chatterboxes out there. The Spartan form of government was a mix between monarchy and aristocracy. Think of democratic Athens which was infamous for being rife with sophists. Anyone can talk, anyone can blabber about anything, anyone can blabber even if they’re saying nothing. The Spartans were probably filled with joy to put to fire and sword all those empty rhetoricians of Athens. Excuse me while I live vicariously through that thought. Plato’s admiration for Sparta in other areas must have been similar to the way some of us admire Putin from afar.
Just because Socrates isn’t in Xenophon’s non-Socratic writings doesn’t mean he isn’t in them
The “Socrates” of the Hellenica is King Agesilaos. Still speculating on how the canon can be refined. “I’d rather watch 300.” Knowing the details of these materials is how one could make a more historically accurate type of 300. 300 was based on a comic book series which itself was based on an older film. Makes that memorable battle cry “This is Sparta!” somewhat ironic.