Sparta Society to the Battle of Leuctra, 371 BC

- Syllabus Content - Map - Past Questions -

Art: sculpture, painted vases, bone and ivory carving

See text: pp.92-104

Evidence of a rich cultural life in 7th and 6th centuries BC. Declined after Messenian Wars as activities were directed more to their military efforts.

Laconian bronzes given as diplomatic gifts, e.g. the bronze krater at Vix burial site. Beautifully decorated with reliefs of warriors and chariots; handle features gorgons; lid features a woman
Pausanias: bronze image of Athena in Temple of Athena of the Bronze House. The temple decorated with bronze reliefs of mythological scenes
Bronze figurines, e.g. running (or dancing) girl
Bronze figure of Spartan hoplite, wrapped in cloak, with long groomed hair
Many lead figurines at sanctuaries; votive offerings; mass produced in moulds
Marble bust of hoplite on Acropolis; possibly Leonidas
Names of nine Laconian sculptors are known

Painted vases
6th C. Laconian pottery has been found throughout the Mediterranean
Attic style of red or black figures
Activities of Spartan life: banquets, festivals, rituals, processions, horse riding, hunting. Also birds and plants
Arcesilas Cup (central Italy): scenes of trade – bales of wool being brought to Arcesila, king of Cyrene
Names or workshops of individuals: Naucratis painter (real and imaginary animals); Arcesilas painter (everyday and mythical scenes); Chimaera painter; Rider painter; hunt painter

Bone and ivory carving
Many skilled carvers in Sparta
More carvings at Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia than anywhere else in Greece
Hair combs, small animal figurines; figure of Artemis welcoming returning soldiers

Spartan running girl

Arcesilas Cup