Polity of the Lacedaemonians


The Lacedaemonion Politeia (Greek: Λακεδαιμονίων Πολιτεία), known in English as the Polity, Constitution, or Republic of the Lacedaemonians, or the Spartan Constitution, is a treatise attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Xenophon, describing the institutions, customs, and practices of the ancient Spartans. The work examines the reasons for Sparta's power and renown, despite the city state's sparse population. There are fifteen chapters: the first thirteen enumerate the practices and institutions that made Sparta great; the last two describe Sparta's decline and the survival of its monarchy. The Polity dates to the period between 387 and 375 BC, and is the only contemporary account of the Spartan political system which survives. Together with Plutarch's "Life of Lycurgus", it provides the most detailed surviving description of the Spartan state, and is considered the best source of information about Spartan women during classical antiquity.
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original title: Λακεδαιμονίων Πολιτεία
genre: treatise
main subject: politician

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