My paper will examine the daily lives of the adult male citizens of classical Sparta, the Spartiates, approaching the subject from a new perspective that swims against the tide of previous approaches, ancient and modern. Traditional approaches have typically viewed Spartiate life from the top down: in antiquity from the perspective of Sparta’s legendary lawgiver Lykourgos: in recent times from that of the ‘Spartan state’. In contrast, I will attempt to view Spartiate life from the standpoint of rank-and-file Spartiates. Focusing on the diverse range of groups and gatherings in which Spartiates spent their daily lives, I will challenge the standard view that the activities of adult Spartiates were closely controlled. I will argue that Spartiate life included large amounts of time to conduct one’s private affairs; that the multiplicity of groups led to a diffusion of official control; and that the self-regulating character of many groups provided citizens, especially wealthy ones, with considerable scope to shape the precise character of their everyday lives.

Presented by Em. Prof. Stephen Hodkinson (Nottingham)

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

The zoom link for the online seminars will remain the same for the entire semester. To receive the Zoom link and to remain updated on future events, please email Enquiries about the seminars may be made to Associate Professor David Pritchard.

View seminar program

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for can be found at


Lev 5, Michie Building (9), St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland