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Title: Sparta, Lakonia and the sea, archaic to late Roman times : the nature, character and extent of the relationship
Author: Marshall, James
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis considers the relationship between Sparta/Lakonia and the Sea from Archaic to Late Roman times. The relationship is studied from several perspectives in an effort to gauge its overall effect on the development of Sparta/Lakonia. In the first instance the role of the sea in promoting the sustainability of coastal settlement in Southern Lakonia is assessed by means of a detailed geographical/historical regional study. Secondly, on the wider issue of Spartan state building, the influence of the sea is considered in terms of its economic, political, social and religious/cultural implications. Methodology and choice of approach are outlined in section 1. In particular the importance of current archaeological field work and direct contact with other scholars similarly engaged is emphasised. In introductory sections 2-5 the following aspects provide much of the background information against which this thesis is set. Section 2 points to the importance of the wider Mediterranean context focussing on the movement of people and goods, patterns and trends of development along with an exposition of environmental factors. Section 3 outlines the situation pertaining in Pre- Archaic Lakonia from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. Section 4 highlights the activities of previous researchers/travellers in Southern Lakonia from Roman times to the twentieth century. Section 5 deals with two important ongoing developments, the polis and the economy which underpin development and growth. Section 6 traces the development of Southern Lakonian coastal settlement. The viability of the region for settlement is assessed in the first instance from the environmental perspective. This is followed by a major analysis of factors relevant to individual site development and reference to the role of the area in the context of the wider GreeklMediterranean world throughout the Archaic to late Roman period. Section 7 illustrates aspects of Spartan/Lakonian maritime activity. Warfare is examined by establishing the framework within which Spartan/Lakonian naval affairs were conducted followed by an assessment of the significance of their contribution to major military campaigns. Colonization is focussed on identifying possible Spartan colonies, evaluating the evidence and assessing their longer term viability. Maritime trade includes both imports and exports in terms of goods and people. The identification of natural resources available in Lakonia with export potential forms the basis of this trade. The importation of commodities attributed to the luxury end of the market coupled with the need for raw materials unavailable domestically sustains much of the import trade The inward movement of personnel, motivated mainly by economic reasons, supplemented by those with links to tourist and leisure pursuits, completes the import picture. Sections 6 and 7 provide the core evidence which supports the premise of a significant primary role in Spartan/Lakonian affairs being allocated to the maritime sphere. This role has not been considered previously over the entirety of the designated period and thus provides a basis for the re-assessment of Sparta as an archetypal land based power.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available