How Sparta Became Spartan: Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus.
Summary: Explores the influence of Lycurgus on Spartan Society. Describes how the legendary lawmaker shaped Spartan ethos and values. Lycurgus, the legendary lawmaker of Sparta, is often regarded as one of the most influential people in Sparta's history. Essentially, he can be regarded as the shaper.
Lycurgus thought that dining at home contributed to greed and took away from living wisely. Also he believed using services of others (servants) at dinner caused feelings of inequality and concentration on material good rather than nonmaterial one which Lycurgus advertised. Luxury became extinct and for the most part so did pride, envy and crime.
L Y C U R G U S The Father of Sparta by Plutarch Lycurgus established harmony, simplicity, and strength in Sparta. This warrior society tamed its youth through systematic education aimed at developing leadership, courage, public spirit, and wisdom.
Plutarch wrestled at length with these questions in his essay “The Life of Lycurgus.” Cartledge (2003) is unconvinced that Lycurgus existed, and is inclined to think that he was an invention. For his part, Rahe (2016) presents a persuasive case that the glorious legend of Lycurgus the lawgiver probably disguised a less unifying history of intra-Spartan tensions and political upheaval.
All are invaluable sources of our knowledge of the lives and characters of Greek and Roman statesmen, soldiers and orators. Plutarch's many other varied extant works, about 60 in number, are known as Moralia or Moral Essays. They are of high literary value, besides being of great use to people interested in philosophy, ethics and religion.
In Life of Alexander, Plutarch employs extensive methods to depict Alexander as a man of both great ambition and self-control, despite Alexander’s degeneration of character by the end of his life.
Plutarch (c. 45-126 AD) was a Greek historian who wrote a series of biographies comparing Greek life to Roman life- illuminating their common moral virtues and failings. In his Life of Lycurgus he brought forth the issue that surrounded Lycurgus- the travels he embarked on, the laws that he supposedly made and the city-state which he founded.