According to ancient texts, Athenians and Spartans clashed at the isle of Kane in 406 BC, one of the last battles of the Great Peloponnesian War. Some 100 ships were sent to the bottom of the Aegean Sea as a result of the prolonged, hard-fought naval battle. Archaeologists have long debated the location of Kane, but none of the islands in the Aegean seemed to fit the descriptions. At long last, thanks to artifacts and core samples, the location of Kane has been identified, as has the reason it took so long to find it: It isn't an island anymore.
Scholars often speak of ancient Greek masculinity and manhood as if there was a single, monolithic, simple conception. I will show that the ancient Greeks, like us today, had competing models or constructions of gender and that what it meant to be a man was different in different contexts. I will focus on three constructions of the masculine gender in ancient (classical and post-classical) Greece: the Athenian civic model, the Spartan martial model, and the Stoic philosophical model. I will focus on how these share certain commonalities, how they differ in significant ways, how each makes sense in terms of larger ideological contexts and needs, and, finally how constructions of masculinities today draw from all three. (10 page PDF) [more inside]
Xenophon is called the original horse whisperer. He wrote one of the earliest works on hunting, and training dogs. He helped lead ten thousand Greek warriors and their camp followers out of Persia back to the Black Sea; his account, Anabasis, inspired The Warriors and countless other creative works. He is one of only two sources of information about the most famous philosopher of all time. He inspired Machiavelli. Xenophon at wikipedia, wikisource, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Project Gutenberg, famous quotes, In Our Time.
Ω ΞΕΙΝ', ΑΓΓΕΛΛΕΙΝ ΛΑΚΕΔΑΙΜΟΝΙΟΙΣ ΟΤΙ ΤΗΔΕ ΚΕΙΜΕΘΑ ΤΟΙΣ ΚΕΙΝΩΝ ΡΗΜΑΣΙ ΠΕΙΘΟΜΕΝΟΙ: "Climbing on the hills, I had a surprise. On the top of the highest hill I found a small plaque with a Greek inscription dedicated to the Spartan king, and someone dropped there a bouquet of flowers, still fresh. Fresh flowers. Twenty five centuries after the battle." With a Frank Miller movie on the way, here is some background on the Battle of Thermopylae, maps of the battlefield, debate over the size of the invading Persian force, and insight into life in Sparta, a city often overshadowed by Athens.