History Nerds Debate!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Soccer Dad, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Dec 14, 2010

    Usually we teach that democracy originated in Athens under Clisthenes. However, I've been reading up on the idea that it actually may have started in Sparta under Lycurgus.

    How do you feel about the idea that democracy may have started in the polis that is typically thought of as the epitome of everything not democratic?
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Dec 14, 2010

    Never read anything about Lycurgus. . . . but my question would be how did Sparta move from democracy to an oligarchy? I think it would more interesting to understand how democracy was lost.

    Can you pass along the reading?
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 14, 2010

    As a certified non-expert in history, I don't know enough to add to the debate. Do you have any good links?
     
  5. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Dec 14, 2010

    I know this may not be the answer(s) you were hoping for... but I also think it would be great to know how democracy was lost in the past. (I actually have read some texts that try to parallel our current plight w/those of past fallen empires). I often think about and try to imagine how future generations might view our country when they look back. (in other words, I don't think it will be favorably.)

    It's great that you (as a history teacher), go beyond the pages of accepted history (i.e. textbooks), and actually are your own historian. GL!
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2010

    I'm also interested in looking up your sources. With my experience in ancient Greek, I am in a unique position to read primary sources in their original form. I can maybe help shed some light if I know what to look for.
     
  7. Chalk

    Chalk Companion

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    Dec 14, 2010

    Hi Soccer Dad, short of re-reading my Herodutus ;) I am wondering if you would cite some readings for me to research into.
    Lycurgus, I thought he was the law giver who reformed Sparta into the Militaristic society we all know about.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Dec 15, 2010

    I'd like to see the sources as well. Everything I have seen sides with Athens.
     
  9. Soccer Dad

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    Dec 15, 2010

    I actually read it originally in Plutarch's "Lycurgus" so I was able to find a teacher's site that has a reading from it: https://files.pbworks.com/download/bAsQ5rH1Vu/mshanson/31089670/Lycurgus reading.pdf

    Also, http://elysiumgates.com/~helena/

    I can't see the whole article, but just the title: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40A12FC395C1B7B93CAA8178BD95F408584F9

    Basically, from what I gathered: Lycurgus went around the Med. area and brought back different ideas to implement. For instance, having a senate that uses democracy to vote in senators by whoever has the loudest applause.
     
  10. Soccer Dad

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    After Lycurgus' death. Plutarch believes the cruelty and military-driven society came about. At this time, I can't elaborate but I'm actively researching!
     
  11. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Dec 15, 2010

    I'll read into this when I get a chance. I haven't taught Ancient Greece or Rome in close to 15 years and am a little rusty.
     

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