Art and Royalty in Sparta of the 3rd Century B.C.

by Olga Palagia

Hesperia, Volume 75, Issue 2
Page(s): 205-217
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25067983
Year: 2006


The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that a revival of the arts in Sparta during the 3rd century B.C. was owed mainly to royal patronage, and that it was inspired by Alexander's successors, the Seleukids and the Ptolemies in particular. The tumultuous transition from the traditional Spartan dyarchy to a Hellenistic-style monarchy, and Sparta's attempts to regain its dominance in the Peloponnese (lost since the battle of Leuktra in 371 B.C.), are reflected in the promotion of the pan-Peloponnesian hero Herakles as a role model for the single king at the expense of the Dioskouroi, who symbolized dual kingship and had a limited, regional appeal.