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Sons and Mothers

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Column: Studies by | First submitted in Apr 29, 2011 CiteULike | Google Scholar Entry | Related Entry | Items Citing this Article | Articles by Helena P. Schrader | Bookmark and Share

Nothing has shaped the image of Spartan women in the popular imagination more than the alleged admonishment of Spartan mothers to their sons to return from war either with their shield or upon it. The image of brave mothers who prefer to see their own sons dead rather than disgraced has captured the imagination. Hollywood gave this supposed tradition a prominent place in the film “Three Hundred Spartans”, and Steven Pressfield recently eulogised this attitude of Spartan mothers in his blog on warriors. Yet there are a number of oddities about this stalwart feature of the popular view of Spartan society which suggest that it – like so many aspects of conventional wisdom about Sparta – may be a complete fabrication.

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Articles by Helena P. Schrader:

Scenes from a Spartan marriage


In Search of Sparta


Related Articles:

Book Review: The Battle of Marathon by Peter Krentz


Corneille’s Agesilaus: Sparta in French Literature


Sparta magazine is published bi-annually by Markoulakis Publications
ΣPARTA (ISSN 1751-0007).

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