A city in southern Greece (Peloponnese). Its regime was traditionally militaristic, served by the enslaved population of neighbours (helots). In the archaic period the arts flourished and there were close connections with Ionia. Sparta played a leading part in repelling the Persian invasion of 480/479 BC, thereafter leaving the field to Athens until the end of the fifth century, when Sparta and other states defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War. During the Hellenistic period her power waned but she regained prosperity and power under Rome.
Above: Map of Greece and the Aegean © Beazley Archive, Ian Hiley