Prof. Tony Spawforth, 'The Athenian Family of Herodes Atticus and the Spartan Contest of Endurance’
Abstract: This talk introduces the Sparta of Roman times, before focusing on a new Greek inscription from Sparta published last year by Georgios Steinhauer. The talk argues that this inscription records acclamations shouted by spectators at lads competing in the Contest of Endurance at the Spartan sanctuary of Artemis Orthia. This bloody spectacle formed the high point of the ‘Lycurgan’ training of Roman Sparta's juvenile males. Highly-placed Romans, including emperors Augustus and Hadrian, admired this contest—in fact a faked tradition—as emblematic of the age-old discipliina, the militarised lifestyle of the Spartan warriors of legend.