Origins of Sparta

Considered one of Athens' biggest rivals, and known for their bloodthirsty and brutal nature - there's a reason the Spartans have been immortalised in history. With longstanding mythological origins, little is known about the early days of Sparta. From rumoured descendants of Heracles, through to the mythical lawmaker Lycurgus, it can be hard to separate fact and fiction. So what do we actually know about the origins of Sparta? And is there any archaeological evidence to back these claims up?

In the first episode of our new Sparta mini-series, Tristan welcomes historian and author Dr Andrew Bayliss to the podcast, to take a deep dive into Sparta's murky beginnings. Looking at the myths used to define Spartan society, the available archaeological sources, and examining how myth and history has combined - is it possible to discern how Sparta was founded? And more importantly, by who?

You can buy Andrew's book here.

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