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Kalligynaika

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Kalligynaika

Postby dags » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:20 am

I found this word in Bettany Hughes documentary on Sparta. She says that Homer referred to Sparta as "kalligynaika or land of beautiful women". Can someone translate this to it's ancient Greek spelling?

BTW, Sparta didn't exist yet when Homer wrote, correct? So was he actually referring to Laconia? Wasn't Sparta founded around 650 or 700BC so any earlier references to "Sparta" are merely to some city that was near or on the site of where Sparta would later be?
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Postby dags » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:06 am

To answer myself, I found it in the Liddell/Scott I have.

Καλλιγυναιξ (I couldn't do the accents): which means "with beautiful women".

Then it states Homer's literal use of the word, a little different:

Καλλιγυναικα (again, I don't know how to put accents on Greek letters):

appears: Iliad 2:683, Odyssey 13:412
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Re: Kalligynaika

Postby perispomenon » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:54 pm

dags wrote:BTW, Sparta didn't exist yet when Homer wrote, correct?


Not correct: Homer wrote around 8th/7th century, Sparta was formed out of 4 villages around 1000. That's from my old university handbook at least. It's 21 years old but views will not have changed by so much that Sparta did not exist yet by the 8th/7th century.
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Postby Arvid » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:17 pm

Sparta did exist when Homer wrote. Sparta did not exist in the period he was writing about; but his listeners would have expected to hear about it, so he put it in anyway.

The 650-700 date is when the possibly/probably mythical "Lycurgus" established the distinctive Spartan polity that we all know and love/hate.
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Postby dags » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:45 pm

That's interesting. So the concept of Sparta as a place of beautiful women predates the "thigh-flashers", the independent women who had much larger roles in society and sexual politics than their counterparts in other Greek cities (and who fascinated non-Spartan men). For some reason, I had assumed that the reputation for beauty had arrived as a result of the Spartan society that Lycurgus brought in. Homer's use of it shows that Spartan women already had a reputation for beauty.
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Postby perispomenon » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:18 am

Arvid wrote:Sparta did not exist in the period he was writing about


Possibly did not exist. There are signs of destruction on the site, dating back to around 1200, but no traces of a Mycenaean fort were found yet.

Again, that's 21 years old info. I haven't kept track.
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