A Reflection on the Militarization of Sparta Zhu Hongjun(4)
In Western academic history, the view that ancient Sparta was a militarist state or a state with strong militarist features has always been an influential one. This view first appeared in Greece of the 4th century BC and has continued to the present day. But objectively speaking, Western scholars have, to varying degrees, been in error on this point, both in theory and in the use of historical materials. To judge whether a state is militarist, we must give comprehensive consideration to its institutions, policies, internal affairs and diplomacy. According to this criterion, Sparta was not a militarist state until the mid-5th century BC. Its militarization began in the sixties of the fifth century BC and was established by the thirties. However, ancient Sparta did not establish a totalitarian state system and did not develop into a typical militarist state in the modern sense.
Suffering and Truth: the Rhetorical Skills in Thucydides’ Narrative of the Athenian Plague Bai Chunxiao(44)
In his narrative of the Athenian plague, Thucydides uses ancient Greek medicine and poetry to give a full description of this painful and frightening disease. However, he does not describe the plague for the purpose of medical treatment, nor does he attribute it to the gods as the poets did; on the contrary, he uses precise rhetorical techniques to present the tragic conditions of humankind to his readers. The fact that the text was to bc read and passed on privately rather than publicly determined that his narrative stylc was not that of publicrhetoric.
The Rank-Centered Society of the Early Northern Wei and Its Historical Writing: A Study Centering on the Records of Officials in the Wei Shu Hu Hong(36)
During the Tianci period of Emperor Daowu, the rank system appeared to be like the nine rank system (jiupinzhongzheng zhi九品中正制,or 九品官人法jiupinguanren fa), but in fact it was not. The essence of the system was that the four higher ranks, who held official positions, were much more important than the lower five. Despite the different offices of the latter, all of them, whether free, civil or military, were identical in terms of candidacy. In this period, all distribution of interests was based on ranks, so the society can be seen as rank-centered. This type of society had existed in ancient China and was also in line with the political and cultural characteristics of the northern ethnic groups; it thus became a shortcut connecting the northern tribal confederations and China’ s bureaucratic state. The reason researchers regard the Tianci system as highly sinicized actually lies in the Wei Shu’s narrative strategy. To gain a more in- depth understanding of the history of the Northern Wei, we need a clear critical understanding of the historical materials of the Wei Shu.