15 February 2024 Start
15 February 2024 End
5.00 pm (GMT) / 7.00 pm (EET) Time


Sparta Live! webinar: The hair of Spartan youth

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Centre for Spartan & Peloponnesian Studies at the University of Nottingham and the Municipality of Sparti are pleased to invite you to this week’s Sparta Live! webinar, which will take place on Thursday 15 February, 5 pm (GMT) / 7pm (EET).

Dr Marcello Lupi (University of Campania) will speak to us on The hair of Spartan youth.


It is a well-known fact that in Sparta, as Ephraim David noted in a seminal paper, the hair-behaviour of the citizens was an affair of state. A clear illustration of this is Herodotus’ famous passage about the Spartans intent on grooming their hair before the battle of Thermopylae because, as was explained to Xerxes by the deposed Spartan king Demaratus, it is their custom “whenever they are about to put their lives in peril, then they attend to the arrangement of their hair”. It is equally well known that hair-behaviour varied according to age: while boys were required to cut their hair completely, later in life they had to let it grow so that their long hair could look terrifying to enemies. There is no consensus in scholarship, however, regarding the age from which the Spartans let their hair grow. To answer this question, it is necessary to reconsider some aspects of the Spartan system of age grades and, particularly, the age grade to which Xenophon refers to as the paidiskoi.

Attendance is free but you must register in advance via this link:

The event will also be broadcasted live via

To be added to the mailing list to receive registration links for this series, please email [email protected].

The Sparta Live! series is kindly supported by the International Chamber of Commerce – Hellas (ICC– Hellas).