The Spartan Boy and the Fox - Ancient Sparta answers questions

The Boy and the Fox


The Roman writer Plutarch, who wrote about 75 BC, told this story about the Spartans:

"So seriously did Spartan children go about their stealing, that a boy, having stolen a young fox and hid it under his cloak, let it tear out his guts with its teeth and claws and died right there, rather than let it be seen."

(from Plutarch's essay on Lycurgus 18. 1).

Learn by doing: write a different ending to this story
More about the Spartans

Bibliography and further reading about this story:

Plutarch's Lives Volume 1 (Modern Library Classics) by Plutarch , translated by Arthur Hugh Clough. Includes the biography of Lycugus that has the fox story in it.

The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, from Utopia to Crisis and Collapse, by Paul Cartledge (2003). This is pretty hard going, but Cartledge knows everything about ancient Sparta.

More about ancient Sparta
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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