Spartan Art and Culture Spartan sculptors were active in pan-European sites such as Delphi and Olympia.Pausanias, traveling through Sparta in the second century AD, recorded hundreds of significant buildings – temples, monuments, tombs, and public buildings – that were part and parcel of Spartan art and culture. According to contemporary sources, Sparta was particularly renowned for its music and dance.
Spartan bronze works were coveted as gifts and imports.
Spartan poets were admired throughout the ancient world – and it was one of these who wrote the first recorded heterosexual love poems known today. Looking first at architecture, Sparta was distinguished by its early democracy and prosperity, and by the fact that it was unconquered and unplundered until relatively late in ancient times. In short, its monuments were built early and there was no compulsion to replace them. (We should not forget that the splendor of the Athenian Acropolis is largely a function of the fact that the Persians destroyed all the older temples on the site. As a result, Pericles was able to carry out a comprehensive modernization of the entire Acropolis at the very pinnacle of Athenian power, wealth, and artistic prominence.) Sparta did have buildings and temples, however, that were greatly admired in their own time. The most significant of these were the Menelaion and the Amyklaion. The Menelaion, which dates from roughly 700 BC, was erected as a monument or temple to Menelaos and Helen. It is located near the remains of a Mycenaean palace – allegedly the palace of Menelaos – dating roughly from the 15th century BC. The Amyklaion was admired by ancient historians as the most significant temple in all Lacedaemon. It was built in Sparta's Golden Age – the 6th century BC. This temple contained a massive bronze statue of Apollo surrounded by colonnades and stoa. Particularly worthy of mention is also the Spartan Assembly Hall, a monumental