Sparta; Spartans

spar'-ta, spar'-tanz (Sparte (1 Macc 14:16), Spartiatai; Lacedaemonians (the King James Version 1 Macc 12:2,5,6,10,21; 14:20-23; 15:23; in 2 Macc 5:9, Greek Lakedaimonioi)): The passages in 1 Macc relate to a correspondence initiated by Jonathan, the priest, during the Maccabean revolt, and continued after his death with his brother Simon, between the Jews and the Lacedaemonians or Spartans, with a view to a friendly alliance. The proposals, curiously based on a claim to kindredship, were favorably received by the Lacedaemonians. See the letters (1 Macc 12:5 ff,19 ff; 14:16 ff). The claim to blood-relationship (compare 1 Macc 12:21; 2 Macc 5:9) is of course absurd, but there is no good reason to doubt the genuineness of the transaction described.


James Orr

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