IT is not possible to recount here in any detail the well-known history of the recovery and diffusion of the main works of Greek literature; nor, clearly, to consider all Sparta's appearances in Renaissance writings, which would require profound knowledge of the period. It must suffice to indicate the main features of the interest she aroused, quoting some of the most famous (and often, in this respect, typical rather than original) works of the time, before turning to concentrate on certain specific political themes. It is obvious that the Renaissance was fated to admire Sparta. Great though the authority of Plato, or the popularity of Xenophon, might be, this admiration was nourished above all on Plutarch. The Lives were translated soon and often, forming as they did the best full-length studies of ancient virtue, and among the Greek subjects--even if these tended to take second place to the Roman--Agesilaus, Lycurgus, Lysander, and Agis and Cleomenes were not the least known. The Moralia were considered a storehouse of ancient wisdom: for example, the work on education was hardly less influential in this field than were Cicero's and Quintilian's writings on the training of an orator; while the collections of apophthegms were held to possess remarkable educational qualities both in style and content. They were several times translated into Latin (first by Filelfo), usually in combination with sayings from other sources, especially dicta philosophorum, and, during the sixteenth century, of modern heroes too. In Erasmus' huge collection the laconic apophthegms fill the first quarter of the book. What more suitable work, he asked, to dedicate to a prince, who has little time for reading, and especially to a young one (he also thought the Lives and Moralia had a vital part to play in such a youth's education)? In the same way Henri Etienne, publishing an edition of apophthegms from Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius with facing Greek and Latin, regarded them as ideal both for students and busy statesmen. These were indeed the two groups thought to have most to learn from Sparta.