The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient

The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient

The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece [Reading] ➿ The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece By Paul Anthony Cartledge – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk The Spartans were a society of warrior heroes who were the living exemplars of such core values as duty, discipline, self sacrifice, and extreme toughness This book, written by one of the world s lead The Spartans were a society The World Kindle Ï of warrior heroes who were the living exemplars of such core values as duty, discipline, self sacrifice, and extreme toughness This book, written by one of the world s leading experts on Sparta, traces the rise and fall of Spartan society and explores the tremendous influence the Spartans had The Spartans: PDF/EPUB or on their world and even on ours Paul Cartledge brings to life figures like legendary founding father Lycurgus and King Leonidas, who embodied the heroism so closely identified with this unique culture, and he shows how Spartan women enjoyed an unusually dominant and powerful role in this hyper masculine society Based firmly on original sources, Spartans: The World Epub â The Spartans is the definitive book about one of the most fascinating cultures of ancient Greece.


About the Author: Paul Anthony Cartledge

Paul Anthony Cartledge is the The World Kindle Ï st AG Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University, having previously held a personal chair in Greek History at Cambridge He was educated at St Paul s School New College, Oxford where he took his st degree completed his doctoral thesis in Spartan archaeology in under Prof The Spartans: PDF/EPUB or Sir John Boardman After a period at the University of Warwick he moved in to Cambridge University where he s a fellow of Clare College He s a world expert on Athens Sparta in the Classical Age has been described as a Laconophile He was chief historical consultant for the BBC TV series Spartans: The World Epub â The Greeks the Channel series The Spartans, presented by Bettany Hughes He s also a holder of the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour an Honorary Citizen of modern Sparta Besides the Leventis Professorship, he holds a visiting Global Distinguished Professorship at New York University, funded by the Greek Parliament.



10 thoughts on “The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece

  1. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    Once upon a time, long ago view spoiler actual last Saturday hide spoiler and far away I had a fancy to read about the French revolution, popped into an Oxfam bookshop, looked about at what they had and came out with this for two pounds and forty nine pence, having read it, I feel it will return there shortly.Wandering idly back view spoiler since I have never lived in a bookshop or a library hide spoiler I wondered about left handed Spartans, the ancient Greeks were known for their Once upon a time, long ago view spoiler actual last Saturday hide spoiler and far away I had a fancy to read about the French revolution, popped into an Oxfam bookshop, looked about at what they had and came out with this for two pounds and forty nine pence, having read it, I feel it will return there shortly.Wandering idly back view spoiler since I have never lived in a bookshop or a library hide spoiler I wondered about left handed Spartans, the ancient Greeks were known for their hoplite mode of fighting in close ranks were each man wore a large round shield strapped to his left arm and carried a spear in his right hand, the idea being that you could protect the right side of your body by nudging to the right of your neighbour and sheltering behind the side of his shield Typically their armies were divided into a left, centre and right and the tendency for every man to move rightwards meant that in battle the right flank of one army would defeat the left flank of the opposing army while the centres would clash irritably This continued for hundreds of years apparently until the Thebians developed a cunning new deployment of a super strong left flank and so defeated their opponents on both the left and the right leaving the enemy centre feeling very lonely and homesick This was highly efficient and sped up battles considerably, however shortly afterwards the Macedonians swept down from the north with a different innovation a super long spear which enabled them to triumph over all opponents, which just goes to show that ideas are like buses, you wait around for centuries and then three come one after the other, three because the Romans were just across the sea biding their time to march in with a new kind of flexible tactical deployment which enabled them to crush all before them But I am digressing from my digression which was that if you were left handed you were pretty much buggered view spoiler and not just on account of the homoerotic socialisation into adult society hide spoiler , apparently tools from the stone age are fairly evenly divided between being suitable for left or right handed use but hop forward in time and the familiar dominance of right handedness is apparent creating the mystery of the revolution of the right hand, so if you were a left handed Spartan were you just a bit sub Spartan, or was it a case of I m sorry lad, but you re just not cut out for the modern military, I hear that in Athens they want rowers Cartledge doesn t address himself to the left handed conundrum, but it was only an idle thought.Cartledge, I was familiar with from In our Time an ongoing radio series on which he spoke and sometimes still speaks on various classical themes, and his warm friendly, mildly witty approach does translate into the book as does a conversational manner which unfortunately makes for a book that is a bit rambling and noticeably repetitive Naturally my second thought was along the lines of oi, you, why d jer write this book then , I had to wait until the appendix to find out that Cartledge sees his job as haute vulgarisation which in English sounds slightly less demeaning as popularisation p.255 I am divided as to whether he is successful or not, my initial thought was no, this isof a second book, not the kind of thing a total new comer to the subject could run away with and become entranced by, however after a night s sleep and morning coffee I feel it isin the ok but not inspiring category, sub Spartan for sure I very much enjoyed the chapter on Sparta in Early Greece, but that took the approach of historical sociology or archaeological anthropology who were the Spartans, what were the qualities of their culture, Cartledge instead wants to take ahistorical approach running from Helen of Troy who came from Sparta and curiously became a cult figure there view spoiler curiously I think because the only two things we know about her was that she was very beautiful and that her adultery led to a ten year war, not automatically the grounds for becoming a cult figure I would have thought hide spoiler through to the Roman period He does this through a series of mini biographies, principally of the Spartan kings, on the plus side I suppose there is a focus on famous names and mighty battles, on the downside a tendency to repeat the same information once within about about 600 words as though the book was constructed like a jigsaw puzzle out of dozens of free standing pieces with no view to the overall picture.For me it felt as though he succeeded in neither addressing the interesting questions about the lasting appeal of Sparta in the European imagination Wanderer kommst du nach Spa, or Eugenics, Spartan lifestyle and exercise whether Spartan society was as purposive as it seems or if this is simply an effect of the distorting gaze of the admiration of our sources, several of whom found Sparta distinctly fascinating either because they approved Xenophon or were horrified Aristotle on account of women being in charge view spoiler relative to their position elsewhere, which is rather like a commentator from Saudi Arabia being shocked by the social dominance of women in the Yemen hide spoiler , or that Helen the most famous adulterous woman in Europe became the cult figure of a culture in which women s lives were severely restricted if liberal and free by ancient Greek standards to being mighty mothers view spoiler with short cropped hair, it would be cut for their wedding and kept short there after hide spoiler with wondrous wombs to produce compulsive killers and certain soldiers and had no freedom to choose their own husbands let alone run off with other men view spoiler even if their husbands were red haired and the other man was a pretty boy from Troy hide spoiler , although apparently the good Spartan was expected to share his wife with other Spartan men if required, nor in being a rollicking lowest common denominator story of gather round while I tell you about the roughest toughest, longest haired fighters that ever fought The aforementioned chapter in Early Greece seemed to me to coverground in less than twenty pages that Cartledge does in almost three hundred, but then Cartledge does get the opportunity to repeat himself a few times and the font size in Early Greece is smaller.Cartledge only touches on the beginning of Sparta as a major tourist destination in the ancient world p.237 , itself a curious event since their food, the infamous black bean soup, was meant to be appallingly functional view spoiler something that Cartledge says that did catch my attention was that the Spartans had no cults of Demeter nor Dionysus at least not on a comparable scale to other Greek cities, this he puts down to agriculture and viticulture being entirely in the domain of the slave Helots whose enforced servitude made the leisured adulthood of Spartans possible, the Helots also did the cooking, building and breast feeding, adult Spartans were only expect to fight and breed but even this last proved too much for them despite the wife swapping and theyor less died out over time hide spoiler , nor were the ancient Spartans famous for their drink and party scene, however they were famously weird and the Romans in particular wanted to experience that oddness vicariously, and so aspects of Spartan life were redeveloped in the Roman period as a kind of theatre, Spartan boys were back in the day brought up in militarised boarding schools and systematically underfed to oblige them to steal food view spoiler this was felt to be a useful life skill for future soldiers , ie foraging hide spoiler , traditionally they attempted to steal food from the offerings made at a temple of Artemis view spoiler their traditional military education apparently didn t promote initiative or inventiveness nor cunning hide spoiler , these were guarded by older boys who would flog any youngster that they caught This was re enacted for Roman era tourists, fortunately or unfortunately depending on what you thought you had paid to view, the participants would sometimes get over involved in their role play and a younger boy would get beaten to death, most of the architectural remains of Sparta come from this era to cater for the demands of the tourist era, back in the day when the Spartans were the archetypal master race as Thucycides imagined the physical remains of their culture would be too unimpressive for any one to believe how militarily and politically dominant they had been.More curiously and perhaps of great interest to the state of Israel, a High Priest of Jerusalem wrote to the Spartans view spoiler this was the period when Jewish culture was fascinated by Greek culture hide spoiler , so Cartledge tells us twice view spoiler interestingly he only ever repeats himself twice, perhaps an educators trick hide spoiler , requesting their assistance in war against the Seleucids on the basis of their common ancestry, allowing perhaps in future for the suburbs of Tel Aviv to stretch into the Peloponnese view spoiler why he thought they were related Cartledge doesn t say, though since the Romans were Trojans, one might say why not, presumably the assumption was that Hercules and Samson were the same person , despite having had ever so slightly different adventures in which case despite some superficial differences the Jews were Spartans and the Spartans Jewish, in which case Origen s comparison of Jesus to King Leonidas was quite reasonable hide spoiler I have a desire to end this review with anecdotes about the Sybarites and Pythagoras and dancing horses, but they don t really tie in the book at all, so I won t


  2. Nelson Nelson says:

    This is a bad book That doesn t change the fact that Cartledge is an eminent authority on Sparta and uniquely well qualified from a research perspective to write this book The demands of academic history, however, are not the same as those for a book produced for general consumption This volume fails on at least three counts First, tone Were this a text for scholars, Cartledge would be well within his rights to write in the querulous, self defensive tone he sometimes takes here A general h This is a bad book That doesn t change the fact that Cartledge is an eminent authority on Sparta and uniquely well qualified from a research perspective to write this book The demands of academic history, however, are not the same as those for a book produced for general consumption This volume fails on at least three counts First, tone Were this a text for scholars, Cartledge would be well within his rights to write in the querulous, self defensive tone he sometimes takes here A general history presents settled matters to an intelligent but not necessarily specialist audience Such a readership is not interested in the arcana of specialist debates over issues they just want the facts, such as they are If the facts are in dispute, a frank explanation and a clear position taken are what general history requires Cartledge can t forgo playing swift rounds of cover my ass on specialist debates that the general reader doesn t know and certainly can t be brought to care about Such defensive gestures, if they were deemed truly necessary, should have been relegated to end notes or aexpansive set of appendices Second, the book fails in terms of structure A general history ought to tell an interesting story well Given the resuscitation of interest in Sparta, in no small part because of films like _The 300_ but also because of a general fascination with the topic in the West, Cartledge doesn t have to work hard to make his choice of topic exciting All he really has to do is get out of the way and tell the story clearly If he can add new facts to well worn stories like that of Thermopylae so much the better The organization of this particular narrative is a disaster The history of Sparta is divided into three periods roughly everything up to Thermopylae, the period of Spartan hegemony through the Peloponnesian war, and the long dissolution thereafter under the Macedonians and finally the Romans Nothing wrong with that in principle But the story is never told in anything like a straightforward manner Instead, Cartledge loops forward and backward in time, dipping like a swallow into any topic that strikes him as important from moment to moment, without conveying to the reader the purpose of the digressions One would be hard pressed from this volume to put together a coherent account of the rise, dominion and fall of Sparta Worse, Cartledge sees fit to lard his general narrative with potted histories mostly taken from Plutarch or Xenophon or other ancient sources of characters he deems important Most of the mini biographies add little to the source material They interrupt the flow of the overall narrative and very often repeat information conveyed two ortimes elsewhere in the book Sometimes these mini bios are built on nothingthan a single line of reported dialogue very flimsy scaffolding to base a biography on, particularly when the larger purpose of the biography in the overall narrative isn t clear to begin with Thirdly, this fails at the level of the sentence and paragraph Cartledge s looping organizational style filters down to the level of the sentence, where he frequently burdens forthright statements with one qualifying clause after another His editors have badly let him down, at times allowing him to produce sentences that are barely grammatical, with unclear referents At other times the text is repetitive We learn twice in two paragraphs that Augustus was known as Octavian, for instance All of this adds up to a maddening volume Set pieces that should have been gems in the crown of this story the heroic defense at Thermopylae lose luster in Cartledge s infuriating prose style Mostly this is just kind of ineffective stuff which is depressing But the final chapter, on hunting, turns into a nasty little set piece designed to take Roger Scruton out to the shed for daring to compare foxhunting to Spartan boar hunting I hold no brief for foxhunting, but surely Scruton is allowed to put the two things together if he wishes despite his snarkiness, Cartledge provides no compelling reason why the two things can t be at least contrasted Cartledge s final chapter thus leaves a nasty taste after a largely unedifying slog through history Not recommended at all


  3. Cody Cody says:

    Thus, one not insignificant reason why we today should care who the ancient Spartans were, is that they played a key role some might say the key role in defending Greece and so preserving from foreign and alien conquest a form of culture or civilisation that constitutes one of the chief roots of our own Western civilisation 9 The Spartan myth was persuasively labelled a mirage because the relation between the myth and the reality was and is sometimes shard to perceive without disto Thus, one not insignificant reason why we today should care who the ancient Spartans were, is that they played a key role some might say the key role in defending Greece and so preserving from foreign and alien conquest a form of culture or civilisation that constitutes one of the chief roots of our own Western civilisation 9 The Spartan myth was persuasively labelled a mirage because the relation between the myth and the reality was and is sometimes shard to perceive without distortion 36 Ancient Sparta is a time and a place shrouded in both myth and misplaced authenticity but at the same time a center of self identity and almost spirituality, even to people from non Greek cultures Noted Greek historian Paul Cartledge attempts here in this book to lend some much needed insight to the subject, offering a brief overview of what makes Sparta in and of itself Sparta whilst helping to dispel many sorts of misinformation or misperception of it.Cartledge covers much ground in this book, albeit shortly, with many names, dates, places, and important happenings, such as Leonidas at Thermopylae, the unique role of Spartan women, religion in general, and Sparta s complex role in and outside of the Greek territories This book shouldn t be taken as an introductory course to Sparta, as it s much to easy to get lost in the weeds without a general knowledge of Ancient Greece as a whole Nor is it something for a student who already has a great grasp of Sparta But to those with a passion for the subject that find their understanding of the topic lacking, there is a reward to turning it s pages


  4. Julian Worker Julian Worker says:

    This is an excellent book about The Spartans Once you have finished, you will understand fully what the adjective spartan should mean They were physically and mentally hard and never took a backwards step, at least until the Battle of Leuctra in 371BC There are some amusing anecdotes such as the Spartans regarding bows and arrows as effeminate as too were city walls The Spartans were late for the Battle of Marathon for religious reasons, but did turn up in time to admire the handiwork of the This is an excellent book about The Spartans Once you have finished, you will understand fully what the adjective spartan should mean They were physically and mentally hard and never took a backwards step, at least until the Battle of Leuctra in 371BC There are some amusing anecdotes such as the Spartans regarding bows and arrows as effeminate as too were city walls The Spartans were late for the Battle of Marathon for religious reasons, but did turn up in time to admire the handiwork of their Athenian neighbours Spartan society was set up so that all people were involved in the improvement and betterment of the city state In part, the book focuses on certain Spartan heroes and how they helped Sparta militarily and diplomatically as well as cataloguing all the Spartan victories and defeats, some of themfamous than others There s not too much detail of the battles but you gain an appreciation of how important the battles were, especially Thermopylae, even though the Spartan were beaten on that occasion, largely due to betrayal


  5. Myke Cole Myke Cole says:

    The classic, definitive work on the subject, and well deserving of the title Cartledge is open eyed and tracking steadily with what the evidence tells us of the Spartans, deftly sidestepping the enormous social pressure toward hagiography that has so colored all discussion of Spartan society since Herodotus, and certainly since 300 Cartledge deals with the Spartans fairly , not shying away from their shortcomings and also not denying the few historical moments when they truly achieved the ext The classic, definitive work on the subject, and well deserving of the title Cartledge is open eyed and tracking steadily with what the evidence tells us of the Spartans, deftly sidestepping the enormous social pressure toward hagiography that has so colored all discussion of Spartan society since Herodotus, and certainly since 300 Cartledge deals with the Spartans fairly , not shying away from their shortcomings and also not denying the few historical moments when they truly achieved the extraordinary The book s one failing is that he assumes a degree of initiation on the part of the reader, and novices without the benefit of a timeline in their head will frequently be lost as Cartledge jumps around the timeline, chasing whatever point he is trying to make This is one to read after you ve gotten a solid basis in survey level work covering Greek history from 800 300 BC Otherwise, make sure you have a timeline to hand you can reference or you re going to get lost.Either way highly recommended


  6. Trisha Trisha says:

    I just finished 281 pages that detail the birth and death of Sparta My mind is reeling The book was dense with historical information, centered on war, but surprisingly offering quite a lot of cultural insight through the inclusion of anecdotes and sayings attributed to various Spartans Now, I have to admit the details of war, dates and names and battlefields and allies and enemies and political hoopla and the such not seem to sort of flow through me especially dates These form only the fo I just finished 281 pages that detail the birth and death of Sparta My mind is reeling The book was dense with historical information, centered on war, but surprisingly offering quite a lot of cultural insight through the inclusion of anecdotes and sayings attributed to various Spartans Now, I have to admit the details of war, dates and names and battlefields and allies and enemies and political hoopla and the such not seem to sort of flow through me especially dates These form only the foundation necessary for understanding thesociological, the anthropological, the cultural insights of which I am muchinterested But I realize that you can t have one without the other for the historical facts of a time and a people are entirely driven by the ideological or you could invert that relationship if you would like as well, very yin and yang the events and the beliefs Well before I go off on a terrible tangent, I ll just say that this was a fact filled but well written and engrossing book


  7. Abigail Abigail says:

    Paul Cartledge describes this work as his first attempt to write a properly general history of Sparta It would not be wholly inaccurate to describe his style as, on the one hand, too erudite to be considered truly popular, yet on the other hand, too informal to be truly academic He lands, then, in the unfortunate territory of patronizing or condescending to the reader, sounding as though he s aping an academic style when in fact the formal loquacity is likelynatural to him and his atte Paul Cartledge describes this work as his first attempt to write a properly general history of Sparta It would not be wholly inaccurate to describe his style as, on the one hand, too erudite to be considered truly popular, yet on the other hand, too informal to be truly academic He lands, then, in the unfortunate territory of patronizing or condescending to the reader, sounding as though he s aping an academic style when in fact the formal loquacity is likelynatural to him and his attempt to write for the masses is actually where he, as they say, misses the mark.Besides the insufferable tone and overabundance of adverbs and adjectives, what really bothered me about this book was his inability to tell a story, any story in the book, in chronological order Part of the condescension comes from his assumption that we know all the names, dates and places he tosses around as well as he does, which is exactly what you would assume in academic writing and exactly the opposite of popular writing It s doubly unfortunate since he probably knowsabout the ancient Spartans than anyone else in the English speaking world right now, and that knowledge won t help anyone if it s all locked up in his disobliging prose.I have loved Spartan history since I first heard the story of the 300 There is muchof Sparta than Thermopylae to find interesting, yet Cartledge unfortunately manages to make it both dull and confusing He gets 2 stars because at least all the useful information is in there somewhere


  8. Casey Wheeler Casey Wheeler says:

    The subject matter of the book is interesting, but the author s writing style makes it a tedious read at times It tends to readlike a tedious repetition of history that frequently does not bring the subject matter to life.I have also posted my review on Goodreads,and my review blog I also posted it to my Facebook page.


  9. Evan Evan says:

    Such a disappointing book Having recently read Tom Holland s excellent Persian Fire I was in the mood for some extra detail on a longer period of Spartan history but this book sadly wasn t able to provide it Straight from the very long and rambling introduction I was a bit worried I don t know what Paul Cartledge thinks an introduction is actually for but in my experience it s not to give a sort of pr cis of the entire book you re about to read, going through pretty much every major event, Such a disappointing book Having recently read Tom Holland s excellent Persian Fire I was in the mood for some extra detail on a longer period of Spartan history but this book sadly wasn t able to provide it Straight from the very long and rambling introduction I was a bit worried I don t know what Paul Cartledge thinks an introduction is actually for but in my experience it s not to give a sort of pr cis of the entire book you re about to read, going through pretty much every major event, often with levels of detail that leave you wondering what the point of the actual chapters will be Of course, this leads to a tremendous amount of repetition of facts in the main bulk of the book that you ve already read in the introduction, but this is as of nothing compared to the repetition delivered by his box out biographies Again, I m really not sure what Cartledge s grasp of what a book should be actually is If he was putting together an illustrated coffee table style book on the Spartans and many such tomes exist on periods of classical history then he would be quite entitled to have the main flow of the text, and the main thrust of the history it contained, taking up most of each page while boxes could appear down the sides givinginformation on various people being mentioned However, what he does in this book, which is a standard text driven publication, is to interrupt the narrative every time a new person is mentioned to give a biography of them Seeing as it s impossible to have a box down the side in a normal text based book he instead has to just clump this right in the middle of what you re reading so that for three, four, maybe six, seven or eight pages you have to take a sidestep and read this biography The problem with this is that you end up with endless repetition The reason for this is that for many of the people and he presents a lot of biographies within the book we don t know a lot about them until they actually start achieving things Their early lives are almost always largely unknown and it is by their deeds that we remember them from the histories of people like Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon So what Cartledge does is to break up the narrative with a biography which then tells you everything that person did, often in quite a lot of detail and very often going decades into the future Once you return to the narrative he then proceeds to tell you all the same things in only slightly greater detail that you ve just read, often with the exact same phrasing What was he thinking Has he ever read a book himself where this happens Does he think that s normal And,to the point, what on earth was the editor thinking of Did she just make sure there were no spelling mistakes and think she d done her job How can she have let all the endless repetition through and think it was okay Some stories are told not just twice, but three times throughout the book, and not by saying, as we saw earlier , but each time presented as if being told for the first time And he keeps it right up to the very end with the penultimate paragraph presenting us with information he s already told us before All this is frustrating enough but there are many other failings with the book Handy maps would have given a lot of context to events throughout the book but instead we get just two right at the front which are somewhat less than useless They look as if they ve been photocopied from some ancient school textbook and then reduced to about 25% of their true size so that it s virtually impossible to make out any of the writing on them There s a disappointing lack of detail to the early days of Sparta which is just not acceptable on a book about the history of Sparta and I found that I knew far, farabout Spartan society from Tom Holland s overview in the early chapters of Persian Fire where Sparta was just one of three societies the others being Athens and the Persians Medes that he was trying to cover We then get something important like a chapter on Women and Religion plonked randomly down into the second half of the book when it should have been near the start, in the set up as it were, and, of course, it was repeating much of what he d already told us by that stage anyway The lack of detail continues to envelop, surprisingly, the Persian War surely the most famous moment in Spartan history It s understandable that Holland would go into greater detail in his book on this but there were many key stories told by Holland that are bafflingly left out by Cartledge Even when it comes to the two authors giving motives to the people of this time Cartledge always falls up short with Holland giving reasons for events which sound truer and which are backed up with whatever evidence he can provide For instance, Cartledge has the 300 who fought at Thermopylae as being a mere suicide squad This doesn t make any sense at all In a war which they d been anticipating for years why would the Spartans send one of their kings and 300 elite fighters to just die if, as Cartledge suggests, they had given up all hope of winning the war Surely they would just not bother going at all and then submit to the Persians when they finally came down the Pelopennese Holland s argument appealsto common sense That the Spartans led by Leonidas were a holding force to keep the Persians at bay to buy time for the religious festival preventing the deeply pious Spartans attendance to end and thus their entire force could turn to Thermopylae The small force under Leonidas with some allies was a compromise between their religious obligations and the utter necessity of holding the pass at Thermopylae at all costs The version presented by Cartledge makes no sense at all Of course, the book even manages to end disappointingly by having no real ending at all You would think that a book on the history of Sparta would show what happened to the city state after its fall from grace But, no Cartledge tells us about the final major battles they lost but nothing after that at all No comment on the devastating effect the loss of their helot slave cities would have had on their economy and society No comment on the gradual disintegration of their authority and the complete irrelevance they became just a few years later under Philip of Macedonia and his son Alexander All we get is fleeting references in a few of the never ending biographies which manage to extend events beyond what should surely have been the scope of the actual book All in all, the book is very surprisingly lacking in some key details and is often written in a rambling and waffling style The endless retelling of the same stories and repeating of the same quotations lends you to think that the book just hasn t been properly edited at all Sadly, it smacks of being of the standard of being self published and that is a very bad reflection on Channel 4 Books and its editor I ll continue my search for a good book on Spartan history elsewhere


  10. Taylor Taylor says:

    This book seemed, in other reviews to garner a good deal of harsh words for the simple reason that it wasn t what the readers expected it to be, or wanted out of it Don t assume that this work is any relative of Steven Pressfield s Gates of Fire Where that work excelled at conveying a gripping and personal tale detailing the life of its protagonist from birth onwards in what may have been a relatively accurate portrayal of Sparta, this book details the historical accounts of Sparta and her mos This book seemed, in other reviews to garner a good deal of harsh words for the simple reason that it wasn t what the readers expected it to be, or wanted out of it Don t assume that this work is any relative of Steven Pressfield s Gates of Fire Where that work excelled at conveying a gripping and personal tale detailing the life of its protagonist from birth onwards in what may have been a relatively accurate portrayal of Sparta, this book details the historical accounts of Sparta and her most prominent citizens, social order, and foreign affairs It serves its purpose well, and volunteers unpopular, but interesting information detailing a bitof Sparta s dark side infanticide, rape, sexism, classism, and secret police intended to murder hoplite slaves for political stability I would recommend this book to any seeking aintellectual and academic portrayal of Spartan society though the writing is, admittedly, somewhat dry


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