The End of Sparta: A Novel

The End of Sparta: A Novel

3.7 9
by Victor Davis Hanson
     
 

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In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re-creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas. At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.

We follow these epic historical events through the eyes

Overview

In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re-creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas. At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.

We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of Mêlon, a farmer who has left his fields to serve with Epaminondas-swept up, against his better judgment, in the fever to spread democracy even as he yearns to return to his pastoral hillside.

With a scholar's depth of knowledge and a novelist's vivid imagination, Hanson re-creates the ancient world down to its intimate details-from the weight of a spear in a soldier's hand to the peculiar camaraderie of a slave and master who go into battle side by side. The End of Sparta is a stirring drama and a rich, absorbing reading experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608193547
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
05/14/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
325,189
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.24(d)

Meet the Author

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. His many books include the acclaimed The Father of Us All, A War Like No Other, The Western Way of War, Carnage and Culture, and Ripples of Battle.

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The End of Sparta 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
Historian Victor Davis Hanson has created an absolutely epic first novel with "The End of Sparta". It's built on a gigantic scale with larger than life warriors who fight in Herculean battles against opponents who have legendary reputations. Combatants walk across bloody battlefields fighting off not only near immortal foes, but also otherworldly gods and specters, all while holding the banner of freedom and democracy. All I could think of through the first third of the book is that this is what a Homeric poem would read like if it were written in modern times. This magnificent Homer-like poem, written on a grand scale with complex characters and lively plot threads, makes for a tremendously courageous effort by Hanson. Sometimes it works. But sometimes it doesn't. "The End of Sparta" follows the legend of one of ancient Greece's greatest generals - Epaminondas. In the mid 300s B.C., he led an army of several thousand Thebans, made up mostly of part-time warriors and full-time farmers, in a series of heroic battles against Sparta, the highly militaristic city-state whose economy was built and sustained on the backs of slaves. The Thebans were fighting for freedom. The Spartans were fighting for themselves and their status quo. Hanson displays a deft touch in developing his characters. He doesn't feel the need to over-narrate their motivations, but allows a simple action to hold enough significance that conveys purpose. I'm surprised and impressed at how the historian has made such a successful and impressive leap into fiction. He wordsmiths in such a way that the story flows like a blockbuster movie. It's big and bold with dramatic scenery and smartly written scenes that cut between heroes on both sides and those awaiting to take advantage of the outcome. In their early introductions, characters are referenced by their proud warrior lineages and their performances in previous battles. Characters are prone to much speech-making, and Hanson continuously incorporates Greek words without providing strong enough context or any translation as to what the words actually mean. While overall this creates a very profound, weighty, and yes...Homeric tone, it also creates a speed bump for the reader who must adjust to Hanson's' writing style. This approach works well in his chapters on the battle of Leuktra and the immediate aftermath. This approach doesn't work well in most other areas. After a time, I felt just worn down by the weight of the story and the writing. The testosterone-fueled battle sequences are exciting. What's in between is cumbersome. If you like this time period and are excited by the opportunity to read a modern day epic 'poem' then this book is a solid read and recommended. I received this book from Amazon's Vine program.
monet61 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a little wordy in places but comes together nicely. I managed to learn a great deal, and at the same time, was highly entertained. Try it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a freshman at SandyWave High School, and I just wanted to say that we should be rival soccer teams! *Leaves.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made a nest with dried moss and hawk feathers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PLZ LET ME LERN MORE