The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

by Myke Cole
The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

by Myke Cole


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The last stand at Thermopylae made the Spartans legends in their own time, famous for their toughness, stoicism and martial prowess – but was this reputation earned?

Covering Sparta's full classical history, The Bronze Lie examines the myth of Spartan warrior supremacy.

This book paints a very different picture of Spartan warfare – punctuated by frequent and heavy losses. We also discover a society dedicated to militarism not in service to Greek unity or to the Spartan state itself, but as a desperate measure intended to keep its massive population of helots (a near-slave underclass) in line. What successes there were, such as in the Peloponnesian Wars, gave Sparta only a brief period of hegemony over Greece. Today, there is no greater testament to this than the relative position of modern Sparta and its famous rival Athens.

The Bronze Lie explores the Spartans' arms and armor, tactics and strategy, the personalities of commanders and the common soldiery alike. It looks at the major battles, with a special focus on previously under-publicized Spartan reverses that have been left largely unexamined. The result is a refreshingly honest and accurate account of Spartan warfare.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472843746
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 09/02/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 464
File size: 12 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Myke Cole has had a colorful and varied career, with service in war and crisis response. He currently works as a security and intelligence consultant in the private sector. He has published extensively in military history and security, including pieces in the journals of the American Association of Museums and the American Historical Association, and is also a popular fantasy and science fiction novelist with several major imprints, including Ace/Roc, Tor and Angry Robot. Myke also appeared on CBS' hit TV show Hunted, where he joined a team of elite investigators pursuing fugitives across the southeastern United States. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Following a long career in the military, intelligence, and law enforcement, Myke Cole is a fire/rescue responder in NY's Hudson Valley. He is a freelance historian and writer, and has published ten novels with publishers including Penguin Random House and Macmillan in addition to his history books for Osprey. Myke's short work has appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, McSweeney's, and Slate. He's starred on TV shows on CBS and Discovery, and was recently featured on NPR.

Table of Contents

List of Maps


I. Cuckold Kings and Wolves' Work: Behind the Spartan Mirage
II. Archaic Sparta at War: Early Losses, Foreign Roots
III. The Greco-Persian War: The Thermopylae Speed Bump
IV. The Peloponnesian Wars: Floundering at Sea, Surrendering on Land
V. Masters of Greece? Sparta Squanders its Hegemony
VI. The Boeotian War: What Cannot Bend Must Break
VII. The End of Sparta: Irreformable and Irrelevant
VIII. Conclusion: The Bronze Lie

IX. The “Moron Label”: The Spartans and the Political Far Right
Appendix A. Historiography and Objectivity
Appendix B. The Fundamentals of Ancient Battle


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