The Spartan Way

The Spartan Way

by Nic Fields


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The Spartan Way by Nic Fields

For a period of some 200 years, Sparta was acknowledged throughout the Greek world as the home of the finest soldiers. Xenophon called them 'the only true craftsmen in matters of war'. Nic Fields explains the reasons for this superiority, how their reputation for invincibility was earned (and deliberately manipulated) and how it was ultimately shattered.

The Spartan Way examines how Spartan society, through its rigid laws and brutal educational system, was thoroughly militarized and devoted to producing warriors suited to the intense demands of hoplite warfare - professional killers inculcated with the values of unwavering obedience and a willingness to fight and die for their city. The role of Spartan women, as mothers and wives, in shaping the warrior ethic is considered, as are the role of uniform and rigorous training in enhancing the small-unit cohesion within the phalanx , and the psychological intimidation of the enemy.

The final chapters chart the course of Sparta's successes through the period of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, through the Corinthian and Theban wars of the fourth century BC, which culminated with the shattering military defeats at Leuctra and 2nd Mantinea, and the years of her decline with the Spartans as a source of mercenaries for the wars of other states.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848848993
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 815,876
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Nic Fields, Ph.D., is an acient historian with special expertise in the history of Greek and Roman warfare. He has published many articles and several monographs on the subject. Before turning to ancient history, he served as an officier in the British Royal Marines. He is a former assistant director at the British School at Athens, and he has worked as a lecturer and guide, in particular for the Smithsonian Institute. He taught American undergraduates on study-abroad Programs at institutions such as Beaver Colles in Athens and The Athens Centre. Having left Athens, where he was resident for seven years, Nic lectured in acient history at the University of Edinburgh. He now lives in southwest France where he works as a freelance writer and battlefield tour guide.

Table of Contents

Maps and Plans vii

Prologue: Holocaust at the Hot Gates xxx

Introduction: The Setting and the People xl

Chapter 1 Land of Orderliness 1

Chapter 2 Love and War Among the Spartans 15

Chapter 3 Of Matters Spiritual 31

Chapter 4 Tyrants, Tremble 38

Chapter 5 The Power of the Dorian Spear 48

Chapter 6 Top Dog 61

Chapter 7 Train Hard, Fight Easy 75

Chapter 8 Hellas' Veins Opened 85

Chapter 9 Organized to Kill 104

Chapter 10 Klearchos' Red Army 117

Chapter 11 Dressed to Kill 137

Chapter 12 Follow the Leader 148

Chapter 13 Bare Essentials 165

Chapter 14 Fall of Giants 172

Chapter 15 Masters of the Red Field 183

Chapter 16 Sackers of Cities 225

Epilogue: Between History and Legend 225

Appendix 1 The Size of Greek States 232

Appendix 2 The Median Host at Thermopylai 235

Appendix 3 The Literary Evidence for the Spartan Army 238

Appendix 4 A Note on Athenian Democracy 240

Appendix 5 A Note on the Athenian Army 247

Appendix 6 A Note on Iphikrates and his Peltasts 252

Appendix 7 A Note on the Ten Thousand 254

Appendix 8 Herodotos and the Topography of Plataia 259

Appendix 9 A Note on the Diekplous and the Periplous 262

Glossary of Greek Terms 264

Notes 266

Bibliography 330

Index 337

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