Sparta: Rise of a Warrior Nation
Their contemporaries were fascinated by the Spartans and we still are. They are portrayed as the stereotypical macho heroes: noble, laconic, totally fearless and impervious to discomfort and pain. What makes the study of Sparta so interesting is that to a large extent the Spartans lived up to this image. Ancient Sparta, however, was a city of contrasts. We might admire their physical toughness and heroism in adversity but Spartans also systematically abused their children. They gave rights to citizen women that were unmatched in Europe until the modern era, meanwhile subjecting their conquered subject peoples to a murderous reign of terror. Though idealized by the Athenian contemporaries of Socrates Sparta was almost devoid of intellectual achievement. Philip Matyszak explores two themes: how Sparta came to be the unique society it was, and the rise of the city from a Peloponnesian village to the military superpower of Greece. But above all, his focus is on the Spartan hoplite, the archetypal Greek warrior who was respected and feared throughout Greece in his own day, and who has since become a legend.The reader is shown the man behind the myth; who he was, who he thought he was, and the environment which produced him.
- Hardback | 192 pages
- 156 x 234 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
- 10 Jul 2017
- Pen & Sword Books Ltd
- Pen & Sword Military
- South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Essential contribution to the literature of the ancient world --Books Monthly "Matyszak offers a goodly number of interesting insights, often in amusing fashion (e.g., Lycurgus's rules on coins, centuries before they were invented, suggesting some tinkering with the historical record by later Spartans). While written primarily for the layman, Sparta will prove useful reading for anyone with an interest in Ancient Greece."--The NYMAS Review, Winter 2018
About Philip Matyszak
Philip 'Maty' Matyszak holds a doctorate in Ancient History from St John's College, Oxford University, and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for over twenty years. He specializes in the history of Classical Greece and of the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods of Rome. Maty has personal military experience both as a conscript in Rhodesia and with the Territorial Army in Britain. These days he splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Monashee Mountains and providing e-learning courses for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education.