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The End of Sparta: A Novel

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ISBN: 9781608191642 | 1608191648
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
Pub. Date: 10/11/2011

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In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson recreates the times and wars of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece. Though we hear little of him today, the Greeks and Romans acclaimed Epaminondas of Thebes as the greatest man their worlds produced. In the pivotal battle of Leuktra (371 BC), Epaminondas led an army of Boiotian Greeks that shattered a larger-and far more feared-force from Sparta, the mighty city-state that had dominated Greece and enslaved the people of Messenia for some two hundred years. The next year, the firebrand general led a coalition of Greeks that overran Sparta, brought the warrior state to its knees, and freed the serfs of Messenia. We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of Melon, a farmer who has left his fields to serve with Epaminondas-a reluctant hero who fights to uphold the honor of Thebes even as he yearns to return to his pastoral hillside. With a novelist's gift of imagination and a scholar's intimate knowledge, Hanson recreates the distant ancient world down to its intimate details-from the weight of a spear in a soldier's hand to the drinking songs of Theban soldiers, to the peculiar cameraderie of a slave and master who go into battle side by side. The End of Spartais a stirring drama and a rich, absorbing reading experience.


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