The Spartan Supremacy 412-371 BC

B2013

Sparta was a small city state. Only one part of its history has been heavily covered by historians, who have neglected the periods to either side of the Peloponnesian War. The result is that Sparta is not set in perspective against its history. What historians have done is take a decision on what they think is interesting or important against a wider canvas. This new study corrects previous defects in coverage and the result is a very readable book that looks at to period 412-371 BC to give a true perspective of Sparta, addressing questions previously ignored.

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NAME: The Spartan Supremacy 412-371 BC
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2013
AUTHOR: Mike Roberts, Bob Bennett
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 299
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Sparta, Spartans, Thebans. Ancient Greece, Thucydides, Lysander, Agesilaus, Pelopidas, Epaminodas
ISBN: 1-84884-614-2
IMAGE: B2013.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nbfl4kc
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: Sparta was a small city state. Only one part of its history has been heavily covered by historians, who have neglected the periods to either side of the Peloponnesian War. The result is that Sparta is not set in perspective against its history. What historians have done is take a decision on what they think is interesting or important against a wider canvas. This new study corrects previous defects in coverage and the result is a very readable book that looks at to period 412-371 BC to give a true perspective of Sparta, addressing questions previously ignored.

Popular history views the Spartans as an austere military caste that preyed on neighbours and alone stood against the Persian expansion. Considering that two millennia have passed, it is surprising that no one has paid serious attention to the Forth Century history of Sparta, not least because a lack of study leaves several important questions inadequately answered. Sparta did not spring fully formed from the womb. The original farming communities that gave way to city states were part of an evolutionary process and the regular warfare, that was not much more than bandits roaming the harsh environment, required the formation of professional armies.

In Sparta, society developed to the point where its core was the army and young men went to learn the art of war in a society within a society. The training was arduous and exhausting with only the best warriors surviving as part of that force. Those who fell below the standards required were ruthlessly discarded. The result was a confident force to the point of arrogance, unprepared to give quarter, or to expect it.

The authors have shown how the period covered in this book is well served by source material and deserves careful study that is at least the equal to the period of the Peloponnesian War. There are several campaigns and battles that are well enough recorded that they can be read and understood. This book contributes strongly to the process and includes a photo plate section to support the textual presentation. In reading the arguments presented by the authors, there is a completeness and most readers will probably conclude that they have, by the end of the book, achieved a fair understanding of this period in the development of the societies in Ancient Greece and also developed a new perspective against which to appreciate works covering the Peloponnesian War. What would be even more rewarding is for this work to stimulate historians to pay more attention to the Fourth Century. This may question some of the conclusions reached by the authors here, but that is the necessary process of presentation and argument.

This makes an excellent starting point and should be read by all those who hope to understand Ancient Greece, its development and fall.

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