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History Happy Hour

Episode 102: Sparta: Rise of a Warrior Nation

On Sparta, Plutarch Much of what we know of ancient Sparta comes from the writings of Plutarch, a Greek born Roman citizen. If you are going to try to come to terms with the warrior state of Sparta, it is helpful to know the origin of the “facts” used to understand the most martial city state.  

Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece, Donald Kagan, and Gregory Viggiano I must admit that warfare in the ancient world is far out of my bailiwick so I found this basic introduction of how warfare was fought in the ancient world very helpful; particularly as Sparta is a the center of much of this history.  

Sparta at War: Strategy, Tactics and Campaigns 550-362 BC, Scott M. Rusch Having gotten a few of the basics of ancient Greek warfare in Kagan and Viggiano’s book, Sparta at War is a thorough overview of the pretty vast span of Spartan military history. Particularly useful to understand the sequence of their battles and how the Spartan army was raised, managed, etc.  

The Wars of the Ancient Greeks, Victor Davis Hanson Another very good overview of warfare in the ancient world. One of the things that stands out about this volume is that it is written by a historian who is a real thinker, as well as a great writer. Hanson makes ancient history accessible.

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