The End of Sparta by Victor Davis Hanson
A Novel

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Synopsis

In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re-creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas. At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.


We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of Mêlon, a farmer who has left his fields to serve with Epaminondas-swept up, against his better judgment, in the fever to spread democracy even as he yearns to return to his pastoral hillside.


With a scholar's depth of knowledge and a novelist's vivid imagination, Hanson re-creates the ancient world down to its intimate details-from the weight of a spear in a soldier's hand to the peculiar camaraderie of a slave and master who go into battle side by side. The End of Sparta is a stirring drama and a rich, absorbing reading experience.


Praise for Victor Davis Hanson:


"I have never read another book that explains so well the truth that 'war lies in the dark hearts of us all' but that history offers hope."-William Shawcross on The Father of Us All


"Few writers cover both current events and history-and none with the brilliance and erudition of Victor Davis Hanson."-Max Boot on The Father of Us All

"Enthralling."-Christopher Hitchens on The Western Way of War
 

About Victor Davis Hanson

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Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services
 
Published October 18, 2011 by Bloomsbury Press. 462 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The End of Sparta

Kirkus Reviews

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Epaminondas, the commander of the Theban forces, is mighty glad of it, too, for when Mêlon arrives at the battlefield of Leuktra, he is the moral equivalent of 1,000 men: “The presence of Mêlon, the apple, would win over the hesitant horsemen and the scared farmers and the ignorant tanners and po...

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The End of Sparta: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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His unexpected choices—not to mention the Spartan underestimation of the Theban “pigs”—allow the Thebans to fulfill the prophecies of Sparta’s downfall, many of which focus on the farmer Mêlon (meaning “apple”), whose journey from reluctant soldier to enthusiastic liberator gives t...

Aug 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The End of Sparta: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

In 371 B.C.E., the Theban general Epaminondas and his army of farmers defeated the Spartans against staggering odds at the Battle of Leuktra.

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