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Sparta (Kindle)

Fall of a Warrior Nation

Ancient History Military

By Philip Matyszak
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 12.8 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 165
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781473874732
eBook Released: 20th June 2018


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Universally admired in 479 BC, the Spartans were masters of the Greek world by 402 BC, only for their state to collapse in the next generation. What went wrong? Was the fall of Sparta inevitable? Philip Matyszak examines the political blunders and failures of leadership which combined with unresolved social issues to bring down the nation - even as its warriors remained invincible on the battlefield.

The Spartans believed their constitution and society above the changes sweeping their world, and in resisting change, they were eventually overwhelmed by it. Yet this is also a story of defiance, for the Spartans refused to accept their humiliation and – although never more than a tiny and underpopulated city-state – for many years their city exercised influence far beyond its size and population. This is a chronicle of political failure, but also a lesson in how to go down fighting. Even with the Roman legions set to overwhelm their city, the Spartans never gave up.

Sparta: Fall of a Warrior Nation tells a seldom-told tale, yet one rich in heroes and villains, epic battles and political skulduggery.

This book is a good introduction to this particular topic for a generalist audience and it is well written.

Read the full review here

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

A compelling and intriguing story of how a warrior city state eventually fell into decline.

The Armourer, March 2019

Q&A with Philip Matyszak conducted by Jonathan Gordon as featured in

All About History, February 2019

The author has to be commended for providing such a readable work of scholarship. The text is clear and easy to follow. The pace is good and carries the reader through what can in other hands be a tedious process. There is good insight, but there is also excitement and engagement with the reader.

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About Philip Matyszak

Dr Philip 'Maty' Matyszak has a doctorate in ancient history from St John's College, Oxford University and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for the past twenty years. He specializes in ancient Rome, especially the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods, and his previous works include the best-selling Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day, Ancient Greece on Five Drachmae a Day and, for Pen & Sword, Mithridates the Great: Rome's Indomitable Enemy (2008) and Roman Conquests: Greece and Macedon (2009). He has personal military experience both as a conscript in Africa and with the territorial army in Britain, and he splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Rocky Mountains and providing distant learning courses at Cambridge University.

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