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The Spartan Supremacy 412-371 BC (ePub)

Ancient History Military

By Bob Bennett, Mike Roberts
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 8.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 299
ISBN: 9781473838543
Published: 30th July 2014


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Sparta was a small city which consistently punched above its weight in the affairs of classical Greece, happily meddling in the affairs of the other cities. For two centuries her warriors were acknowledged as second to none. Yet at only one period in its long history, in the late fourth and early third century BC, did the home of these grim warriors seem set to entrench itself as the dominant power in the Greek world. This period includes the latter stages of the Peloponnesian War from 412 BC to the Spartan victory in 402, and then down to the Spartan defeat by the Thebans at Leuctra in 371 BC, where it all began to unravel for the Spartan Empire

Surprisingly few previous books have covered the tumultuous first decades of the fourth century BC, particularly when compared to the ample coverage of the Peloponnesian War. As the authors explain, although the earlier period has the benefit of Thucydides' magisterial history, the period covered here is actually well served by sources and well worthy of study. There are many interesting characters here, including Alcibiades, Lysander, Agesilaus, Pelopidas and Epaminondas, to name but a few. In addition there are several campaigns and battles that are reported in enough detail to make them interesting and comprehensible to the reader. Bob Bennett and Mike Roberts untangle the complexities of this important but unduly neglected period for the modern reader.

This is an excellent account of a neglected period...This work is thus a valuable study of a key period in ancient Greek history.


This new study corrects previous defects in coverage and the result is a very readable book that looks at the period 412 - 371 BC to give a true perspective of Sparta, addressing questions previously ignored.


The book follows a simple historical narrative but is spared from being a list of dates and places by the author's easy to read style which emphasises the significance of the great men who strode across the Greek political stage during this period.
Overall I enjoyed this book, it both informed and inspired, which is what a work like this should do.

Miniature Wargames

... gripping narrative...full of dramatic events, battles and great figures.

Black Country Bugle

About Bob Bennett

Bob Bennett and Mike Roberts are authors of The Wars of Alexander's Successors vol 1 (Pen & Sword 2008) and vol 2 (Pen & Sword 2009).

About Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts is a retired social worker but has a long-standing interest in the military history of the Classical world. He is the co-author (with his good friend Bob Bennett) of several well-received books: The Wars of Alexander’s Successors (volumes I and II); The Twilight of the Hellenistic World and The Spartan Supremacy. This is his fourth solo book, following Two Deaths at AmphipolisHannibal's Road and Rome's Third Samnite War. He lives in Dudley.

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