I’m Reading: The End of Sparta

The End of Sparta: A Novel of Freedom in the Ancient World

By Victor Davis Hanson

“Leading classicist Hanson focuses on the Theban defeat of the renowned Spartan army in 371 B.C.E. The hero of the tale is the Theban general Epaminondas, a devotee of Pythagoras and a warrior with unconventional attitudes about warfare, life, and death. 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 the novel its emotional heart. Battle scenes are conveyed in exacting detail; a glossary of names and numerous line diagrams help readers differentiate characters and envisage the sites of central dramas. Told in a somewhat elevated style that simultaneously honors and updates the rhetorical heights of classic Greek histories, Hanson’s novel is both old-fashioned and lively. Given his notable body of work, it’s no wonder that his first fiction effort is rich in authentic detail and narrated with a confident authorial voice. His vigorous narrative not only offers insight into arms and armor, but also into the hearts of the men who bore them.” — Publishers Weekly

I love VDH’s commentary on the modern world and am glad to explore his insights on the ancient one in this gripping 2011 volume.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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