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The Spartans by Andrew J. Bayliss
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The Spartans

$13.64

Narrator Shaun Grindell
Length 4 hours 31 minutes
Language English
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The image of Sparta, and the Spartans, is one dyed indelibly into the public consciousness: musclebound soldiers with long hair and red cloaks, bearing shiny bronze shields emblazoned with the Greek letter lambda. "This is Sparta!", bellows Leonidas on the silver screen, as he decides to lead his 300 warriors to their deaths at Thermopylae. But what was Sparta?

The myths surrounding Sparta are as old as the city itself. Even in antiquity, Sparta was a unique society, considered an enigma. The Spartans' often bizarre rules and practices have the capacity to horrify as much they do to fascinate us today. But the truth behind these stories of the exotic other can be hard to discover, lost amongst the legend of Sparta which was even perpetuated by later Spartans, who ran a thriving tourist industry that exaggerated the famed brutality of their ancestors.

As Andrew Bayliss explores in this book, there was also much to admire in ancient Sparta, such as the Spartans' state-run education system which catered even to girls, or the fact that Sparta was almost unparalleled in the pre-modern world in allowing women a clear voice, with no fewer than forty sayings by Spartan women preserved in our sources. This book reveals the best and the worst of the Spartans, separating myth from reality.

Andrew J. Bayliss is a senior lecturer in Greek history at the University of Birmingham. He has published extensively on Sparta and Ancient Greece, including After Demosthenes: The Politics of Early Hellenistic Athens and Oath and State in Ancient Greece, which was cowritten with Alan H. Sommerstein. He has completed commentaries on the fragments of the lost Spartan authors Sosobius, Molpis, Nicocles, Hippasus, Phaestus, and Polycrates for Brill's New Jacoby Online, and is currently working on a database of ancient references to Spartan emotions, actions, and attitudes.

Born and raised in Southampton, England, Shaun Grindell is an accomplished actor who trained at the Calland School of Speech and Drama and the Lee Strasberg Actors Institute in London. As an audiobook narrator, he has narrated many titles in different genres. Among his most notable works are the Hamish Macbeth mysteries by M. C. Beaton. Shaun also garnered an AudioFile Earphones Award for his reading of The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson.

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