The End of Sparta

The End of Sparta

A Novel

Book - 2011 | 1st U.S. ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press, 2011.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781608191642
Branch Call Number: FIC HANSON
Characteristics: xiii, 445 pages : map ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 30, 2018

Hanson, in "The Soul of Battle", seems to suggest that Thebes was more of a "democracy" than Athens was. I haven't read this historical novel as of yet, but I find the writing in "The Soul of Battle", history, to be quite clear. Reading this first before the historical novel might be of some help. I just wish Hanson had been my professor when I was going to school. I had maybe 1 or 2 professors as good as he is.

May 30, 2015

I found this book a real slog to get through. The characters just did not inspire any interest.

LRS1969 Mar 26, 2015

Very poorly written... and clearly with an anti Sparta bias (from a "historian" who is pro Athens with published beliefs that Athens was a full democracy when lay students of ancient history know that to be fictitious).
Excessive kudos given to an allegedly professional historian who in fact is simply a popular historian (BIG difference).
In general, not as much of a problem with historical novels, but this one is simply poorly written!

EuSei Jun 03, 2013

This is an historical fiction, not an easy read, but a very accurate historical account, owing to the writer’s background. Dr. Victor Davis Hanson holds a Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University. Among many other things, he is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno. Two major facts appealed to me about this book. First and foremost, it was written by Dr. Hanson. Second, among my family there was an Epaminondas!

Nov 08, 2011

The writer boasts about all his research, and to give him his due, he has picked an unknown and fascinating time in Greek history.

I wanted to read this, I wanted to like this, but his writing style totally defeated me. He gives the impression he is never actually met a human being, let alone heard one talk.

If you can get through the writing, I am sure this is an interesting book.

Nov 07, 2011

I good, but not great, historical novel. It would have been much improved by the addition of a glossary, as Hanson freely uses ancient Greek terms, frequently without defining them. Also, a better map and an expanded "cast of characters" with clear notes on who was a real historical figure and who is fictional, would be much appreciated. That said, I learned a great deal about an era I had not known much about before.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Sno-Isle Libraries

To Top