The Spartan Way

Nic Fields

Date Published :
February 2013
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
8 pages of b/w photos, 8 maps, 3 diagrams
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848848993
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available as an ebook:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you buy an ebook after clicking a link here


For a period of some 200 years, Sparta was acknowledged throughout the Greek world as the home of the finest soldiers. Xenophon called them 'the only true craftsmen in matters of war'. Nic Fields explains the reasons for this superiority, how their reputation for invincibility was earned (and deliberately manipulated) and how it was ultimately shattered.

The Spartan Way examines how Spartan society, through its rigid laws and brutal educational system, was thoroughly militarized and devoted to producing warriors suited to the intense demands of hoplite warfare - professional killers inculcated with the values of unwavering obedience and a willingness to fight and die for their city. The role of Spartan women, as mothers and wives, in shaping the warrior ethic is considered, as are the role of uniform and rigorous training in enhancing the small-unit cohesion within the phalanx , and the psychological intimidation of the enemy.

The final chapters chart the course of Sparta's successes through the period of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, through the Corinthian and Theban wars of the fourth century BC, which culminated with the shattering military defeats at Leuctra and 2nd Mantinea, and the years of her decline with the Spartans as a source of mercenaries for the wars of other states.

About The Author

DR NIC FIELDS started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to university and completed his doctorate in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. He is now a freelance author and researcher based in southwest France, specializing in ancient military history.


“…ranks as one of the best books about the ancient world I’ve ever read….lively and informative text…”

- Toy Solder & Model Figure

"Fields, who has written other books on ancient military history, describes the elements of the militaristic Spartan society of ancient Greece, from detailed battlefield strategies to the role of women in Spartan society, and evaluates Sparta's successes and defeats on the battlefield over several centuries. The book features b&w photos of antiquities and modern-day locations, plus b&w maps and battle charts"

- ProtoView

More from this publisher