The Subject of this website is Ancient Sparta of the Fifth Century BCE, the history, culture and the myths surrounding the Spartan way of life.
Sparta was admired and reviled by their contemporaries in Greece, and through history Sparta continues to polarise opinions, even today described by some as a fascist state built on oppression, and idealised by others motivated by worship of power and ideas of racial hierarchies.
Sparta was intensely suspicious of outsiders. They liked to boast: “We have no walls because our borders are the tips of our spears”. Foreigners were dangerous not just for the military threat they posed but for the threat to the Spartan way of life and character.
At the same time, Sparta was intensely suspicious of the majority within their own borders, those they had conquered
The novels are based on the Third Messenian War commencing with the Spartan earthquake of 465/4 BCE. Pages will follow the format of presenting an aspect of Spartan history and life and then featuring a quote from my novels. Links to my novels for those interested are at the bottom of each page.
In the opening chapter Heart of The Spartan, young soldiers are taking part in a parade ground drill. In the final move, “their phalanx re-formed into two ranks to make a single wheel two ranks deep, a perfect circle, all facing outwards, with the spears held horizontally underarm. In a fluid motion the youths all raised their spears vertically, about faced, and brought their spears down again with a shout so that now all the youths and their spears were facing towards the centre of the wheel. It might well be imagined that there were enemies inside the circle trapped by this impenetrable wall of spears, awaiting slaughter.”
The move is intended symbolically showing the way Sparta faced the outside world, fearful and suspicious, its army at all times. The soldiers then turn inwards. Their state was built on the oppression of the majority – the original enslaved Messenian population referred to as Helots. For Sparta, the enemy within was every bit as dangerous as the enemy without.
My first intention was to write a good story. Please read and enjoy.
In 465 BC, Kalliope, a diminutive and free spirited Spartan girl finds herself in an arranged marriage with Amiantos, a towering young Spartan warrior raised since the age of seven in the all male environment of history’s most brutal military academy. Amidst subterfuge, war, natural disaster and slave rebellion, is it possible for love to grow? This is a full length novel, exploring love, sacred and profane, and the nature of power in ancient Greece. The sequel, “Heart of the Slave – Kalliope’s Revenge”, second book in the series, “Laconic Hearts, which completes the story of the Third Messenian War is available now on Amazon.
How far will one woman go to save the life of the man she loves, and to what depths will a woman scorned descend to achieve revenge? These two questions are answered in this historical epic set during the rebellion of the Messenian slaves against their Spartan masters in the middle of the fifth century BC.This novel begins where ‘Heart of the Spartan’ ends and follows the fortunes of Amiantos, Melantha, Kalliope and the other characters and concludes the story of the Third Messenian War.