The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy by Myke Cole - review by Paul Cartledge

Paul Cartledge

Come and Get ’em

The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

By

Osprey 464pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

Self-styled Spartans storming the US Capitol, pro-Brexit Spartans in the House of Commons, Spartans on the silver screen (in the film 300), a Spartan warrior tattooed on the arm of Olympic breaststroker extraordinaire Adam Peaty: Spartans, Spartans everywhere, but not a drop of truth to be found, according to the author of this latest history of the ancient Spartans, who flourished during the last millennium BC.

The principal lineaments of the Spartan myth are clear enough, though they seem to expand with the telling. In battle the Spartans always preferred death to dishonour and never ran from a fight; they hated wealth and disdained giving or receiving bribes; they sought only collective, never individual,

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter