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A Heroic King (Leonidas of Sparta Book 3) by [P. Schrader, Helena]

A Heroic King (Leonidas of Sparta Book 3) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in Leonidas of Sparta (3 Book Series)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This is the third book in the Leonidas trilogy, abiographical novel in three parts, dedicated to reconstructing and depictingthe life of Sparta's most famous king.Leonidas is legendary for this defiant defense of the Pass ofThermopylae, with just three hundred Spartans and roughly six thousand otherallies, against a vastly superior invading force in 480 BC.

The first book inthe trilogy, A Boy of the Agoge,dealt with Leonidas' boyhood, and APeerless Peer looked at Leonidas as an ordinary Spartan ranker. In thisfinal book of the series, I turn to Leonidas' years of greatest influence. Itdescribes him as a diplomat as well as a soldier, and above all as a king.
I realize that fans of the film 300 may find it hard to think of Leonidas as a diplomat. In theHollywood cartoon, Leonidas is portrayed as the brutal antithesis of adiplomat: he personally throws a Persian ambassador down a well.  But there is no more historical evidence thatLeonidas committed this crime than that Xerxes was a monster. The historicalrecord, foggy and imprecise as it is, suggests that far from being a tactlessbrute, Leonidas was a savvy diplomat.

Leonidas' accomplishments as king were even moresignificant, if harder to document. It is clear from looking at Spartan historyfrom the Messenian wars to Sparta's dismal and ignominious end under Rome thatLeonidas' reign was a turning point. Archaic Sparta not only saw theestablishment of a new, revolutionary form of government (arguably the firstdemocracy in history), but also a significant flourishing of the art and trade.Sparta's most significant monuments were built in the Archaic age, and her mostfamous poets lived then too. 

Incontrast, Sparta in the Classical Period is characterized by artisticstagnation and a dramatic end to Sparta's competitiveness in trade andmanufacturing. In this period, Spartans disdained all forms of luxury, and byinference, art itself.  In short, Spartansociety underwent a radical, indeed revolutionary, change in the mid-fifthcentury BC, immediately after Leonidas' death.

Leonidas was the last of thearchaic kings not just in terms of timing, but in terms of policy. DuringLeonidas' lifetime Sparta took an active interest in world affairs, and led aninternational coalition opposing Persia. Even more significant is thepossibility that Leonidas' domestic policies were tolerant and liberal.
As in the earlier two books in this series, I have mademaximum use of the available ancient sources, relying as much as possible onHerodotus and the sayings attributed to Leonidas and his wife Gorgo by Plutarchand other ancient scholars. This book also reflects extensive secondaryresearch on ancient Sparta as well as a dozen trips to Greece to visit Sparta,Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Argos, Messenia, Olympia and Thermopylae.

Over theyears this research has led me to an understanding of Spartan society thatstands in sharp contrast to the often simplified, sometimes fantasizedportrayals found in other works.  Spartawas a complex and far from static society, and readers interested in asystematic discussion of my interpretation of Spartan society should refer tomy essays on Sparta on my website SpartaReconsidered andmy blog of the same name.

About the Author

Award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader earned a PhD in Historyfrom the University of Hamburg. She has published numerous works ofnon-fiction and fiction. As a novelist, she has focused on historicaland biographical fiction.
Her Jerusalem Trilogy has earned a total of 12 literary honors to date,including the Readers Favorite Gold for Best Christian HistoricalFiction, the Pinnacle Award for Best Biographical Fiction 2016, theFeathered Quill Book Award for Spiritual/Religious Fiction 2017,  twoChaucer Awards for Medieval Fiction, and finalist recognition fromForeword INDIES for Military/Wartime Fiction 2016 and the M.M. Bennett's Award for Historical Fiction.

Her novel set in the 7th Crusade, St. Louis' Knight,won the 2014 Chaucer Award for the Best Historical Fiction set in the HighMiddle Ages, and also placed third in the 2014 Feathered Quill LiteraryAwards for both Historical and Spiritual Fiction. All three books in her Balian d'Ibelin biography, Knight of Jerusalem, is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.
Helena is a career diplomat currently serving in Africa.

Product details

  • File Size: 3084 KB
  • Print Length: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Wheatmark, Inc. (September 12, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 12, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,721 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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