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Sparta At War: Strategy, Tactics and Campaigns, 950–362 BC Hardcover – December 1, 2011
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About the Author
Scott Rusch studied Greek and Roman history at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D. in 1997. Reflecting his lifelong interest in military history, he examined in his dissertation Greek military operations during the Peloponnesian War, a valuable preparation for this work. He has written on ancient military history for many publications.
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Top Customer Reviews
As Rusch points out, the Spartan strategy was comprised in a military machine that focused on superior soldiering over superior generalship. Even when Spartan generals turned out to be inept (which they did from time to time), the Spartan phalanx could still deliver Sparta a victory on the battlefield via a brutal combat training regimen. In short, even if you out-schemed the Spartans on the battlefield, they could still pound your land army into submission.
This is a book whose target audience is comprised of people who have a fascination with the historical denizens of Laconia. It is not recommended for people who may have accrued a passing interest after seeing the 300 [HD] and 300: Rise of an Empire [HD] movies. While entertaining, both of these films have some serious historical fudging. For those who had their interest piqued by these films but are @ the same time unwilling to read a hardcore history book such as this one, I would recommend Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae.
For people who enjoy the present book, I would also recommend Sparta,Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC,Spartan Women,On Sparta (Penguin Classics) and The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece by Cartledge, Paul unknown Edition [Paperback(2004)]. Whatever books you choose to read or not read, just remember that Sparta lives in our reflections on the ancient Greek world!
its a great summary of Thucydides , Xenophon and Plutarch, amongst others.
It proposes a reasonable explanation for the rise and fall of Sparta, and also presents a very well studied picture of the mediterranean and greek states during the aforementioned period.
Worth reading for the curious and the enthusiast, and saves time - so that you don't have to dig through so many sources to reach a similar conclusion.
Peter Ball (BA)