The Spartans have seemingly never gone out of interest, serving as mythic icons who exemplify fearlessness and an unwillingness to give in against impossible odds. Yet most are unaware of the true nature of the Spartan leaders—the fact that the kings maintained their position of power for 600 years by their willingness to compromise, even if it meant giving up some of their power, for example.
Organized in a logical and chronological order, Leonidas and the Kings of Sparta: Mightiest Warriors, Fairest Kingdom describes the legendary origins of the dual kingship in Sparta, documents the many reigning eras of the kings, and then concludes with the time when the kingship was abolished six centuries later. The book examines the kings’ roles in war and battle, in religion, in the social life of the city, and in formulating Spartan policy both at home and abroad. No other book on Sparta has concentrated on describing the role of the kings—and their absolutely essential contributions to Spartan society in general.
- Numerous translations by the author of original sources
- Chronology history from the Dorian Invasion (ca. 1000 BC) to the last king of Sparta (mid-2nd century BC)
- Illustrations of the kings of Sparta, gods, and heroes, as well as diagrams of battles and family trees
- Maps of Laconia, the Peloponnesus, and Greece
- A bibliography containing ancient and modern sources for Sparta