Books by Steven Pressfield
Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae
by Steven Pressfield
In the history of war and heroism, few events loom as large in our imagination as the epic defence of the Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae. Defending a small spur of land between mountains and the sea, 300 Spartans were able to hold off the invading Persians long enough for the Greek navy to defeat the Persians at sea and save Greece. You can of course read about Thermopylae in Herodotus’s Histories, or….you can read about it in this well-researched historical novel, recommended by historian Andrew Bayliss of the University of Birmingham in his interview on the best books on ancient Sparta. It may be fiction, but it also doesn’t hide the darker side of the Spartans and their heroism.
Interviews where books by Steven Pressfield were recommended
The best books on Sparta, recommended by Andrew Bayliss
Their reputation for self-discipline and self-denial made their way into the English language, but what the ancient Spartans were really like remains a source of debate among scholars, not least because they wrote little themselves. Andrew Bayliss, Senior Lecturer in Greek History at the University of Birmingham and author of an excellent, short book on The Spartans, talks us through what we know about the heroes of Thermopylae, including the darker sides of their culture and society.