Ancient History & Civilisation

The End of Sparta

The End of Sparta

In this sweeping and deeply imagined historical novel, acclaimed classicist Victor Davis Hanson re-creates the battles of one of the greatest generals of ancient Greece, Epaminondas. At the Battle of Leuktra, his Thebans crushed the fearsome army of Sparta that had enslaved its neighbors for two centuries.

We follow these epic historical events through the eyes of Mêlon, a farmer who has left his fields to serve with Epaminondas-swept up, against his better judgment, in the fever to spread democracy even as he yearns to return to his pastoral hillside.

With a scholar's depth of knowledge and a novelist's vivid imagination, Hanson re-creates the ancient world down to its intimate details-from the weight of a spear in a soldier's hand to the peculiar camaraderie of a slave and master who go into battle side by side. The End of Sparta is a stirring drama and a rich, absorbing reading experience.


Part One: Holy Leuktra

Chapter 1. Mêlon Comes to Leuktra

Chapter 2. Lichas the Spartan

Chapter 3. General Epaminondas

Chapter 4. Helikon

Chapter 5. Spartans

Chapter 6. The Breaking Point

Chapter 7. The Circle Closes

Chapter 8. The Battle Above

Chapter 9. The King of Sparta

Chapter 10. The Wages of Battle

Chapter 11. Ripples of Leuktra

Part Two: Between Peace and War

Chapter 12. The Lizard’s Tail

Chapter 13. The Fall of Mêlon

Chapter 14. The House of the Goddess

Chapter 15. Nêto Unbound

Chapter 16. The Healing of Mêlon

Chapter 17. On the Road to Thebes

Chapter 18. The Great Debate

Chapter 19. No Man a Slave

Chapter 20. The New Mantineia

Chapter 21. Two Women

Part Three: The March Down Country

Chapter 22. The Great Muster

Chapter 23. Chiôn Goes South

Chapter 24. A Free Messenia

Chapter 25. The Night of the Three Armies

Chapter 26. The Plains Afire

Chapter 27. The Visions of Proxenos

Chapter 28. Lord Kuniskos of the Helots

Chapter 29. Erinna of Messenia

Part Four: Freedom

Chapter 30. The Shadows of Mt. Taygetos

Chapter 31. All Roads to Messenia

Chapter 32. The End of the Beginning

Chapter 33. The Reckoning

Chapter 34. The Old Breed

Chapter 35. The Way Back

Chapter 36. The Restoration

Chapter 37. Epaminondas Returns

Chapter 38. The Anabasis

A Historical Postscript

The Peoples and Places of Fourth-Century B.C. Greece

Principal Characters


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