Read review, 'The bronze lie, Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy'. | ModelGeek

The last stand at Thermopylae made the Spartans legends in their own time, famous for their toughness, stoicism and martial prowess – but was this reputation earned? Covering Sparta's full classical history, The Bronze Lie examines the myth of Spartan warrior supremacy, by Myke [sic] Cole, from Osprey. 464 pages, with 24-page plate section in colour.

This is partial text from the full article (usually with photos) at

The Bronze Lie sounds like an ideal script for a Lucasfilms/Disney remake of “300”. Kathleen Kennedy could probably lose Disney another $200 million dollars or so with rights to this material.

Joking above but on a serious note this seemed like a fair advance release review of the book back in 2021.

HMGS BOOK-REVIEW: The-Bronze-Lie-Shattering-the-Myth-of-Spartan-Warrior-Supremacy

From the review:

"Now, whether the Spartans were as inept over the centuries as depicted is open to interpretation, but Cole’s case involves wins and losses in battles small and large.

The first half of the book is effective in explaining the Spartan military system, including the use of additional troops to supplement Spartan ‘Peer’ (full-blooded Spartan) numbers. For example, the 300 Peers at Thermopylae were more like 1,000 in number counting auxiliary Spartans and the 5,000 Peers at Plataea were each supplemented with seven supporting troops, making the Spartan contribution 35,000 (p162).

This organization, combined with some training, proved more efficient than amateurs from other city states, although it did not make them as invincible as propaganda would have you believe.

The lack of scouting and siegecraft doomed many a Spartan operation and Sparta never seemed to undertake to resolve the problems. Certainly any success in taking towns and cities were mostly from intimidation, bribery, and treachery."

That seems pretty reasonable :thinking:

Interesting… May have to get a copy.

I started it and after the first few chapters returned it to the library. He lost me when he said that no leader attacks without having a good idea about the capabilities of the enemy the are attacking. at the same time Putin was attacking Ukraine.

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Interesting concept. I don’t know a lot about the Spartans or many of the armies from antiquity. I know how they are portrayed in 300. 0 no doubt and interesting alternative view on the Spartans and their legend.