The Walls of Sparta A new historical novel

A marvelous new rendition of an ancient story written with fascinating insights into Sparta's martial culture and its use of the agoge, the institution that raised young men to be elite warriors often amid the exchange of amorous same-sex experiences. But outside forces encroach even here and the king must consider the threats of Thebes, as well as intrigue at home. Agesilaos was Sparta's most famous and most influential ruler. He assumed power at the apex of the city-state’s prosperity and military domination. Eros between men fascinates this king—his own lover puts him on the throne. But the king finds himself tempted by the young men in orbit around the throne, from a striking Persian boy to a protégé, the most beautiful man of his generation, who wages war nude versus awe-struck Thebans. Perhaps the walls of Sparta are not as high as the ones surrounding the king's heart.

Not stones nor wood nor carpenter’s skill make the city, but wherever there are men who know how to make themselves safe, in that place are both walls and cities.

Alkaios of Lesbos, born ca. 620 BCE

Chapter 1

In the dead of night, Lysandros stood with Agesilaos at the entrance to the agora, waiting as the head Ephor and his associate approached. The second man held a torch aloft. He also carried two leather pouches.

“You are to go to the estates around Thouria,” the head Ephor said, forgoing any greeting. “In these,” he waited as the associate handed Lysandros the bags, “you will find a knife and bread and cheese for four days.”

“You are to locate and kill a helot who is setting fires and causing stoppages. It will not be easy to find him —we do not have his name. We only know he is taller than all other helots and his hair shows a tinge of auburn in the sunlight.”

The head Ephor started to turn toward the entrance to the agora but stopped. “Good luck,” he said. Then he and the associate crossed into the agora and out of view.

Lysandros looked down at Agesilaos and found an expression of enormous excitement on his face.

Are you a member of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South? If so, you can enter the coupon code CAMWS to receive a further 25% off the sales price of The Walls of Sparta.