Gates Of Fire

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Gates Of Fire

by Steven Pressfield

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | October 20, 1998 | Hardcover

4.6 out of 5 rating. 15 Reviews
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Thousands of years ago, Herodotus and Plutarch immortalized Spartan society in their histories; but today, little is left of the ancient city or the social structure of this momentous culture.  One of the few antiquarian marks of the civilization that has survived lies scores of miles away from Sparta, at a narrow Greek mountain pass called Thermopylae.

It was there that three hundred of Sparta''s finest warriors held back the invading millions of the Persian empire and valiantly gave their lives in the selfless service of democracy and freedom.  A simple engraved stone marks their burial ground.

Inspired by this stone and intrigued by the lore of Sparta, author Steven Pressfield has brilliantly combined scholarship with storytelling.  Narrated by the sole survivor of the epic battle--a squire in the Spartan heavy infantry--Gates of Fire is a mesmerizing depiction of one man''s indoctrination into the Spartan way of life and death, and of the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity.

Culminating in the electrifying and horrifying epic battle, Gates of Fire weaves history, mystery, and heartbreaking romance into a literary page-turner that brings the Homeric tradition into the twenty-first century.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 400 pages, 3.74 × 2.51 × 0.53 in

Published: October 20, 1998

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385492510

ISBN - 13: 9780385492515

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– More About This Product –

Gates Of Fire

by Steven Pressfield

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 400 pages, 3.74 × 2.51 × 0.53 in

Published: October 20, 1998

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385492510

ISBN - 13: 9780385492515

Read from the Book

I had always wondered what it felt like to die. There was an exercise we of the battle train practiced when we served as  punching bags for the Spartan heavy infantry. It was called the Oak  because we took our positions along a line of oaks at the edge of the  plain of Otona, where the Spartiates and the Gentleman-Rankers ran their  field exercises in fall and winter. We would line up ten deep with  body-length wicker shields braced upon the earth and they would hit us,  the shock troops, coming across the flat in line of battle, eight deep, at  a walk, then a pace, then a trot and finally a dead run. The shock of  their interleaved shields was meant to knock the breath out of you, and it  did. It was like being hit by a mountain. Your knees, no matter how braced  you held them, buckled like saplings before an earthslide; in an instant  all courage fled our hearts; we were rooted up like dried stalks before  the ploughman''s blade. That was how it felt to die. The weapon which slew me at Thermopylae was  an Egyptian hoplite spear, driven in beneath the plexus of the ribcage.  But the sensation was not what one would have anticipated, not being  pierced but rather slammed, like we sparring fodder felt beneath the  oaks. I had imagined that the dead would be detached. That they would look upon  life with the e
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From the Publisher

Thousands of years ago, Herodotus and Plutarch immortalized Spartan society in their histories; but today, little is left of the ancient city or the social structure of this momentous culture.  One of the few antiquarian marks of the civilization that has survived lies scores of miles away from Sparta, at a narrow Greek mountain pass called Thermopylae.

It was there that three hundred of Sparta''s finest warriors held back the invading millions of the Persian empire and valiantly gave their lives in the selfless service of democracy and freedom.  A simple engraved stone marks their burial ground.

Inspired by this stone and intrigued by the lore of Sparta, author Steven Pressfield has brilliantly combined scholarship with storytelling.  Narrated by the sole survivor of the epic battle--a squire in the Spartan heavy infantry--Gates of Fire is a mesmerizing depiction of one man''s indoctrination into the Spartan way of life and death, and of the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity.

Culminating in the electrifying and horrifying epic battle, Gates of Fire weaves history, mystery, and heartbreaking romance into a literary page-turner that brings the Homeric tradition into the twenty-first century.

From the Jacket

Thousands of years ago, Herodotus and Plutarch immortalized Spartan society in their histories; but today, little is left of the ancient city or the social structure of this momentous culture. One of the few antiquarian marks of the civilization that has survived lies scores of miles away from Sparta, at a narrow Greek mountain pass called Thermopylae.
It was there that three hundred of Sparta''s finest warriors held back the invading millions of the Persian empire and valiantly gave their lives in the selfless service of democracy and freedom. A simple engraved stone marks their burial ground.
Inspired by this stone and intrigued by the lore of Sparta, author Steven Pressfield has brilliantly combined scholarship with storytelling. Narrated by the sole survivor of the epic battle--a squire in the Spartan heavy infantry--"Gates of Fire is a mesmerizing depiction of one man''s indoctrination into the Spartan way of life and death, and of the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity.
Culminating in the electrifying and horrifying epic battle, "Gates of Fire weaves history, mystery, and heartbreaking romance into a literary page-turner that brings the Homeric tradition into the twenty-first century.

About the Author

Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, a mystical golf novel currently under option with Robert Redford and Jake Eberts (Dances with Wolves, Driving Miss Daisy) for feature film adaptation.  He makes his home in Malibu, California.

From Our Editors

Travel back in time to 480 BC when two million Persian warriors invaded the narrow pass of Thermoplyae and were defeated by 300 Spartan warriors defending Greece. Left battered and bloody, one Spartan soldier finds himself caught and interrogated by the Persian King his tiny army. The dying man tells about the mesmerizing indoctrination into the Spartan way of life, and of the legendary men and women who gave the culture an immortal gravity. Culminating in the electrifying and horrifying epic battle at Thermoplyae, Gates of Fire is a brilliantly-written novel sure to takes its place among the classics of historical fiction.
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