The Walls of Sparta
The Walls of Sparta is a marvelous new telling of an ancient story that offers 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.
Charles Lloyd is a Classics professor emeritus at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, who teaches courses in Honors and Classics. He has published on ancient Greek "sexuality," rural and urban attitudes in ancient Greek literature, and on the poets Euripides and Vergil. He also is an improvisational pianist and occasional singer who performs at special events in various venues.