Travel Guide for… Ancient Greece?

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Front Cover Photo credit: Amazon Website

“The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Greece” by Jonathan Stokes is a fun book that can’t be classified as fiction or nonfiction. This is because the main storyline is pretending that you are a civilian that has purchased a time-traveling vacation with Time Corp. The company transports you all around the ancient to places like Athens, Sparta, and even lets you fight the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae. The Visit to Athens shed light on important aspects of Greek culture such as the Olympics, theater, government, and clothing.

The Spartans showed us the importance of strength. If a Spartan baby boy was weak, he would be thrown off of Mount Taygetus. Spartan boys were also often forced to sleep naked outside in the winter to prove strength. All Spartan children that survive to age 7 are sent to warrior academies. While the boys learn how to use the spears and shields, the girls learn wrestling, gymnastics, fighting, and endurance. Spartan military service for men is required until either they turn 60 or drop dead. Whichever comes first.

One place where the Spartans show their military prowess is at the Battle of Thermopylae. 300 Spartans are sent to defend a small pass against 5 million Persians. The first wave of the battle sends more than 25,000 arrows against the Spartan shield wall. Take a guess at how many Spartans this kills. 0. Then, the king of the Persian army sends ten thousand warriors to fight the Spartans. The Spartans tear them to shreds. Xerxes, the king of Persia sends his ten thousand elite warriors to fight the Spartans. They are once again torn to shreds. Finally, Xerxes handpicks the best and most famous warriors in his army. They’re all slaughtered.

Luckily for Xerxes, a Greek traitor tells him about a secret pass through the mountains, and the Persian army surrounds the Spartans, who fight until every last one of them is dead. Three hundred Spartans were killed, while the Persians lost a solid 20,000 soldiers. This is a great book that is fun to read. I think that anyone interested in history should definitely read this.