Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie. Nearly 2,500 years ago, in 480BC, at a bleak pass in a far-flung corner of eastern Greece, three hundred Spartan warriors faced the army of Xerxes of Persia, a massive force rumoured to be over a million strong. Their orders were simple: to delay the enemy for as long as possible while the main Greek armies mobilized. For six days the Spartans held the invaders at bay. In the final hours - their shields broken, swords and spears shattered - they fought with their bare hands before being overwhelmed. It was battle that would become synonymous with extraordinary courage, heroism and self-sacrifice: it was Thermopylae. In Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield tells the epic story of those legendary Spartans: the men and women who helped shaped our history and have themselves become as immortal as their gods.
Publisher and industry reviews
UK Kirkus review
This is an international bestseller of truly epic proportions. It gives an account of Spartan-Persian battle of Thermopylae - the most awe inspiring and heroic battle ever fought in the ancient world. It's a novel rich in human colour and humour. With such touches of humanity as to bring us suddenly very close to those Spartans of 480BC. Following in the footsteps of many Renault, Pressfield brings his passion for the classical world to his work, and it shines forth from the page. A highly literate and accomplished work. Pressfield is to continue his work on the Spartans and the Peloponnesian War in Tides of War due to be published later this year. (Kirkus UK)