Friday, January 20, 2006

Historical elements of Sparta

The first opening paragraphs of my novel attempt to introduce the reader to a world that has largely passed on by that time. Although set in 200 BC, the traditions and other customs depicted in the beginning relate to a time when Sparta was founded. It was Lycurgus, commonly known as the "father of Sparta" who was universally admired as he forged a race of warriors whose very name would cause enemies to shake in fear. The discipline and strength of the ancient Spartans, both men as well as women, is legendary and when confronted with adversity, the Spartans relish it, for it is what they are used to, in their hard methods of training.

Leonidas, the hero in this work, is named after the famous Greek king and hero, Leonidas of the Three Hundred, the group of Spartans who formed the king's bodyguard or his personal troop of warriors, his entourage, whatever you wish to call it.

These few, supported by a few others, withstood hordes and hordes of Persian warriors at the narrow pass near Thermopylae, which is known for its famous hot springs and the nearby temple of Demeter. The story has been recently immortalized in a graphic novel by Frank Miller and I understand that a film version may be out sometime this year with principal photography completed. I do hope they have changed the story as there were few women in the script and I think it would help to introduce some female characters.

My work is a straightforward love story where the hero, Leonidas has everything he needs or desires. As the next chief of the council, he can have the run of the place and everything at his command over a small pocket of Macedonia, in the mountains. However, one moment is going to change all that, as he is overcome by the unknown and by the force of a growing power of love, which swiftly causes him to fall headlong into an abyss, as he learns his true fate and becomes a mere slave, one among hundreds of others in the service of the woman he loves.

Did he make the right choice? Is it even worth it? Can one woman's love be so important to him, over his father, his birthright and his honor as a true Spartan warrior? What can he do? These are questions which plague Leonidas at the very start, when our story begins. This will be a wild ride, with the action shifting between the mountains of Macedonia to a secret kingdom hidden deep in the mountains of Phyrgia, whose very existence has remained a secret of the Ptolemies and one that they zealously guard, a promise made by the great Alexander himself.

The strange and exotic cult that exists, with worship of mother Nature being paramount to all other gods, is a culture shock for our Spartan warrior, who imagines that he's seen it all when it comes to women. Little does he know that the force and power of love is something that is way beyond his imagination, his very limited imagination. The mysterious East beckons and Leonidas is soon trapped within its allure, its aura and its exotic sensuality that explodes around him and captures him. Is he entrapped forever? Will he able to redeem his Spartan pride again?

The only way you can find out is by reading my work when it finally gets released. Stay tuned and keep checking this site for updates.


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