Ever since the movie version of 300, and to a lesser extent The Deadliest Warrior, has come along, it’s pretty common to run into yammering douchebags who learned everything they know about Spartans from God of War and Gerard Butler’s greased-up abs.
And it grates. Among my other geekeries, I’m a minor-league classics geek, and while the Spartans are undeniably fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way, by modern standards, they’re pretty much vile, nasty, disgusting people who were ultimately wiped out not by glorious battle but by their own stupidly designed social system. Seriously, Sparta dying off was not a tragedy; it was social evolution.
In other words, it’s pretty much exactly what would happen if a bunch of meatheads started their own society. And now Kieron Gillen has teamed up with Ryan Kelly to take it down a notch.
The book, called Three, details the story of three Spartan slaves on the run. Along the way it will explore exactly why Spartan society collapsed and the lot of slaves in a society that highly prized having a penis and being good at stabbing people as the sole measure of whether or not you deserved freedom.
Gillen promises to be as historically accurate as possible with the book, which is especially interesting because Spartan society felt apart literally because it cost too much to be a Spartiate. Seriously, that’s what wiped them out: The top echelon of society became too expensive, and got into too many fights, and their society collapsed.
Hmmmm, that makes for some… interesting history lessons. Three will be coming next year.