That detail in this book is what makes it great. After reading this book I believe that the Sparta has breaded the toughest soldiers in history, not Just physically but most of all mentally with their mastering of fear. Steven Priceless’s fictional idea of philological is a big part in the book. Philological is the “science of Fear”. Though this concept was made up by Predefines he strongly believes that there was some type of science on fear in Sparta.
Spartan soldiers learn to master philological, when they enter the gauge.
Gauge Is a real term that served many roles, gauge Is a training, an initiation, a test of will, courage and strength that al Spartan have to go Into at a very young age. In this, Spartan encouraged obedience and conformity In the gauge. A Spartan city state comes before any mans own personal Interest. A Spartan polls also played a large part In this book adding to the reason why Sparta has developed the greatest soldiers.
The story is told by Exe a captive of Xeroxes; and squire to Dinkies. Exe is not a born Spartan but fixes himself to be one. Dinkies is a war veteran and very reliable source in the book.
Exe is found with deadly wounds in battle and captured to tell Xeroxes, king of the Persians about Spartan life. Xeroxes saw first hand 300 Spartan fight to their deaths and was very interest in what drives them to do so. You get your first taste of the actual Spartan gauge when Exe reminisces on a memory of Sparta when boys where punished in the gauge camps by being whipped with sticks.
A good time for a whipping would be getting caught for steeling. The key word In this Is caught, a Spartan boy going through gauge was expected to steal there were hardly fed and the only way to survive was to steel.
Getting caught was unacceptable. Whippings where given by two drill instructors who just recently got out of gauge, they administered the beatings. The beatings worked like this “the boys whose turn it was grasped a horizontal iron bar secured to the bases of two trees(the bar had been worn smooth by decades, some said centuries, of the ritual)” (Predefines 38). There was a boy by the name of Trained, also know as Tripod because no one could take him down in his age group in wrestling. Tripod was whipped to his death. Most young Spartan held on until they were knocked on conscious or could no longer take the whippings.
The book says “Tripod kept taking and taking it. The flesh of his back had been torn through In a dozen places; you could see tissue and fascia, rib cage, ND muscle and even the spine. He would not go down. ” (Predefines 38). Tripods comrades and even the drill Instructor quietly urged the boy to fall. Tripod had made up his mind to die. The drill Instructors whipped Tripod rapidly and very hard to knock him down and preserve his life. Unfortunately, Tripod died. There was no time to morn, later on Tanat rater noon ten rural AT Dealings continued way. The strongest, the toughest of all soldiers.
I Nils Is ten Spartan Every young Spartan going through gauge has a mentor. “A mentor may say things that a father cannot; a boy can confess to his mentor that which would bring shame o reveal to his father. ” (Progressed 40). Dinkies is the mentor of Alexandria. Alexandria is not as physically fit as the other boys, he has asthma his greatest talent is singing but his goal is to be a Spartan warrior he is at a large disadvantage and his chance of ever taking the battlefield does not look too good. After Tripod’s death Dinkies asked Alexandria how he felt about the event.
This is a perfect example of how young minds where molded to be so strong. The conversation between them consist of these words: (Did you observe today in the manner of the eeriness (drill instructors) delivering he beating any sign or indication of malice? ” The boy answered no. ” “Would you characterize their demeanor as barbarous? Did they take pleasure in dealing agony to Tripod? ” No. “Was their intention to crush his will or break his spirit? ” “What was their intention? ” To harden his mind against pain. (Predefines 40). “To harden his mind against pain”, this is coming from a boy that is only twelve years old.
They also talk about how the flesh does not belong to them, it belongs to the gods, their children, fathers and mothers. This shows how dedicated a Spartan soldier was to their city-state. Dinkies respected Tripod but found him to be stupid he said “What he displayed today contained more of recklessness than true courage, Andrei. He cost the city his life, which could have been spent more fruitfully in battle. ” (Predefines 41). A Spartan life did not belong to him but to Sparta. Due to the help of Dinkies and the Spartan drive that Alexandria had he eventually made it through his Asthma problem and became a Spartan soldier.
Spartan soldiers carry up to 80 pounds of armor, the most important is the shield. To show how important the shield was to a Spartan soldier Predefines has an incident here Alexandria has his shield sitting open on the ground, a veteran soldier and Olympian sees this and makes a fool out of Alexandria in front of everyone. Alexandria leaves his shield sitting face down and Polygene sees this and scolds him loudly in front of the whole platoon. Polynesia says, ” What is this I see in the dirt before me? ” he roared. ” It must be a chamber pot, with its bowl peeking up so daintily. (Predefines 79,80). Alexandria says no it is not a chamber pot but Polynesia finds this impossible. Polygene makes Alexandria urinate in his shield. The shield had en patched over and over by his father and grandfather but none of that mattered. He was so dehydrated that there was not much pee entering the shield so Polynesia ordered the other boys to assist him and also pee in Alexandrine shield. Dinkies watched from a far but could say nothing, for Polynesia was right in what he was doing. Discipline was a very important to Spartan soldiers.
Steven Predefines used some of his personal experiences in the book. There is time where Alexandria shouts “This is my shield. I bear it before me into battle, But it is not mine alone. It protects my brother on my left. It protects my city. I will never let my brother out of its shadow Nor my city out of its shelter. I will die with my shield before me Facing the enemy. “(Predefines 85). Predefines says in an interview that this part of the book; “was a fictional invention based upon my own experience in the US Marine Corps, where Marines recite, “This is my rifle.
There are many others like, but this one is mine, etc. “(Lee). Predefines does a great Job in exemplifying how important the shield was to a Spartan soldier. There where many crazy agonizing training activities, though they seemed ridiculous and UN reasonable it made much sense due to the way Spartan fought in war. When in battle Spartan soldiers form a Phalanx. A Phalanx was a battle formation that consisted of 8 or 16 rows or soldiers. When given the word each soldier would drive there shields into the back of the soldier in front making a wall that could not be broken.
Each man protected the man on his left and right, discipline was very important there could be no holes. Young Spartan soldiers had a drill called “Tree Bucking”. Tree Bucking consisted of forming this Phalanx and pushing a tree until they could make it fall. For hours until the son came up they would push and strain vomiting and shutting themselves, of course the tree would not all. Tree Bucking was a torturing drill but it was great for simulating what would be needed to be done when opposing soldiers that rammed themselves into their shields.
The next day with out any sleep they would continue on to other drills. I fully understand why Xeroxes desired so avidly to know about the Spartan warrior. The difference between Persian and Spartan value where very different, you could tell by the way their soldiers fought in battle. The Persian army consisted of slaves and soldiers that where conquered in war. The Spartan army consisted of citizens who believed their lives belonged to Sparta not themselves. Spartan fight for their city- state in which they love. Persians fight for Xeroxes because their only alternative is death, they have no love for him.