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Combat Story

Sep 18, 2021

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Today we have a unique History Edition of Combat Story focused on Sparta. As you know, I’m fascinated by the experiences of warriors in combat and I’ve always wanted to better understand what the combat experience would have been like for veterans from history like the Spartans, Romans, or Mongols.   

On this episode, we’ll interview Professor Barry Strauss, an accomplished scholar, historian, and expert on ancient military history. Barry brings to life a very famous Spartan warrior named Brasidas as we dive into his combat story.  

Brasidas led warriors into remarkable battles employing conventional tactics but also leveraging special operations and psychological or hybrid warfare with great success. Barry gives us a front row seat of what it was like to grow up and live in this austere, militaristic, and aggressive society we know as Sparta.  

We could not have done this without Barry, who is a Professor of History and Classics at Cornell University, Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History, author of eight books, and a military and naval historian and consultant.  

Professor Strauss is a recognized authority on the subject of leadership and the lessons that can be learned from the experiences of the greatest political and military leaders of the ancient world (Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander among many others).   

He has a new book coming out in March 2022 titled The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium.   

I hope you enjoy this unique Combat Story and the dive into the world of Sparta as much as I did.  

Find Barry Online:

Author of The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium, available March 2022 
Twitter @barrystrauss 
Podcast ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World

Find Ryan Online:

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Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


Guest: Dr. Barry Strauss
Host: Ryan Fugit
Editor: Owen Fugit

​​Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:46 - Interview begins
3:50 - Barry’s background
7:18 - Facts and Fiction about Spartans
9:14 - The Greek and Persian Empire
11:23 - Beliefs and Views of Spartans and Athenians
12:20 - The Peloponnesian War
15:57 - Brasidas, Son of Tellis
18:47 - Life of a Spartan
22:52 - The Hoplites and the Phalanx
34:08 - The Spartan Way of War
35:48 - The Athenian’s First Encounter with Brasidas
39:11 - The Defeat of Brasidas
50:58 - Brasidas’ Greatest Coup
56:30 - Siege Warfare
1:02:09 - Psychological Warfare