The Spartan Way
I’ve spent most of the summer sailing around the Greek Isles and reading up on the Spartans. Why the Spartans? Well, both of my mother’s parents were Spartans, and their parents and grandparents also; in fact the line goes back a very long way. Our house in Sparta I visited 25 years ago, but it was closed, like many museums tend to be in Greece when the temperature rises. (Everyone heads for the beach.) I think it was my grandfather who left it to the state, and it’s a beautiful museum right in the heart of Sparta.
When the Italians invaded Greece on Oct. 28, 1940, four of my mother’s brothers immediately volunteered for frontline duty. Their father had spent years as a cavalry officer in the Balkan wars, had been repeatedly wounded but lived to a ripe old age. I remember him suffering from old wounds but never, ever complaining. That was
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