5 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Five: A Society of Virtue

Lycurgus was the founder of Sparta. The first thing he did was outlaw money. He wanted his people to pursue virtue instead.

The equivalent of a Spartan dime was a two-pound lump of iron, dipped in vinegar so it would be useless for any other purpose.

In today’s video, we’ll examine the warrior virtues that the ancients aspired to … and begin to ask how these ideals can be applied today (and should be applied) to other kinder, gentler pursuits.

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here


  1. Andrew lubin on August 31, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Looking forward to reading ‘Plutarch’s Lives’ this weekend!”

    • Steven Pressfield on August 31, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Great, Andy! Start with the Life of Lycurgus. Other great ones: Alexander the Great … and Alcibiades.

      Semper Fi, brother …

  2. Peter Brockwell on September 2, 2020 at 1:46 am

    The guru has spoken and I’ve also Just started reading ‘Plutarch’s Lives’. It looks fascinating. Also I discovered that I already have an unread copy of ‘Plutarch on Sparta’. Excellent!!

  3. Joe Jansen on September 2, 2020 at 6:57 am

    You know what I like about archive.org? It’s a library: https://archive.org/details/livesfromplutarc00plut

    I was appreciating the Life of Lycurgus not only for what Plutarch wrote of him, but in recognizing that this account was one of the seeds that grew into “Gates.” Seeing the interrogation of Alexandros by Polynikes reflected in: “After supper the captain would make the boys perform — singing, demonstrating, or answering questions or solving problems. He would ask, ‘Who is the best man in the city? Why? What do you think of a certain law?’ Thus they were trained to judge men and issues.”

    Great tight little aphorisms:

    “When asked what exercises the Spartans practice, Lycurgus answered, ‘All sorts, except that in which you stretch out your hands in surrender.'”

  4. Richard on September 16, 2020 at 4:24 am

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  5. David on May 24, 2021 at 5:36 am

    That’s really a great episode. I have just watched the entire video and agreed with your thoughts. We should work together in developing a society where people show respect and sympathy to others in distress. I am an academic writer at this https://assignmentbro.com/uk/assignment-writers websites and help the students with their assignments to be ready in time. Your inspirational post encourages me to write more about society and history. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Jen Davis on December 18, 2021 at 2:07 am

    Greetings, people! I guess many new community members think there is no difference to feel between coffee varieties. To get rid of that delusion, try peruvian coffee beans after Costa Rican ones.

  10. Susan on December 24, 2021 at 4:53 am

    Thank you for this wonderful series! I am watching an episode per day as 2021 is closing out and will continue into 2022…much wisdom here and food for thought, reflection, and action…a gift I’m glad I have found…

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  12. @Símonw on March 12, 2023 at 7:41 am

    So great with we become what we behold.

  13. Angel on March 21, 2023 at 8:14 am

    Hi Steven, what a great episode! I am a huge fan of your books and stories. Now, having virtue in these modern times makes me feel lonely at times if that makes sense..sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in this society but your stories inspire me so much! Greetings from Sweden!

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