So I’m writing the first of hopefully many historical adventure novels about Akoniti of Sparta, and while there is plenty of information out there about the training, tactics, and warrior culture of Sparta, I keep bumping up against questions with elusive answers.

For example: Did the Spartans use “sir” when addressing a superior?

When I couldn’t find any documentation on this, I turned to the best resource I could think of. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. I flipped through the pages and found the narrator saying to Dienekes, “Yes, sir.”

More than good enough for me. If Steven MF’n Pressfield has Spartans saying sir, they said sir.

And to get in the right mindset for writing this book, I read a few pages of The Warrior Ethos, also by Mr. Pressfield, every time I fire up the laptop. It’s perfect for dialing into the themes of honor, shame, love, and duty, which form the core of Akon’s Mission.

Like all the best stories,  I don’t know if what I find with this style of research is real, but it is certainly true.