One "Telamon of Arcadia" Mug and One Autographed Book, "A Man at Arms" by Steven Pressfield (SK7072)

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Handmade by Joel Cherrico. This mug is the first of its kind. It's insprired by Steven Pressfield's fictional character, TELAMON OF ARCADIA. Telamon has appeared in three of Steven's books, Tides of War, The Virtues of War, and The Profession. Steven writes about Telamon, "He is the supreme exemplar of the warrior ideal- alone-man killing machine that no one seems to be able to kill."

Colors and textures on this mug are inspired by Telamon's tools of the trade: his bowl, sling, sword, daggers and crimson cloak. The shape is inspired by the "kothon" Spartan Warrior Mug, written about by Plutarch 2000 years ago. It is the first of its kind.

This mug is a collaboration between author Steven Pressfield ( and potter Joel Cherrico ( Every mug ships with a signed copy of, "A Man at Arms" by Steven Pressfield. Joel and Steven share all revenue from the sales of their collaborative art 50/50.

Mugs hold about a medium cup of coffee, about 15-17 ounces, but mug sizes might vary an additional 1-2 ounces, because every mug is handmade and Joel Cherrico is not a machine.

The shape of Telamon's mug is inspired by a mug carried by the ancient Spartan warriors, who fought in the famous Battle of Thermopylae 2,500 years ago. Legend tells how 300 Spartan soldiers fought to defend their homeland against an invading army of millions.

Steven Pressfield is an acclaimed author who writes about ancient Spartan culture in his world renowned books Gates of FireThe Warrior Ethos and more. Researching Spartan battle equipment, Steven became intrigued by one passage from Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus. The passage is not about shields or swords or armor but about a common drinking mug.

"...the Spartan kothon or drinking especially valued for use on [military] campaigns. Visibly off-putting elements in [stream or river] water which had to be drunk were concealed by its color, while the dirt in the liquid was trapped in the lip, so that what reached the mouth for drinking was cleaner.”

No one today knows exactly what this ancient vessel looked like. Steven challenged potter Joel Cherrico to recreate a modern-day version.


Joel handcrafted a mug with a wide base and black interior, with the shell tapering to a compact drinking lip. On the outside, Joel added a design inspired by the Spartan battle shields, which bore the Greek letter lambda. Lambda stood for Laconia (or Lakedaemon), the region of Greece of which Sparta was the principal city. It became a symbol of pride for the warriors of Sparta and an emblem of terror for any force that had to face them on the battlefield.

Joel used a red glaze inspired by the scarlet cloaks the warriors of Lakedaemon wore to war. The color was meant to obscure the sight of blood, so that if an individual Spartan was wounded, his incapacity would be hidden from the enemy.

Today, most of us will never drink from mud puddles or be called upon to forage under combat conditions for the necessities of life. But we all face harrowing battles in our own lives: pain, injustice, even death. This mug lets you drink your morning coffee inspired by the superior equipment, training, discipline and fearlessness of the ancient Spartans.

All pottery is handmade by Joel Cherrico and the Cherrico Pottery Team. All of our Stoneware and porcelain pottery is 100% food and non-toxic. Mugs are meant to be used and enjoyed daily. Mugs are dishwasher safe, but we recommend hand washing all pottery. Most mugs are microwave safe but some experimental colors might have metal colors that cause the pottery to be non-microwaveable. 

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