Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Greco-Persian Wars (a Review)

The battles between the Persians and the Greeks were some of the most important events in the entirety of human history, but are rarely given much though today. But what if the Persians had won the Greco-Persian wars instead of the Greeks? How different would the course of European history have been? Would Rome have ever existed as a great empire? Would Alexander have ever conquered the "world"?

Peter Green's book "The Greco-Persian Wars" does a great job of describing the wars, mostly from the Greek point of view. The book is well written and full of fascinating details about the behind-the-scenes politics in the Greek camp as they awaited the Persian invasions.

Part one tries to illustrate some of the Greks misconceptions about the Persians and then the author launches into a dscription of the historical events in question, from the Battle of Marathon to the final Greek victories of the war. The reader is caried along by the narrative and given all the information one could want about this fascinating topic.

Anyone interested in either Greek or Near Eastern history should find this to be a fascinating and worthwhile read.

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