Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, is a leading expert on ancient military history. He has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, The Spartacus War, Masters of Command, The Death of Caesar, and Ten Caesars. Visit BarryStrauss.com.
One of the most popular areas of ancient history is war in the Greek world. The number of books, articles, webpages and blogs on every conceivable aspect of war in ancient Greece is endless and continues to grow. So why add to the pile?
Wars and Battles of Ancient Greece is not just another arid account of conflict with endless, often exaggerated, casualty figures and repetitive tactics. It is different from other books in the field because it has context as its focus: each of the battles covered is, where sources permit, placed in its historical, political and social context: why was the battle fought, how was it fought, what was the outcome and what happened next?
No war or battle has ever been fought in isolation – there is always a prelude, a ‘casus belli’ – an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war – and a series of consequences. These are revealed wherever possible for each of the wars and battles in this gripping book. In order to reinforce our focus on context, Wars and Battles of Ancient Greece includes chapters covering warfare in civilisations and cultures before Greece, the Greek war machine and Greek women and conflict.
It is a detailed survey of conflict in ancient Greece from the Mycenaean Age to the end of the Peloponnesian War, based on primary sources – mainly Herodotus, Thucydides and other historians, but also poets, dramatists and inscriptional evidence.
Among his many achievements, this great leader of wisdom and virtue founded and extended the Persian Empire; conquered Babylon; freed 40,000 Jews from captivity; wrote mankind's first human rights charter; and ruled over those he had conquered with respect and benevolence.
According to historian Will Durant, Cyrus the Great's military enemies knew that he was lenient, and they did not fight him with that desperate courage which men show when their only choice is "to kill or die." As a result the Iranians regarded him as "The Father," the Babylonians as "The Liberator," the Greeks as the "Law-Giver," and the Jews as the "Anointed of the Lord."
By freshening the voice, style and diction of Cyrus, Larry Hedrick has created a more contemporary Cyrus. A new generation of readers, including business executives and managers, military officers, and government officials, can now learn about and benefit from Cyrus the Great's extraordinary achievements, which exceeded all other leaders' throughout antiquity.