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.