In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For 70 years, victory, rapid, spectacular victory, had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out. The Persians were turned back. Greece remained free. Had the Greeks been defeated at Salamis, not only would the West have lost its first struggle for independence and survival, but it is unlikely that there would ever have been such an entity as the West at all.
Tom Holland's brilliant new book describes the very first "clash of Empires" between East and West. Once again he has found extraordinary parallels between the ancient world and our own. There is no competing popular book describing these events.
"Incendiary stuff. Sparkling insight and no less sparkling writing." (
"Excellent." ( Sunday Times)
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- Greg Sale
Would, am sure, been better
Wished it were the unabridged version. This writer/subject is too good to cut out any portions.
Most definitely, and have,
Rich, distinct, appropriate.
Yup. Look for the unabridged version.