Persian Fire

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 9780307386984

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 4213

A "fresh...thrilling" (The Guardian) account of the Graeco-Persian Wars. In the fifth century B.C., a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history. Tom Holland’s brilliant study of these critical Persian Wars skillfully examines a conflict of critical importance to both ancient and modern history.

Persian Fire

The First World Empire, Battle for the West

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748131035

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 9126

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy 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 and 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.

Persian Fire

The First World Empire, Battle for the West

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Abacus

ISBN: 0748131035

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 3601

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy 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 and 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.

Persian Fire

The First World Empire and the Battle for the West

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Abacus (UK)

ISBN: 9780349117171

Category: Greece

Page: 363

View: 2512

In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy 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 and 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.

Forgotten Empire

The World of Ancient Persia

Author: John Curtis,Nigel Tallis

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520247310

Category: Art

Page: 272

View: 5706

A richly-illustrated and important book that traces the rise and fall of one of the ancient world's largest and richest empires.

Dividing the Spoils

The War for Alexander the Great's Empire

Author: Robin Waterfield

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199931526

Category: History

Page: 273

View: 7274

"Dividing the spoils" revives the memory of Alexander's Successors, whose fame has been dimmed only because they stand in his enormous shadow. In fact, Alexander left things in a mess at the time of his death, with no guaranteed succession, no administration in place suitable for such an enormous realm, and huge untamed areas both bordering and within his 'empire'. The Successors consolidated the Conqueror's gains. Their competing ambitions, however, meant that consolidation inevitably led to the break-up of the empire.

Millennium

The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748131043

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 9721

Of all the civilisations existing in the year 1000, that of Western Europe seemed the unlikeliest candidate for future greatness. Compared to the glittering empires of Byzantium or Islam, the splintered kingdoms on the edge of the Atlantic appeared impoverished, fearful and backward. But the anarchy of these years proved to be, not the portents of the end of the world, as many Christians had dreaded, but rather the birthpangs of a radically new order. MILLENNIUM is a stunning panoramic account of the two centuries on either side of the apocalyptic year 1000. This was the age of Canute, William the Conqueror and Pope Gregory VII, of Vikings, monks and serfs, of the earliest castles and the invention of knighthood, and of the primal conflict between church and state. The story of how the distinctive culture of Europe - restless, creative and dynamic - was forged from out of the convulsions of these extraordinary times is as fascinating and as momentous as any in history.

In the Shadow of the Sword

The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385531362

Category: Religion

Page: 448

View: 338

The acclaimed author of Rubicon and other superb works of popular history now produces a thrillingly panoramic (and incredibly timely) account of the rise of Islam. No less significant than the collapse of the Roman Republic or the Persian invasion of Greece, the evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement. Just like the Romans, the Arabs came from nowhere to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion—except that they achieved their conquests not over the course of centuries as the Romans did but in a matter of decades. Just like the Greeks during the Persian wars, they overcame seemingly insuperable odds to emerge triumphant against the greatest empire of the day—not by standing on the defensive, however, but by hurling themselves against all who lay in their path.

Thermopylae

The Battle for the West

Author: Ernle Bradford

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497617367

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 4886

An account of the ancient battle between Persia and the alliance of Greek city-states, including the legendary “300 Spartans.” In 480 BCE, Persian king Xerxes led a massive invasion of Greece. A critical point in this invasion was the battle for the pass at Thermopylae—“Hot Gates” in Greek. Xerxes had amassed one of the largest armies yet known to man, while Leonidas’s troops, a group of united Spartans, Thespians, Thebans, and others, including slaves, were a small fraction of the Persian horde. Despite the overwhelming odds, Leonidas and his men stood their ground for three days in a historic display of patriotism and courage. In Thermopylae: Battle for the West, acclaimed author Ernle Bradford covers the entire era of the invasion—from the foundation of the Persian empire to the accession of Darius all the way to the final, bloody battles—in a fascinating and accessible look at warfare in ancient times.

Discovering Cyrus

The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World

Author: Reza Zarghamee

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781933823935

Category:

Page: 728

View: 3211

Some of the most fascinating human epochs lie in the borderlands between history and mystery. So it is with the life of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire in the sixth century bce. By conquest or gentler means, he brought under his rule a dominion stretching from the Aegean Sea to the Hindu Kush and encompassing some tens of millions of people. All across this immense imperium, he earned support and stability by respecting local customs and religions, avoiding the brutal ways of tyranny, and efficiently administering the realm through provincial governors. The empire would last another two centuries, leaving an indelible Persian imprint on much of the ancient world. The Greek chronicler Xenophon, looking back from a distance of several generations, wrote: "Cyrus did indeed eclipse all other monarchs, before or since." The vision of the biblical prophet known as Second Isaiah anticipates Cyrus' repatriation of Jews living in exile in Babylon with these words of the Lord: "He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please." Despite what he achieved and bequeathed, much about Cyrus remains uncertain. Persians of his era had no great respect for the written word and kept no annals. The most complete accounts of his life were composed by Greeks. More fragmentary or tangential evidence takes many forms - among them, archaeological remains, administrative records in subject lands, and the always tricky stuff of legend. Given these challenges, Discovering Cyrus: The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World is a remarkable feat of portraiture. In his vast sweep, Reza Zarghamee draws on sources of every kind, painstakingly assembling detail, and always weighing evidence carefully where contradictions arise. He describes the background of the Persian people, the turbulence of the times, and the roots of Cyrus' policies. His account of the imperial era itself delves into religion, military methods, commerce, court life, and much else besides. The result is a living, breathing Cyrus standing atop a distant world that played a key role in shaping our own.

Ancient Persia

A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE

Author: Matt Waters

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107652723

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 2635

The Achaemenid Persian Empire, at its greatest territorial extent under Darius I (r.522–486 BCE), held sway over territory stretching from the Indus River Valley to southeastern Europe and from the western Himalayas to northeast Africa. In this book, Matt Waters gives a detailed historical overview of the Achaemenid period while considering the manifold interpretive problems historians face in constructing and understanding its history. This book offers a Persian perspective even when relying on Greek textual sources and archaeological evidence. Waters situates the story of the Achaemenid Persians in the context of their predecessors in the mid-first millennium BCE and through their successors after the Macedonian conquest, constructing a compelling narrative of how the empire retained its vitality for more than two hundred years (c.550–330 BCE) and left a massive imprint on Middle Eastern as well as Greek and European history.

Dynasty

The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385537905

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 6628

Author and historian Tom Holland returns to his roots in Roman history and the audience he cultivated with Rubicon—his masterful, witty, brilliantly researched popular history of the fall of the Roman republic—with Dynasty, a luridly fascinating history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors. Dynasty continues Rubicon's story, opening where that book ended: with the murder of Julius Caesar. This is the period of the first and perhaps greatest Roman Emperors and it's a colorful story of rule and ruination, running from the rise of Augustus through to the death of Nero. Holland's expansive history also has distinct shades of I Claudius, with five wonderfully vivid (and in three cases, thoroughly depraved) Emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—featured, along with numerous fascinating secondary characters. Intrigue, murder, naked ambition and treachery, greed, gluttony, lust, incest, pageantry, decadence—the tale of these five Caesars continues to cast a mesmerizing spell across the millennia.

In The Shadow Of The Sword

The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748119515

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 917

In the 6th century AD, the Near East was divided between two great empires: the Persian and the Roman. A hundred years on, and one had vanished for ever, while the other was a dismembered, bleeding trunk. In their place, a new superpower had arisen: the empire of the Arabs. So profound was this upheaval that it spelled, in effect, the end of the ancient world. But the changes that marked the period were more than merely political or even cultural: there was also a transformation of human society with incalculable consequences for the future. Today, over half the world's population subscribes to one of the various religions that took on something like their final form during the last centuries of antiquity. Wherever men or women are inspired by belief in a single god to think or behave in a certain way, they bear witness to the abiding impact of this extraordinary, convulsive age - though as Tom Holland demonstrates, much of what Jews, Christians and Muslims believe about the origins of their religion is open to debate. In the Shadow of the Sword explores how a succession of great empires came to identify themselves with a new and revolutionary understanding of the divine. It is a story vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, and stars many of the most remarkable rulers ever seen.

Gates of Fire

Author: Steven Pressfield

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 9780553904055

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 1868

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Steven Pressfield's The Profession. The national bestseller! At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army. Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces. Born into a cult of spiritual courage, physical endurance, and unmatched battle skill, the Spartans would be remembered for the greatest military stand in history--one that would not end until the rocks were awash with blood, leaving only one gravely injured Spartan squire to tell the tale....

History of the Persian Empire

Author: Albert T. Olmstead,Albert Ten Eyck Olmstead,Arthur T. Olmstead

Publisher: Phoenix Books

ISBN: 9780226627779

Category: History

Page: 568

View: 4951

Traces the achievements of the Iranian empire through two centuries of glory to its downfall in the third century B.C

The Battle of Salamis

The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization

Author: Barry Strauss

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743274539

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 1652

On a late September day in 480 B.C., Greek warships faced an invading Persian armada in the narrow Salamis Straits in the most important naval battle of the ancient world. Overwhelmingly outnumbered by the enemy, the Greeks triumphed through a combination of strategy and deception. More than two millennia after it occurred, the clash between the Greeks and Persians at Salamis remains one of the most tactically brilliant battles ever fought. The Greek victory changed the course of western history -- halting the advance of the Persian Empire and setting the stage for the Golden Age of Athens. In this dramatic new narrative account, historian and classicist Barry Strauss brings this landmark battle to life. He introduces us to the unforgettable characters whose decisions altered history: Themistocles, Athens' great leader (and admiral of its fleet), who devised the ingenious strategy that effectively destroyed the Persian navy in one day; Xerxes, the Persian king who fought bravely but who ultimately did not understand the sea; Aeschylus, the playwright who served in the battle and later wrote about it; and Artemisia, the only woman commander known from antiquity, who turned defeat into personal triumph. Filled with the sights, sounds, and scent of battle, The Battle of Salamis is a stirring work of history.

The Classical World

An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian

Author: Robin Lane Fox

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465003664

Category: History

Page: 672

View: 3788

The classical civilizations of Greece and Rome once dominated the world, and they continue to fascinate and inspire us. Classical art and architecture, drama and epic, philosophy and politics-these are the foundations of Western civilization. In The Classical World, eminent classicist Robin Lane Fox brilliantly chronicles this vast sweep of history from Homer to the reign of Hadrian. From the Peloponnesian War through the creation of Athenian democracy, from the turbulent empire of Alexander the Great to the creation of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Christianity, Fox serves as our witty and trenchant guide. He introduces us to extraordinary heroes and horrific villains, great thinkers and blood-thirsty tyrants. Throughout this vivid tour of two of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known, we remain in the hands of a great master.

Rubicon

The Last Years of the Roman Republic

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 9780307427519

Category: History

Page: 464

View: 560

A vivid historical account of the social world of Rome as it moved from republic to empire. In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, Spartacus, and Brutus, to Cleopatra, Virgil, and Augustus, here are some of the most legendary figures in history brought thrillingly to life. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, Rubicon is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.

Marathon

Author: Richard Billows

Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co

ISBN: 0715642456

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 4602

The Battle of Marathon in 490B.C. is not only the most decisive event in the struggle between the Greeks and the Persians but, arguably a defining event for Western civilisation. John Stuart Mill famously proposed "the Battle of Marathon, even as an event in British history, is more important than the Battle of Hastings." Richard A. Billows starts by providing a rich and detailed overview of the Greek world at a time leading up to Marathon, including an examination of the Greek concept of 'bestness' and a look at a prosperous, democratic Athens under Kleisthenes, which could, for the first time, deploy a citizen army in full panoply, to devastating effect against the lightly outfitted Persian infantry, despite its greater numbers. Key players include the Athenian general Miltiades, who, from the point of view of military history, was the first to utilize a totally oufitted hoplite phalanx to its fullest and develop the groundbreaking battle tactics in advance of the contest that provided the fulcrum for the Greeks' victory over King Darius' Persian army. The legend of the Greek messenger Philippides running twenty-six miles from Marathon to Athens with news of the Greek victory is the inspiration for our modern day marathon race, introduced at the Athens Olympic Games of 1896. Billows suggests, however, that the sources present it differently; with two runs- the messenger running 280 miles round trip to Sparta to ask for aid, and the entire Greek army in full panoply, after fierce ad exhausting fighting, marching at a rapid speed back to Athens in the event they were needed to defend its port.