15 March 2019
This book starts with the state of play in Greece in 478BC, as the Persian Wars came to an end with the city state of Sparta admired and respected.
Author : PHILIP MATYSZAK
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
This book starts with the state of play in Greece in 478BC, as the Persian Wars came to an end with the city state of Sparta admired and respected. However, instead of taking up the mantle of leadership of the Hellenic League, and expanding Spartan influence, that role fell to Athens, and the rot set in from there. Quite why Sparta was both so feared on the battlefield, and yet preoccupied with its own troubles, is clearly explained by the relationship with Messenia, which was both the source of its fortune and also the shackle around its ankles.
The author does a good job of navigating the complex politics of the day, which determined why the various states acted the way they did, even if he is guilty of assuming that the reader is already familiar with many of the leagues and establishments of the time. It is, however, a compelling and intriguing, story of how a warrior city state eventually fell into decline.
• Pen & Sword
• 170 pages • Hardback • £19.99
As reviewed in The Armourer March 2019
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