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The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization by [Strauss, Barry]
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The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Length: 294 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This engaging and informative account of the 480 B. C. showdown between Greece and Persia relies on the conflict’s foremost ancient chronicler, Herodotus, whom Strauss deems an "excellent historian" and "mainly reliable." While gently correcting some of Herodotus’s claims, military historian Strauss (Athens After the Peloponnesian War) stays faithful to his trademark blend of sensationalism and skepticism. He regales readers with lurid Herodotian anecdotes about oracles and omens, vengeful eunuchs and labyrinthine double crosses among the fractious Greeks, and paints colorful portraits of the cruel and impious Xerxes, the admiral-queen Artemisia of Halicarnassus ("combines the cunning of Athena and the seductiveness of Aphrodite") and the Athenian leader Themistocles, whose blend of military genius, charisma and manipulativeness obliterated the line between statesmanship and treason. Also in keeping with the spirit of Greek sources, Strauss celebrates their victory as a triumph of democracy and nationalism over a polyglot despotism, of the common Greek rower over the Persian aristocrat. At the same time, Strauss draws on other contemporary accounts as well as on modern scholarship to detail the Persian campaign in Greece and flesh out a picture of society and warfare in the ancient world, illuminating such topics as Persian court protocol, the prayers of Corinthian temple prostitutes and the proper method of ramming an enemy trireme. His combination of erudite scholarship, well-paced storytelling and vivid color commentary make this an appealing popular history for the general reader.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School - This account of one of history's most famous battles has a fresh, invigorating tone. In 480 B.C., Xerxes, king of the Persian Empire, took a huge army and navy to invade Greece. Ten years earlier, his father's invasion to punish Greece for aiding Persia's rebelling subject states had failed. This time, Xerxes intended to get it right. Herodotus, Aeschylus, and Plutarch are the author's main sources, but he enriches the telling with details obtained from archaeological digs. Sights, sounds, and smells are evocatively described, whether Strauss is showing how the rowers powered their triremes or speculating about the dress of the participants at Xerxes's council. Although the improbable Greek victory is well known, the tension builds as Themistocles's traps are carefully sprung. Strauss is respectful toward his sources, but he corrects probable errors and exaggerations. Despite the huge number of known participants, he focuses on the most significant, so that readers aren't swamped by a recitation of names. When unfamiliar places are mentioned, he gives the modern names as well. In addition to being an engrossing story of an improbable battle, this book is an excellent, compact study of daily life in the fifth century. A timetable and photographs of Salamis and archaeological artifacts are included. - Kathy Tewell, Chantilly Regional Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • File Size: 22791 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 16, 2005)
  • Publication Date: June 29, 2004
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCKDLE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,399 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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