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Review Marathon - Five books on the Battle of Marathon

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Review by Josho Brouwers

In 2011, it was exactly 2500 years ago that the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) was fought. In this battle, the army of the Athenians defeated the larger army of the Persian Empire on the field near the village of Marathon. The battle plays an important part in the story of the wars between the Greeks and Persians of the first quarter of the fifth century BC. As a result, much has been written about it. In this article I want to review, as concisely as possible, five books that have appeared on the subject since 2011.

 

These are: Marathon: How One Battle Changed Western Civilization (2010) by Richard A. Billows, The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization (2011) by James Lacey, Marathon: The Battle and the Ancient Deme (2010) edited by Kostas Buraselis and Katerina Meidani, The Battle of Marathon (2010) by Peter Krentz, and The Battle of Marathon in Scholarship: Research, Theories and Controversies since 1850 (2014) by Dennis L. Fink...

 

....continue to the five reviews on the Battle of Marathon

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the battle if marathon by peter krentz sounds the most interesting, then fink's review of the scholarship. essentially i agree with the reviewer, and for the reasons he well stated. Persia to  my knowledge was a tremendous innovation, the first empire with various nationalities, transnational faith(s), etc. personally i suspect that the mythology on marathon, as to the 'david vs. goliath aspect, as Krentz noted (an actual combat defeat for Persia, and one that was rather unexcpected, apparently by all) to be it's main lasting impact. Only some by-then rather useless intellectual speculation, and partial sources for alphabets, deity names, seem to me to be the material heritage from Greece. democracy is not a big deal...whoever does the warfare, and how they do it, is always the key to how any group of people is governed, and there is no such thing as morality, except as a tool for getting along together when it is mostly shared within a group.

 

when a knowledgable source is said to consider MY views seriously, and to offer cogent findings with source citations, then i am interested in what they offer and in what they conclude, as it may help me whether it mostly confirms my pre-existing view of gives grounds for changes whether minor or complete.

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