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A Concise and Authoritative History of the Most Influential Conflict of the Ancient World
In 490 BC, Darius I, King of Persia and the most powerful man in the known world, led a massive invasion army (so great it was said to drink rivers dry as it passed) to punish the interference of some minor states beyond the western borders of his huge empire in what is today modern Greece. The resultant clash at Marathon pitting the heavily outmanned armies of Athens and Plataea against the Persians was a disaster for Darius and one of the most remarkable victories in all military history. The Persians were forced to withdraw and plot an
even bigger expedition to conquer Athens and all of Greece once and for all. The second invasion came ten years later under Darius’s successor, Xerxes. This led to the legendary last stand of the Spartan King Leonidas at Thermopylae, the sacking of Athens, and the famous naval clash at Salamis, which saved Greece. The following year, 479 BC, saw the remaining Persian forces driven from mainland Greece at the epic, yet strangely less famous battle of Plataea, one of the largest pitched battles of ancient history. In The Persian Invasions of Greece, Arthur Keaveney, an expert on Achaemenid Persia, reexamines these momentous, epic events from both Greek and Persian perspectives to give a full and balanced account based on the most recent research.
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ARTHUR KEAVENEY is professor of history at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He has been teaching Persian, Greek, and Roman history for more than twenty years. He is author of a number of books, including The Army in the Roman Revolution, Lucullus, A Life, and Rome and the Unification of Italy.
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