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Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West txt Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West, text ebook Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West, adobe reader Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West, chapter 2 Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West, Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West 5aa612 In 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 In The Epochal Naval Battle 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 An Entity As The West At AllTom Holland S Brilliant New Book Describes The Very First Clash Of Empires Between East And West As He Did In The Critically Praised Rubicon, He Has Found Extraordinary Parallels Between The Ancient World And Our Own There Is No Other Popular History That Takes In The Entire Sweep Of The Persian Wars, And No Other Classical Historian, Academic Or Popular, Who Combines Scholarly Rigor With Novelistic Depth With A Worldly Irony In Quite The Fashion That Tom Holland Does

About the Author: Tom Holland

An acclaimed British author He has written many books, both fiction and non fiction, on many subjects from vampires to history Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. Holland was born near Oxford and brought up in the village of Broadchalke near Salisbury, England He obtained a double first in English and Latin at Queens College, Cambridge, and af

10 thoughts on “Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West

  1. says:

    I am going to give this book a rating that is the result of an average between two different ingredients the fluent and compelling writing style, the exciting, vibrant and riveting historical narrative, the moments of epic poetry reminiscent of the best Homeric tradition, the startling immediacy with which the most stirring episodes of the confrontation between the Persian behemoth and the Greek city states are brought to life by the author, they all unequivocally deserve, in my opinion, a 4 star rating, even a 5 star rating The author is definitely a superb story teller, managing to combine a reasonably high level of historical accuracy with a sparkling, entertaining, vivid narrative A highly pleasurable reading, which I found very enjoyable a real page turner The author is also very good at properly contextualizing the conflict between Greece and Persian, nicely describing the historical background on the other hand, I must ruffle some feathers considering the overall very high rating of this book 4.16 at time of writing of this review and say that the overall author s performance in this book is much better as a narrator and chronicler than as a proper historian The lack of sufficient historical detail and analysis, the frequently uncritical trust in Herodotus as the almost exclusive source, the presence of some outdated and cringe worthy generalizations, the overall lack of balance sadly shared with much historiography, Western inspired but also non Western sourced , resulting in the book not giving full justice to the remarkable, fascinating and brilliant Persian civilization of the Achaemenids, but, on the contrary, unfortunately providing a partially one sided pro Greek view of this momentous series of events, do not deserve, in my opinion, a rating higher than a 2 or 2.5 star As a result of the quite contrasting levels of personal satisfaction with regards to the two different aspects of the book listed above, I therefore decided to give it a 3 star rating.I am now going to elaborate further why I was not really satisfied with the overall historical approach manifested by the author in this book The first and foremost reason of my dissatisfaction lies in the author partial perpetuation of a tired, 19 th century narrative that contrasts freedom loving, independent Greek city states, harbingers of democratic ideals, with a despotic, over stretched, corrupt and decadent Persian empire A narrative that tends to artificially emphasize the harsh collision, and deep contrast, between Persia and the Classical Greek culture further, it is a narrative that tends equally artificially to stress a or less direct link between such Greek civilization and the peculiarities and achievements of modern Western civilization such as science, democracy etc As the author states There was much at stake during the course of the Persian attempts to subdue the Greek mainland than the independence of Greece Much that made Greek civilization distinctive would have been aborted The legacy passed onto modern Europe would have been immeasurably impoverished. The author also explains that the achievements of Greek civilization, such as the philosophy of Plato, would not have existed if the Persians had not been expelled, and therefore Western Civilization would not have developed in the way it did.Well, I strongly object to this approach I am going, in the next sections of my review, to seriously question this whole narrative, which is simply in my opinion misguided and profoundly incorrect, and a narrative that has been challenged by many recent historians.To be fair to the author, it must also be said that he does appreciate some aspects of the sophistication and culture of the Persian Empire he also does try, to a larger extent than many other authors, to steer a reasoned, middle course we are not dealing here with the coarseness and crass over simplification and one sidedness so evident in popularizations such as the movie 300 In comparative terms, the Persians are in this book given a fairer treatment than in many other similar popular history books, and this is commendable The author also does get into some of the dark aspects of the Classical Greek Civilization he does not portray it in exclusively positive terms Another element of personal profound dissatisfaction with this book is when, in the introduction, the author compares the Persian Wars with the current conflict between Islamic fundamentalism and the West The author asks the question why do they hate us and describes it as a reason for embarking on the study of this particular period of Ancient history In my personal opinion nothing could be dangerous, unhistorical, preposterous and simply wrong Maybe the author, rather than trying to artificially connect events in ancient history to current geopolitical issues, should have tried to answer this question by looking at the much nearer past like the illegal invasion of IRAQ conducted by the US without the approval of the UN, just as an example Moreover, the very definition of the The East and the West are definitions that no serious historian should ever use unless heavily qualified and contextualized The underlying implicit assumption that the the East and the West have maintained consistent and opposing identities over the past two thousand and five hundred years is just ridiculous And, if we really want to play the author s game and talk about current Iran as a direct descendant of the Achaemenids, well I always wondered why this country has always attracted such unflinching hostility from parts of the West, while it is clear that the friend Saudi Arabia home of the extreme Sunni Wahhabism, by the way has been covertly financing international terrorism for quite some time, and that 15 out of the 19 Al Qaeda 9 11 terrorists were of Saudi nationality But this is a different story, I guess Another element that I found quite irritating is when the author disingenuously conflates his overall historical narrative with some of the most partisan and prejudiced of the Greek views for example, after almost grudgingly admitting that the upper classes in many Greek cities were actually pro Persia, he uses terms such as suckers of Oriental chic to define them Similarly, he defines the local Lydian Ionian rulers as quislings , which is a negative judgment laden word that a serious historian should not unnecessarily use Similarly, the factions of cities such as Thebes that were Pro Persia were defined as traitorous Who used these terms Herodotus The author himself The Greeks opposed to Persian influence Is this the historians consensus Or is it the author s poetic license Let me now expand a couple of points where I most strongly object to this overall narrative a narrative that some sources are still perpetuating, including not fully, but to some extent see my qualifiers above the author of this book CLAIM THE ACHAEMENID AS A DESPOTIC, BARBARIAN EMPIRE, THAT WOULD HAVE SUPPRESSED LIMITED THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF CLASSICAL GREEK CIVILIZATION the Persian Empire was a remarkably tolerant for the times , multinational, multi ethnic empire that never tried to suppress local cultures, unless they were a threat to the stability of the state In 493, just a few years before Salamis and Plataea, Xerses general Mardonius had accepted democracy as system of government of the Greek cities in the Persian empire The Persian Empire became the first to attempt to govern many different ethnic groups on the principle of equal responsibilities and rights for all people For the Spartan conquered peoples helots , Persian rule, by comparison, would have felt like the sweetest freedom the Ionian Greek cities did not suffer economically or culturally from the Persian domination actually, nearly the whole first generation of Greek philosophers were born in areas and cities dominated by Persia Pythagoras, for example also, Heraclites was a court philosopher of the Achaemenid empire not many know that the Cyrus Cylinder was described as the world s first charter of human rights, and it was translated into all six official U.N languages A replica of the cylinder is kept at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City The text of the cylinder expresses Cyrus respect for religious and cultural tolerance and as result of his farsighted policies, Cyrus gained the overwhelming support of his subjects and cemented his empire into a coherent polity The artificial opposition between the East and the West makes even less sense when related to Ancient Greece it simply ignores the many, deep influences of the Eastern Civilizations on the development of the Greece civilization itself Moreover, Ancient Greece was culturally and geographically closer to Ancient Persia than to Western Europe In general, it is at least a unwarranted generalization, if not a clear untruth, that economic and even intellectual development can only flourish under indigenous, democratic governments It is disingenuous to conflate in this manner politics with intellectual development, culture and arts the relationship exists, but it is far from linear and deterministic I am afraid the author is really very restrictive in defining the Greek Civilization as the one only of the Classical period It is not just about the period of Phidias For example, the most famous of Greek mathematicians, Euclid, lived and flourished in Alexandria in Egypt around 300 BC, during the reign of Ptolemy I hardly a democratic government, by the way Another famous example is Archimedes And Apollonius, who was 25 years younger than Archimedes The last two, together with Euclid, define the period that is commonly golden age of Greek mathematics It was actually only when Greek mathematics merged with Egyptian and Persian Babylonian mathematics that we have what is now commonly perceived as the legacy that ancient Greek mathematics left to subsequent civilizations The Persian Empire represented a sophisticated civilization that, just as an example, provided 1 A rational and efficient tax collection system 2 Local self government, with overall management provided by the system of satrapies 3 A complex system of roads still used today the empire had an efficient and far reaching network of roads and waystations, also supporting a complex postal system 4 A uniform monetary system based on a silver and gold coinage system , with standardized weights and measures5 In the early part of the first millennium B.C., before Rome was even founded, in Persia a system of underground aqueducts called qanats were constructed 6 Darius funded the rebuild of the Jewish temple the process started with Cyrus , supported Greek cults and the Elamite priesthood He had also observed Egyptian religious rites and had built the temple for the God Amun 7 Sound and farsighted administrative planning8 Trade was extensive, and under the Achaemenids there was an efficient infrastructure that facilitated the exchange of commodities among the far reaches of the empire Persian words for typical items of trade became prevalent in the East, and some of them even entered the English and other European languages9 A sophisticated and universal legal system10 The Achaemenids absorbed the many art forms and the cultural and religious traditions of several of the conquered peoples, and synthesized them into unique, beautiful forms and styles 11 For example, the palace at Persepolis presents a feast of architectural brilliance, grandeur and magnificence, highlighted by beautiful reliefs presenting a cogent narrative By the way, presence of Greek workmanship in the palace of Persepolis is evident, proving that the Empire was open to cultural influences from all subject peoples, and it did not hesitate to utilize, support and even patronize such heritages12 And how hostile were the Persians towards rationalism Well, as an example the research program of the Chaldaeans in Persian Babylonia followed what can be seen as a precursor of the scientific method 13 Soon after the end of the hostilities with the Persian Empire, Sparta and especially Athens almost self destroyed with the Peloponnesian War 431 404BC let me venture here into highly speculative territory, but I might even be tempted to state that, had things gone differently, the peace brought by the resulting Persian domination might have created a peaceful environment, conducive to the higher intellectual pursuits that so distinguished the Ancient GreeksCLAIM THERE IS A DIRECT LINK BETWEEN THE DEMOCRACY IN GREECE AND THE DEMOCRATIC IDEAS AND OTHER DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF MODERN WESTERN CIVILIZATION Athens was the world s first democracy , but it did not implement universal freedom, let alone universal suffrage, and it later dominated many surrounding city states in a openly dictatorial fashion Delian League The Athenian attitude towards women was the most restrictive of any polity in Greece, forcing respectable women into a secluded existence similar to that imposed in modern times, for example, by the Taliban We should not forget that the ideal polity of Plato was not a democratic government, but a peculiar, militaristic, hierarchical state clearly based on the Spartan model We should also remember that the democratic government of Athens was an outlier in the history of Greece itself, not a common occurrence The west did not reject absolutism out of hand when they defeated Xerxes, as even a cursory examination of history will reveal Western Civilization only very recently, in overall historical terms, has commonly adopted genuine criteria of fully democratic government Until WWI there were Empires in the very heart of Europe Modern Europe started developing some of its peculiar features during periods where like in the case of the Sun King absolutism was the norm Again, we need to separate the political aspects from other elements cultural, economical etc of a civilization there is a link between the two, but it is not linear nor simple nor deterministic The direct, almost exclusive link between Ancient Greece and Modern Western European civilization has been questioned by many historians, who have highlighted that this link is not unique and not direct, and that the influences on the birth and development of Western European culture and religion too the influences of zoroastrianism on Judaism and Christianity are not negligible are many and complex the heritage of Jewish, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, and of other ethnic and linguistic groups should not be forgotten nor underestimated For example, it can be argued that the very idea of democratic government can also be seen, in its embryonic form, in the ancient governing assemblies of Germanic Nordic societies, made up of the free people of the community Similarly, the the East Slavic veche like the one in Novgorod in Russia , is thought to have originated in tribal assemblies even predating the Rus state Probably the oldest parliament if we exclude the Athenian example in Europe is the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, founded in 930 it is very difficult to see a direct thread connecting it to Ancient Athens To conclude, I want to make sure that I do not provide the wrong impression of an altogether negative opinion of this book, which after all is extremely well written, very enjoyable, and quite accurate from an historical perspective A book which I did enjoy reading I also want to make it clear that, in highlighting the brilliance and sophistication of the Persian civilization, I am not discounting the amazing brilliance and originality of the Classical Greek civilization, which is one of those few peculiar periods in human history where a great explosion of collective genius takes place almost by magic, and to an astonishing degree but again, we should not forget that Ancient Greece did not develop in a vacuum, and that it felt deep influences from the other Eastern Civilizations. Moreover, the epic courage and determination of the Greeks, wildly outnumbered by the Persian super power, in fighting for their freedom and independence, are simply unforgettable Thermopylae was an episode of pure heroism rarely matched in human history.Nor am I negating the links between such civilization and modern Western Civilization I am just saying that these links are not direct, nor linear, and most importantly not exclusive On the other hand, though, I think that it is very important that history is respected and taken seriously, that dangerous generalizations and all too tempting cheap comparisons with current times are avoided especially in books of popular history, where the risks of misleading the unsophisticated reader into unwarranted conclusions are quite real This is why I could not give this book any rating higher than a 3 star, regardless of how much I enjoyed reading it The 3 star reading is also due to the title itself, that I found slightly misleading I was expecting much focus and detail on the Persian empire than what I found in this book I was really looking forward to a thorough investigation of what could be termed the world s first superpower excluding China, I guess , but in this I was left than a bit disappointed, to be honest how can such greatness and sophistication, in a book titled The Persian Fire , not be given fair and full recognition

  2. says:

    I think that merits of this book need to be judged from two rather different perspectives Seen from purely literary point of view, Persian Fire is an excellent book Holland s writing style is both rich and engaging What s maybe even important, he makes all those historical figures come alive If the book was a pure work of fiction, I probably wouldn t be able to stop prizing Mr Holland s amazing gift of story telling.The thing is though that this is not work of fiction, but retelling of historical events What s important, those events took place long, long time ago and we really don t have a lot of primary, or even secondary sources that tell us what exactly happened Therein lies a huge problem the simple fact is that we know very little about the conflict between Persia and Greek city states This means that as soon as we move beyond most basic facts, we move into realm of speculation At the same time, the very secure tone of Tom Holland s prose, his unquestioning and definite presentation of events, thoughts, motivations of both individuals and entire nations can easily give the impression that the picture he paints in Persian Fire is what really happened This is a rather dangerous way to present historical events.Nevertheless, even if the story weaved by Mr.Holland consists to a large degree of speculations and educated guesses, it is undeniable that he presents a rather compelling and plausible story Based on that merit alone, I can heartily recommend Persian Fire to anyone interested in the history of the period.

  3. says:

    I Bought Persian Fire in Heathrow returning from Morocco We had spent the night before with my wife s brother in Reading Having returned from the dually you know what I mean arid Marrakesch, we were greeted with a bounty of Czech pilsners The following morning I was half pained and entirely groggy I bought this upon entering the airport It was only then that we discovered that our flight had changed gates and we literally dashed for 45 minutes until we arrived for our flight, dripping with exertion I started to read as we underwent the 33 trials of boarding a plane bound for the United States Holland establishes these ancient matters with contemporary models without losing focus on the epoch and not falling prey to any jingoistic east west dynamics In fact the heroes of this portrait, if we are to accept such, should be the Taliban of our own day and age The Spartans were tough, as were the Persians Thomas Hobbes understood the stakes So does Tom Holland.

  4. says:

    This is a dramatizing of the Greco Persian Wars, not the history of the Persian Empire The Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus the Great in the sixth century B C and was a massive Empire even by todays viewpoint He ruled the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and well beyond the Danube River in Europe Holland provides a brief history of the Persian Empire and also of Sparta and Athens This brief history allows someone unfamiliar with this timeframe to understand the events under discussion The immediate cause of the War was a revolt in the Greek Cities on the Ionian coast in 499 B.C The Greeks were rejecting Persian rule The revolt was put down, but in 493 B.C the Persians launched a punitive expedition which was defeated at Marathon in 490 B.C Ten years later the Persians again launched an invasion this time by both land and sea The Greeks deployed at Thermopylae and Artemisium in 480 B.C The Athenians were led by Themistocles and the Spartans by Leonidas The Persians were commanded by Darius In 479 B.C., the battles for Plataea and Mykale were fought and the Persians were led by Xerxes.Holland tells these famous ancient battles in a dramatic fashion He attempts to bring history to life and make a interesting read Holland provides a mostly pro Greek account of these battles It would have been great if he had presented a neutral viewpoint and provided detailed information about both sides of the War I am very familiar with the Greek viewpoint of these battles and would have liked to learn the Persian viewpoint Otherwise, it was a fun way to learn a chronicle of the Greco Persian War.I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible The book is about 15 hours long Michael Page does a good job narrating the book Page is a multi award winning narrator and has been narrating audiobooks since 1984.

  5. says:

    I picked this up because although three years of a degree in Ancient History mean that I know the history of this conflict quite thoroughly from the Greek side, I think I m less informed about it from the Persian point of view I m not sure that this did an awful lot to correct that while the early part of the book does discus the Persian Empire, Holland focuses much on Greece and a recounting of the battles than he does on Persia I would have loved a deeper cultural analysis of what happened on both sides, and I think some deeper questioning in general would have served the book much better While I obviously wasn t able to pick out if he was making any assumptions or false assertions with regards to Persian history, there were moments where Holland stated a theory as unquestioned fact the Doric invasion of Greece, for example and that made me raise an eyebrow and regard this narrative as much untrustworthy than I would otherwise have done Readable, though.

  6. says:

    Persian Fire looks at much than just the rise of the Persian empire It focuses heavily on the Greeks as well and while Holland explains his reasoning for this and it made sense, I do wish time could have been spent examining the Persians This feels like a historical look at the Persian Wars through the eyes of the Greeks and I was hoping for a detailed account of the Persians However it was still well written and informative.

  7. says:

    There are many versions of the great wars between the small Greek city states and the mighty Persian empire.This book is one of the best.The Persian empire was ruled always and only by one man, who word was law his law.The separate Greek city state were always experimenting with different forms of government and at one point came up with the idea of democracy Everyone has a vote unless you were a woman, child, slave, foreigner, or a person we didn t like according to the Falco books So rather than just launching straight into the actual wars it started with the history and cultures of all the peoples involved in a most entertaining way By the time you are ready to follow the Greeks into battle you know all about the Spartan and Athenian hoplite warriors covered in heavy armor just like tanks I found this to be a most fascinating read again and again in both hard back and audio.

  8. says:

    Superb pop history Despite the title, still a bit graeco centric understandable, given the sources available Certainly sympathetic to the Persians than any number of recent histories, though in the end it does toe the Western civilization was nearly stillborn line.At any rate, a nice overview written in a flowing narrative style and he even clues you in when he s making assumptions or arguments based on fragmentary evidence not bad for seven bucks.

  9. says:

    Sometimes at the most drowsy of moments spent on musing about history, I see the whole picture as a rise and fall of global powers A number of races, faiths and faces have all struggled for domination over the planet and when looked at from the longer term, every single one of them have failed Knowing that it is futile, why do men and women struggle for this momentary blaze of glory Swords, spears, shields, horses, elephants, men, muskets, bayonets and rifles no matter what the weapons, the empires built on them never survive for too long Look back for a moment at these The Persians, The Greeks, The Romans, The Egyptians, France, Holland, Russia, England, Germany, the USA How many of them are global super powers now Forget being super powers, a nation like Greece was washed out and went bankrupt A few centuries ago this nation was the crown jewel of classical civilization and a few months ago it was struggling to stay afloat Reading history against this background makes everything look rather bleak and yet we go on hoping that there just might be a chance for a light at the end of the tunnel The Persians were the pioneers in one aspect a concept that a war and subjugation of other lands in the name of a god was morally justified Centuries later this one notion they gave birth to still survives and even thrives in forms that are too monstrous to comprehend.This book is supposed to be a work of non fiction but in reality it reads faster than fiction that tells us about the rise of Persia, the skirmishes for the control of Greece and finally how Greece Athens Sparta notably routed the Persians and retained their independence These were landmark battles that led to the rise of a Western civilization and hence responsible for the shape our present world is in today The rise of Persian emperors Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes forms the first half of the story and makes for rather fascinating reading In a sequence of bloody battles, subterfuges, espionage and blind luck these three men gave rise to the biggest empire of the ancient world There was one other stand out factor that made Persia a true winner in the world of then They were masters of information and espionage and through the innovative use of their information channels, the emperor was never too far away from the action The Persian treasuries were filled to overflowing and this made their military might all the overwhelming Against this was pitted the tiny states of Greece who by no means were united The Spartans with their supremely effective soldiers and Athens with its wish to be prominent in the Greek scene both stood against Persia s ambitions beyond the Aegean There were others in the fray too but the alliances they all maintained were all flimsy, treacherous and bound to fail.And so were born the legends Of Leonidas and his 300 men who defied a million Persians at the pass of Thermopylae and of the Battle of Salamis which proved to be an unbelievable victory for the Greeks Tom Holland sets a scorching pace for the book and makes sure he follows it up fully during the course of the book The battles Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis are captured with all their blood, gore and brutality as in military fiction The Spartans while they certainly were nothing like Gerard Butler and his men were still badass I did happen to come across a few reviews who pointed out historical inaccuracies here and there but for a layman like me this book left me with a level of understanding of the Greco Persian wars that I was lacking before Recommended

  10. says:

    I must say that this book was really disappointing for me as I was, judging from the title, excitedly expecting a historical narrative of the first Persian Empire The title was, however, misleading, to say the least.The book starts with a rather hasty overview of Persian empire s background and even with the clever and very interesting insertions of anecdotes, one cannot but feel that the pace is forced Cyrus the Great gets a decent but short description and his two sons are mentioned in the passing in not very glorious terms Darius reign again is pushed through with excellent anecdotes and conjectural musings and we are led to the times of Xerxes but to the king s reign That ends the Persian Empire and thus far my short summary above would bravely rival the book in details.Rest of the book, the main bulk of it, is primarily the history of Xerxes was with the Greeks on land and sea FROM THE GREEK PERSPECTIVE The Persians are, henceforth, mainly referred to as savages as they are called by the Greeks and we are told only about the palatial war tents, luxuries and depletion of the ranks of the Persian side while Greeks cities, their individual legends, genealogies and ancestries, war machine and readiness, strategy, tactics and even minutes acts of bravery and valor are recorded in great details Even when Xerxes leaves the area, the book is reluctant to move with him to the Persian lands and dwells on Greece even so that Greek cities politics and rivalries are assiduously documented I was not reading this book for that.Further, the book, while discussing the War, read so much like the the two installments of the 300 Movies Especially, as in the second movie where the Persians are never shown to kill or even fight but just to get killed, drowned and burn, I noticed that this book also almost never depict the Persians killing anyone The episode where Spartan king is defending the narrow pass with a lot than 300 men for days on end, the active combat from dawn till dusk never mentions how many casualties were suffered by them while the deaths of the Greeks are told in gruesome details where the Persians, almost always, are shown to be pushed forward under a threat to be killed if returned These accounts might or might be true at times minute by minute details of a raging battle that took place so long ago are hard to digest but the way they are painted and presented were not to my poor and wanting taste Apparently, the Persian sources of the War are not not that detailed and most of the accounts must have been borrowed from the contemporary or near contemporary Greek sources, who are, incidentally, often depicted in the book as excelling each other in fabricating false ancestries and appropriating outlandish mythical and war like qualities, therefore, it would have been prudent to treat the accounts with a little caution In the end, the book merely felt like a ruse to force Greek history on readers who were expecting Persian chronicles.

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