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The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- And Western Civilization

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The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- And Western Civilization Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. was the most important naval encounter of the ancient world. In the narrow strait between the island of Salamis and the Greek mainland, a heavily outnumbered Greek navy defeated the Persian armada in a brilliant victory that is still studied today. The Greek triumph at Salamis stopped the advancing Persians and saved the first democracy in history. It made Athens the dominant city in Greece, gave birth to the Athenian empire, and set the stage for the Age of Pericles. On the Persian side, the battle of Salamis also featured history's first female admiral and sailors from three continents.

The Battle of Salamis features some of the most fascinating figures in the ancient world: Themistocles, the Athenian commander who masterminded the victory (and tricked his fellow Greeks into fighting); Xerxes, the Persian king who understood land but not naval warfare; Aeschylus, the Greek playwright who took part at Salamis and later immortalized it in drama; and Artemisia, the half-Greek queen who was one of Xerxes' trusted commanders and who turned defeat into personal victory.

In his riveting story of this clash on the Greek seas, classicist and historian Barry Strauss offers a new in-depth account of the ancient battle. Drawing on recent work in archaeology, meteorology, and forensic science as well as on his own experience as a rower (both navies were oar powered), Strauss revises our understanding of one of history's pivotal wars and of Herodotus's classic if underrated account of it. But in addition to being exciting military history, The Battle of Salamis is also a vivid analysis of ancient culture.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Table of Contents

Contents

A Note on Spelling and Abbreviations

Timetable of Events Relating to the Battle of Salamis, 480 B.C.

An Important Note About the Ships

Prologue: Piraeus

The Advance

Chapter One: Artemisium

Chapter Two: Thermopylae

Chapter Three: Athens

Chapter Four: Salamis

The Trap

Chapter Five: Phaleron

Chapter Six: From Salamis to Phaleron

Chapter Seven: From Phaleron to Salamis

Chapter Eight: Salamis

The Battle

Chapter Nine: Salamis Straits: Morning

Chapter Ten: Salamis Straits: Afternoon

Chapter Eleven: Salamis Straits: Evening

The Retreat

Chapter Twelve: Phaleron

Chapter Thirteen: Andros

Epilogue: Susa

Notes

Sources

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743244503
Subtitle:
The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization
Author:
Strauss, Barry S
Author:
Strauss, Barry
Author:
Strauss, Barry S.
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
Military - Naval
Subject:
Ancient - Greece
Subject:
Salamis, Battle of, Greece, 480 B.C.
Subject:
General History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
210
Publication Date:
July 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.34x6.62x1.03 in. 1.25 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Ancient and Medieval
History and Social Science » Military » General

The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- And Western Civilization Used Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743244503 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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