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Campaign #239: Plataea 479 BC: The Most Glorious Victory Ever Seen


Campaign #239: Plataea 479 BC: The Most Glorious Victory Ever Seen Cover


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Publisher Comments:

Plataea was one of the biggest and most important land battles of pre-20th century history. Close to 100,000 hoplite and light-armed Greeks took on an even larger barbarian army that included elite Asian cavalry and infantry from as far away as India, with thousands of Greek hoplites and cavalry also fighting on the Persian side. At points in the several days of battle, the Persians with their more fluid, missile tactics came close to breaking the Greek defensive line and cutting off their supplies. But, in a fatal misjudgement when he nearly had the battle won, their general Mardonius committed the cream of his infantry to close-quarters combat with the Spartans and their Peloponnesian allies. He died and his men were finally crushed by heavier weaponry and superior discipline. Meanwhile, 250 miles to the east, the Greek navy inflicted an equally decisive defeat on the Persians, neutralising Xerxes' seapower in the Aegean. The tiny minority of Greek city states that actually took up arms against the invading forces of the mightiest empire yet seen in the ancient world had halted its western expansion and driven it back.

The reconstruction of the battle of Plataea will draw on recent persuasive academic interpretations of the textual sources and visual evidence (mainly from near-contemporary vase paintings) for the early 5th-century method of hoplite fighting.

About the Author

William Shepherd studied classics at Clare College, Cambridge, in the 1960s and then embarked on a career in publishing, which finally brought him to Osprey, retiring from the position of chief executive in 2007. He is author of The Persian War (Cambridge, 1982), translated from Herodotus. He has also written reading books for children and articles in the Osprey Military Journal, of which he was joint editor, and makes regular contributions to the Osprey blog. He lives in the Cherwell Valley, north of Oxford.

Product Details

Shepherd, William
Osprey Publishing (UK)
Dennis, Peter
Military - General
Military-General History
Ancient - Greece
Military-Strategy Tactics and Deception
World History-Ancient Near East
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
75 MONO; 13 COL
9.76 x 7.26 x 0.29 in 0.68 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Strategy Tactics and Deception
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East

Campaign #239: Plataea 479 BC: The Most Glorious Victory Ever Seen New Trade Paper
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