Marathon: The Battle That Changed Western Civilization

Marathon: The Battle That Changed Western Civilization

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by Richard A. Billows Richard A.
     
 

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Published to coincide with Marathon's 2500th anniversary, a riveting history of the historic battle
The Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. is not only understood as the most decisive event in the struggle between the Greeks and the Persians, but can also be seen as perhaps the most significant moment in our collective history.
10,000 Athenian citizens faced a…  See more details below

Overview

Published to coincide with Marathon's 2500th anniversary, a riveting history of the historic battle
The Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. is not only understood as the most decisive event in the struggle between the Greeks and the Persians, but can also be seen as perhaps the most significant moment in our collective history.
10,000 Athenian citizens faced a Persian military force of more than 25,000. Greek victory appeared impossible, but the men of Athens were tenacious and the Persians were defeated. Following the battle, the Athenian hoplite army ran 26.5 miles from Marathon to Athens to defend their port from the Persian navy. Although they had just run the great distance in heavy armor, the Athenians won the battle and drove the Persian forces from Attica. Greek freedom ensued and the achievements of the culture became much of the basis for Western civilization.
In this comprehensive and engrossing treatment, Richard Billows captures the drama of that day 2500 years ago and the ramifications it has had throughout Western history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Billows conceptualizes the fateful one-day battle between Persian Empire and the Albanian city-state with an engrossing narrative" — Foreword Magazine
Library Journal
How many books get to use a blurb saying "just in time for the battle's 2500th anniversary"? In this popular account of the triumph of Athens, classicist Billows (history, Columbia Univ.) describes the pathways that led the vast Persian Empire and the tiny Greek city-state to meet in battle at Marathon in 490 B.C.E. Although defeated by the smaller Greek force in battle, the undaunted Persians were to return ten years later with even more overpowering force only to be turned away again by allied Greek city-states. Billows argues that success at Marathon taught the Greeks that the Persians could be defeated, thus inspiring the later victory. VERDICT The Battle of Marathon itself takes up only 30 pages of this book—so followers of military history should understand this is actually a history of the Greek-Persian conflict covering hundreds of years and culminating in that battle. Billows also spends a lot of time on the certainly unprovable and perhaps pointless assertion that there would be no "Western civilization" had the Greeks lost at Marathon. Otherwise, this fast-moving summary of the Greek-Persian conflict will serve as a good introduction on the occasion of the 2500th anniversary—so mark your calendars for August 11.—Stewart Desmond, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590201688
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
07/29/2010
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,100,831
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Richard A. Billows, Ph.D., is a professor at Columbia University specializing in Ancient Greek and Roman history and Greek epigraphy. In addition to Marathon he is the author of Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State, Kings and Colonists: Aspects of Macedonian Imperialism, and Julius Caesar: The Colossus of Rome. He lives in New York City.

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Marathon: The Battle That Changed Western Civilization 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Christopher_Aldridge More than 1 year ago
Not very interesting and hard to maintain my attention. The author also beats around the bush too much. I think he should stay more on track with the battle and how it personally changed the world. Sometimes he doesn't always stay on this topic. But overall I think it's a good historical read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago