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Song of Wrath by Ted Lendon

Song of Wrath (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Ted Lendon

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1131106,831 (4.05)5
Title:Song of Wrath
Authors:Ted Lendon
Info:Basic Books (2010), Hardcover, 576 pages
Collections:Your library, History
Tags:Literary Review March 2011

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Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins by J. E. Lendon (2010)



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The goal of the author is to meld traditional diplomatic and military history with the methods of the new cultural history so as to give us a Peloponnesian War and a Thucydides for our time. That is to say, to examine the course of the war less in the suggested fashion of Thucydides, the father of Realism, and more in the common sense of the period as a struggle for rank and prestige; which Lendon argues that Athens won by convincing the states of Greece that their definition of how equality was won was better than that of Sparta.

This then is a study of asymmetrical war that Lendon hopes speaks to contemporary conflict, which is often as much as about respect and prestige as about power relationships. Has the author achieved his goal? While I enjoyed this book I have to admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as I did his work on the tactical concepts behind Greek and Roman warfare. What it might come down to is that at a certain point I know that I felt bogged down in the doings of the raft of assorted minor Greek powers Athens and Sparta were trying to bend to their will. ( )
1 vote Shrike58 | Feb 22, 2012 |
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The Wrath, sing, Goddess, of Achilles, Peleus' son, / that dire wrath which brought countless pains upon the Achaeans, / and sent to Hades many brave souls of heroes, / and made their bodies prey for dogs / and flocks of birds, and the will of Zeus was done.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465015069, Hardcover)

Song of Wrath tells the story of Classical Athens’ victorious Ten Years’ War (431– 421 BC) against grim Sparta—the first decade of the terrible Peloponnesian War that turned the Golden Age of Greece to lead. Historian J.E. Lendon presents a sweeping tale of pitched battles by land and sea, sieges, sacks, raids, and deeds of cruelty and guile—along with courageous acts of mercy, surprising charity, austere restraint, and arrogant resistance. Recounting the rise of democratic Athens to great-power status, and the resulting fury of authoritarian Sparta, Greece’s traditional leader, Lendon portrays the causes and strategy of the war as a duel over national honor, a series of acts of revenge. A story of new pride challenging old, Song of Wrath is the first work of Ancient Greek history for the post-cold-war generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:07 -0400)

Offers a thrilling account of the first stage of the Peloponnesian War, also known as the Ten Years' War, between the city-states of Athens and Sparta, detailing the pitched battles by land and sea, sieges, sacks, raids and deeds of cruelty along with courageous acts of mercy, charity and resistance.… (more)

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