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Persian Fire - First World Empire And The…
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Persian Fire - First World Empire And The Battle For The West (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Tom Holland

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1,171226,900 (4.05)91
Member:policeman606b
Title:Persian Fire - First World Empire And The Battle For The West
Authors:Tom Holland
Info:Doubleday (2005), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Borrowed from library, Read 2013
Rating:****
Tags:ancient history, Ancient Greece, Greece, Herodotus, Persian Wars, Khorosan Highway, Assyrians, Media, Astyages, Persia, Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius, Zagros, Zorastrianism, Achaemenids, Babylon, Mesopotamia, Ahura Mazda, Sparta, Peloponnese, Lacedaemon, Athens, Acropolis, Alcmaeonids, Lycurgus, Pisistratus, Cleisthenes, Cleomenes, Sardis, Ionia, Miletus, Aristagoras, Themistocles, Marathon, Xerxes, hoplites, Phoenicians, Syracuse, Sicily, Leonidas, Artemisium, Thermopylae, Salamis, Mardonius, Plataea, chronology, notes, bibliography, index, read 2013

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Persian Fire : The First World Empire and the Battle for the West by Tom Holland (2005)

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Excellent. Really enjoyable history of the early Persian Empire and it's conflicts with the various city-states of Greece around 500BC. I'm not usually a fan of MilHist but the accounts of the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis were as exciting as any thriller! ( )
1 vote SChant | Mar 12, 2014 |
A great read about the Persian Wars. Its best part are the finely written introduction chapters on Persia, Athens and Sparta. The battles themselves are actually not given as much space as I had expected and wanted. The worst part is the preface with its fearful stench of the Bush years and the false parallel between the West and the East. The Greeks didn't do battle for some pasty-faced Englishmen, the Persians didn't want to eradicate civilization. ( )
2 vote jcbrunner | Jun 30, 2013 |


The narrative approach dd not work for me. I found it slow and tedious, lacking interest. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Greeks vs. Persians, 5th century BC

Finally finished! This one went on forever, mostly because I kept misplacing the book. But I'm done, and I have to say, I don't like any of these guys very much. I was honestly hoping for the Persians to beat up the Greeks (again), but of course, Sparta and all that. I really enjoyed it, but a little too much detail. I wanted to get on with the main event, but there was a LOT of build up and a lot of names to keep straight. I could have done with a glossary in the back to keep them all straight. And after the intro which ties in much of the conflict between Middle East and the West to this very conflict, I would like to have the author wrap it up again and tie it back into the present. Still, 4 stars. ( )
1 vote cmbohn | Jan 21, 2013 |
Most ancient history books about the Persian wars of Greece are colored by the viewpoint of the victors, the Greeks. This author tries (and succeeds) to present more of what it would have looked like to the Persians. Historians might not like the amount of unverified speculation indulged in, it makes for a good read. It once again demonstrates to me just how absolutely remarkable the Greeks were in coming up with democracy, flawed as it may have been. ( )
1 vote hmessing | May 29, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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Listen now to a further point: no mortal thing
Has a beginning, nor does it end in death and obliteration;
There is only a mixing and then a separating of what was mixed,
But by mortal men these processes are named “beginnings.”
Empedocles
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For Jamie and Caroline
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The gods, having scorned to mold a world that was level, had preferred instead to divide it into two.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349117179, Paperback)

In 480 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 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 and entity as the West at all. Tom Holland's brilliant new book describes the very first 'clash of Empires' between East and West. Once again he has found extraordinary parallels between the ancient world and our own. There is no competing popular book describing these events.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This is a brilliant account of the world's very first clash of civilisations between the Persians and the Greeks. Tom Holland has written several books including 'The Vampyre' and 'Deliver Us From Evil', and won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History in 2004.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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