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Fb2 The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC ePub

by Donald M. Kagan

Category: Ancient Civilizations
Subcategory: History books
Author: Donald M. Kagan
ISBN: 0007115059
ISBN13: 978-0007115051
Language: English
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (November 3, 2003)
Pages: 544
Fb2 eBook: 1115 kb
ePub eBook: 1107 kb
Digital formats: azw lrf mobi lit

Sunday Times, Books of the Year.

Sunday Times, Books of the Year. He is the author of a four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War that is considered the landmark academic work in the field as well as the highly acclaimed Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy and On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace.

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The Peloponnesian War, fought 2,500 years ago between oligarchic Sparta and democratic Athens for control of Greece, is brought spectacularly to life in this magnificent study. Kagan demonstrates the relevance of this cataclysmic event to modern times in all its horror and savagery. The Stalingrad of the ancient world, this is an immensely readable, brilliant, brutal and vivid history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece. The Peloponnesian War, fought 2,500 years ago between oligarchic Sparta and democratic Athens for control of Greece, is brought spectacularly to life in this magnificent study.

Led by Athens and Sparta, the two principal Greek powers, they had driven the fleets and armies of Xerxes from Europe and recovered control .

Led by Athens and Sparta, the two principal Greek powers, they had driven the fleets and armies of Xerxes from Europe and recovered control of their colonies on the coast of Asia Minor. Now the Greeks turned against each other. The Persian war had been followed by a period of astonishing literary and artistic achievement. All of this fell apart in the savage wars of Athens and Sparta between 431 and 404 BC. After 27 years of almost continual fighting, Athens was humbled by an alliance of Sparta and the old common enemy Persia, left with less than half its prewar population and deprived of its empire. In most of Greece, democracy was eclipsed by oligarchy.

The Peloponnesian War. Author: Kagan, Donald M. Pages: 56. Donald Kagan is Sterling Professor of History and Classics at Yale University. and is an internationally recognised authority on ancient Greek history and culture, as well as a scholar of diplomatic history

The Peloponnesian War. Pages: 560. Binding: PAP. Publication Date: 2005-03-07. and is an internationally recognised authority on ancient Greek history and culture, as well as a scholar of diplomatic history.

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Peloponnesian war431-404BC. It is a testament to the fascination of the subject that even today the events of the Peloponnesian War are studied for what they can teach about diplomacy, strategy and tactics. This book reveals the darker side of Classical Greek civilization. This book reveals the darker side of Classical Greek civilization

The Stalingrad of the ancient world, this is an immensely readable, brilliant, brutal and vivid history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece.

The Stalingrad of the ancient world, this is an immensely readable, brilliant, brutal and vivid history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece.

Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). -was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian . the great conflict between Athens and Sparta. It is called after the Spartan king Archidamus II. -was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Phases of the War. -Archidamian War (431-21) -Peace of Nicias (421-13) -Ionian War (413-04) -Aftermath (404-399). Phase 1: Archidamian War (431-21 BC). -the great conflict between Athens and Sparta. This war started in 431 and ended in 421 with something that came close to an Athenian victory and a Spartan defeat.

empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Peloponnesian Wars 431-404 BC - between Athens and Sparta Alexander the Great Alexander came from the frontier state of Macedonia, to the north of Greece.

The Stalingrad of the ancient world, this is an accessible, brutal and vivid history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece. The author concentrates on the human cost of this first cataclysmic clash of two great empires, its unprecedented cruelty and the resulting utter destruction of Athenian civilisation. The Peloponnesian War, fought 2500 years ago between oligarchic Sparta and democratic Athens for control of Greece, is brought to life in this study. Kagan demonstrates the relevance of this cataclysmic event to modern times in all its horror and savagery. As two uncompromising empires fight a war of survival from diametrically opposing political, social and cultural positions, the seemingly invincible glory of Athens crumbles in tragedy. Athenian culture and politics was unmatched in originality and fertility, and is still regarded as one of the peak achievements of Western civilisation. Dramatic poets such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes raised tragedy and comedy to a level never surpassed; architects and sculptors were at work on the Acropolis; natural philosophers like Anaxagoras and Democritus were exploring the physical world and philosophers like Socrates were dissecting the realm of human affairs. All this was lost to this bloody conflict. Unprecedented cruelty and brutality marked this war, as anger, frustration and vengeance replaced established codes of behaviour. Bands of marauders murdered innocent children, entire cities were obliterated, men were killed, and women and children were sold as slaves. With such violence came a collapse of the habits, institutions, beliefs and restraints that were the pillars of civilised life. In this work, Kagan illustrates his ability to interpret these events as a part of the universality of human experience. His expertise in both the ancient world and the wars of the 20th century gives a vivid portrait of this pivotal war which has shaped the world as we know it.
Comments to eBook The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC
Xal
Soldiers of Salamis is a novel by Javier Cercas. The title conveys a central theme. The Battle of Salamis, between the Greek and Persian navies, took place in 480 BC. To all too many of today’s Spaniards, the events of their own Civil War, of which a few participants are still living, are as remote as those that occurred at Salamis. The Peloponnesian War commenced a half century after the Battle of Salamis. It would also be a Civil War, Greek upon Greek. It was a war that I knew little about, but would feel comfortable using as a metaphor for wars of long ago, even though some of the participants of those wars were still living. I knew that it was a war between Athens and Sparta, but I was not even sure who won. (And how many Americans know who won the Spanish Civil War?)

Donald Kagan’s book (finally!) ended the darkness of not knowing about one of the best documented of ancient conflicts, and a prototype for so many subsequent ones. He has produced a very well-written dense, scholarly work that relies on several ancient texts, most notably one written by a participant, Thucydides. He brings a modern sense of judgment to the historical record, balancing what is written with the most likely scenarios possible, based on his overall knowledge of this time period. There are 29 excellent maps, spaced appropriately throughout the book, that provide the visual basis for understanding the narrative of the battles, and geopolitical landscape.

Athens and Sparta. A long term rivalry. Two rather different systems of government, with the Athenians famously having a democratic form. Both had united to beat the Persians, a half century earlier. Neither really wanted war, fearful of the expense and consequences. But entangling alliances, and some “damnable conflict in the Balkans” which were the motive forces that commenced the First World War were operative in commencing the Peloponnesian one also. Athens was the naval superpower of the time, dominating (in general) the sea. Sparta was the land power, and could simple march into the Athenian territory of Attica at the beginning of the war, and start devastating their farms and agriculture.

The war raged over the entirety of modern day Greece, the islands in the Aegean Sea, the western coast of modern day Turkey, including the two straits leading to the Black Sea, as well as the coast of southern Italy and Sicily. The war would last for almost three decades, with one significant truce of several years that was frequently violated. Athens had its sea-based empire; Sparta had numerous land-based allies, such as Corinth and Thebes. Athens and Sparta both experienced revolts in their empires. Cities would change sides. Each side also experienced class conflicts, essentially the eternal ones, between the elites and the plebs. And naturally the elites themselves had many a conflict, as egos jockeyed for power. Most impressively, somehow Donald Kagan makes these complex events of almost two and a half millennium ago understandable to the modern reader, by identifying five or ten key causative factors to significant events, and then providing balanced, reasonable judgments.

A small sampling of what I learned. The fighting in Sicily was a disaster for Athens. It was initiated by a bluff that was called; the Athenian leader did NOT want to go there… thought he would overestimate what was required, and his bluff was called, not once, but twice, when he asked for reinforcement. The defeat in Sicily should have been the KO punch for Athens, but the war dragged on for another decade. Both sides ran to their former adversary, the Persian Empire, and sought aid and an alliance; rather amazing for two city-states proclaiming the importance of Greek independence. Alcibiades was one slippery character. He was Athenian, went over to the side of Sparta, cuckolded Sparta’s king, then ingratiated himself with Cyrus, the 17 year old son of King Darius of Persia, and made himself out to be the critical and decisive factor behind the great Athenian navel victory at Cyzicus. And as the dragged on, the savagery, brutality, and atrocities increased, which included the execution of their own generals and leaders.

And there was much that I did not learn, but certainly do not fault Kagan for it. He covered well enough complex material. How, for example, given the difficulty in transportation, and with only rudimentary hand-tools, and a population devastated by war and the plague, was Athens (as well as Sparta) able to build (and maintain) so many triremes. Athens was dependent on wheat from the Black Sea area. Where exactly, and what were the terms of trade. And why was Sparta not?

Finally, the time-worn adage that history is written by the winners appears NOT to be true about the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides was an Athenian, and they were the losers…at least for a while. 6-stars for Kagan’s excellent account.
Ochach
This book is amazing. The story underlying it is amazing, and the writing is superb - clear, flowing, and with appropriate detail and connections drawn.

If you appreciate history you may be amazed at some of the events that are so epic, morally significant, and poetic as to sound far-fetched. The plot is quite thick at times. If you really can only read non-stop action pulp fiction, you probably aren't reading this review anyway, but this may come as close as you can get in non-fiction.

I wish someone would make a movie with the same sensibility, it would be an instant classic. I also wish this book would come out on Kindle so one could search and highlight it. There are a lot of classic elements to this story, in every sense of the word. It's so good I want to read his four-volume treatment to see what I missed.
Dawncrusher
It was a treat reading Donald Kagan's book on the Peloponnesian War. As you may know, he had previously written a 4-book series on the war, each one focusing on a different phase of the war. This book was meant to be a one-book consolidation. The rub, for me, came in deciding whether or not to read the 4 separate books that delve deeper or just satisfy myself with 500 pages on the topic and move on.

Kagan is one of the leading scholars on the war and writes extremely well. The book reads quickly and painlessly. I did feel slightly let down, however, because Kagan seems, in large part, to be simply retelling Thucydides, without scholarly inquiry or questioning.

I especially appreciated Fagan's integration of quotes and information from Plutarch in the Thucydides' section and wished there had been more, perhaps information on what the battle scenes look like today or more background information on the city-states involved or areas Thucydides' account is deficient or contested. The post-Thucydides section at the end was more of a mish-mash of sources and quoted Xenophon's Hellenica surprisingly infrequently.

If you're not sure which book to read in order to learn about the Peloponnesian War, I would definitely read Kagan's one book. If you're interested in anything much more than the storyline, you may want to look into Kagan's four books or other books or even try to slog through Thucydides (good luck!).
Danial
Professor Donald Kagan built his reputation as his generation's foremost scholar of Ancient Greece based upon his four volume history of the Peloponnesian War that was published between 1969-87. His friend John Hale of "Lords of the Sea" fame, convinced him to write a single volume history of the Peloponnesian War for non-specialists. The resulting book "The Peloponnesian War" has become a modern classic. Kagan's book has become the standard text of this conflict and it will have to be an extraordinary book that displaces it from this position.

"The Peloponnesian War" is the very model of a classic work. Donald Kagan is a gifted writer with the narrative gift to bring alive a 2,400 year old war. However, it takes more than good writing to make a classic book. It is the clearness of Kagan's vision which sets this book apart. Through his close reading of the ancient texts, Kagan is able to fill in the historical blank spots. For over two thousand years, readers have been able to thrill over the exploits of Thucydides, Pericles, Alcibiades and Lysander. Kagan's great contribution has been to make these great men more human by filling in the lost details. This is a great book and I highly recommend it.
Cyregaehus
Came well packed. An easier read than the classic Greek, good maps.
Blackbeard
This book provides a lot of maps of Greece, and you need them to keep up with the shifting politics and wars. It seems that politicians and military leaders never really have an accurate picture of what is going to happen when you go to war and the price you are going to pay. A good review of the decline and fall of Athens.
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