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© 2015,A fresh appreciation of the pivotal role of Spartan strategy and tactics in the defeat of the mightiest empire of the ancient world More than 2500 years ago a confederation of small Greek city-states defeated the invading armies of Persia, the most powerful empire in the world. In this meticulously researched study, historian Paul Rahe argues that Sparta was responsible for the initial establishment of the Hellenic defensive coalition and was, in fact, the most essential player in its ultimate victory. Drawing from an impressive range of ancient sources, including Herodotus and Plutarch, the author veers from the traditional Atheno-centric view of the Greco-Persian Wars to examine from a Spartan perspective the grand strategy that halted the Persian juggernaut. Rahe provides a fascinating, detailed picture of life in Sparta circa 480 B.C., revealing how the Spartans' form of government and the regimen to which they subjected themselves instilled within them the pride, confidence, discipline, and discernment necessary to forge an alliance that would stand firm against a great empire, driven by religious fervor, that held sway over two-fifths of the human race.
© 2014,Alexander the Great is arguably one of the best known and most exciting figures from antiquity. He waged war as a Homeric hero and lived as one, conquering native peoples and territories on a superhuman scale. From the time he invaded Asia in 334 to his death in 323, he expanded the Macedonianempire from Greece in the west to Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Central Asia and "India" (Pakistan and Kashmir) in the east. Although numerous other kings and generals forged empires, Alexander produced an empire that was without parallel, if only for a moment. And yet, Alexander could not have achieved what he did without the accomplishments of his father, Philip II (r. 359-336). Long after Philip's death and Alexander's invasion of Asia, Philip remained a constant presence in Alexander's life and decisions. It was Philip who truly changed the course ofMacedonian history, transforming a weak, disunited, and economically backward kingdom into a military powerhouse. A warrior king par excellence, Philip left Alexander with the greatest army in the Greek world, a centralized monarchy, economic prosperity, and a plan to invade Asia. For the first time, By the Spear offers an exhilarating military narrative of the reigns of these two larger-than-life figures in one volume. Ian Worthington give full breadth to the careers of father and son, showing how Philip was the architect of the Macedonian empire, which reached its zenithunder Alexander, only to disintegrate upon his death. By the Spear also discusses how armies in this period were used as avatars of social and cultural change, and how the problems Alexander faced in dealing with a multi-cultural subject population, the strategies he took to what might be callednation building, shed light on contemporary problems in culturally dissimilar regions of the world. The end result is a gripping account of the role these kings played in creating a vast empire and of the enduring legacy they left behind. By the Spear's twofold approach of military narrative andsocial and cultural influence will set it apart from all previous histories of Philip and Alexander.