The Peloponnesian War : Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 Bc
by Donald M. Kagan
Editor: HarperCollins Publishers
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The Stalingrad of the ancient world is extremely legible, brilliant, brutal and intense in the history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece.The Peloponnesian War, fought 2500 years ago between oligarchic Sparta and democratic Athens for control of Greece, is brought dramatically to life in this magnificent studyKagan demonstrates the relevance of this cataclysmic event to modern times in all its horror and barbarismAs two uncompromising empires fight a war of survival from diametrically opposed political, social and cultural positions, the seemingly invincible glory of Athens collapses into tragedyAthenian, cultural and political, it was the same in originality and fecundity, and is still considered one of the leading achievements of Western civilizationDramatic poets like Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes raised comedy and tragedy to an unprecedented level; architects and sculptors were at work on the Acropolis; natural philosophers like Anaxagoras and Democrites began to explore the physical world, and philosophers like Socrates were dissecting the field of human affairsAll this was lost to this bloody conflictIn this brilliant work of scholarships, Kagan illustrates his remarkable ability to interpret these events as part of the universality of human experienceHis clear expertise in the ancient world and the wars of the 20th century are combined with his narrative gifts to give an unforgettable portrait of that hinge of war that shaped the world as we know it.
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