Athens, 404 BC. The Democratic city-state has been ravaged by a long and bloody war with neighbouring Sparta. The search for scapegoats begins and Athens, liberty's beacon in the ancient world, turns its sword on its own way of life. Civil war and much bloodshed ensue. Defining moments of Greek history, culture, politics, religion and identity are debated ferociously in Athenian board rooms, back streets and battlefields. By 323 BC, less than 100 years later, Athens and the rest of Greece, not to mention a large part of the known world, has come under the control of an absolute monarch, a master of self-publicity and a model for despots for millennia to come: 'megas alexandros', Alexander the Great. Michael Scott, Finley Fellow in Ancient History at Darwin College, Cambridge, explores the dramatic and little-known story of how the ancient world was turned on its head from Democratic Athens to King Alexander the Great in this superb example of popular history writing.
"From Democrats to Kings" also gives us a fresh take on the similar challenges we face today in the 21st century - a world in which many democracies - old and new - fight for survival, in which war-time and peace-time have become indistinguishable and in which the severity of the economic crisis is only matched by a crisis in our own sense of self.
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd