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The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece - Ancient Warfare and Civilization (Paperback)
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The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece - Ancient Warfare and Civilization (Paperback)

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Paperback 448 Pages / Published: 11/07/2019
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In 431 BC, the long simmering rivalry between the city-states of Athens and Sparta erupted into open warfare, and for more than a generation the two were locked in a life-and-death struggle. The war embroiled the entire Greek world, provoking years of butchery previously unparalleled in ancient Greece. Whole cities were exterminated, their men killed, their women and children enslaved. While the war is commonly believed to have ended with the capture of the Athenian navy in 405 and the subsequent starvation of Athens, fighting in Greece would continue for several decades. Sparta's authority was challenged in the so-called Corinthian War (395-387) when Persian gold helped unite Athens with Sparta's former allies. The war did not truly end until, in 371, Thebes' crack infantry resoundingly defeated Sparta at Leuctra, forever shattering the myth of Spartan military supremacy. Jennifer Roberts' rich narrative of this famous conflict is the first general history to tell the whole story, from the war's origins down to Sparta's defeat at Leuctra. In her masterful account, this long and bloody war affected every area of life in Athens, exacerbated divisions between rich and poor in Sparta, and sparked civil strife throughout the Greek world. Yet despite the biting sorrows the fighting occasioned, it remains a gripping saga of plots and counter-plots, murders and lies, thrilling sea chases and desperate overland marches, missed opportunities and last-minute reprieves, and, as the war's first historian Thucydides had hoped, lessons for a less bellicose future. In addition, Roberts considers the impact of the war on Greece's cultural life, including the great masterworks of tragedy and comedy performed at this time and, most infamously, the trial and execution of Socrates. A fast-paced narrative of one of antiquity's most famous clashes, The Plague of War is a must-read for history enthusiasts of all ages.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190940881
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 226 x 145 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A welcome contrast from traditional studies of the war ... Impressive * Journal of Hellenic Studies *
Roberts presents the reader with a clear, straightforward and chronological narrative of events from the background to and origins of the war through to its grim conclusion and inconclusive war-torn aftermath... this is a good read and a good overview of the events that shaped the Classical Age. The events it describes will long continue to invite debate. * Mathew Trundle, H Soz Kult *
This work is based on impressive scholarship. Roberts maintains a smooth, highly readable narrative flow. In addition to a careful analysis of Thucydides, the author interweaves discussions of fifth- and fourth-century drama, philosophy, architecture, and art. ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. * A. J. Papalas, CHOICE *
An impressively informed and informative work of exceptionally detailed and documented scholarship, "The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle fro Ancient Greece" reads from beginning to end with an inherently engaging narrative that reads with the smoothness of a well tuned novel. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library World History collections in general, and Hellenic History supplemental studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readres with an interest in the subject that "The Plague of War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.39). * Margaret Lane, The Midwest Book Review *
[Roberts's] in-depth knowledge of the period's players, locations, and events are all woven expertly into the narrative, providing the reader with a broad, expansive view of the war and its consequences for Greek culture and the future of Western civilization." -Military Heritage
Jennifer Roberts brings her accustomed cool expertise to bear on this hottest of hot topics: not just any old war, but one that in ancient Greek terms counted as a world war and, like those of the last century, produced almost equally as ghastly and irredeemably nasty consequences. Worst of all, in some ways, this was in her concluding epitaph 'War Without Victory'. * Paul Cartledge, author of Democracy: A Life *
In this riveting narrative, Jennifer Roberts breaks new ground with a full-length portrait of the classical Greek world as viewed through a dramatic account of the Peloponnesian War. Roberts breathes new life into the familiar succession of campaigns and battles through the scope of her vision, which gives equal attention to the war's many impacts on the home-front in both Athens and Sparta. In The Plague of War, we see how social upheavals, economic crises, family life, and even philosophy and drama were drawn inexorably into the war-zone. * John R. Hale, author of Lords of the Sea *
Jennifer Roberts recreates the agony of Athens and Sparta with a deft hand and a knowing eye. She tells the story of the war that ruined Greece in all its power and pathos. This is a learned, sympathetic and readable account. * Barry Strauss, author of The Death of Caesar *

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