Books about Classical History

Honorable mentions

The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece and Western Civilization

Author: Barry Strauss

This excellent, readable work deals with the immediate aftermath of the Thermopylae. The Persians have invaded Greece and have inflicted a costly defeat on the Spartans and Allied forces blocking access to the south. Following the battle, the Persians and their accompanying ships move south To Attica. Meanwhile, the Greeks have concentrated their warships on the island of Salamis, just offshore from Piraeus.

Strauss relies primarily on Herodotus as the new source material. And that material can be titillating. Oracles, eunuchs, power plays, and violence is part and parcel to the world Strauss relays to us.

Strauss also draws on a modern scholarship to help flesh out a complete picture. While there are so many things we don’t know for sure, and that Strauss can’t definitively claim to have happened, the extra details and speculation help make the entire landscape of events richer.

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