Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins by J. E. Lendon

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(Photo Ruins of an ancient theater sit near the modern city of Sparta, Greece.: )

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Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins by J. E. Lendon

Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University

“J.E. Lendon’s polemology of ancient Greece recognizes no bounds—or equals. Honor is a major theme of his new finely researched and inimitably styled analysis of the Ten Years’ War (431-421 BCE) fought between Sparta and Athens and their respective allies, and honor is due to its never less than engaging author.”\

Barry Strauss, author of The Spartacus War and Professor of History at Cornell University

Dennis Showalter, Professor of History at Colorado College

“This provocative and persuasive analysis of the Peloponnesian War’s first ten years shifts focus from the ‘realist’ aspects of the conflict’s causes and conduct. Lendon stresses instead the centrality of honor, time, manifested by reciprocal acts of destruction and revenge. Humiliation, not conquest, was the primary war aim—an aim so vague it made expanding the war easier than making peace.”

Publishers Weekly

“In an exceptionally well-written account of the first 10 years of the Peloponnesian War (431–421 B.C.E.), University of Virginia historian Lendon brings the Greek city-states to life. Crediting Thucydides with the humanizing of military history, Lendon emphasizes the extraordinary importance of worth or glory to the typical Greek and casts the long, bloody conflict between Athens and Sparta in the light of the concepts of honor and hubris.”

Library Journal

“Weaving together cultural and military history, Lendon details the events of the Peloponnesian War’s first decade (431-421 B.C.E.) with language that is (as was his intention) more evocative of Herodotus’s epic-poetical style than the dryer intellectual approach of Thucydides.”

The Greek Star

“A fast-paced military history that places readers in the heart of battle, Song of Wrath is essential reading for anyone interested in one of the momentous wars in world history.”

The Hellenic Voice

“Historian J.E. Lendon presents a tale of pitched battles by land and sea, sieges, sacks, raids, and deeds of cruelty and guile – along with courageous acts of mercy, surprising charity, austere restraint, and arrogant resistance. Recounting the rise of democratic Athens to great-power status, and the resulting fury of authoritarian Sparta, Greece’s traditional leader, Lendon portrays the causes and strategy of the war as a duel over national honor, a series of acts of revenge.”

8 days ago
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