Monday, March 7, 2022

Review of The Rise of Persia and the First Greco-Persian Wars: The Expansion of the Achaemenid Empire and the Battle of Marathon by Manousos E. Kambouris

This book review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History, Empires
Watch the Review



Sources about the Persian Empire are scarce and often biased in favor of some peoples over others, creating a distorted account of events.  The author attempts to corroborate sources, and rectify the errors, to make an account of the events and battles as they actually happened.  The focus of the book is on the battles and wars.  The weapons and tools that were available.  The tactics and strategies employed.  Naval and land capabilities.  

Greek city-states and the Persian Empire had some similarities, such as the need for resources outside those that were available in their regions.  The way they obtained those resources was different.  While the Greek city-states created colonies, the Persian Empire conquered regions. The decentralized system of the Greek city-states created friction, as their differences did not mix well.  The centralized system of the Persian Empire was able to make bureaucracy more systematic, such as with taxation, but created a problem with rebellions, as people did not want to give up their freedoms.  Showing the cultural attitudes toward others, and the importance of geopolitics, as the people who could offer valuable services were favored, while others were under pressure.  


The writing of the book is difficult to understand without knowing a lot of the background information.  The book is detailed, but hard to put together without knowing the cultural forces impacting decisions.

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•Why is the history of the era difficult to put together?
•What are the weapons that were available?
•What strategies were used?
•How were the Greek city-states organized?
•How was the Persian Empire organized?
•What were some important battles?
•Why did the regions fight?
•What were some cultural attitudes?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9781399093293
Pages to read:   215
Publication:     2022
1st Edition:      2022
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    2
Content          2
Overall           2