Very Good. History-Military and War. Western civilisation is descended from the battle fought on the plains of M arathon between 9, 000 citizens of the Greek City states and the 30, 000-stro ng Persian army of Darius. The Greeks were defending their radical new poli tical form, democracy. Alan Lloyd s brand of popular history, colourful, de eply researched with the passionately thrilling narrative of a novel brings the battle and Greek civilisation alive. It is a style described by The Ob server about another of Alan Lloyd s books as There s not a single boring p age in his entire book. Out of the historical background the clash of cultu res is described, the flowering of an Athenian democracy that could justify slavery while fostering the genius of Plato, Sophocles and Aeschylus versu s the dictatorship of Darius that had already conquered Asia. The culture a nd life of the Greek city-states is intimately described and the uneasy pol itical allegiances between them, especially that between Athens and Sparta, are vividly depicted. The clash of civilisations at Marathon was one of th e most renowned military battles of the ancient world and a pivotal moment in the course of Western civilisation.
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