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Greece Against Rome (Hardback)

The Fall of the Hellenistic Kingdoms 250–31 BC

Ancient History Rome Military

By Philip Matyszak
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781473874800
Published: 30th May 2020

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Towards the middle of the third century BC, the Hellenistic kingdoms (the fragments of Alexander the Great’s short-lived empire) were near their peak. In terms of population, economy and military power each individual kingdom was vastly superior to Rome, not to mention in fields such as medicine, architecture, science, philosophy and literature.

Philip Matyszak relates how, over the next two-and-a half centuries, Rome conquered and took over these kingdoms while adopting so much of Hellenistic culture that the resultant hybrid is known as ‘Graeco-Roman’

Refreshingly, the story is largely told from the viewpoint of the Hellenistic kingdoms. At the outset, the Romans are little more than another small state in the barbarian west, and less of a consideration than the Scythians or Jews. Much of the narrative therefore focuses on the ‘game of thrones’ between the Hellenistic powers, a tale of assassinations, double crosses, dynastic incest and warfare. As the Roman threat grows, however, it belatedly becomes the primary concern of the kingdoms as the legions destroy them one by one.

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About Philip Matyszak

Dr Philip 'Maty' Matyszak has a doctorate in ancient history from St John's College, Oxford University and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for the past twenty years. He specializes in ancient Rome, especially the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods, and his previous works include the best-selling Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day, Ancient Greece on Five Drachmae a Day and, for Pen & Sword, Mithridates the Great: Rome's Indomitable Enemy (2008) and Roman Conquests: Greece and Macedon (2009). He has personal military experience both as a conscript in Africa and with the territorial army in Britain, and he splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Rocky Mountains and providing distant learning courses at Cambridge University.

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