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The Rise of Persia and the First Greco-Persian Wars (Hardback)

The Expansion of the Achaemenid Empire and the Battle of Marathon

Ancient History Military

By Manousos E Kambouris
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 28 colour maps
ISBN: 9781399093293
Published: 30th March 2022


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Manousos Kambouris revisits the epic events of the first Greco-Persian War and the Persian invasion of Greece. He gives excellent detail on the Persian perspective and sets the war in the context of the rise of Achaemenid Persia as the superpower of the day and the expansion of their empire into Europe. After relating the earlier Persian campaigns in Europe the author shows how the Ionian Revolt, by the Greeks of Asia Minor already under Persian rule, was instrumental. Darius I, the Persian King of Kings ordered the invasion of Greece ostensibly to punish the Greeks, and more specifically the Athenians, for their support of the Revolt and to contain further insurgencies but in truth to achieve god-ordained world dominance.

Describing the invasion in great detail, the author analyses the king's immense (even if occasionally exaggerated) army, considering its composition and logistical constraints. The campaign leading to Marathon and the decisive battle itself are then clearly narrated. Manousos Kambouris' meticulous research brings fresh insights to this timeless tale of defiance of the odds and victory for the underdog.

Detailed and interesting look at the rise of Persia with interesting discussions diagrams and explanations. Would improve anyone's knowledge of this period of ancient history.

NetGalley, Stephen Hutchison

Cyrus the Great and his empire were the first truly continent-spanning empire. Parts of Asia, Africa, and portions of Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean are all united by a common language and governmental system. five hundred years before Rome. The rule of law, written language, and established trade routes spanning the region would lead to a time of growth, learning, and cultural development that would be the greatest in human history up till that point. Fascinating and well worth the read.


I had previously read about the battle of Marathon, but knew very little about what happened prior to it, so this book gave me context and was interesting!

NetGalley, Janette Forman

About Manousos E Kambouris

Manousos E Kambouris has a background in scientific writing, contributing chapters on a wide range of disciplines to various edited volumes and journals. He has been researching Ancient Greek warfare for many years and has published numerous articles in Archeologija Prirodne Na (Archaeology and Science), Ancient WarfareMilitary HistoryWar & HistoryNUOVA ANTOLOGIA MILITAREThird Eye and Hellenic Nexus. He has written three previous books on Marathon, Salamis and Xenophon’s Ten Thousand. For the past 8 years he has been a historical consultant to the experimental archaeology group Koryvantes, the Association of Historical Studies. He is currently writing The Trojan War as Military History (forthcoming, Pen & Sword).

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