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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: 25th 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.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Great scholarly text. The concepts were well thought out but were dense. I had to step away at time to process what I read- which is a good thing. I would recommend this book.

NetGalley, Candice Kendall

Review as featured in

Highlight: '...for those interested in Persian military history, this is an excellent book -- not too long, not too short, nice prose, and thoughtful analysis.'

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, December 2023

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting a detailed. A must read for anyone interested in Persia and Greece and the wars that created Alexander.

NetGalley, Caroline Palmer

"Overall, I liked this book, I am happy to have added to my library."

Stephen Ede-Borrett, The Pike and Shot Society

Impressive work, historical masterpiece! Everything you need to know about Persia and Greco-Persian escalation.
We need more history books like this one.


eaturing impressive illustrations, "The Rise of Persia and the First Greco-Persian Wars: The Expansion of the Achaemenid Empire and the Battle of Marathon" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an Introduction (A True Cultural World War), and Epilogue (Normality Resumed), an eight page Bibliography, and a four page Index. As fascinating as it is informative, "The Rise of Persia and the First Greco-Persian Wars: The Expansion of the Achaemenid Empire and the Battle of Marathon" is an invaluable and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Hellenic History and Ancient Greek Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

As Featured In

Wargaming Illustrated, March 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a great book on the Persian wars and origins of the first East-West conflict of the ancient world. I would recommend this book to scholars for this time period and those who are interested in this conflict.

NetGalley, Dylan Simon

It's been years since I read a book about Greco-Persian Wars and this was a good way to refresh my memories.
It's well researched and informative, a good way to learn about this historical time.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating insight into the Greco-Persian wars. This book was enjoyable to read and follow and had scholarly detail on an important part of world history. I learned a lot about ancient history in this book. My knowledge on the Classics is limited to Hollywood blockbusters, so this book helped place the sequence of events into perspective.
The author is an expert in this area of history and has done a great job of writing and provided numerous illustrations to aid the reader. Extensive bibliography has also been provided for those who wish to read around the subject.

NetGalley, Farida Ali

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 Warfare, Military History, War & History, NUOVA ANTOLOGIA MILITARE, Third 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. In 2022 Pen & Sword published his trilogy on the Greco-Persian Wars to 479 BC (The Rise of Persia and the First Greco-Persian Wars; Persia Triumphant in Greece: The High Tide, 481-480 BC and The Greek Victories and the Persian Ebb 480–479 BC) and in early 2023 will publishThe Trojan War as Military History.

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By Manousos E Kambouris

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