The Wooden Walls of Ther­mopy­lae

Timeless Travels Magazine - - BOOK REVIEW - Nick Brown

Clink Street Pub­lish­ing Pub­lished: Fe­bru­ary 2015 Price: £8.99 pa­per­back

This book im­merses the reader into the heart of Athens dur­ing the fate­ful decade link­ing the Bat­tle of Marathon and Athens’s de­struc­tion dur­ing the Per­sian in­va­sion of 480 BCE.

Guided in the first per­son by Man­dro­cles, read­ers ex­pe­ri­ence the un­fold­ing of Athe­nian pol­icy and the tri­umph of Themis­to­cles’s naval am­bi­tions at the Bat­tle of Artemi­sium which was fought as an ad­den­dum to the Spar­tan strug­gle at Ther­mopy­lae.

While the names of the bat­tles may be well known, Brown adds the hu­man touch to show us how his­tory’s de­fin­i­tive mo­ments are forged from the fog of pol­i­tics and in­ter-state ri­valry. Ex­pertly re­searched this is a story for those with more than a smat­ter­ing of knowl­edge about the pe­riod.

How­ever, if you know your trireme from your Navarch, this is an en­joy­able read that avoids stereo­types (not one drunken sym­po­sium is in­cluded!) and al­lows the reader to join Themis­to­cles, Aeschy­lus and Ci­mon as Athens is re­cast from a city of mod­er­ate in­flu­ence to that of a naval power.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.