The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge (Hardcover)

The Persian Challenge

By Paul Anthony Rahe

Yale University Press, 9780300116427, 424pp.

Publication Date: November 24, 2015

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Description

A fresh appreciation of the pivotal role of Spartan strategy and tactics in the defeat of the mightiest empire of the ancient world
More than 2500 years ago a confederation of small Greek city-states defeated the invading armies of Persia, the most powerful empire in the world. In this meticulously researched study, historian Paul Rahe argues that Sparta was responsible for the initial establishment of the Hellenic defensive coalition and was, in fact, the most essential player in its ultimate victory.
Drawing from an impressive range of ancient sources, including Herodotus and Plutarch, the author veers from the traditional Atheno-centric view of the Greco-Persian Wars to examine from a Spartan perspective the grand strategy that halted the Persian juggernaut. Rahe provides a fascinating, detailed picture of life in Sparta circa 480 B.C., revealing how the Spartans' form of government and the regimen to which they subjected themselves instilled within them the pride, confidence, discipline, and discernment necessary to forge an alliance that would stand firm against a great empire, driven by religious fervor, that held sway over two-fifths of the human race.


About the Author

Paul A. Rahe is the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in Western Heritage and professor of history at Hillsdale College. He lives in Hillsdale, MI.
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