The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization

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Simon and Schuster, Aug 16, 2005 - History - 320 pages
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On a late September day in 480 B.C., Greek warships faced an invading Persian armada in the narrow Salamis Straits in the most important naval battle of the ancient world. Overwhelmingly outnumbered by the enemy, the Greeks triumphed through a combination of strategy and deception. More than two millennia after it occurred, the clash between the Greeks and Persians at Salamis remains one of the most tactically brilliant battles ever fought. The Greek victory changed the course of western history -- halting the advance of the Persian Empire and setting the stage for the Golden Age of Athens.
In this dramatic new narrative account, historian and classicist Barry Strauss brings this landmark battle to life. He introduces us to the unforgettable characters whose decisions altered history: Themistocles, Athens' great leader (and admiral of its fleet), who devised the ingenious strategy that effectively destroyed the Persian navy in one day; Xerxes, the Persian king who fought bravely but who ultimately did not understand the sea; Aeschylus, the playwright who served in the battle and later wrote about it; and Artemisia, the only woman commander known from antiquity, who turned defeat into personal triumph. Filled with the sights, sounds, and scent of battle, The Battle of Salamis is a stirring work of history.

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You want real Greek history? Trade in your blue-ray copy of Frank Miller's '300' and read this book.
The most critical point in the Persian Wars is this naval battle, not the holding action at Thermopylae.


The Advance
The Trap
The Battle
The Retreat

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Page 13 - Above all, perhaps, he knew that a straight line is not always the shortest distance between two points.
Page 8 - Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus. The purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, and to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks; among the matters covered is, in particular, the cause of the hostilities between Greeks and non-Greeks.
Page ii - In compelling fashion, Strauss imaginatively accentuates the local geography and the experience of battle; however, he is most evocative when outlining the strategic thought of the leaders, Xerxes for the Persian Empire and Themistocles for the Hellenic alliance.

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About the author (2005)

Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, is a leading expert on ancient military history. He has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, and The Spartacus War. Visit

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