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Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae [Hardcover]

Christopher Matthew , Matthew Trundel

Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2013
The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC is one of the most famous battles in history. The heroism of the 300 Spartans who opted to remain behind to face the full might of the Persian host while their Greek allies made good their escape has become the stuff of legend. The story still inspires novelists and film-makers today (Frank Miller's fanciful 300 was a huge hit in 2007 and the film rights to Steven Pressfield's more historical novel Gates of Fire were bought by George Clooney, the film expected to finally surface in 2011 or 2012). But what is the truth behind the legends and why was this bloody defeat immediately accorded a halo of glory that has endured for nearly two-and-a-half millenia? Beyond the Gates of Fire brings together experts on the classical period from Australia, New Zealand and the United States to take a fresh look at various aspects of the battle. A substantial introductory section by the editors outlines the background to the conflict as well as the arms, armour and fighting styles of the opposing sides. The following chapters (9 of them) then discuss such questions as whether the defence of the pass really was a suicide mission; the exact topography of the battlefield itself in 480 BC, using the latest geological research and core samples; the impact of the battle on the Greek psyche; commemoration of the war dead; the impact of the original battle on the conduct of later battles in the pass, right up to the German invasion of 1941. For the classical scholar or the general reader whose interest has been piqued by the popular books and films, this book is sure to shed refreshing new light on the most famous last stand in history.

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Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae + After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars (Emblems of Antiquity)
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About the Author

The book includes contributions from the editors, Dr Matthew Trundle (Editor) of Wellington University (New Zealand) and Dr Christopher Matthew (Editor) (Sydney University), as well as other classical scholars from Australasia and the USA, including: Dr Adele Brown (Queensland University); George Rapp (Minnesota University), Dr Peter Gainsford (University of Victoria, NZ)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
9 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ESOTERIC DRIBBLE 25 Nov 2013
By Ricardus Tercius - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A real stinker.....There are eight essays by "scholars" and not one is a "new perspective" of the battle itself. One of the essays is a debate if the account of the battle by Herodotus qualifies it as an "epic." WHO CARES! I cannot believe that there are actually "scholars" who study issues like these and am even more astounded that they think anyone might actually care. Get a life people! 7 of the eight essays are just as "interesting"!!

Another issue is the seeming necessity of "scholars" to have a ridiculous number of footnotes; it is as if a work cannot be "scholarly" without the excessive use of them. For example: The eight essays total 163 pages with 59 additional pages of footnotes. One essay of 26 pages has 227 footnotes!!!!!!!!!!!

This book is for the scholar only and not for someone interested in the mechanics of the battle itself...
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