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The Roman Conquests: Macedonia and Greece Hardcover – 19 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (19 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184415968X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844159680
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 583,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P. Beelen on 25 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is the second in a series. Each of its volumes is dedicated to a part of the Roman Empire, and describes the way in which the Romans got involved in adding it to their ever growing sphere of influence. I use the word 'involved' on purpose, because (as Mr. Matyszak clearly points out) the Romans have played any role from avid aggressor to very reluctant bystander and every other possible one in between while enlarging their empire.

Mr. Matyszak describes how the Romans had contacts with the Greek speaking world from a very early date, and over the years got more acquainted with them - and vice versa. Especially the first conflict between Rome and Carthage opened the eyes of the Greek world.
In an entertaining way, Mr. Matyszak throws light on the various stages of the ever deepening conflict between the inhabitants of Greece proper and Macedonia on one side and the Romans on the other. What with all the squabbling between them, the Greeks almost never formed a united front against any aggressor (not even against the Persians). There always was a reason to be found not to take part in an alliance, because a former enemy or such was to be part of it too. It was up to Macedonia to be the most coherent force for the Romans to reckon with. Under its leader Philip V, a curious mix of attack, defense and diplomacy marked the fortunes of Macedonia in the early years of the second century BC. His son Perseus tried to emulate his father, but the Roman juggernaut was unstoppable. With their usual refusing to give up, the Romans pressed on, and after some tactical blunders and some luck on the Roman side, things quite suddenly came to an end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 28 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The perfect companion to this excellent work is the ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Roman military involvement in Greece began with the First Illyrian War of 229 BC, a tentative expedition across the Adriatic that was not seen at the time as the first step on a road to conquest. Perhaps inevitably the Romans were drawn further and further into Greek affairs, eventually fighting a series of wars against Macedonia. The Roman victory at Pydna in 168 BC, only 61 years after that first expedition, saw the destruction of Macedonian power, and established Rome as the main power in Greece, although another twenty years passed before another Roman victory saw them take direct control of the area. In just over eighty years the Romans had gone from virtually unknown outsiders to become the rulers of Greece.

The focus here is on producing a lucid account of the Roman conquest of Macedonia and Greece, rather than on the often confused fine details of events (few of which actually affect the overall story anyway). Matyszak has picked a line of argument in each case, and the result is a good readable account of these events, aimed at the general reader.
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By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a relatively good overview and introduction to the domination and conquest of Greece and the destruction of the Macedonian Kingdom by the Romans.

It is concise, with some 180 pages of text. It is written in a clear, lively and entertaining way and targeted at a general audience. It contains enough elements hinting at current debates between historians on a number of issues and enough references and notes in the short bibliography - almost two dozen titles, including most, although perhaps not all, of the major references – and at the end of each chapter to allow any interested reader to go further.

Perhaps the main asset of this book is that, in addition to the qualities mentioned above, it makes all of the main points, including the fact that the Romans did not initially have any “master plan” to conquer Greece and destroy Macedon, and the fact that when they did come up against the Macedonian Kings, these gave them more than a run for their money.

One of the merits of this book is to show that Philip V and his son and successor Perseus were far from being incompetent generals outclassed by their Roman opponents. These had a tough time during each of the Macedonian wars. They suffered setbacks and it was only through a combination of luck for the Romans and wasted opportunities on the Macedonian side that the initially successful wars of attrition waged against the Romans and the initial setbacks did not turn into major defeats or even disasters.

A related merit of the book is to show that both the battles of Cynoscephalae and Pydna were not the “walk-overs” that they are traditionally portrayed to be, given the huge discrepancies in casualties between the Romans and the Macedonians.
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