Most helpful critical review
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Well Presented but Shockingly Poor History
on 10 April 2013
Don't let this book's fine presentation and authorative tone fool you. I'm afraid the author does not really know his subject and this can lead to feelings of extreme let-down if you have just paid good money for the book only to discover you know fairly basic facts that the author does not.
For example he seems to think that Darius III was present at the Battle of The Granicus. How much of an expert can he really be if he thinks that and why would you pay attention to what is in the rest of the book?
Worse, he makes things up. For example he says that the Persian success in the Centre at Marathon was achieved by Cavalry, for which there is no evidence and in fact would not make sense.
Also, he does not appear to have understood the title of his own book (or more charitably his publishers have given it the wrong title). He spends several pages discussing such things as the Darian postal system, coinage, satrapies, justice etc. and then finally comes to the organisation of the army, kicking off with the words "This is not the place for a detailed examination of Persian military organisation"!!!! In a book sub-titled "Ancient Persia at War"?