Twilight of the Hellenistic World Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into eight chapters and presents five of the main land battles opposing Hellenistic powers and one significant naval battle (between Philip V of Macedon and the King of Pergamon allied to Rhodes) is described in the conclusion. The chapter on the Rise of Aratus draws mainly on an old and hard to find biography of this statesman by Walbank (Aratus of Sicyon, 1934). The pieces related to Antiochus III, the Seleucid king, rely a lot on Bar Kochva's unrivalled book of the Seleukid army, although the authors' reconstitution of the battle of Panion against the Ptolemies is significantly different. Grainger's works on The League of the Aitolians, the Syrian Wars and The Roman War of Antiochus the Great are also very much relied upon for chapters 2 to 6 and 8.
All in all, this book has numerous qualities:
- it clearly shows that, contrary to Roman and pro-Roman propaganda (starting with the Achean Polybios, which the authors always call "Polybius", using the latinized form of his name, and present as a "quisling"), the Hellenistic monarchies and states were not "decadent".Read more ›
Size precludes the authors going into the sort of detail many military historians and wargamers would doubtless like.
What does let it down are the maps, which are not merely poor but are mislabelled as well.
Still I feel it justifies four stars
at university. I was greeted firstly, with no biographical details on the authors
or their qualifications to write on this topic, maps that had titles mixed up &
finally by the most turgid, cliche ridden, semi-literate text I've ever had
the misfortune to peruse. Also the current political views of the authors on
recent British history! I got a few pages in before I gave up!
From my days as an English Foreign Language teacher it almost seemed to
be a vanity publishing project for an overseas student using very bad grammar.
Whoever 'Mike Roberts & Bob Bennett' really are, they need to start rewriting their
books so that people can actually read them!
However this is in line with a worrying trend, ie., the poor quality of History Channel &
National Geographic 'historical' docs rushed out on low budgets to meet product demand
by cable TV. Another example are some of the military Osprey books hastily written for the
This book on Hellenistic warfare although looking good on the cover & with plenty of B/W
photographs is a probable example of a rushed 'pop history' book on military history.
Stick with reliable academic books on the subject.
I've applied for an immediate refund on this outrageously poor product.