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While at times difficult to keep up with the barrage of names and places for a casual fan of history like me, especially in the audio format, this book shines in recreating the world in which motivations for the battle of Marathon can be understood for both sides of the conflict. Billow's attention to explaining the origins of both Greek and Persian civilizations and historical run up to the actual conflict make it's significance that much more profound. I was left wishing I could time travel.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Marathon again? Why?
I'm listening to it over and over again. Contrary to what the cover might seem to imply, it's not a *300* type book. Instead, it uses the battle as a lens to understand Athenian, Persian, and, to an extent, Greek culture--about all of which, it explodes misconceptions from hindsight bias. Indeed, to only focus on the battle, especially with as little as we know in detail about it, for the entire book, would make it that type of book that puts people in the hospital if they foolishly had decided to read the whole thing. This is an excellent, readable, insightful work that rewards even re-reading, and I say that as somebody fairly knowledgeable about the ancient world.
What about Jeremy Gage’s performance did you like?
Jeremy Gage is excellent, especially in his descriptions of the battle.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I wouldn't say that this is a moving book, although the descriptions of Athenians hurrying back to guard Athens after their victory at Marathon help you to realize Marathon was not a one-off, day thing as superficial history might have it. Indeed, these descriptions really help you to feel the dramatic tension of that day and night.
It is a book meant to challenge practical assumptions about Marathon, ancient Athens, and the Persians, and therein lies its fascination for me.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful