Tuesday, 5 August 2014

'Xerxes' by Ian Macgregor Morris

Release date: 30th September 2014
Published by: Pen and Sword Military
ISBN No: 978 1473822993

Xsaya-rsa (Khshayarsha) to the Persians, Ahasuerus to the Jews, Xerxes to the Greeks. So great was his power, that he was hailed by the Persians as 'King of Kings', and by the Greeks as simply "The King". Famed for his beauty and magnificence, he ruled over the greatest empire the world had known, and built cities the like of which the world had never seen. He was the king who re-conquered Egypt and subdued the rebels of Babylon; he was the king who captured Athens and burnt the temples of the Acropolis; and he was the king who defeated Leonidas, the greatest of the Warrior-Kings of Sparta. Some claim that he was the king who saved the Jews. The life of Xerxes, however, has never been told - until now. Ian Macgregor Morris brings together a variety of evidence, literary and archaeological, to create a nuanced account that fully takes into account the context of fifth-century Persia. Macgregor Morris reviews the background of Xerxes' upbringing and his early taste of power, the problems of the succession, and the challenges he faced as a new king. The Greek expedition will be considered from a Persian perspective, while the effect of its failure on Persian policy in general, and on Xerxes in particular, forms a major theme of the later chapters. The character of Xerxes, so often depicted as hubristic, will be re-examined in terms of notions of Persian kingship, while his domestic policies on issues such as religious tolerance and the ambitious building programmes will be seen in light of the political events of the period. To those who know Xerxes only as the sadistic but effeminate poser in gold underpants from the 300 films (300 II is due out in March 2014), it will reveal a man who is far more impressive.

Copyright: Amazon Synopsis

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