Barry Strauss is an accomplished classical historian who has written a number of fine scholarly books and papers on the social and economic aspects of the Peloponnesian War. More recently, Strauss has broadened his interests into making classical history—especially the most famous wars of the Greeks and Romans—accessible to wider audiences through lively and well-researched accounts that resonate with contemporary interests and tastes. In these latter books he explored the Spartacus War—apparently well read by the makers of the hit Starz cable-channel series who seem to have borrowed generously—as well as the Athenian defense at Salamis and the Trojan War. His latest effort reflects those interests, but it differs in that it is not so much historical or biographical as didactic. Strauss seeks to review the careers of the three great military and political leaders of the ancient world to offer lessons about...

 
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