The range and extent of the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century BC has led to it being described as a 'world war' in miniature. With the struggle between Athens and Sparta at its core, the twenty-seven-year conflict drew in states from all points of the compass; from Byzantion in the north, Crete in the south, Asia Minor in the east and Sicily in the west.
Since Thucydides described the war as 'the greatest disturbance to befall the Greeks' numerous studies have been made of individual episodes and topics. This authoritative work is the first single-volume study of the entire war to be published in over seventy-five years. Lazenby avoids the tendency of allowing historiography to obscure the analysis, and while paying due attention to detail, also looks at the fundamental questions of warfare raised by the conflict.
Within a narrative framework, Lazenby concentrates on the fighting itself, and examining the way in which both strategy and tactics developed as the conflict spread. Not afraid to challenge accepted views, he assesses the war as a military rather than a political endeavour, evaluating issues such as the advantages and limitations of sea power. A readable and clear survey, this text offers a balanced discussion of controversial themes, and will appeal to ancient historians, classicists and all those who are interested in military history.
'This book does exactly what it says on the cover … refreshingly objective … a must for the library of any school or university teaching the subject.' - The Journal of Classics Teaching