THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece - and Western Civilization

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THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece - and Western Civilization By Barry Strauss 296 Pages, Illustrated/maps, 6'' x 9'', Hardback. ISBN:0-7432-4450-8 $25.00. Simon & Shuster, New York, NY; httpA-esources.simonsays.com

There are battles and there are battles. Some affect national fates as in John Paul Jones' victory over the Brits. Others are more of the tactical variety; their significance evaluated into the sum of a larger campaign's outcome, as in WWII's Battle of Leyte Gulf. And then there are encounters which affect civilization itself; battles of a magnitude that impact generations for centuries to come. Such a clash was the Battle of Salamis - a maritime engagement that routed the Persian Empire and made possible modern democracy.

On a late-September morning in 480 BC, the Persian emperor Xerxes intended to add Greece to the greatest empire on earth, while the stubborn Greeks rowed for liberty or death. Foremost among the Greek city-states was the fledgling democracy of Athens, led by the brilliant and cunning Themistocles, who lured the Persian fleet into the narrow straits that separate the Greek mainland from the island of Salamis. They were in sight of Athens' Acropolis, a smoldering ruin after the Persians sacked it the day before. …