Peter Green: The Sacking of Athens
6 September 2017
Show More Athens Burning: The Persian Invasion of Greece and the Evacuation of Attica by Robert Garland.
Johns Hopkins, 170 pp., £15, February 2017, 978 1 4214 2196 4Show More
“... In 413
bce, outside Syracuse, the Athenian general Nicias, old and mortally ill, tried to rally the spirits of his defeated troops before their final retreat. A city, he told them, consists of its men, not of its walls or its empty ships. He had in mind their own city of Athens. In 480-79 bce, about a decade before Nicias was born, Athens had been systematically sacked and burned, not once but twice, by Xerxes’ invading Persian army; yet its citizens survived, against apparently insurmountable odds, to inflict crushing defeats on the invaders, first by sea off Salamis, and the following year by land at Plataea in Boeotia ...”