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Phoenix

A Father, a Son, and the Rise of Athens

David Stuttard

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Harvard Uni.Press Academi
04 May 2021
A vivid, novelistic history of the rise of Athens from relative obscurity to the edge of its golden age, told through the lives of Miltiades and Cimon, the father and son whose defiance of Persia vaulted Athens to a leading place in the Greek world.

When we think of ancient Greece we think first of Athens: its power, prestige, and revolutionary impact on art, philosophy, and politics. But on the verge of the fifth century BCE, only fifty years before its zenith, Athens was just another Greek city-state in the shadow of Sparta. It would take a catastrophe, the Persian invasions, to push Athens to the fore. In Phoenix, David Stuttard traces Athens's rise through the lives of two men who spearheaded resistance to Persia: Miltiades, hero of the Battle of Marathon, and his son Cimon, Athens's dominant leader before Pericles.

Miltiades's career was checkered. An Athenian provincial overlord forced into Persian vassalage, he joined a rebellion against the Persians then fled Great King Darius's retaliation. Miltiades would later die in prison. But before that, he led Athens to victory over the invading Persians at Marathon. Cimon entered history when the Persians returned; he responded by encouraging a tactical evacuation of Athens as a prelude to decisive victory at sea. Over the next decades, while Greek city-states squabbled, Athens revitalized under Cimon's inspired leadership. The city vaulted to the head of a powerful empire and the threshold of a golden age. Cimon proved not only an able strategist and administrator but also a peacemaker, whose policies stabilized Athens's relationship with Sparta.

The period preceding Athens's golden age is rarely described in detail. Stuttard tells the tale with narrative power and historical acumen, recreating vividly the turbulent world of the Eastern Mediterranean in one of its most decisive periods.
By:   David Stuttard
Imprint:   Harvard Uni.Press Academi
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780674988279
ISBN 10:   0674988272
Pages:   408
Publication Date:   04 May 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Stuttard is an independent scholar, theater director, and Fellow of Goodenough College who has written more than ten books about ancient Greece, including Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens.

Reviews for Phoenix: A Father, a Son, and the Rise of Athens

Cimon, son of Miltiades of Marathon fame, has left virtually no autobiographical trace in the historical record of fifth-century BC Athens and Greece. With masterly intuitiveness and scrupulous scholarship adeptly combined, this always engaging life-and-times biography at last does justice to the achievements of both father and son, achievements that set the tone and the stage for the extraordinary political and cultural flowering that has left its mark on modernity no less than antiquity.--Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge Stuttard offers a captivating and at times sparkling narrative underpinned with copious research. By bringing Cimon to life, he makes a persuasive case for assigning him a pivotal role in the realignment of fifth-century Athenian politics.--Robert Garland, author of How to Survive in Ancient Greece


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