Moviegoers will know that "300", a graphic retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, has topped the box office charts for several weeks now (although it's apparently now been replaced by the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie). While "300" was lauded more for dazzling visual effects than solid storytelling, it at least has the virtue of inserting one of history's great stories back into the popular consciousness.
The "great story," of course, is that of the Persian Wars. If the movie and/or the comic book it was based on intrigued you, why not go straight to the source for the "real" story? Herodotus' The Persian Wars, available in our classy green Loeb Classical Library© edition, is one of the first and most famous accounts of military conflict ever written.
Other Loeb volumes that deal in some way with great wars of the ancient world include:
- Aeschylus, Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes
- Aristophanes, Acharnians. Knights and Clouds. Wasps. Peace
- Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander
- Caesar, The Gallic War, The Civil Wars, and Alexandrian War. African War. Spanish War
- Euripides, Trojan Women
- Josephus, The Jewish War
- Livy, History of Rome
- Lucan, The Civil War
- Sallust, War with Catiline. War with Jugurtha. Selections from the Histories. Doubtful Works
- Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
- Virgil, Aeneid
- Xenophon, Anabasis
See also Robin Waterfield's recent Xenophon's Retreat: Greece, Persia, and the End of the Golden Age, a look at Xenophon's famous account of ill-fated expedition of a band of Greek mercenaries who traveled east to fight for the Persian prince Cyrus the Younger in his attempt to wrest the throne of the mighty Persian empire from his brother.