Some Greek books have been read from the library:
"Xenophon's Retreat" was a book I really needed to read to 'start' the close-off of the Ancient Greek (pre-Alexander) period. It has set me up for the actual reading of the original Xenophon and it has also kindled an interest in fighting The Battle of Cunuxa (404 BC) between the Persian Satrap Cyrus and the Persian King of Kings" Artaxerxes II formerly known as his brother Arsaces (see below):
Somehow (as it has been rather a busy time for me 'out of hobby') I managed to slip "Marathon" in too. I must confess I have wanted to read this for some time, as it follows on from the earlier "Killers of Men" book. There is nice coverage of the 'sea battle' of Lade (494 BC) as well as the epic Greek versus Persian encounter at the namesake of the book Marathon. Rather refreshingly it builds up the encounter quite well over days as opposed to a line them up and fight DBA style of encounter (see below):
Historical novels do (with a touch of poetic license) set the scene in a way that more purist historical academics cannot convey (controversial point perhaps), but in a way that I find at least helpful. Interestingly Manfredi is an academic who caters in his novels to the appeal of populous historical fiction reader. His "The Lost Army" is also helping me with Xenophon (see below):
So my fictional journey has started with Xenophon before I begin reading his historical account over the summer. "The Lost Army" is one of Manfredi's better works methinks (almost but not quite at the end of it)!