By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire

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Product Details
$37.99  $35.33
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.0 X 1.5 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author
Ian Worthington is Curators' Professor of History and Adjunct Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Missouri. He is the author of numerous books about ancient Greece, including, most recently, Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece.

"A steady stream of fascinating stories of brilliant military tactics interspersed with rampant post-Classical gore. From the slaughter of whole villages to unbridled violations of human dignity, By the Spear reminds us of the ugliness of war, especially when military leaders are apparently void of morality filters... By the Spear is loaded with compelling details...but they aren't simply piled on helter-skelter; rather, they are embedded in Ian Worthington's coherent narrative about Macedonian ascendancy in the 4th century BC. This celebrated professor at the University of Missouri convincingly gives Philip II his due in Hellenism's spread, and masks not his thesis that Philip 'has lived too long in Alexander's shadow'." --Books & Culture

"Most histories extolling Alexander the Great pay modest attention to his father, Philip II, but Worthington gives him equal billing in this admirable, scholarly dual biography." --Kirkus Reviews

"By the Spear is an impressive book" --Gerard DeGroot, The Times (UK)

"Ian Worthington is one of this generation's leading historians of ancient Greece and Macedonia. In this book he provides for the first time in a single volume a comparative perspective on Philip and Alexander's empire building, and he admirably succeeds in making this complex and convoluted story accessible to the uninitiated." --Joseph Roisman, author of Alexander's Veterans and the Early Wars of the Successors

"As Ian Worthington reminds us, without Philip II there would have been no Alexander the Great, and by considering together the accomplishments and foibles of both father and son, By the Spear raises a larger question: do great conquerors make great kings? Alexander inherited the legacy of Philip--an ascendant Macedonian empire--but what was the legacy of Alexander, and to whom was it left? By considering the larger picture, Worthington provides new insight into one of ancient history's most fascinating sagas." --Steven Saylor, author of Raiders of the Nile and Roma: A Novel of Ancient Rome

"The Macedonian empire that reshaped the Mediterranean world was the creation of two remarkable men. Worthington's provocative thesis is that Alexander was a conqueror whose legacy was chaos. Philip was a king who left Alexander the basis of empire. Was the father, then, greater than the son? By the Spear offers an unconventional answer in a narrative that is both persuasive and engaging." --Dennis Showalter, author of Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk

"What father-son duo is more mesmerizing than Philip and Alexander of Macedon? Too often historians have focused on one, marginalizing the other, thus Ian Worthington's even-handed treatment of both is to be celebrated. Concise yet clear, Worthington masterfully explores Philip's career and the dazzling, violent, and world-changing reign of his son." --Lawrence A. Tritle, author of A New History of the Peloponnesian War