In describing the character and the action of the personages whose histories form the subjects of this series, the writer makes no attempt to darken the colors in which he depicts their deeds of violence and wrong, or to increase, by indignant denunciations, the obloquy which heroes and conquerors have so often brought upon themselves, in the estimation of mankind, by their ambition, their tyranny, or their desperate and reckless crimes. In fact, it seems desirable to diminish, rather than to increase, the spirit of censoriousness which often leads men so harshly to condemn the errors and sins of others, committed in circumstances of temptation to which they themselves were never exposed.
rrel with Amasis, and had fled to Persia, intending to join Cambyses in the expedition which he was contemplating, in order to revenge himself on the Egyptian king. Phanes said, in telling his story, that he had had a very narrow escape from Egypt; for, as soon as Amasis had heard that he had fled, he dispatched one of his swiftest vessels, a galley of three banks of oars, in hot pursuit of the fugitive. The galley overtook the vessel in which Phanes had taken passage just as it was landing in Asia Minor. The Egyptian officers seized it and made Phanes prisoner. They immediately began to make their preparations for the return voyage, putting Phanes, in the mean time, under the charge of guards, who were instructed to keep him very safely. Phanes, however, cultivated a good understanding with his guards, and presently invited them to drink wine with him. In the end, he got them intoxicated, and while they were in that state he made his escape from them, and then, traveling with great secrecy and caution until
A fascinating history told by Jacob Abbott, a wonderful story-teller and historian. We are introduced first to Cyrus, the founder of the ancient Persian empire, his deranged son, Cambyses, and to Darius himself. We follow Darius and his massive military as he invades Greece, in the Battle of Marathon - the first of the Persian Wars, one of those great events in the history of the human race which continues to attract, from age to age, the admiration of mankind.
I would recommend that the moment you finish reading this book, you download Jacob Abbott's "Xerxes (Penny Books)" which picks up where "Darius the Great" ends with Darius' son Xerxes and the second Persian War ... even more of a page-turner.
Both books are as much about the ancient Greek city-states and their amazing reaction to two massive invasions of their homelands as they are about the Persian Empire.
High drama at its best; I would recommend both books to anyone with an interest in history (seems very contemporary at times) and would like an introduction to ancient Greece and Persia.
Who knew ancient history could be so fascinating!
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