Peter Jones reviews
FROM DEMOCRATS TO KINGS, by Michael Scott
Icon Books p/b 294pp £8.99
When the Spartans in 404 BC finally defeated
This tells one as much about
The result was a renewal of normal service in the competitive, self-assertive, always suspicious Greek world: chaotic inter-state strife, with occasional pauses for breath,
It was left to the gathering force of Macedon in the north, under its brilliant, ruthless king Philip II, to impose order. By 338 he had mastered
Scott sensibly enlivens the complexities of this rather bewildering world by portraying it through its leading personalities—Theban Epaminondas, Athenian Demosthenes, Spartan Agesilaus, Plato and others. His efforts to find parallels with the modern world do not carry much carry conviction, but this period has always lain in the shadow of the glories of fifth century Athens, and Scott is to be congratulated on bringing it to life again in vigorous, if sometimes rather hip-hop, style.