Between the Classical Greeks and the Romans. The Hellenistic Kingdoms!

OK, now I realise that few of my metalworking, engine modelling, machinist friends will be interested, but just in case……a history book review….


Philip Matyszak

Hardcover.  £20 RRP

It is satisfying to read a book which plugs a gap in the history timeline.  I chose this title because Philip Matyszak is a terrific author and I always enjoy his books, but once I had read the initial chapters I realized that I knew very little about the kingdoms which remained after the split of the empire of Alexander the Great.

The first third of the book summarises the career of Alexander and his wars of conquest.  Then the maneuvering and wars which determined how the empire was to be divided, and who the rulers would be.  Then a closer look at each kingdom.   The west (Greece, Macedonia), the Seleucid empire (Syria, Persia, parts of India and Afghanistan), and Ptolemaic Egypt.

Matyszak emphasizes that the Hellenistic kingdoms period was not just an interregnum between classical Greece and Rome, but a period with its own significance in warfare, the arts, philosophy, etc.  Three of the seven wonders of the ancient world originated in the Hellenistic kingdoms.

Unfortunately, there are many place names in the text which do not appear on the four simple maps.   Why can’t decent maps be considered an essential component of history books?

(If any of my metal working, modelling, machinist friends would like to borrow this book, just ask.)