Book Review “Alexander The Great Versus Julius Caesar”

Ancient World History


In the annals of ancient history the lights of Alexander the Great and Gaius Julius Caesar shine brighter than any other, inspiring generations of dynasts and despots with their imperial exploits. Each has been termed the greatest military leader of the ancient world, but who actually was the best? In this new book Dr Simon Elliott first establishes a set of criteria by which to judge the strategic and tactical genius of both. He then considers both in turn in brand-new, up-to-date military biographies, starting with Alexander, undefeated in battle and conqueror of the largest empire the world had seen by the age of 26\. Next Caesar, the man who played the crucial role in expanding Roman territory to the size which would later emerge as the Empire under his great nephew, adopted son and heir Augustus. The book’s detailed conclusion sets each of their military careers against the criteria set out earlier to finally answer the question: who was the greatest military leader in the ancient world?


Factual history books are mostly way outside my usual genre but this one peaked my interest due to having loved Classical Studies at school and we did an awful on Julius Caesar. I didn’tknow quite as much about Alexander The Great so here was my chance to learn. Boy did I learn! I was a little concerned that the book might be all stuffy and highbrow full of facts that couldn’t be taken in but no so, Simon Elliot writes in a style that really makes you want to learn more about these two characters. I read the book much more quickly that I thought I would. The level of research that has gone into this book is astounding, it is a veritable smorgasbord of facts and History from the the time period. the photography is beautiful and the artefacts contained within the photos create a fabulous picture in your minds eye about the era and the lives they lived.

The chapters are written separately on Alexander and his wars and Caesar and his escapades. This actually helps to be able to dip in and out of each of these great Generals of the Ancient world. Picking up interesting nuggets as you go. I think my husband is getting a bit fed up with me saying ” oh now that ‘s interesting, Did you know…?”

The final chapter is Simon’s conclusion on who he really believes was the greatest General of the time. I am not going to spoiling the answer to that. I definitely enjoyed this History of The greatest Generals of the Ancient Times and I would highly recommend to any history buffs or those studying this era. Its a fantastic book and I will be sharing my copy far and wide.


Author Info Dr Simon Elliott is an award winning and best selling historian, archaeologist, author, broadcaster, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, Trustee of the Council for British Archaeology, Ambassador for Museum of London Archaeology, Guide Lecturer for Andante Travels and President of the Society of Ancients. He has published many well received books on themes related to the ancient world, most recently the Amazon no 1 best selling _Roman Britain’s Missing Legion_, and frequently appears on broadcast media as a presenter and expert on ancient world and military themes.

With Thanks for the Advance Copy to …

Pen and Sword Books

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