The epic story of the imperial rivalry between two of the greatest empires of the ancient world – Parthian and Persian – and how they rose and eventually fell.
The Roman empire shaped the culture of the western world against which all other great powers are compared. Stretching from the north of Britain to the Sahara, and from the Atlantic coast to the Euphrates, it imposed peace and prosperity on an unprecedented scale.
However, the exception lay in the east, where the Parthian and then Persian empires ruled over great cities and the trade routes to mysterious lands beyond. This was the place Alexander the Great had swept through, creating a dream of glory and conquest which tantalised Greeks and Romans alike. Caesar, Mark Antony and a long succession of emperors longed to follow in Alexander's footsteps. All failed. Only here did the Roman empire slow down and eventually stop because it was unable to go any further.
Following seven centuries of conflict that, ultimately, neither Rome nor Persia would win, The Eagle and the Lion delves into the clash, context and journeys of these entities of great power and the people caught in their wider struggle.
'As successful in meeting its ambitions as Philip's kingship, as sweeping as Alexander's conquests' Tom Holland.
'By pairing the two giants of Macedonia, Goldsworthy helps the reader understand Alexander's life all the better, and sheds light on the achievements and character of Philip' Aspects of History.
'Contributes significantly to making these scholarly developments accessible to a very wide audience, through engaging narratives which capture the political complexity of the Greek world' TLS.
'Sterling scholarship, engaging prose, insightful analysis, and unbiased assessment' Victor Davis Hanson.
'Belongs on the (sturdy) shelf of any reader interested in military, political or social history' Minerva Magazine