Dividing the Spoils

 

Dividing the Spoils: UK hardback; UK paperback

Dividing the Spoils: US hardback; US paperback

The forty or so years immediately after the death of Alexander the Great constitute a forgotten period of history. These were years filled with high adventure, intrigue, passion, assassinations, dynastic marriages, treachery, shifting alliances, and mass slaughter on battlefield after battlefield. And while the men fought on the field, the women schemed from their palaces, prisons, and pavilions. But Alexander's Successors were no mere plunderers. Alexander left things in great disarray at the time of his death, and it was the Successors--battle-tested companions of Alexander such as Ptolemy, Perdiccas, Seleucus, and Antigonus the One-Eyed--who consolidated Alexander's gains. This period of history is every bit as exciting, and as important, as the dozen years that preceded it, the years of Alexander's conquests. Astonishingly, it was also characterized by brilliant cultural achievements, especially in the fields of philosophy, literature, and art. A new world emerged from the dust and haze of battle.

 

Reviews

'Robin Waterfield's coruscating cultural-political narrative does full and equal justice to all the major dimensions of this extraordinary half-century' - Paul Cartledge

'A gripping and often unsettling account of a formative period of ancient history. As Robin Waterfield points out, it deserves to be far better known than it is' - Tom Holland

'Few epochs in history are more action-packed than the Age of the Diadochi, the successors of Alexander the Great. Distinguished translator Robin Waterfield brings to life the vibrant personalities of this event-filled era, revealing as well new trends in philosophy and art that foreshadowed the Hellenistic Age and the coming of Rome' - Lawrence Tritle 

‘A rich and glittering panorama of the early Hellenistic world. Waterfield has crammed an immense amount of learning and expertise into this book, moving easily between widely divergent topics ... He has encompassed virtually every aspect of life in this turbulent era, a prodigious feat of research ... The era of the Successors, with its many colourful personalities and world-shaking confrontations, deserves to be known and appreciated by modern readers, and with this book Robin Waterfield has taken a huge and welcome step toward that goal’ – James Romm, Anglo-Hellenic Review 

'If it will ever be possible to understand the early Hellenistic period from a single book, this is probably the one' - Janice Gabbert, Choice

'A solid introduction to the period for undergraduates and general readers' - Carol King, Classical Journal

‘Well-paced and often dramatic ... up-to-date research and thorough documentation ... well-placed interludes summarizing Hellenistic developments in social life, literature, art, economics, philosophy and religion’ – Peter Green, Wall Street Journal 

'A successful history' - J.E. Lendon, The Weekly Standard

‘An excellent introduction for the newcomer to the period. Even the specialist who wants to engage with the interpretations offered by W. will find the book stimulating. W. is to be congratulated on having written a clear, insightful and very enjoyable introduction to the history of Alexander’s Successors’ – Alexander Meeus, Ancient History Bulletin  

‘When you have a crafty nonfiction writer who can make the concrete facts truly come to life, then you have also found a true artist. That’s the honor I’m giving to Robin Waterfield ... What is surprising is how interesting Waterfield makes the complicated political maneuvrings, the tactics of the innumerable battles, the lifestyles of the broad variety of civilizations that were affected by this warfare, and more ... Waterfield’s writing is crystal-clear at all times’ – Mark Rose, Bookgasm  

‘Excellent ... Just buy it; don’t hesitate. The book is carefully researched, cogent, clear, persuasive and well written, which is what you would expect from Waterfield. It excels in storytelling, offering insightful analysis ... A brilliant work of history and humanity’ – John Shosky, European Legacy 

'Robin Waterfield ... comes to the topic of Alexander's succession after having written very well received trade books on Xenophon's retreat from Babylonia in 401 BC and on Socrates' trial and death a couple of years later, both perspicacious as well as lively reads. Here his sixteen chapter titles are all resolutely politico-military ... But these disguise one of the books major contributions, which is to do full and equal justice to the brilliant cultural achievements that characterise this extraordinary half-century' - Paul Cartledge, Literary Review

‘Waterfield ... expertly combines cultural history with military narrative, lavishly supplies readers with a wealth of supporting apparatus, and properly accentuates the cultural positives despite all the bloodshed’ – Paul Cartledge, BBC History Magazine  

‘A briskly readable march through tumultuous events which continue to reverberate in the Balkan states and beyond to this day’ – Peter Burton, Daily Express 

‘Agreeably gruesome reading ... fascinating wealth of detail ... fills in many gaps ... Waterfield deserves praise for bringing to life one of the great forgotten wars of antiquity’ – Sholto Byrnes,  The National

‘The story that Waterfield relates is surprisingly little known ... Readers will thank Waterfield for including a “Cast of Characters” along with his cogent narrative’ – Ed Voves, California Literary Review  

‘Recommended for anyone interested in the classical era’ – Stewart Desmond, Library Journal

'A superb examination of a critical but often neglected period of ancient history' - Jay Freeman, Booklist 

'Enlightening ... well researched ... offers a wealth of information' - Willard Stringham, historynet.com

 

 

Rights sold

UK & US: Oxford University Press

Spain: Gredos