Most of the book focuses on the Cycladic culture which developed on the Greek islands (flourishing in around 3,200-1,100 BC), early Cyprus and Minoan Crete, with some coverage of mainland Greece. It ends with the Achaean conquest of Crete (not with a Minoan threat as stated on the back cover). This includes the high-point of Minoan culture during the Palatial and Neopalatial Periods).
The book is very well illustrated with relevant material, including photos of ancient artefacts and artwork and some very useful drawings showing the development of various weapons and pieces of armour over time (so good indeed that the usual good quality Osprey colour plates almost feel out of place).
The authors are clearly not supporters of the 'Peaceful Minoan' model, which suggests that there was no warfare in the Minoan culture. This requires one to dismiss an ever-increasing amount of evidence from Minoan art and archaeology, including wide-spread evidence of weapon injuries in graves and a sizable collection of Minoan weapons.
This is one of those Ospreys that seems to fit an vast amount of information into its limited space, and it is clear that the authors really know their stuff. There are some interesting links made between the physical shape of the weapons and the type of fighting they were best suited to, looking at thinks like the centre of balance of swords, with some more suited to individual combat (the 'heroic' model), with wide sweeping motions, and others better suited to close-order or formation fighting. Develops in metal working are also taken into account, looking at how that affected what was possible.
Weapons and Armour
Fortifications and Siege Warfare
Early Aegean Ships and the Naval Power of Crete
The Life of a Warrior
Sites, Museums and Electronic Resources
Author: Raffaele d'Amato and Andrea Salimbeti