I came into game design through the back door, as a classical historian. Haines really created Republic of Rome; I helped develop it from a "slice of the Republic" to a full blown development of the Republic game. Incidentally, I've only played the game once; I am not into diplomatic/political dealing games.
I taught classical history for 31 years at the Univ. of New Mexico, a semi-joke institution and have now made the tough transition to barfly. I also perform various tasks - writing historical copy and box copy - for their ancients games.
You will enjoy my Greek history: Dare To Struggle. The History and Society of Greece, available from Amazon. Actually, let me put that slightly differently: You WILL enjoy my Greek history.