General & Introductory Works
In 1872, Jacob Burckhardt, one of the preeminent historians of classical and Renaissance art, architecture, and culture, presented this revolutionary work. Burckhardt dramatically renounced these lectures during his own lifetime, fearing a hostile reception by a world body of scholars and critics who remained wedded to a romanticized view of the ancient Greek world. It is only now, for the first time, that the core of these lectures is available in book form to the English-language reader. Rejecting the notion that a perfect democracy had in fact existed, Burckhardt portrayed ancient Greek culture as an aristocratic world based on ruthless competition for honor, which led, in turn, to a tyrannous state with minimal freedoms. Burckhardt's landmark project, the culmination of thirty years of scholarlship by leading Oxford historian, Oswyn Murray, offers a rich cultural history of a fascinating society.
This highly original introduction to ancient Greece uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative aspects of Greek culture. Cartledge highlights the role of such renowned cities as Athens (birthplace of democracy) and Sparta, but he also examines Argos, Thebes, Syracuse in Sicily, and Alexandria in Egypt, as well as lesser known locales such as Miletus (home of the West's first intellectual, Thales) and Massalia (Marseilles today), where the Greeks introduced the wine grape to the French. The author uses these cities to illuminate major themes, from economics, religion, and social relations, to gender and sexuality, slavery and freedom, and politics.
The ancient Greeks invented democracy, theater, rational science, and philosophy. They built the Parthenon and the Library of Alexandria. Yet this accomplished people never formed a single unified social or political identity. In Introducing the Ancient Greeks, acclaimed classics scholar Edith Hall offers a bold synthesis of the full 2,000 years of Hellenic history to show how the ancient Greeks were the right people, at the right time, to take up the baton of human progress. Hall portrays a uniquely rebellious, inquisitive, individualistic people whose ideas and creations continue to enthrall thinkers centuries after the Greek world was conquered by Rome. These are the Greeks as you’ve never seen them before.
The history of the ancient Greeks is one of the most improbable success stories in world history. A small people inhabiting a country poor in resources and divided into hundreds of squabbling mini-states created one of the world’s most remarkable cultures ... marked by astonishing creativity, versatility, and resilience.
The reader is asked, for the moment, to accept this as a reasonable statement of fact, that in a part of the world that had for centuries been civilized, and quite highly civilized, there gradually emerged a people, not very numerous, not very powerful, not very well organized, who had a totally new conception of what human life was for, and showed for the first time what the human mind was for.
Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World
Blackwell History of the Ancient World
Cambridge Companions to the Ancient World
Routledge History of the Ancient World