Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) Paul Cartledge

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 108mm x 172mm x 12mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 10 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199601348
  • ISBN 13: 9780199601349
  • Illustrations note: 15 black and white halftones
  • Sales rank: 118,570

Product description

The contribution of the Ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizably different without the formative influence of Ancient Greek models. Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city - in Greek, the polis, from which we derive 'politics'. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny and - last but by no means least - democracy. This stimulating Very Short Introduction to Ancient Greece takes the polis as its starting point. Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language around 1400 BCE, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around CE 330. Covering everything from politics, trade, and travel to slavery, gender, religion, and philosophy, it provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization that helped give birth to the world as we know it. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Author information

Paul Cartledge is the inaugural A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the Faculty of classics, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Clare College.

Review quote

Review from previous edition Paul Cartledge, Cambridge don and doyen of Classicists, once again shows why he is the surest and most engaging guide tot he ancient world. 'Ancient Greece: A history in Eleven Cities' is a tremendously readable tour d'horizon that goes far beyond Athens and Sparta to explore the roots of Greek civilisation. Justin Marozzi, Evening Standard Paul Cartledge has here pulled off a remarkably clever feat of compression and organization, and will once again place very many readers in his debt. Brilliantly carried through. Simon Hornblower, co-editor of iThe Oxford Companion to Classical Civilizationr A wonderfully concise - and witty - introduction to an ever-popular subject. Sir John Boardman, co-editor of iThe Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic Worldr A rare work, a compelling historical narrative that is also a useful guidebook Peter Stothard, Wall Street Journal Cartledge's success lies in his ability to negotiate a path between similarity and difference; with proper scholarly detachment, he stresses how different the Greeks were; with an eye to broader historical trajectories, he reflects on the grounds for their continuing fascination. Tim Rood, Times Literary Supplement A rare work, a compelling historical narrative. Peter Stothard, Wall Street Journal Thoroughly stimulating book. Tom Holland, BBC History Cartledge is master of his subject. Peter Jones, Literary Review Paul Cartledge... once again shows why he is the surest and most engaging guide to the ancient world. Justin Marozzi, Evening Standard A tremendously readable tour d'horizon that goes far beyond Athens and Sparta to explore the roots of Greek civilization. Justin Marozzi, Evening Standard There are many pleasures to be had along Cartledge's mind-broadening route through time and space. Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Knossos ; 3. Mycenae ; 4. Argos ; 5. Sparta ; 6. Massalia ; 7. Miletos ; 8. Athens ; 9. Thebes ; 10. Alexandria ; 11. Byzantium ; 12. Conclusion ; Preface ; Glossary ; Timeline