The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of the Western WorldPaperback
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- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 512 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 38mm | 612g
- Publication date: 25 January 2001
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 014029323X
- ISBN 13: 9780140293234
- Edition: New edition
- Edition statement: New edition
- Illustrations note: 24pp b&w illustrations, chronology, further reading, index
- Sales rank: 717,440
The achievements of the ancient Greeks form the cornerstone of modern western civilization. This text traces the entire course of ancient Greek history across thousands of years - from the Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations of the Bronze Age through the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. The account celebrates the incredible range of Greek achievement: the architectural marvels of the Athenian Acropolis; the birth of drama and the timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles; Homer's epics; the philosophical revolutions of Plato and Aristotle; and the conquests of Alexander the Great.
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In more than thirty years, Charles Freeman's travels have taken him to most of the sites mentioned in The Greek Achievement, from Aphrodisias to Olympia, from Troy to Delphi. He has dug on all three continents surrounding the Mediterranean and served as academic director on summer schools on Renaissance Italy. His books include EGYPT, GREECE AND ROME; CIVILIZATIONS OF THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN; and LEGACIES OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS.
Greek civilization still holds us by its air of elegance, its invention of democracy, its devotion to the ideals of freedom and citizenship, the beauty of its architecture and art - even if we know little of the facts, most of us think of it as the epitome of the ideal state. This author speaks of ancient Greece, fairly, as laying 'the foundation of the Western world', and in a narrative as elegantly written as it is sweepingly conceived, traces its history from the time of Homer (whoever he, or they, were) to the moment when Greece gave way to Imperial Rome. Its spiritual life, the administration of its slaves, its philosophers and speculators, its drama and art, its science, mathematics and medicine - this book deals with them all in sufficient detail and with sufficient clarity to show us just what we, and the whole modern world, owe to this extraordinary civilization of over 2000 years ago. (Kirkus UK)
Back cover copy
The achievements of the ancient Greeks form the cornerstone of modern Western civilization. Charles Freeman's The Greek Achievement traces the entire course of ancient Greek history across thousands of years -- from the Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations of the Bronze Age through the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. This brilliant account celebrates the incredible range of Greek achievement: the architectural marvels of the Athenian Acropolis; the birth of drama and the timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles; Homer's epics; the philosophical revolutions of Plato and Aristotle; and the conquests of Alexander the Great.Lavishly illustrated with photographs and maps, The Greek Achievement paints a sweeping panorama of the ancient Greeks' world and provides a rich, contemporary overview of their enduring contribution to world civilization.
Table of contents
Recreating the world of Ancient Greece; the formation of the Greek world; Homer's world - heroes and the coming of city-state; an expanding world - 800-550 BC; new identities - the consolidation of the city-state; underlying patterns - land and slavery; underlying patterns - spiritual life; revolutions in wisdom - new directions in the Archaic age; creating the Barbarian - the Persian Wars; the fifth century - the politics of power 479-404 BC; the Athenian democracy; homage for Dionysus - the drama festivals; man is the measure - philosophers and speculators, 450-330 BC; relationships; transitions - the Greek world in the fourth century BC; Alexander; the Hellenistic world; mathematics, science and medicine; the Greeks and Rome; the Greeks in the Roman empire; conclusion - the Greek achievement.