The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization

The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization

Paperback Open University Set Book

Edited by Simon Hornblower, Edited by Antony Spawforth

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 832 pages
  • Dimensions: 186mm x 246mm x 36mm | 1,742g
  • Publication date: 4 November 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198609582
  • ISBN 13: 9780198609582
  • Illustrations note: 6 maps, numerous halftones and text boxes
  • Sales rank: 96,764

Product description

How did the ancient Greeks and Romans differ in their attitude towards alcoholism? What role did dance play in religious rituals? What did the ancient Greeks eat? Why was emperor Nero popular with the ordinary people but less so with the upper classes? How did ancient authors reason why Oedipus ('with swollen foot') was so called? For over 2,000 years the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome have captivated our collective imagination and provided inspiration for so many aspects of our lives, from culture, literature, drama, cinema, and television to society, education, and politics. Many of the roots to the way life is lived in the West today can be traced to the ancient civilizations, not only in politics, law, technology, philosophy, and science, but also in social and family life, language, and art. Beautiful illustrations, easy-to-use jargon free entries, and a useful chronology and bibliography make this Companion the perfect guide for readers interested in learning more about the Graeco-Roman world. As well as providing sound information on all aspects of classical civilization such as history, politics, ethics, morals, law, society, religion, mythology, science and technology, language, literature, art, and scholarship, the entries in the Companion reflect the changing interdisciplinary aspects of classical studies, covering broad thematic subjects, such as race, nationalism, and ecology, confirming the impact classical civilizations have had on the modern world. HISTORY AND POLITICS the events, achievements, and personalities of 2,000 years of history in Greece and Rome and their immediate neighbours and the underlying issues themes: armies, banks, bribery, class struggle, democracy, economy, oligarchy, tyranny individuals: Agrippa, Mark Antony, Augustus, Cleopatra VII, Domitian, Livia, Nero, Quintus, Pyrrhus, Trajan ETHICS AND MORALS, LAW AND PUNISHMENT, ECONOMICS individual philosophers and their schools, and ethical issues, attitudes to animals, to wealth, or to warfare, and intellectual or religious intolerance themes: abortion, adoption, adultery, alcoholism, barbarian, capitalism, debt, imperialism, industry, marriage law, prison, slavery, torture Institutions: banks, police, senate SOCIAL AND FAMILY LIFE the everyday lives of the ancients and broader social topics covering status, kinship and the family themes: age, chastity, childbirth, class-struggle, cookery, dancing, dress, food and drink, games, heterosexuality, homosexuality, houses, incest, kinship, meals, suicide, tourism, women LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, ART, AND SCHOLARSHIP writers and poets, orators and playwrights, literacy and books, archives and education, literary genres, painting and sculpture, and the writing of history themes: art, bilingualism, books, comedy, epic, fantastic literature, gardens, genre, maps, narrative, novel, orality, pottery, reception, satire, tragedy individuals: Achilles, Alcaeus, Aristophanes, Cicero, Euripides, Horace, Isocrates, Odysseus, Seneca, Sophocles, Virgil, Xenophon RELIGION AND MYTHOLOGY Greek, Roman, and Egyptian beliefs, cults, and rituals, together with their attendant deities and mythological creatures, mingle with Judaism and early Christianity themes: cakes, dancing, games, initiation, intolerance, magic, mythology, oracles, prayer, ruler-cult, sacrifice, sin, temple individuals: Achilles, Aphrodite, Apollo, Hector, Heracles, Oedipus, Zeus TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE, AND MEDICINE the birth of the scientific method in experiment, and all manner of discovery, exploration, treatment, and theorizing on disease, geography, climate, astronomy, mineralogy, navigation, sanitation, vivisection themes: agriculture, anatomy and physiology, anthropology, artillery, astronomy, botany, disease, ecology, famine, geography, mathematics, medicine, navigation, physics, sanitation

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Author information

Antony Spawforth is Professor of Ancient History, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is also a well-known presenter of television programmes on archaeological and classical subjects in the BBC series 'Ancient Voices'. He has written and edited many books (see books by the same author).

Review quote

Review from previous edition beautifully illustrated and intelligently reader friendly TLS This is a serious book as well as an attractive one T. P. Wiseman, TLS a cut above Booklist magnificent Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph (reviewing OCD) a classic...a highly readable and browseable delight...should be in every reference collection B. Juhl, Choice (reviewing OCD) a delight for anyone with any curiosity about the roots of our Western culture...a browser's paradise, and I would think a researcher's quick rescuer Arthur Miller, London Review of Books (reviewing OCD) the third edition of The Oxford Classical Dictionary should be saluted Nigel Spivey, Guardian (reviewing OCD) a remarkable feat...Simon Hornblower and Tony Spawforth deserve a round of applause for the spread, exactness and range of this massive overhaul Robin Lane Fox, Observer (reviewing OCD) offers not only that breakfast for the mind we keep hearing about, but lunch, tea, dinner, supper and non-stop snacks...offers a cornucopia of accurate and succinct knowledge that would be hard to equal (Peter Green, Washington Times (reviewing OCD) the ultimate useful book Peter Jones, Sunday Telegraph (reviewing OCD) an astonishing book Robert Beaumont, Yorkshire Evening Press (reviewing OCD) the book's substance speaks for itself: 364 distinguished scholars contribute scrupulously sourced intellectual meat of a texture that Socrates himself would savour Sunday Times (reviewing OCD) For classical scholars, the Oxford Classical Dictionary is what Wisden is for cricket fans: the one indispensable reference book...this book is more than a crossword-filler's vade mecum. In the sense of our collective intellectual domestication, it is a household object. The Week (reviewing OCD)

Table of contents

LIST OF MAPS ; PREFACE ; CONTRIBUTORS ; THEMATIC LISTING OF ENTRIES ; ABBREVIATIONS ; HOW TO USE THIS BOOK ; A-Z ENTRIES ; SHORT CHRONOLOGY ; SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY ; MAPS ; ILLUSTRATION SOURCES