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)
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 highly stimulating 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.
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