The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization

Paul Cartledge

Verlag: British Broadcasting Corporation [B.B.C./BBC], 2001
ISBN 10: 0563537647 / ISBN 13: 9780563537649
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First Edition (First Printing).The Ancient Greeks have become very much part of us; their legacy, Western civilisation. But the familiarity has tipped into over-familiarity and, as Paul Cartledge points out, we are in danger of ignoring the fundamental differences between them and us. There's the language for a start. Democracy, for example, meant something very different to the Greeks to the way we understand it now; the British and American systems would have been dismissed as oligarchies. Politics was not the media blood sport that it has become today, it was one of the central activities that defined the lives of the Greeks. Similarly, their pantheistic universe would be totally at odds with our monotheist or atheist world. For all their civilisation, the Greeks mostly lived a subsistence lifestyle at the whims of nature. Even the very rich had little concept of or confidence in passing on their wealth to future generations. The present was all that mattered and much of their thinking was shaped by inherently conservative notions of preserving the status quo; the present day reverence for progress would have been anathema. Indeed their thinking was dominated by the possibility of decline--which accounts for the idealised versions of the City state in Plato's The Republic and Aristotle's The Politics. That said, many of the achievements of the Greeks were little short of miraculous. Forget the Trojan war and the empire building of Alexander the Great, the cultural and sporting diversity alone--much of which we still celebrate today--would have been enough to guarantee their place in history. Illustrated with colour photographs. 253pp. Index. Size: 8vo Demy (8½" x 5½") For more photos or information, use the «Ask Bookseller» button and I'll be pleased to help. The book is in stock and ships from the rustic nirvana of Peasedown St. John, near Bath, England from a long-established bookseller - guaranteed by my reputation and the UK Distance Selling Act. Remember! BUYING THIS BOOK means my Jack Russells get their supper! Condition :: Very Good - in Very Good DJ. Very small stain to top edge of ffep otherwise a very well presented copy. Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: Who were the classical Greeks? Paul Cartledge examines the Greeks in terms of their own self-image, mainly as it was presented by the supposedly objective historians - Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon. The Greeks were the inventors of history as it is understood today, just as they are the cultural ancestors of the West in so many other ways. Yet their historiography remained rooted in myth. The mental and material context of many of the inventions of Greek achievement which are rightly treasured today - especially democracy, philosophy and theatre, as well as history - was often deeply alien to today's way of thinking and acting. The aim of this book is to probe fully that achievement, principally using a typical Greek mode of conceptualization - polarity or binary opposition. It explores in depth how the dominant - adult, male, citizen - Greeks sought, with limited success, to define themselves unambiguously in polar opposition to a whole series of "others" - non-Greeks, women, non-citizens, slaves and gods. Colin Burrow is co-editor of the "Key Themes in Ancient History" series.

From Publishers Weekly: An unusual approach is taken here by Cartledge, a respected scholar of ancient history at the University of Cambridge. A companion volume to a PBS series that aired this month, the book doesn't offer a chronologically anchored narrative of the ancient Greek city states. Rather, the book's 15 chapters focus on the lives of individuals, some well-known to us from history, literature and art: Sappho, Pericles, Socrates, Alexander the Great. Cartledge's main achievement is bringing to our attention others who have been familiar mostly to scholars: Artemisia (a woman who fought on the Persian side in the Persian Wars), Pasion (a money-changer), Neaera (a courtesan). Cartledge personalizes ancient Greek history by using this biographical material to introduce the reader to broader aspects of life in ancient Greece. The focus is primarily social-historical, but the book also connects with such grand military/political events as the Peloponnesian War and the conquests of Alexander the Great. Easy to read and even jaunty in style, this volume also provides an abbreviated time line, a necessary aid for those unfamiliar with the chronology of Greek history, as well as a thoughtful introduction and suggestions for further reading.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization
Verlag: British Broadcasting Corporation [B.B.C./BBC]
Erscheinungsdatum: 2001
Einband: Hardback in Dust Wrapper.

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