Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History / Edition 1

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Overview


Written by four leading authorities on the classical world, Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History introduces students to the history and civilization of ancient Greece in all its complexity and variety. The most comprehensive and balanced history of ancient Greece that covers the entire period from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic Era, it integrates the most recent research in archaeology, comparative anthropology, and social history with a traditional yet lively narrative of political, military, and diplomatic history. The authors show how the early Greeks borrowed from their neighbors but eventually developed a distinctive culture all their own, one that was marked by astonishing creativity, versatility, and resilience. The book goes on to trace the complex and surprising evolution of Greek civilization to its eventual dissolution as it merged with a variety of other cultures. Using physical evidence from archaeology, the written testimony of literary texts and inscriptions, and anthropological models based on comparative studies, the authors provide an account of the Greek world that is thoughtful and sophisticated yet accessible to students and general readers with little or no knowledge of Greece.
Featuring 19 maps, more than 80 photographs, and numerous selections that highlight a variety of primary source material, Ancient Greece is an indispensable text for courses in ancient Greek history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ancient Greece is an excellent text. The authors' shared opinion that ancient Greece is 'one of the most improbable success stories in all of world history' unfolds in a happy combination of the traditional detail of familiar names and events along with a tale of the nameless many--even slaves, women, children, and non-Greeks." --Carol Thomas, Professor of History, University of Washington and President of the Association of Ancient Historians

"My students and I have been waiting for such a clear and fluid reconstruction of Greek history--an unusually smooth blend of political, social, and cultural history. By authors widely recognized for their commitment to teaching as well as scholarship, this work has many strengths and pedagogical virtues." --Donald G. Kyle, Professor of History, University of Texas at Arlington

Library Journal
Four well-known classicists have taken the traditional chronology of Greek history texts and written a much-needed overview for modern students. By means of a chapter structure that is well designed and logical, they take us through each period of Greek history and introduce the defining historiographical and literary issues. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the sources for that period and includes annotated endnotes that deal extensively with recent scholarship. Unlike many other histories, the book goes into depth on the Hellenistic period, as well as the Bronze and Dark Ages. Although the Spartans and Athenians naturally dominate, the authors consider Sparta before Athens, reflecting the order in which the moderns have admired them. An appropriate balance is found between political, social, and cultural history, and the authors display no outlandish prejudices to derail this noble effort. Recommended for all academic and large public libraries.--Claibourne G. Williams, Ferris State Univ., Big Rapids, MI
Kirkus Reviews
From Pomeroy (Classics/Hunter Coll.), Stanley M. Burstein (History/Calif. State U niv., Los Angeles), Walter Donlan (Classics/Univ. of Calif., Irvine), and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts (Classics/City Coll. of New York), a comprehensive narrative history that emphasizes the "astonishing creativity, versatility, and resilience" of the culture shaped by the ancient Greeks. A poor, backward people occupying barely cultivable land on the periphery of the Mediterranean world, the Bronze Age Hellenes or Greeks (c. 3000-1150 B.C.) seem in retrospect an unlikely bet to become the progenitors of a great world civilization. While Bronze Age Greece eventually developed a distinctive culture and power base at Mycenae (c. 1600-1100 B.C. ), it derived most of its industrial skills from its more highly developed neighbors around the Mediterranean basin. And beginning around 1150 B.C., the authors speculate, a mysterious wave of invaders from the north wiped out the brilliant Mycenaean civilization, reducing Greek society to a culturally primitive "dark age" until around 750 B.C. The authors' account treats aspects of Greek life for which primary sources are sparse—-the role of women, for instance—-but it doesn't neglect the amazing political, artistic, architectural, philosophical, and literary achievements of classical Athens and other cities. The authors detail the development of Athens and Sparta, the creative tensions between them that helped defend Greece from Persian invasion, the ruinous wars that vitiated the Greek polis or city-state, and the extensive colonization (by the city-states) and conquest (by Alexander the Great) that spread Greek civilization from modem France to what is nowPakistan. While the Hellenistic kingdoms that resulted from the Alexandrian conquest were brutally absorbed into the Roman super-state, the cultural legacy of Greece remained pervasively influential in the Roman world and exerted a profound effect on the rise of Christianity. An accessible and well-balanced introduction to the culture and history of ancient Greece, useful for both student and general reader. .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195097436
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

City University of New York Graduate Center

California State University, Los Angeles

University of California, Irvine

City College and the City University of New York Graduate Center

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Preface
Acknowledgments
Time Line
I Early Greece and the Bronze Age 1
II The "Dark Age" of Greece and the Eighth-Century "Renaissance" (c. 1150-700 B.C.) 41
III Archaic Greece (c. 700-500 B.C.) 82
IV Sparta 131
V The Growth of Athens and the Persian Wars 159
VI The Rivalries of the Greek City-States and the Growth of Athenian Democracy 201
VII Greece on the Eve of the Peloponnesian War 246
VIII The Peloponnesian War 287
IX The Crisis of the Polis and the Age of Shifting Hegemonies 330
X Phillip II and the Rise of Macedon 371
XI Alexander the Great 395
XII Alexander's Successors and the Cosmopolis 427
Epilogue 471
Glossary 476
Art and Illustration Credits 490
Index 494
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