Ancient Greeks: Creating the Classical Tradition

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"Outstanding individuals have the whole world as their memorial."—Pericles
The influence of ancient Greek civilization has been felt throughout modern Western history. Greek ideas can be found in the laws that govern our lives, the buildings in which we live, the books we read, and the vocabulary we use every day. Because these ideas have become so much a part of our daily life, we tend to forget that they originated more than 2,500 years ago.
Ancient Greeks chronicles the lives and accomplishments of Greek figures whose influence continues to be felt today. We read about Greeks from all walks of life, including one of the greatest physicians who ever lived, the father of logic, and a brilliant mathematician who once said, "Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum strong enough, and I will single-handedly move the world." And move the world he did, but with his ideas, not a mighty fulcrum.
In 42 essays, authors Rosalie and Charles Baker explore the lives of many personalities, from the most famous Greeks to people who are usually overlooked, including:
Aesop, author of timeless fables that continue to provide lessons today
Lycurgus, the legendary ruler of Sparta
Plato, the great philosopher who established the Academy in Athens
Phidippides, a courier and long-distance runner whose run from Marathon to Athens became the basis of the modern marathon
Sappho, one of the best female poets of classical antiquity
Hippocrates, one of the greatest physicians who ever lived
Alcibiades, a patriot-turned-traitor who was exiled from Greece
Ictinus, the architect responsible for the design of the Parthenon
Aristotle, the father of logic who tutored the teenage Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great, who ruled Greece, defeated the great Persian empire, conquered lands bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea, including Egypt, and won control of lands stretching into India (and all that before his 33rd birthday)
Zeno, founder of the philosophy known as Stoicism
The biographies span the years 700 B.C. to 200 B.C., from Homer, the master of epic poetry and the author of the Iliad, to Eratosthenes, a brilliant mathematician who was the first to calculate the earth's circumference. A handy fact box that lists birth and death dates and the major accomplishments of each person profiled, abundant photographs and specially commissioned maps, a timeline, a glossary of Greek terms, an index of Greeks by profession, a pronunciation guide, and suggestions for further reading all add to the usefulness of this exceptional reference. With figures from fields as diverse as literature, mathematics, politics, the military, philosophy, and science, Ancient Greeks provides a comprehensive examination of the origins of modern civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Every page... is a feast of information... Absolutely everything about this book is first-rate.... Include[s] so many interesting and informative anecdotes and are written in such a clear and engaging style that they beg to be read aloud... Should be in every middle-school and high-school library [and] deserve[s] a place of honor in the classroom library of anyone who teaches younger students about the ancient Mediterranean world."—Classical Outlook

"An excellent collection, with over forty essays exploring the lives of Greek personalities. The biographies span the years 700 BC to 200 BC, and form the foundation for a fine overview of ancient Greek lives and concerns. Packed with insights and information."—Children's Bookwatch

"A unique and invaluable collective biography.... This is an outstanding resource that is comprehensive and extremely readable.... The Bakers' encyclopedic knowledge of their subject and their respect for the intelligence of their audience are evident on every page."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Well-written and well-organized.... An accessible, useful collective biography for modern readers."—School Library Journal

"Using a combination of lively writing, numerous illustrations, and solid background information, the authors profile 37 men and women of ancient Greece.... Each profile contains extensive biographical information and a fascinating discussion of the significance of the individual. An excellent resource for both high-school and young adult collections."—Booklist

"An extremely fascinating and readable reference, which chronicles the lives and contributions of ancient Greek writers, mathematicians, statesmen, artists, and scientists... More than 37 personalities come alive in the pages of this book...Thoughtful and stimulating quotations punctuate the chapters... This highly organized text is an invaluable handbook to Latin and Greek studies at the secondary level. It is also an excellent ancillary resource for the middle schools... What is so appealing about this book is its adaptability to all aspects of the curriculum... [The Bakers'] insight and inviting presentations... will bring a spark to your classroom presentations and your studies of the ancient world."—New England Classical Journal

"Ancient Greeks brings to life philosophers, statespeople, dramatists, poets, and scientists whose impact on Western civilization is still evident. The work is recommended for middle school, high school, and public libraries."—American Reference Books Annual

Chronicles the lives and accomplishments of 37 important Greek figures, exploring the ways in which the Greeks have molded modern ways. Articles discuss lesser-known individuals such as the poet Anacreon and military strategist Pyrrhus, as well as well-know figures, such as Aesop, Homer, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. The biographies are divided into five chronological categories. Each is accompanied by a fact box containing the major dates and accomplishments of the featured individual. Designed for a highschool audience, but accessible to younger readers as well. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
Into the crowded field of books on Greek history comes this entry in the Oxford Profiles series, a unique and invaluable collective biography from the Bakers, long-time editors of Classical Calliope.

These 42 short (25 pages) biographies of important Greeks from approximately 700200 b.c. are organized by era. Every biography includes black-and-white illustrations, quotes from the primary source, a synopsis, and a list of further reading. Every era/chapter concludes with several even briefer biographies of other important Greeks. This is an outstanding resource that is comprehensive and extremely readable, aimed at the high-school audience, but accessible to younger readers as well. While some repetition marks this volume as intended for reference and research, it can also be read cover to cover for pleasure. The Bakers' encyclopedic knowledge of their subject and their respect for the intelligence of their audience are evident on every page.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195099409
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Series: Oxford Profiles Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosalie F. and Charles F. Baker III are the editors of Calliope and both are former teachers. Charles Baker is currently an administrator for the New Bedford public schools in Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Map: The World of the Ancient Greeks, 700 B.C.-211 B.C.

Map: Ancient Greece, 700 B.C.-211 B.C.

Part 1. Forging Greek Unity (700-500 B.C.)








More Ancient Greeks to Remember

Map: Persian War Battle Sites in Greece

Part 2. The Ascent of Athens (500-410 B.C.)









More Ancient Greeks to Remember

Map: Plan of Athens

Part 3. Defending the Tradition (460-400 B.C.)








More Ancient Greeks to Remember

Map: The Conquests of Alexander the Great

Part 4. Expanding the Greek World (400-300 B.C.)








More Ancient Greeks to Remember

Map: The world of the Diadochoi, 323 B.C.-281 B.C.

Part 5. A Lasting Influence (325-200 B.C.)


Ptolemy I (Ptolemy Soter)





Apollonius Rhodius


More Ancient Greeks to Remember

Appendix 1. Timeline of Events in Ancient Greece

Appendix 2. People and Places in This Book: A Guide to Spelling and Punctuation


Further Reading


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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....! 

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....! 

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