The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine [NOOK Book]

Overview

A stunning work of research and imagination that sheds new light of the ancient world.

The western world has long been fascinated by classical Greek and Roman cultures, whose ideas and achievements underpin our own. Yet little has been written about how those ancient societies existed in conversation with an even deeper past, reaching back to the world of the Trojans and the time of Homer. An authoritative history covering two millennia of ...
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The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine

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Overview

A stunning work of research and imagination that sheds new light of the ancient world.

The western world has long been fascinated by classical Greek and Roman cultures, whose ideas and achievements underpin our own. Yet little has been written about how those ancient societies existed in conversation with an even deeper past, reaching back to the world of the Trojans and the time of Homer. An authoritative history covering two millennia of human experience, The Birth of Classical Europe presents provocative new perspectives on the world in whose shadow we continue to live. The authors' thoughtful, innovative approach to understanding the epochs of Alexander the Great and Augustus Caesar shows how our own changing values and interests have shaped our feelings about an era that is at once remote and startlingly close.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Price and Thonemann, both historians of ancient Greece and Rome (Price is currently at Oxford University, Thonemann taught there previously), have created a multidisciplinary study with emphasis on three themes: memory (including the ancient Greeks' and Romans' memory of their own past); communal identity as defined by the ancients; and changing definitions of what constitutes "Classical." The book is saved from excessive, and specialized, detail in its first half by the frequent use of well-placed vignettes that enliven the text with fascinating anecdotal background. Covering two millennia, the book begins with the myth of Europa, and the authors traverse the distance from the mysterious Minoans to the Greeks, with appropriate attention to Hellenism and on to the Romans of the early Latin kingdom, the republic, and the establishment of the empire. Maps, diagrams, building plans, and illustrations are used effectively, and the narrative becomes truly enjoyable in the book's second half, especially regarding the Roman settlement of Britain. A coda describing the later history of the Roman Empire wisely details the competition among religions and the extraordinary impact of militant belief on politics, culture, and civilization in the West. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101475799
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: United States
  • Edition number: 416
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 508,667
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author


Simon Price is a former lecturer at the University of Oxford, where he taught Greek and Roman history.
Peter Thonemann has taught Greek and Roman history at Wadham College, Oxford, since 2007.


Simon Price is a former lecturer at the University of Oxford, where he taught Greek and Roman history.
Peter Thonemann has taught Greek and Roman history at Wadham College, Oxford, since 2007.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures vi

List of Maps x

List of Plates xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

Introduction 3

1 The Aegean World: Minoans, Mycenaeans and Trojans: C. 1750-1100 bc 11

2 The Mediterranean, the Levant and Middle Europe: 1100-800 bc 45

3 Greece, Phoenicians and the Western Mediterranean: 800-480 bc 77

4 Greece, Europe and Asia: 480-334 bc 113

5 Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World: 334-146 bc 145

6 Rome, Carthage and the West: 500-146 bc 175

7 Rome, Italy and Empire: 146 bc-ad 14 217

8 The Roman Empire: ad 14-284 257

9 The Later Roman Empire: ad 284-425 301

Further Reading 335

Date Chart 347

Index 357

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    There are thousands of books about the classical world so one mi

    There are thousands of books about the classical world so one might ask if we really need another. The answer is yes we do. Our understanding of the past is constantly changing as new information is discovered. New writers have new ways of looking at old subjects. Most of all as the world we live in changes we need new books to help us connect with a past that is constantly moving.

    The Birth of Classical Europe is a wonderful introduction to the ancient world. The authors focus on Greek history and then move on to Rome. They do not spend a lot of time on the civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Ancient Near East, and Egypt. That is not because of any Eurocentric prejudice, but rather they focus their story on one specific region. They spend a lot of time on Minoan and Mycenaean cultures. Using archeological discoveries from the last 20 years they build up a picture of the ancient world that is a little less catastrophic than the previous pictures that we have had. They argue more for a story of a sequence migrations that ends with assimilation. This is a little less sudden than the image of hordes of invaders wiping out the natives and resettling the region.

    The authors spend a lot of time with ancient authors and recognize the value of the ancient sources. They do not accept the ancient stories at face value, that would of course be a mistake. Instead they look at the archeology and see how that illuminates the stories. Often credible theories of the past can be built when one uses this method.

    This book is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the ancient world. Instead it is an introduction to the period. As the first volume of The Penguin History of Europe its purpose is to give the reader an understanding of the foundations of European civilization. The book is designed for the general reader. If you are not well read in the period you can pick this book up and learn a lot. I consider myself to be moderately well read in the period and I learned a lot. The Further Reading section at the end has a wonderful list of books, both scholarly and general reader, that should keep the person interested in the period satisfied for a long time to come. 

    I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to learn about the ancient world. This can be read as a general reader book and could also be used as a high school level textbook for home schoolers or others interested in providing anyone, young or old, with a well written book that is informative and enjoyable.

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