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Bryn Mawr Classical ReviewThis big and important book, consistently interesting and well-edited, addresses a central problem. Fifth-century Athens was a democracy, and an imperial power. What was the connection between these two characteristics on the one hand and the city's artistic achievement on the other?...Not only is the presentation [of this book] virtually immaculate, but immense care has evidently gone into the arduous job of integrating the contributors and eliciting further responses from contributors and others...There is nothing parochially North American about the flavour of the book. On the contrary, it is intercontinental in its approach (just as its contributors are fair-mindedly scrupulous in their efforts to be panhellenic not Atheno-centric in their discussions)...The bibliography takes up no less than 65 pages of the book, and will itself be an extremely useful resource...Unlike so many rhapsodic treatments of the Athenian cultural miracle, it never allows itself for a moment to forget to compare developments elsewhere. That must be in some degree a tribute to the outstanding job the editors have done.
— Simon Hornblower