Widely acknowledged as the most authoritative study of ancient Greece, George Grote's twelve-volume work, begun in 1846, established the shape of Greek history which still prevails in textbooks and popular accounts of the ancient world today. Grote employs direct and clear language to take the reader from the earliest times of legendary Greece to the death of Alexander and his generation, drawing upon epic poetry and legend, and examining the growth and decline of the Athenian democracy. The work provides explanations of Greek political constitutions and philosophy, and interwoven throughout are the important but outlying adventures of the Sicilian and Italian Greeks. The final volume of Grote's history begins with the reign of Alexander the Great, and ends with a review of the Greek world at 'the close of the history of free Hellas and Hellenism'. An index to all twelve volumes completes this monumental work of scholarship.