The World of the Ancient Greeks

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“Tracing 3,500 years of ancient Greek culture . . . this survey reveals the myriad ways in which these people made unparalleled contributions to the rise of Western civilization.”—Science News
The ancient Greeks set out from their mountainous homeland to colonize and settle much of the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts. They have left their imprint on virtually every aspect of modern politics, theater, art, philosophy, medicine, architecture, and athletics.
Their story is presented here from the Palaeolithic era to the Ottoman empire. Of key importance is the question of how the Greeks developed and adapted through the centuries, and how they interacted, both peaceably and otherwise, with the surrounding cultures. From mythology to recent history, the struggle has surged back and forth across the Aegean: Greeks against Troy, Greek migration and settlement in Asia Minor and southern Italy, Persian invasions of Greece, Alexander’s conquest of Asia, Roman intervention in the Greek world, the spread of Christianity, the rise of Islam, the Crusades to the Holy Land, and the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.
Individual chapters on Greek heroes and gods and extracts from Classical authors and inscriptions bring the story vividly to life and allow the Greeks to speak for themselves.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500288740
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 275,327
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Camp is the Director of the Agora excavations in Athens, where he has worked for over thirty-five years. He is the author of The Athenian Agora.

Elizabeth Fisher is Professor of Classics at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.

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Table of Contents

I Who were the Greeks?
The Ancient Greeks Defined 8
Historical Outline 14
Written Sources and Archaeological Discoveries 20
II The First Greeks
Palaeolithic and Neolithic Greece 26
The Early Bronze Age 30
The Arrival of the Greeks 34
III The Heroic Age
The Mycenaean Palace 38
The Mycenaean World 46
Crete 48
History or Myth? 52
The End of the Palaces 56
IV The Age of Expanding Horizons
After the Palaces: The Dark Ages 60
Colonization 66
Panhellenism 68
Eastern Influence 70
The Beginnings of Greek Literature 74
V Polis: The Early Greek City
The Greek City 78
Regional Diversity 88
Cities of the Mainland 84
East Greek Cities 94
Western Greek Cities 102
The Fight for Survival 110
VI Classical Athens
The Rise of Athens 118
Government and Law 120
Commerce and Business 124
Religious Life 126
The Dionysia and Greek Theatre 134
Intellectual Life: Education and Philosophy 138
Private Life 140
VII Gods and Heroes
Sanctuaries, Festivals and Sacrifices 144
The Twelve Olympian Gods 146
Heroes 152
The Panhellenic Festivals 154
Medicine and Healing Cults 160
Oracular Shrines 162
VIII Greek Art and Architecture
Architecture 166
Sculpture 174
Pottery 182
Painting 184
Metalwork 186
IX Alexander and the Hellenistic World
Historical Background 190
The Conquest of Asia 194
The Hellenistic Kingdoms 196
X Romans and Christians
Roman Philhellenism 202
Hadrian and the Greek World 206
The Rise of Christianity 208
Epilogue: Byzantines, Franks and Ottomans 212
Gazetteer 214
Further Reading 217
Illustration Credits 219
Index 220
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