Robert Morkot is a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Exeter.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Greeceby Robert Morkot, Swanston Graphics Limited (Other)
The cradle of Western civilisation, Ancient Greece was a land of contradictions and conflict. Intensely quarrelsome and competitive, the Greek city-states consistently proved unwilling and unable to unite. Yet, in spite of or even because of this internal discord, no ancient civilization proved so dynamic or productive. The Greeks not only colonized the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas but set standards of figurative art that endured for nearly 2500 years. Charting topics as diverse as Minoan civilization, The Persian Wars, the Athenian Golden Age and the conquests of Alexander the Great, the book traces the development of this creative and restless people and assesses their impact not only on the ancient world but also on our own attitudes and environment. The authoritative narrative, illustrated with over sixty full colour maps and over seventy plates, makes this an indispensable handbook for history students and enthusiasts alike.
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In the study of Ancient Greece, there should always be reference material that helps guide the reader/student through the history in a way that helps the historical events sink in and take root. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece by Robert Morkot is one of those valuable resources. It opens the world of Ancient Greece in a vivid and concise manner. This is not a work that is dry and boring. It does not give every detail of Ancient Greece life and history. What it does give you will not be quickly forgotten. Morkot divides his book into five parts with a colorful timeline leading the way. The timeline gives not only the Greek history but also that of Europe and the Mediterranean areas. Each section has maps that are detailed with lines, arrows, colors, and extremely descriptive of the time and the events. Literature, wars, architecture, and leaders are all discussed. They are not glossed over nor are they discussed in depth. The subjects are concise to keep the book thin and easy to carry with other material and to help round out curriculum and libraries. It is written in an easy to read style that helps the student better understand the Greek Dark Age or the rise of Sparta. Every aspect of Ancient Greek history and society is discussed including that of the role of women and daily life in Athens and Sparta. Discussions of Greek art, plays, and philosophy are not missed. Explanations of battle strategies and political reforms are laid out as well as controversial topics such as Atlantis and the Sea People theory. Nothing is missed. This is an excellent piece of reference material that any ancient historical library should contain. It is not a piece to stand alone, but is made to accompany other works that delve much deeper into the Ancient Greek history. The maps alone are worth it as few historical works add enough images to help the reader see the events instead of just reading about them. It helps the world of Ancient Greece from the Minoans through the age of Alexander the Great and into Ancient Rome come alive.