Introducing the Ancient Greeks From Bronze Age Seafarers

Introducing the Ancient Greeks From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind The ancient Greeks invented democracy theater rational science and philosophy They built the Parthenon and the Library of Alexandria They wrote down the timeless myths of Odysseus and Oedipus and the histories of Leonidas’s three hundred Spartans and Alexander the Great But understanding these uniuely influential people has been hampered by their diffusion across the entire Mediterranean Most ancient Greeks did not live in what is now Greece but in settlements scattered across Turkey Syria Egypt Libya France Italy Bulgaria Russia and Ukraine They never formed a single unified social or political entity Acclaimed classics scholar Edith Hall’s Introducing the Ancient Greeks is the first book to offer a synthesis of the entire ancient Greek experience from the rise of the Mycenaean kingdoms of the sixteenth century BC to the final victory of Christianity over paganism in AD 391Each of the ten chapters visits a different Greek community at a different moment during the twenty centuries of ancient Greek history In the process the book makes a powerful original argument A cluster of uniue ualities made the Greeks special and made them the right people at the right time to take up the baton of human progress According to Herodotus the father of history what made all Greeks identifiably Greek was their common descent from the same heroes the way they sacrificed to their gods their rules of decent behavior and their beautiful language Edith Hall argues however that their mind set was just as important as their awe inspiring achievements They were rebellious individualistic inuisitive open minded witty rivalrous admiring of excellence articulate and addicted to pleasure But most important was their continuing identity as mariners the restless seagoing lifestyle that brought them into contact with ethnically diverse peoples in countless new settlements and the constant stimulus to technological innovation provided by their intense relationship with the seaExpertly researched and elegantly told Introducing the Ancient Greeks is an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the Greeks

10 thoughts on “Introducing the Ancient Greeks From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind

  1. says:

    At first I felt that this book was ok but it grew on me so that now I think it is uite nice and eminently recommendable as a non threatening introduction to the Ancient GreeksHall has a double approach which structures the book one broadly chronological the other ten key characteristics which she thinks typical of the Ancient Greeks apart from the Spartans

  2. says:

    This book looked interesting on the shelves; I thought that if nothing else I might learn one or two things at least about post Mycenean pre classical Greece and since the author is a philosophy prof get her particular take on the ground zero of western philosophyUnfortunately whopper errors at the start and end of the book mar any good content in the middleFir

  3. says:

    A big subject in a small book It is difficult to get everything that was important about Greeks in 300 pages but the book does a good job of giving a sketch of why we should still pay attention to the ancient Greeks The story is not revisionist and in many ways is old school about the Greeks but it is an entertaining synopsis of the highlights of Greek Culture Pleas

  4. says:

    Professor Hall’s work does not appear to be so much a history as an intellectual history an important subdivision of the general enterprise of history While this is a competent history of the Greeks through to the conuest of Christianity it does not offer any new insights There is an acknowledgement of the traditional and revisionist approaches to the ancient Greeks i

  5. says:

    This book served as a good intro to the ancient Greek world I am going to read some Herodotus and Thucydides soon

  6. says:

    A great book written by a superb author although her comments on christianity made me feel like she was yelling at me through the pages My only complaint is the lack of mapsillustrations as it was extremely difficult to picture so many military campaigns in my head Her ancient literary commentary was absolutely fantastic

  7. says:

    A fantastically useful research teaching tool on Ancient Greece that is also immensely readableand these two characteristics don't always work in tandem I thoroughly enjoyed the concise chapters the categories of analysis and the smooth flowing prose style

  8. says:

    A good book but could be better written Some odd error Augustus for Octavian at the battle of Actium

  9. says:

    Introducing the Ancient Greeks From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind by Edith Hall is an exceptional review of the impact of the ancient Greeks and clearly describes how these innovators gained their knowledge and scattered their culture abroad to what ultimately becomes known as the Roman Empire Hall uses ten characteristics uniue to the ancient Greeks and how each of thes

  10. says:

    Ancient Greece culture is one of the pillars of modern Western civilization and this book is a great introduction to almost two thousand years of history that still shapes our cultureThe author lays out in the very beginning of the book what she considers as the essential components of ancient Greek culture and character and then proceeds in chronological fashion to show us how parts of ancient Greek

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