"The father of history," as Cicero called him, and a writer possessed of remarkable narrative gifts, enormous scope, and considerable charm, Herodotus has always been beloved by readers well-versed in the classics. Recently, the critical and popular acclaim for The English Patient, whose hero makes The Histories his constant companion, has attracted a new, and wider, audience.
Compelled by his desire to "prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time," Herotodus recounts the incidents leading up to the Persian Wars and the Greeks' stunning victory over the more powerful invading Persian forces. But Herotodus gives us much more than military history. By employing multiple points of view and incorporating the diverse stories he collected during his extensive travels, Herotodus provides the fullest portrait of the classical world of the 5th and 6th centuries. And because he writes in a style highly susceptible to digression, his book includes all manner of marvelous observations--from ants the size of dogs in India, to people who live in caves and chirp like bats in Libya, to flying snakes in Egypt. Most importantly, throughout The Histories Herotodus shows us the ruin that comes to those who overreach their natural boundaries, who fail to heed sensible warnings or act without understanding the web of reciprocity that connects all things.
This superbly readable new translation, along with an illuminating introduction, provides readers all they need to appreciate Herodotus' enduring appeal.
-The Wall Street Journal "Green draws upon a lifetime of scholarship to brilliantly sum up the three-hundred-year Hellenistic age. . . . Happily, this book's brevity-admirable in itself, and in its concision, elegance, and authority-isn't achieved at the expense of subtlety and complexity."
-The Atlantic Monthly
"An interesting and well-written overview . . . Students of world history are in Green's debt."
-The Philadelphia Inquirer "Marvelous . . . splendid . . . a brilliant introduction to this crucial transitional period."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A stunning, fully illustrated and comprehensively annotated genealogical map of the universe of Greek myth, presented in a unique, easy-to-use format. From the television hit Xena, to the Oscar-winning box-office smash Gladiator and to Broadway's Medea, the sagas of antiquity continue to attract avid audiences. Now the lore and legend of Ancient Greece have been distilled into one spectacularly illustrated resource. The Genealogy of Greek Mythology brings to life the complete cast of characters, mortal and mythic alike. Accompanied by more than 125 captivating full-color photographs of art and artifacts, the narratives and bloodlines mapped out in The Genealogy of Greek Mythology are wonderfully user friendly. Beginning with Chaos-the period before the Earth was born-Vanessa James traces the succession of gods and titans through to the first generations of historically verifiable people of the ancient Aegean. Packed with over 3,000 entries, this incredibly detailed resource also features a star chart, regional map, and who's who guide to the Olympian gods. Each side of the book's unique accordion-paged design can be perused section-by-section or fanned out to reveal the entire genealogy in more than seventeen elegant feet.
Everyone wants to live a meaningful life. Long before our own day of self-help books offering twelve-step programs and other guides to attain happiness, the philosophers of ancient Greece explored the riddle of what makes a life worth living, producing a wide variety of ideas and examples to follow. This rich tradition was recast by Diogenes Laertius into an anthology, a miscellany of maxims and anecdotes, that generations of Western readers have consulted for edification as well as entertainment ever since the Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, first compiled in the third century AD, came to prominence in Renaissance Italy. To this day, it remains a crucial source for much of what we know about the origins and practice of philosophy in ancient Greece, covering a longer period of time and a larger number of figures-from Pythagoras and Socrates to Aristotle and Epicurus-than any other ancient source.This new edition of the Lives, in a faithful and eminently readable translation by Pamela Mensch, is the first rendering of the complete text into English in nearly a century. Lavishly illustrated with a vast array of artwork that attests to the profound impact of Diogenes on the Western imagination, this edition also includes detailed notes and a variety of newly commissioned essays by leading scholars that shed light on the work's historical and intellectual contexts as well as its rich legacy. The result is a capacious, fascinating, and charming compendium of ancient inspiration
At a Christie's auction in October 1998, a battered medieval manuscript sold for two million dollars to an anonymous bidder, who then turned it over to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore for further study. The manuscript was a palimpsest-a book made from an earlier codex whose script had been scraped off and the pages used again. Behind the script of the thirteenth-century monk's prayer book, the palimpsest revealed the faint writing of a much older, tenth-century manuscript. Part archaeological detective story, part science, and part history, The Archimedes Codex tells the extraordinary story of this lost manuscript, from its tenth-century creation in Constantinople to the auction block at Christie's, and how a team of scholars used the latest imaging technology to reveal and decipher the original text. What they found was the earliest surviving manuscript by Archimedes (287 b.c.-212 b.c.), the greatest mathematician of antiquity-a manuscript that revealed, for the first time, the full range of his mathematical genius, which was two thousand years ahead of modern science.
From the epic poems of Homer to the glittering art and architecture of Greece's Golden Age to the influential Roman systems of law and leadership, the classical world has established the foundations of our culture, as well as many of its enduring achievements. Astonishingly in-depth in its coverage of the entire 1000-year history of the classical world and richly illustrated, The Oxford History of the Classical World offers the general reader the definitive companion to the Graeco-Roman world, its history, and its achievements.
The first volume, Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World, covers the period from the eighth to first centuries B.C., a period unparalleled in history for its brilliance in literature, philosophy, and the visual arts. It also treats the Hellenization of the Middle East by the monarchies established in the area conquered by Alexander the Great.
The second volume, Classical Rome, covers early Rome and Italy, the expansion of the Roman republic, the foundation of the Roman Empire by Augustus, its consolidation in the first two centuries A.D., and the later Empire and its influence on Western civilization.
The editors--three eminent classicists, John Boardman, Jasper Griffin, and Oswyn Murray--intersperse chapters on political and social history with chapters on literature, philosophy, and the arts, and reinforce the historical framework with maps and chronological charts. The two volumes also contain bibliographies and a full index, as well as color plates, black and white illustrations, and maps integrated into the text.
The contributors--thirty of the world's leading scholars--present the latest in modern scholarship through masterpieces of wit, brevity, and style. While concentrating on the aspects essential to understanding each period, they also focus on those elements of the classical world that remain of lasting importance and interest to readers today. Together, these volumes provide both a provocative and entertaining window into our past.
Highly acclaimed on the other side of the Atlantic, Courtesans and Fishcakes is an illuminating reappraisal of vice and excess in the cradle of democracy
The lifestyle of the classical Greeks often seems disappointingly modest when compared to those of other legendary civilizations. Where are the marbled floors, the pillared halls, the gilded rooms? Even the Athenians, the richest and most powerful of the Greeks, were said by one contemporary to dress no better than slaves.
Athenians, however, were as skilled at spending as their playwrights were at devising tragedies.Vast estates vanished overnight, squandered not on material luxury but on eating, drinking, and sex, ephemeral pleasures that left no monuments but are recounted in numerous ancient texts.
Davidson masterfully unravels these texts, casting new light not only on ancient pleasures but on the Ancient World as a whole. Crammed with intriguing detail, Courtesans and Fishcakes takes swipes at the old scholarship (Freud, Nietzsche, Focault), lays the groundwork for the new, and delivers a fascinating and engagingly written study of the hedonism that ruled Athens.
The art of classical Greece, and its political and philosophical ideas, have had a profound influence on Western civilization. It was in the fifth and fourth centuries BC that this Greek culture--material, political and intellectual--reached its zenith. At the same time, the Greek states were at their most powerful and quarrelsome. J. K. Davies traces the flowering of this extraordinary society, drawing on a wealth of documentary material: houses and graves, extant sculpture and vases, as well as the writings of historians, orators, biographers, dramatists, and philosophers.