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Ancient Athens (Traveler's Guide to) Hardcover – August, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Series: Traveler's Guide to
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Lucent Books (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159018016X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590180167
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,362,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Ancient Athens has passed a great legacy down to the modern world in its political structures, art, literature, and architecture. This book is an admirable attempt to portray the history of the city, and, to a greater extent, the ebb and flow of daily life in the year 340 B.C.E. This date is beyond the time of Athens's greatest glory, but still within the period when its major attractions brought visitors from all over Greece. The conceit of the series is that the information is presented as a travel guide. This gives Nardo an opportunity to describe the customs, people, buildings, religious festivals, athletics, art, and politics as if speaking to someone from another culture, which, of course, all modern readers are. Young "tourists" from the 21st century will find much useful material for reports, including a large number of black-and-white illustrations, a few maps, and an extensive bibliography (unfortunately, not including Web resources). The detailed descriptions of this illustrious city-state should be a welcome addition to any collection. Peter Connolly and Hazel Dodge's The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome (Oxford, 1998) is a good complementary book.
David Pauli, Hillsboro Public Library, OR
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Reviewed with James Barter's Renaissance Florence.

Gr. 5-8. Like others in the A Travel Guide To series, these titles offer a great deal of cultural history in an unusual tourist-guide format, set during historical periods: 1512 B.C.E. in Florence and 340 B.C.E. in Athens. Chapters address standard guidebook fare: history, weather and geography, where to stay and what to eat, architectural and artistic monuments, sightseeing, and nearby attractions. Both books touch on, but don't adequately address, the lives of women (Athens is particularly confusing in its reference to marketplace etiquette between the sexes), and a casual mention in Athens' "Shopping" section that slaves can be purchased in the marketplace needs explanation. But each chapter brings history alive through the details of how people really lived, and there are plenty of facts to catch young readers' interest: male athletes in Athens train and compete completely naked, for example, and residents of Florence only bathe once or twice a month. The dull, mostly black-and-white photos are a poor compliment to the travel-guide format, but maps and extensive notes enhance the creative approach and interesting texts. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Don Nardo is a historian and award-winning writer who specializes in the ancient world, especially the civilizations of Greece and Rome. He began as a actor and worked with the National Shakespeare Company before turning to writing screenplays and teleplays and, soon afterward, devoting much of his time to historical research and writing. In the past two decades, he has published nearly two hundred volumes on diverse historical topics. And having earned numerous favorable reviews, he is widely recognized as the country's leading writer of historical works for young adults. He is also versed in various other subjects and as a result is frequently asked by publishers to write books on a number of scientific and literary topics.

Mr. Nardo also composes and arranges orchestral music, having started composing in his early teens. Over the years he has turned out more than eighty musical works, including 2 symphonies, 4 string quartets, several concertos, a film score, incidental music for stage productions, and several commissions, the most recent a double concerto for violin and Portuguese guitar written for two noted musicians. He is also the resident composer and arranger for the Amadis Orchestra, based in Connecticut. For more information, see his official web site at and his more extensive biography at Wikipedia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a great way to get across information about life in ancient times, namely to write a travel book that looks like it was written back in those days! Don Nardo, by far the best historical writer for young people in the U.S., takes full advantage of the clever format by talking to the reader as if he or she was visitng Athens in the year 340 B.C., not long before the city of was defeated by Macedonia's King Philip, father of Alexander the Great. It's very detailed but never boring, and offers both students and adults a refreshing look at a subject that is often presented in a dry manner in schools. I highly recomend it!
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