From Publishers Weekly
Cartledge, professor of Greek culture at the University of Cambridge, has created an intriguing overview of Greek history by providing synopses of 11 key city-states, each representing a different facet of Greek life and culture, such as politics, gender, and philosophy. Beginning with the earliest example of the successful polis, proto-Greek Cnossos on the island of Crete, and continuing through the near-mythical city of Mycenae; Argos; doomed Miletus; Massalia (present-day Marseilles), the first of the great Greek colonies; and through to the rise of laconic Sparta, it is easy to trace the development of Greek civilization. Classical Greece is examined in the descriptions of Athens, Syracuse, and Thebes. The description of Hellenic Alexandria is symbolic of the transition of the classical period into the Hellenistic age. A final discussion of the polis of Byzantion notes the decline of city-state independence. A list of significant individuals, a glossary, and a time line are beneficial. Other than labeling Athens, Ga., as that state's capital in comments on the proliferation of Greek city names throughout the world, errors are few. 20 b&w illus., 4 maps. (Jan.)
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"Cartledge, professor of Greek culture at the University of Cambridge, has created an intriguing overview of Greek history by providing synopses of 11 key city-states, each representing a different facet of Greek life and culture."--Publishers Weekly
"Aiming for a general audience, Cartledge achieves a fast-paced, highly engaging romp through ancient Greece. An excellent choice for anyone seeking an introduction to the topic; for all its readability, this book doesn't skimp on the research."--Library Journal
"Amid the wreckage of the Greek economy and the deadly riots on its streets, it may be more relaxing to read of earlier struggles in that country, revolutions whose course is more or less settled and no longer careering at horrific speed. Cartledge's Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities is a rare work, a compelling historical narrative that is also a useful guidebook. The premise, as his subtitle indicates, is to help the historically conscious tourist by introducing places of trouble and strife, many of them ignored by travelers, that reveal how Greece, as we know it, began."--Peter Stothard, Wall Street Journal
"A concise, surprisingly nuanced survey...told with good effect through the history of eleven cities...While providing what is perhaps the best short introduction to the ancient Greek world, this book can also be read with profit even by seasoned students of the subject." -- New York Military Affairs Symposium Review