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Ancient Greece: A Political, Social and Cultural History, 2nd Edition Paperback – August 6, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0195308006 ISBN-10: 019530800X Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2nd edition (August 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019530800X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195308006
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Four well-known classicists have taken the traditional chronology of Greek history texts and written a much-needed overview for modern students. By means of a chapter structure that is well designed and logical, they take us through each period of Greek history and introduce the defining historiographical and literary issues. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the sources for that period and includes annotated endnotes that deal extensively with recent scholarship. Unlike many other histories, the book goes into depth on the Hellenistic period, as well as the Bronze and Dark Ages. Although the Spartans and Athenians naturally dominate, the authors consider Sparta before Athens, reflecting the order in which the moderns have admired them. An appropriate balance is found between political, social, and cultural history, and the authors display no outlandish prejudices to derail this noble effort. Recommended for all academic and large public libraries.?Claibourne G. Williams, Ferris State Univ., Big Rapids, MI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

From Pomeroy (Classics/Hunter Coll.), Stanley M. Burstein (History/Calif. State U niv., Los Angeles), Walter Donlan (Classics/Univ. of Calif., Irvine), and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts (Classics/City Coll. of New York), a comprehensive narrative history that emphasizes the ``astonishing creativity, versatility, and resilience'' of the culture shaped by the ancient Greeks. A poor, backward people occupying barely cultivable land on the periphery of the Mediterranean world, the Bronze Age Hellenes or Greeks (c. 30001150 b.c.) seem in retrospect an unlikely bet to become the progenitors of a great world civilization. While Bronze Age Greece eventually developed a distinctive culture and power base at Mycenae (c. 16001100 b.c. ), it derived most of its industrial skills from its more highly developed neighbors around the Mediterranean basin. And beginning around 1150 b.c., the authors speculate, a mysterious wave of invaders from the north wiped out the brilliant Mycenaean civilization, reducing Greek society to a culturally primitive ``dark age'' until around 750 b.c. The authors' account treats aspects of Greek life for which primary sources are sparsethe role of women, for instancebut it doesnt neglect the amazing political, artistic, architectural, philosophical, and literary achievements of classical Athens and other cities. The authors detail the development of Athens and Sparta, the creative tensions between them that helped defend Greece from Persian invasion, the ruinous wars that vitiated the Greek polis or city-state, and the extensive colonization (by the city-states) and conquest (by Alexander the Great) that spread Greek civilization from modem France to what is now Pakistan. While the Hellenistic kingdoms that resulted from the Alexandrian conquest were brutally absorbed into the Roman super-state, the cultural legacy of Greece remained pervasively influential in the Roman world and exerted a profound effect on the rise of Christianity. An accessible and well-balanced introduction to the culture and history of ancient Greece, useful for both student and general reader. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It takes a well laid out book like Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History to help explain it.
Rebecca Graf
Even if you know much of the period, reading this book will give periodic nuggets of information, and gems of integrative insight.
glifa@aol.com
I had fragments of information that I have gathered through out my life and this book just filled the missing gap.
Raymond Kim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The $70 dollar textbook version of this work admirably fills its role as an introductory college text. However, the edition available here and at general bookstores is photo-offset in black and white, and consequently the many color maps and photographs in the original lose their visual splendor. For the general reader I would recommend instead Thomas Martin's "Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times," which is just as good as Pomeroy et al. and less than half the price.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
One of the best things about this book is that it's current and up to date on the most recent dicoveries in ancient Greek history. It provides the reader with a clear and organized history of Greece which both the novice and student can appreciate. It also includes great original sources, which are sometimes difficult to come by, and excellent maps. This is a great review for pulling all the facts together.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marcos A. Bruno on April 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, what a masterpiece! I started my self-conducted study of ancient Greek history with a different textbook. A good one but it did not impress me quite as much as this one. Written in a clear and fluent language, covering the whole range of Greece's ancient histoy and enriched with excellent pictures and diagrams, it makes the reading not only highly informative but also pleasant and entertaining, giving both beginners and students in the area a solid foundation for further and more specialised reading. It was sad to read some of the shallow and one-sided comments on here from people who certainly don't have the capability to realize the authors' didactic skill to reach out to a broad spectrum of readers of such a complex, broad and magnificent subject. This text rekindled my passion for the ancient world and gave me a great deal of motivation to pursue further reading on other aspects of ancient Hellas such as Religion, Politics, Mythology and so forth. If you're looking for a solid foundation and inspiration, I strongly recommend this book. Hail Pallas Athena!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By glifa@aol.com on January 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Despite a few irritating editorial glitches, this book fills an important void for those trying to integrate greek classical literature with historical and social science insight. Even if you know much of the period, reading this book will give periodic nuggets of information, and gems of integrative insight. The novice, non-technical reader will find this the best overall introduction available.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth I. Mayer on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've used this text in my Greek Civilization course and I find that it has a wide range of material and reflects the latest trends in scholarship. For some courses I prefer Demand's History of Ancient Greece because it is more concise and better written--the short chapters give me more freedom to assign original Greek texts. But the price for that small text is outrageous!
The reason I'm provoked to write this review is I'm looking over the reading I assigned my students for today. See Pomeroy p. 246, the first paragraph on the Peloponnesian War, beginning "Avoiding war was particularly important when the Greeks has such precious achievements to protect in so many areas." The paragraph goes downhill from there. A horrible, scattered introduction which does nothing to convey why this central episode of Greek history was so important to the Greeks and retains its importance today. On many occasions the blah prose of this text renders the most interesting moments of Greek history dull and soporific.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Kim on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Luckily, this was the first book I ever read about Ancient Greece and I feel very fortuneate about it. Book is very comprehensive in many ways, and it is both extremely entertaining as well as informative. There is just about everything you need to know. I had fragments of information that I have gathered through out my life and this book just filled the missing gap. This book did not just lay facts, but had various parables and also had interesting references from many other sources. It want into details of many lives and I learned about Alexander the Great, Plato, about Sparta and contrasting Athens and more. This book is quite long but never boring, and you can read it like any other fiction books. Some topics will interest you more and will lead you to other books. In my case I have bought Plutarch's lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JordanJasper on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The enormous scope of this treatment--a cramming-in of all these facets of ancient Greek history--almost set the book up for inevitable trouble, but somehow it works. The idea might have been better delineated in several volumes, but all the chief threads that intertwined to make ancient Greece worth writing about, eventually(!) are identified and given their due unraveling and then relacing. The pre-Mycenaean treatment is very very probative and supports the infrastructure of this history, while I think the various "walkabouts" (e.g. Athenian feminist issues) are indicative of editorial laxity, perhaps? Basically, sometimes there is too much that can distract from the trajectory of this history, and trajectory is crucial when composing an account covering this amount of time...to say nothing of the daunting amount of material that deserves primary treatment in such an account. Greek religion and the emergence of learning are wonderfully treated, military development, etc. It's all here (and then some), and the sum is surprisingly cohesive, but then again, it has to be. One book to do it all. Or try to do it all. Readable, sturdy style. Just engaging enough. Still, the intelligent lay reader could do a great deal worse by not including this on one's library shelf. Verdict: recommended and worthy.
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