Athens: A History, From Ancient Ideal To Modern City and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former Library book. Light wear with minimal wear on cover and bindings. Pages show minor use.100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Athens: A History, From Ancient Ideal To Modern City Hardcover – March 30, 2004

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.98 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Athens will host the Olympic Games in 2004, perhaps restoring some glory to a city that, according to Waterfield, has seen better days. In this fast-paced history, Waterfield, who has translated many works from ancient Greek, chronicles the rise and fall of Athens, from ancient days (the bulk of his narrative) to the political revolutions of the 19th century. Legend has it that the great Theseus, who killed the Minotaur, was one of the city's founders and fostered its democratic spirit. Athens's location near the coast (facilitating trade) and its fertile land attracted migrants from the Mediterranean world. For Waterfield, the period of Athens's greatest glory came in the fifth century B.C., when Pericles overturned its aristocratic rule and established a democracy. For 30 years (446-416 B.C.), Athens reached a glorious pinnacle during which philosophy, religion, art and architecture flourished. The grandest accomplishment was the building of the Parthenon, completed in just nine years. During its peak years, Athens also attempted to reign over neighboring states, and its increasingly arrogant imperialism and materialism eventually resulted in war with Sparta and other Greek states that destroyed Athens's splendor. As Waterfield observes, Athens would never again achieve such glory, and it became a territory ruled over the years by Persia, Rome and Turkey. Waterfield sandwiches his helpful history between an opening section on the ancient Olympics and a closing one on the forthcoming games, which jars readers out of their pleasant excursion though the ancient city. 8 pages of b&w photos, not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Timed for the 2004 Olympics, this historical narrative aspires to a broader focus than most books celebrating the meteoric rise and fall of classical democracy in fifth-century Athens. Opening significantly prior to Pericles and following Athens' decline through the Roman empire and beyond, it does manage to contextualize the glory days of Greece within a broad historical arc, even if somewhat unevenly: the 1,500 years from Byzantium to Lord Elgin are compressed somewhat uncomfortably into the same amount of space devoted to ancient Athens' leisure activities. Athens in the twentieth century--including the civil war leading to Greek independence--appears only in the epilogue. In spite of these unfortunate foreshortenings, however, Waterfield's study of the deep footprints of the classical era in general and the Olympic ideal in particular is honest, accessible, and enlightening. Its tour of daily life in classical Athens is excellent, and while it deals with modern Athens much less than its subtitle would imply, the modern political world looms present in Waterfield's analysis of Athens' downfall, the result of "shortsighted arrogance" and "overreaching." Brendan Driscoll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Hero Quick Promo
Today Only: Up to 80% Off Popular Summer Reads on Kindle
Today only, get books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Brad Meltzer, Amy Tan, Jane Green, and more at up to 80% off. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1St Edition edition (March 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 046509063X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465090631
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,640,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane B. Ames on July 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This extremely interesting and comprehensive look at the long, long history of Athens put our current world issues into a new perspective for me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Lee on December 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My wife is of Greek origin and ever since visiting the country for the first time in 2007 (after 17 years of marriage) I've been in love with it. I've also been fortunate to have visited places most people don't get to see and my interest in its history has only grown. I found Robin Waterfield's book when researching for an idea I have about a novel series on Athens. the book seemed to be one of the only ones available that gave the history of Athens I was looking for. It was well reviewed and after getting into it those reviews seem well founded.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again