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From Solon to Socrates: Greek History and Civilization During the 6th and 5th Centuries BC (Routledge Classics) Paperback – October 19, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0415584876 ISBN-10: 0415584876

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Classics
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415584876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415584876
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Victor Ehrenberg (1891-1976) was a German historian renowned for his study of Greek history. He emigrated to Britain in 1939 and was Reader in Ancient History at Bedford College, University of London.

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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Aquila on August 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
One of the better surveys of classical Greek history available, this book begins with short introductory chapters on the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. before moving on to a chronological history ending with the death of Socrates in 399 B.C. Topics include Athens under the tyrants, the Persian Wars, the rise of the Athenian Empire, the Peloponnesian War, and a fascinating final chapter on the "revolution of the mind" which culminated in Socrates and signaled a great change in Greek history and civilization. Ehrenberg wrote this book later in his career, so it can be seen as a summation of a lifetime of study, thought, and research. The text is littered with very precise, enlightening observations--he has a gift for distilling complicated ideas into manageable gems without trivializing or losing their core meaning. Not many historians have this talent.

Ehrenberg's style is engaging and will appeal to the specialist as well as the educated general reader. Unlike so many surveys, he wisely uses endnotes rather than extensive footnotes and keeps the source references within the text to a minimum, allowing interested readers to turn to the appropriate notes on their own without disrupting the narrative for those who may not care about the scholarly arguments on particular points. This makes the book far more readable than many similar studies. Ehrenberg also peppers the text with wonderful accounts of the literature of each period discussed, showing how drama and poetry can illuminate our understanding of Greek history as a whole. This also gives the reader some relief from political and military analysis, which is sometimes a bit dry and hard to follow since the surviving evidence is often inadequate and controversial.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Smith on August 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is an introduction to Greece in the sixth and fifth centuries BC. Although it is said to be a new edition of 2011, the only new material is the foreword by Paul Millet. This foreword is useful, but (as far as I can see) Millet has not edited the main text, which is that of Victor Ehrenberg's Second Edition of 1973. This means that the bulk of the book was written almost 40 years ago and does not reflect more recent scholarship. Copies of the first and second editions can be obtained more cheaply second hand. However, any edition is worth reading as this book is an undoubted classic.

This is not typical text book, or really a textbook at all. It covers the political and military history and cultural and artistic life of Greece in the period when the polis (or city-state) came to maturity. Ehrenberg's knowledge of the subject is immense and he sets out this out clearly and with respect for other authors' views. He argues that Greece's civilization cannot be separated from its history and, rather than put art and drama in separate chapters, they are described together with contemporary political events. This can be a little confusing, as to follow (for example) the development of Athenian drama, it is necessary to flick between several short sections, but it generally works.

The early chapters of the book describe the growth of Greek political systems in the sixth century or earlier, concentrating on Sparta and Athens. His descriptions of Athenian developments are particularly detailed throughout the book but, where there is information, he deals with other Greek states.
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By Nick on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like this book because it was detailed enough, but not too complicated. It explores the period before the classical period of Athens.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Victor Ehrenberg escaped Nazi Germany to become a leading writer and scholar in America. His book helps the struggling student UNDERSTAND the complex writings of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon. Ehrenberg died over a quarter century ago but his work still stands out in the field. Superb. Thank you! AA++
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ioanna on April 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is accessible both to history students and to laypeople. I find it enjoyable to read even on topics I don't know much about as well as being useful for my studies.
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From Solon to Socrates: Greek History and Civilization During the 6th and 5th Centuries BC (Routledge Classics)
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