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Love, Sex and Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives Hardcover – May 10, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd (May 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719555493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719555497
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,263,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Goldhill writes with breezy wit in a style accessible to readers who did not grow up on Plato and Tacitus. This can disguise the fact that his intent is deadly serious ... As this brilliant book demonstrates, a familiarity with the ancient world is about much more than a life in ruins.' -- JOan Smith, The Independent 20040521 'It's great, and great fun ... the kind of book you find yourself reading out to your other half as you go along ... A sparkling, erudite and amusing remedy for our collective historical amnesia' -- Zadie Smith 20040521 'Wide-ranging and challenging ... varied and unpredictable ... enterprising ... There cannot be many people who will not acquire new knowledge and have their thoughts keenly provoked ... confident, intelligent and assertive' -- The Guardian 20040703 'Simon Goldhill reminds us in Love, Sex & Tragedy of how Greek representations of the body beautiful, architecture and ideas of philosophy and democracy still influence us today.' -- New Scientist 20040807 'In this accessible, non-academic yet highly informative work Goldhill weaves expertly through a whole host of contemporary phobias and nightmares, pleasures and dreams to demonstrate the social, political and personal debts we owe to the Greeks.' -- The Scotsman 20040515 'This book is thoroughly enjoyable and refreshing' -- History Today 20041201 'Love, Sex and Tragedy has the popular intellectual grace of de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, but it is more than clever and everywhere avoids being tongue-in-cheek. ... I wish more classicists would write as invitingly and honestly as Goldhill does ... The world would be a better place.' -- Times Higher Education Supplement 20040924 'An informative, light-hearted yet challenging read ... ancient history with a glamorous twist.' -- Venue Magazine 20050218 'An informative, light-hearted yet challenging read ... ancient history with a glamorous twist.' -- Venue Magazine 20050218 'This book is a call-to-arms in the face of a rapidly disintegrating culture.' -- Good Book Guide 20050301 'This is a good book.' -- Focus 20050501 'It's great, and great fun ... a sparkling, erudite and amusing remedy for our collective historical amnesia' -- Zadie Smith, Author of White Teeth 'Passionate, witty and broad-ranging ... Goldhill skilfully overturns and amends our existing beliefs' -- The Observer 'Enjoyable and lively' -- Emily Wilson, Times Literary Supplement 20040625 'Confident, intelligent and assertive! he draws many telling lessons' -- Oliver Taplin, The Guardian Weekly 20040730 'As this brilliant book demonstrates, a familiarity with the ancient world is about much more than a life in ruins.' -- Joan Smith, Independent 20040521 'Goldhill is the kind of classics master whose lessons you wouldn't want to skip ... Goldhill is at his best when he reveals the past to be a foreign country that is as unfamiliar as it is familiar.' -- Mark Simpson, The Independent 20040530 'In a breezy, user-friendly tone Goldhill tells us why classics matter.' Iain Finlayson -- The Times 20050312 'An exhilaratingly intelligent exercise in evangelism' -- Guardian 20050219 '[A] wonderful biography' -- Spectator 20041113 'His sharp essays on significant sites (from the stage to the arena) excite, enlighten and temper "relavance" with "otherness"' -- Independent 20050218

About the Author

Simon Goldhill is Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge. His books include Reading Greek Tragedy, now in its eighth edition. He publishes regularly in the TLS and the London Review of Books, and is in great demand as a lecturer on Classics the world over.

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Format: Paperback
It is wonderful and rare to find a book that is essentially philosophy written in a way that makes it a pleasure to read. A few of the topics discussed:

* How the modern image of the body was formed in the gymnasium of ancient Greece, which had personal trainers, fad diets, etc.

* How St. Paul and the early Christians considered marriage an "honourable institution" meaning not nearly as good as chastity or celibacy, but much better than fornication.

* How self knowledge must include knowledge of the history of one's culture.
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