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The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization Hardcover – 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide; First Edition edition (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563537647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563537649
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,301,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Cartledge is the inaugural A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Clare College. He is also Hellenic Parliament Global Distinguished Professor in the History and Theory of Democracy at New York University. He written and edited over 20 books, many of which have been translated into foreign languages. He is an honorary citizen of modern Sparta and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor awarded by the President of Greece.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Greeks examines life in the ancient Hellenic world: an era when the foundations of modern science and politics were laid. Based on a three-hour PBS series airing February, this provides a lively story of Greek experience through the eyes and experiences of her heroes and heroines in an excellent, involving account which comes alive. Highly recommended as a strong alternative to the usual dry Greek history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Norwood on February 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Homer and Herodotus were intent on writing about "the wondrous deeds of men." One of the world's leading experts on ancient Greek civilization, Paul Cartledge, provides a more nuanced and balanced appraisal of the legacy of the Greeks. This short volume was intended as a companion to the television series of the same name, "The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization." However, the book is not a transcript or expanded narrative of the program, which focused on the lives of only four Greeks (Themistocles, Cleisthenes, Pericles, and Socrates). Rather, Dr. Cartledge has prepared a lively and compelling series of short biographical profiles of fifteen ancient Greeks, spanning Homer to Alexander the Great.

The book is especially appealing for the lay reader. At the same time, there will be fascinating discoveries and new information for the advanced student of Greek culture. In addition to profiling some of the luminaries from the Greek world, the author has incorporated chapters on lesser-known Greeks, including seven women. The discussion of Sappho (the great lyrical poet), Artemisia (the naval commander), Cynisca (the supplier of horses for a prize-winning chariot team at the Olympic games), and Diotima (the confidante of love to Socrates) are especially interesting.

With the exception of Plutarch, the sources for the life stories of the ancient Greeks are exceedingly thin. The author has drawn upon a wide range of materials, including trial transcripts, works of philosophy, inscriptions, and vase paintings, to piece together the fifteen biographies. The book also provides good historical background in each chapter that enables the reader to place the life story in proper context. The organization of the biographies proceeds chronologically.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mario Fantoni on December 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Focusing in the lifes of remarkable Greeks, this series (book and video) makes the Greek civilization accessible to us. Indispensable to anybody interested in the Greek culture.
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By Marcos on December 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very good analysis about the Greeks and their culture. The author explores the idea of ​​otherness, in a surprising and enlightening way. We are heirs of the values ​​of Greek culture, but not all of their values ​​because we live in another world.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Autodidactac on April 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has as light malodor of criticizing the Greeks from a modern perspective. Cartledge's later works do not appear to have this taint of political correctness. He does do a very fine job of reminding the reader that cultures are different and that not all cultural similarities mean congruence. Had he avoided the academic fad of the era I would give it four stars.
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