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The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others (Opus) Paperback – December 5, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0192803887 ISBN-10: 0192803883 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Opus
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (December 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803887
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The lively and succinct development of many ancient and modern arguments makes The Greeks a welcome and timely contribution to a number of continuing and important debates"--Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Paul Cartledge is Reader in Greek History at the University of Cambridge. His publications include The Cambridge Illustrated History of Greece (CUP, 1997) and The Greeks (BBC, 2001).

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jillian Mary on April 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a set text on the MA in Classical Studies I am currently doing. It is certainly not an easy book (though his writing style is invigorating) and if you are looking for a text book merely eulogizing the Greeks then this is not the book for you. Cartledge sets out to examine the Greeks in terms of their culture and legacy under a number of headings and does it by examining each heading eg. Women, Slavery etc in terms of its exact opposite and its negative aspects as well as its positive ones. The chapter on Slavery is particularly good. It must be remembered that Cartledge is an academic, writing for academics and students taking various classic courses. This is not really a book for the general public. But if you have some interest or knowledge about Ancient Greece and want to find out more, then I can thoroughly recommend this book.
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10 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mr. Cartledge is a good researcher and he has a respectable writing style. But the problem with this work is that it fails to grasp the overall picture of the Ancient Greeks and their vast contribution to Western Culture. Opting instead to focus on their human faults instead of the inspiring ideals that they passed down to us Westerners; even if both the Greeks and us fall short in achieving them.
Reading Cartledge's tome I sensed that he was not being fair to these people and their contribution to human history. Sure the Greeks were at times in their history weary of some of their neighbors and even of each other. Then again most people would be if they had been invaded as often as the Greek city states were. This doesn't mean that they were xenophobes. If they were, ancient Greek trade and learning would not have flourished as it did because successful trade and learning involve human interaction.
The ancient Greeks were the first Western cosmopolitans, not xenophobes. They were unique, in that they were willing to consider what other cultures had to offer because they thought that they could potentially learn and benefit from them. The Ancient Greeks were in fact the first to recognize a common humanity in all people and had a critical introspection of themselves that distinguished them in their times. And we can still learn much from them today.
I did not get a sense of any of this from Mr. Cartledge. He misses the big picture in this book, even siting that the language of these ancients is dead. ??? I beg to differ. Modern Greek has evolved from proto-Greek and the katharevousa or formal Modern Greek is a revival of Classic Greek. Almost 20% of English comes from Greek and 43% of modern English medical terms also come from Greek.
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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.

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The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others (Opus)
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