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The Hellenistic Age: Aspects of Hellenistic Civilization (The Norton library, N544) Paperback – October 17, 1970

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About the Author

J. B. Bury taught history for many years at the University of Cambridge.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Norton library, N544
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First edition (October 17, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393005445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393005448
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,133,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Birkett on May 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
J B Bury's introduction has a certain nostalgic charm, with its assumption that there is a readership with pre-existing ideas about the Hellenistic age which it is his job to correct. The assumed reader is, of course, already familiar with Greek and Roman history, having learned it in school, and Latin and Greek quotations are thrown in without translations because, of course, everyone is able to to read Latin and Greek. Ah, the self-confidence of a classical scholar in 1923.

He tries to explain how it was that science seemed to be forging ahead in the second third and fourth centuries before Christ, with major discoveries in mathematics, and measurement of the size of the earth, and proof that the earth revolved around the sun, then ground to a halt for a thousand years.

Those who need critical evaluations of Demetrius of Phalaeron , Aratus of Sicyon, Diogenes Laertius or Hermesianax of Colophon will find E.A. Barber's insights into Alexandrian literature useful. I don't read them a lot myself.

Edwyn Bevan makes a valiant attempt , which failed in my case, to make the reader understand the differences between stoics and cynics and epicureans and sceptics. I kept getting mixed up between Crates of Thebes, Mennipis of Gadara and Cercidas of Megalopolis (They were Cynics, whereas Timon of Phlius was a Sceptic).

WW Tarn stands up for the revolutionaries and socialists of ancient Greece. He would just possibly have been less incomprehensible if he had used a few modern (or 1923) measurements. No doubt it was tough to live on 2 obols a day when the price of a choenix of wheat or a metretes of oil went up. We have to take his word for it.
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The Hellenistic Age: Aspects of Hellenistic Civilization (The Norton library, N544)
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