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The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius (Viking Portable Library) Paperback – September 29, 1977

ISBN-13: 978-0140150650 ISBN-10: 014015065X
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The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius (Viking Portable Library) + Hesiod and Theognis (Penguin Classics): Theogony, Works and Days, and Elegies
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

M. I. Finley was a professor of ancient history and master of Darwin College, Cambridge. He died in 1986.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (September 29, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014015065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140150650
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Barton VINE VOICE on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A collection of excerpts from Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon and Polybius. The selection takes us from the history of the Pelopenessian war, through the attempted Athenian conquest of Sicily, the Persian civil wars and up to the Roman conquest. The narration and commentary by M.I. Finley is probably a bit too brief for the reader not familiar with the Greeks, and yest is probably not necessary for the true scholar. The translations are easy to digest and written in very approachable English. All in all, the book is 500+ pages of Greek history by four great writers, but the set up and the commentary are too sparse to make it a great read for the non-scholar.
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By Matthew Ries on March 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
I originally purchased this book when I started college to prepare for my Senior Oral Exam, I skimmed but didn't really retain much of each writer's style save perhaps Herodotus. After thoroughly reading the excerpted selections for these four writers, I can say the my decision to skim it originally was the correct one. If M. I. Finley, the selector of this volume, gave an accurate representation of each writer through the excerpts he chose then Herodotus and Xenophon are the best readings while Thucydides gets bogged down in speeches and Polybius in the discourse of governmental comparisons. However if the excerpts aren't representative of each writer than the fault is with Finley.
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21 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "ryanmarthaler" on March 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dont be confused by the relatively low ranking, this book is good. The only trouble is that it only contains fragments of the greatest historians ever. Though this is what the editor set out to do, you will feel cheated by not having the whole story to read. If all you want is a glimpse at what made the ancient historians so special, this is the book for you. However, chances are that you will want the complete story as well, something this collection cant offer.
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The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius (Viking Portable Library)
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