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The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece (Cambridge Illustrated Histories) New Ed Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521521000
ISBN-10: 0521521009
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Editorial Reviews


"We are all Greeks..." Shelley

"Whatever, in fact, is modern in our life we owe to the Greeks. Whatever is an anachronism is due to medievalism." Oscar Wilde

"The focus on achievements at all class and cultural levels provides an unusually well-rounded, in-depth focus on Greek culture." The Midwest Book Review

"...no one reading this book will fail to appreciate the complexity of ancient Greece as a society, a competitive, high achieving, innovative world....We have grown up in our understanding of Greeks since the nineteenth century and this book shows how much. A fine achievement." Charles Freeman, History Today

"...this is a good tool for intro survey courses." Brad L. Cook, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"...a thoughtful portrait of the cultural history of ancient Greece for the general reader...this is an interesting and handsome book that might bring new students to the field with its updated approach to an ancient culture." John M. Lawless, New England Classical Journal

"A beautiful addition to the Cambridge Illustrated History series." Peter Krentz, Religious Studies Review

"This is an original and insightful work. Its authors have lucidly synthesized the results of a generation of creative scholarship, and restored the voices of many groups that were often left out of more traditional Greek histories." Stanley Burstein, The International History Review

Book Description

Sumptuously illustrated, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece offers fresh, novel interpretations of classical Greek culture SH devoting as much attention to the social, economic and intellectual aspects as to politics and war. What did it mean to be a fully enfranchised Greek male citizen of a democracy; or his unenfranchised wife; or a non-Greek slave; or a farmer; or a trader? What formed Greece? And what propels her far-reaching legacy?

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Illustrated Histories
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (December 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521521009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521521000
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece is dedicated to giving an objective perspective of ancient Greek civilization, and culture. Filled with photos of beautiful Greek pottery, this book is a treasure in both the pictures of pottery that it contains, and the well written descriptions it gives of this glorious culture. Although classified as a reference in most local libraries, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece can be read like any other chapter book with a historical perspective. Unlike other works on ancient Greece, this book is dedicated to giving an unbiased, factual record of Greek civilization, while devoting as much attention to ancient wars, as to social structure. It will not lead you to one particular conclusion about Greek civilization, as other books do, but will introduce you to the latest theories, and perspectives of ancient Greek lifestyle, and belief systems. This book covers every aspect of Greek civilization, from Socrates to Plato, to Aristophanes, as well as Greek art, religion, myths, wars, etc., devoting a chapter to each main idea. It is a well written, high quality book, which can be read by beginners, and people who are well versed in Greek history alike, and I would recommend The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece to anyone who loves this glorious culture as much as I do.
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Format: Paperback
This is a comprehensive study of ancient Greece which is obviously intended for those scholars particularly interested in the cultural history of the ancient world. Except for the magnificent photographs and illustrations, the average reader will likely find much of the material presented somewhat tedious and at times rather boring.

The book is written very much in line with the modern approach to history in that information is not presented in chronological order, and the exploits of those leaders who made the history happen are minimized or all but left out of the story. On the contrary, most of the book's chapters deal with subjects that would only be of interest to true scholars of the ancient world (e.g. the environment; the rich and poor; the average women, children, and men; etc.). Each chapter is written by a different expert in his or her particular field, and each one is essentially a stand-alone entity. All of the authors are obviously erudite, but just as clearly some are better writers than others. This constant shifting of gears and styles eliminates any possible thread of historical continuity.

So, unless you are a true scholar concerned with all things about ancient Greece or are studying ancient Greece, you would be well advised to first concentrate on reviewing the photographs and reading their captions. Then pick and chose those chapters which are in your realm of interest and skip the rest. In all probability, no one will ever ask you what the average man, woman, or child ate for dinner in ancient Greece and, even if they did you probably wouldn't remember anyway.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach photography and history, so I own a lot of books with pictures. This book hits the highest marks in all departments. It makes for excellent reading on a coffee break... open any page and get info with eye candy. Highest rating!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this book. The writing is very informative, but I also appreciated the illustrations. There are lots of them, and they are fully explained. It you take the time to examine each picture and its explanation, you will learn a lot. Sometimes the pictures don't exactly match the accompanying text, and this breaks your train of reading, but that's a minor flaw. This book is good for both beginners and Greek history buffs alike. If you are interested in classical Greek history, read this book.
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Format: Paperback
I feel the book is really a 3.5-star as Cambridge's Illustrated Series 'Ancient Greece' is a very good introductory text that is not a doctoral socio-political analysis or an advanced level chronological review of Greece's evolution from polis to Hellenism such as the massive Cambridge 'Ancient History' editions. It therefore makes it an ideal text for general readers and beginning students despite having some deficiencies that can be easily supplemented by another publisher's as a companion text.

The book is suited for readers ages 12 and up and treats the subject more as a primarily anthropological and interdisciplinary approach to the subject covering things such art, political intitutions, urban life, and how their legacy remains with us today. A collaboration of various respected scholars with different specialties provides readers with a multi-faceted view of Greek civilization without bogging them down with a tedious chronological approach focusing primarily on a geopolitical evolution of its social and military institutions along with its principal agents. Its subjects are illustrated by a good amount of color photographs, drawings, and diagrams, giving the reader a useful visual aid for an enhanced perspective of the subject.

Although it has great qualities, I find it insufficient for general education college classes as its subjects are too limited and without enough detail as to social and political topics in particular. Leslie and Roy Adkins' 'A Handbook to Life In Ancient Greece' is more thoroughly edited and organized than this text despite their having black and white illustrations as opposed to color.
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