- Series: Opus
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2nd ed. 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: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,708,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others (Opus) 2nd ed. Edition
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"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).
Top customer reviews
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. The language of these ancients is very much alive.
I got the impression that Mr. Cartledge wants to debunk the ancient Greeks and their ideals and that's a shame. There is still so much we can learn with and from these people today. Their insights into democracy, war, human nature and so much more can still benefit us today - considerably.
For a more accurate portrayal of the Ancient Greeks, I recommend, "Greek Ways: How The Greeks Created Western Civilization" by Professor Bruce Thornton.