- Series: Blackwell History of the Ancient World
- Hardcover: 344 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (November 20, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0631226672
- ISBN-13: 978-0631226673
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,221,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A History of the Archaic Greek World: ca. 1200-479 BCE (Blackwell History of the Ancient World) 1st Edition
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"Scholars as well as students of historical practice and specialists in Greek history will find this book indispensable … Highly recommended." (Choice)
"Jonathan Hall has written a stimulating new history of Archaic Greece ... The book is very well written, with a very helpful glossary of literary sources and a useful index; it does not pre-suppose any knowledge of the evidence or methods ... Hall explores the general problems that a historian faces in practising history, providing an excellent introduction to the issues ... Fundamentally, Hall's book stresses the need to rethink the concept of historical change." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)
"Very attractive physical appearance … an extensive bibliography and index. Hall’s style is clear and crisp … .The book is to be recommended." (Canadian Journal of History)
"A trenchant discussion of the most recent issues and scholarship associated with the Archaic Age, based on an impressive command of archaeological data and textual sources. Jonathan Hall's study paints a vivid picture of the forces that shaped the institutions of Archaic Greece."
—Carol G. Thomas, University of Washington
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Top customer reviews
As it turns out, what a nine or fourteen years old student is usually taught under the title "History" is mostly a bunch of anecdotal stories from the pens of authors who lived centuries after the actual events. On the other hand, archeology is not that reliable source either, partly because not everything leaves material traces behind and, secondly, only a small fraction of those which do is uncovered or matched with the appropriate historical context.
This book is great in showing the reader how the data available to the historian is insufficient to support certainties in most aspects of archaic Greek life and events and sometimes the careful analysis suggests a different most probable interpretation from the widely accepted one. The further back we look into the murky waters of time, the more common it is to be left with probabilities and trends, and uncertainties and doubts, than with facts and truths. The author does more than teaching history, he helps you learn to think in the historian way.
The method also creates a few problems. First, it doesn't present a chronological view of the period, though with archaic Greece this can't be done anyways. Second, Hall loves to reference secondary sources in the text, which are really useless to his target audience. College freshmen aren't going to bother reading these. I would recommend is reading Hall in conjunction with another history, one centered on a timeline.