The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization - Paul CartledgeBritish Broadcasting Corporation [B.B.C./BBC], 2001, Hardback in Dustwrapper..
Condition: Very Good - in Very Good DJ. Very small stain to top edge of ffep otherwise a very well presented copy.
The Ancient Greeks have become very much part of us; their legacy, Western civilisation. But the familiarity has tipped into over-familiarity and, as Paul Cartledge points out, we are in danger of ignoring the fundamental differences between them and us. There's the language for a start. Democracy, for example, meant something very different to the Greeks to the way we understand it now; the British and American systems would have been dismissed as oligarchies. Politics was not the media blood sport that it has become today, it was one of the central activities that defined the lives of the Greeks. Similarly, their pantheistic universe would be totally at odds with our monotheist or atheist world. For all their civilisation, the Greeks mostly lived a subsistence lifestyle at the whims of nature. Even the very rich had little concept of or confidence in passing on their wealth to future generations. The present was all that mattered and much of their thinking was shaped by inherently conservative notions of preserving the status quo; the present day reverence for progress would have been anathema. Indeed their thinking was dominated by the possibility of decline--which accounts for the idealised versions of the City state in Plato's The Republic and Aristotle's The Politics. That said, many of the achievements of the Greeks were little short of miraculous. Forget the Trojan war and the empire building of Alexander the Great, the cultural and sporting diversity alone--much of which we still celebrate today--would have been enough to guarantee their place in history. Illustrated with colour photographs. 253pp. Index. Size: 8vo Demy (8½" x 5½")
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