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Athens: A Portrait of the City in its Golden Age
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Athens: A Portrait of the City in its Golden Age

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A lively, accessible history of Athens's rise to greatness, from one of the foremost classical historians. The definitive account of Athens in the age of Pericles, Christian Meier's gripping study begins with the Greek triumph over Persia at the Battle of Salamis, one of the most significant military victories in history. Meier shows how that victory decisively established ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published September 16th 1998 by Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Co. (NYC) (first published 1993)
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After having read Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War last month, this month I turned to a very scholarly history of Athens in its Golden Age, roughly between the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) and the execution of Socrates (399 BC): Christian Meier's Athens: A Portrait of the City in Its Golden Age. Where Meier excelled was in his detailed descriptions of subtle changes in the political structure of Athenian rule, together with his astute comparisons between the history of the times and ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 2000.

The Golden Age of Athens (approximately the fifth century BC) is one of the most amazing times in human history. Western culture owes a great deal to ancient Greece, and much of what formed us can be traced to this one city over the three or four generations during which it was a major power. The role call of great names includes Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Socrates, Plato, Demosthenes, Pericles, Thucydides and Xenophon; and
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Cat Noe
Highly readable, though I would have liked it less had I not read it shortly after covering a fair amount of Socrates-specific material. Good history, and even for those who don't care for politics, the psychology behind democracy is fascinating. Another pleasant chapter in my love affair with ancient Athens.
Joshua Taylor
Lots of information about the history of Athens. Not the most interesting read ever, but a decent summary of events and the culture of Athens.
Erik Graff
Apr 27, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ancient Greece fans
Recommended to Erik by: James G. DeVoto
Shelves: history
This is a decent introduction to the history of the Athenian polis from the Persian wars through the Peloponnesian, its "Golden Age".
Craig Fiebig
A great study in the foundation of the city that served as the cradle for modern democratic thought. Fascinating.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christian Meier is a German historian and professor emeritus of ancient history at the University of Munich.
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