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Love, Sex & Tragedy: How the Ancient World Shapes Our Lives

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  128 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In Love, Sex & Tragedy Simon Goldhill lifts the veil on our inheritance of classical traditions and offers a witty, engrossing survey of the Greek and Roman roots of everything from our overwhelming mania for "hard bodies" to our political systems. Encompassing Karl Marx, Clark Gable, George W. Bush, Oscar Wilde, and Sigmund Freud, Goldhill takes great delight in traci ...more
Paperback, 345 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2004)
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What I liked about Simon Goldhill’s Love, Sex & Tragedy was that he (mostly) avoids sounding like a curmudgeonly stick-in-the-mud who can’t handle the loss of the classical curriculum in education and the knowledge of Western civilization’s origins. He laments it not because he wants to hear people quoting Homer from memory (in the original Greek) or see glowing comparisons of politicians to Cincinnatus but because he sees little evidence that what’s replaced it is tackling the same issues i ...more
Feb 02, 2012 steph rated it liked it
this book reads like a high school or college persuasive essay, which is kind of ironic for a book that's trying to get you back in touch with our greek / roman roots / standards / ideals.

i like the examples the author draws upon to prove his points, but, i don't know, i wasn't intrigued or impressed by anything. don't think i'd recommend this to a friend. maybe would use it if i taught a 100 level backgrounds in lit class or something.
Jan 26, 2014 Amy marked it as abandoned
My search for a basic yet comprehensive book about Greek and Roman times continues.

That being said I did learn about Greek sexy times. And saw a surprisingly diverse assortment of erection-themed art work.

The central thesis is that classic times still influence our modern lives and therefore it is important to understand how things such as marriage, homosexuality, Christianity, etc. originally came about in order to understand our modern notions. This was most strongly demonstrated, I think, b
Mar 02, 2008 Colin rated it it was amazing
A great book on exactly how the Classics created the modern Western world. Goldhill drives home the point that most of the asumptions taken for granted by his readers about the liberties they enjoy in life stem directly from the legacies of Greece and Rome.
Sep 13, 2013 sidana rated it liked it
Bilgilendirici bir kitap olmuş..Atina dan başlayıp günümüze kadar ki gündelik yaşamdaki yaşam tarzlarını ve o zaman ki değerlerini anlatmış..Seks'ten Felsefe'ye,Demokrasi'den Romalılara,Gladyatörlerden savaşlara kadar enine boyuna ele almış tarihi..İdeal kadın ve erkek tarifleri detaylı şekilde yapılmış ve ilginç olan şey ise;Antik Yunanlılardaki tarif bugün dahi geçerliliğini hala koruyor modern dünyada.Kadın için; yumuşak ve gevşek,tüysüz ve cilveli.Her nekadar "demokrasi"nin doğduğu topraklar ...more
Feb 04, 2013 GeschiedenisBeleven rated it really liked it
Shelves: oudheid
De democratie hebben we van de oude Grieken, net als het theater en terwijl bij ons de mannenliefde pas sinds enige tientallen jaren (enigszins) is geacepteerd, was die bij hen al heel gewoon. In Liefde, Seks en Tragedie, hoe de oudheid ons heeft gevormd, met op de Nederlandse omslag een wat misleidende blote mannentorso, laat Simon Goldhill zien hoe kennis van de klassieke wereld ons begrip van de moderne westerse mens verbreedt en verdiept.

Vier thema’s pikt Goldhill uit om zijn betoog te illus
Donna Kirk
my sister had a copy of this at her house and so i grabbed it for something to read on the plane. and read it, i did. there are some erotic paragraphs which make for a stilted and intriguing flight considering it's five hours long, there is the dull, lifeless wind of the airplane, the sound of the guy snoring behind me and the problem of my sister and i suffering sibling angst when we are sitting near one another for too long ("stop pinching me," "i'm not pinching you," "will you order me a coke ...more
Aug 26, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Simon Goldhill is Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge and my one criticism of this book is that it places so much emphasis on the legacy of Ancient Greece that there is little space left to explore the complex and enduring contribution of the Romans.

That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Goldhill's breezy polemic. He makes a strong case for redressing the neglect of the ancient world by contemporary educationalists, pointing out that almost everything we understand by Western culture tod
Jan 21, 2016 Dee rated it really liked it
Especially like the first chapters and the description of male-dominated ancient Greek culture.
Peter D. McLoughlin
Apr 20, 2008 Peter D. McLoughlin rated it it was amazing
The Idea that Western Culture has a continuity tracing back to the ancient world is seriously challenged by reading the classics. Ideas of the individual, sexual mores and common sense of the ancient Greeks and Romans seem utterly alien to the modern Post-Christian Westerner. Yet we supposedly trace our cultures origins to such people. I've always had an interest in the ancients but this book only increased my curiousity.
Jan 03, 2008 Seth rated it liked it
Although Goldhill is not a remarkable stylist, he nonetheless accomplishes the feat of showing how ancient Greek culture impacts contemporary culture in a few hundred pages.

Packed with historical facts and insightful connections, this book is widely recommendable for its presentation of high subject matter in easily readable prose.
May 15, 2010 Daniel rated it liked it
My rating is based on the first two sections of the book, which were the only parts I was required to read for class. I intend to go back and read the rest at some point, though, as it's a lively and entertaining book, and one I could see reading outside an academic environment.
Apr 24, 2015 Effie rated it liked it
An excellent essay for all Europeans who want to really know who we are, what we bealive or not, helps you think from where you start until your destination.
Apr 18, 2007 Catherine rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This is the book to read if you want to know what Greek love is really all about!

Feb 27, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this for part of my senior thesis on sex in the ancient world.
Jul 30, 2009 Jeffry rated it liked it
Interesting take on things. I love the ancient world for itself so linking the modern to the ancient isn't my cup of tea per se. But it was worth the read.
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