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The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of the Western World

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Charles Freeman's The Greek Achievement traces the entire course of ancient Greek history across thousands of years--from the Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations of the Bronze Age through the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. This brilliant account celebrates the incredible range of Greek achievement: the architectural marvels of the Athenian Acropolis; th ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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Lauren Albert
Jun 13, 2016 Lauren Albert rated it liked it
Shelves: history-ancient
I'm starting to think that I need to stop reading general histories. I found this ho-hum. It may not be the fault of the book though. As I said earlier, I would have given the last third of the book a "4." It got more interesting to me when he began discussing the Greek affect on the Romans.
Lauren Hopkins
Dec 17, 2013 Lauren Hopkins rated it really liked it
Actually a really interesting take on the history of ancient Greece. Fun to read, unlike many of its kind. Goes somewhat briefly into prehistoric Greece, but really kicks into gear with the Archaic period and also covers the Classical and Hellenistic periods really well. Freeman does a good job of not lumping history into time periods, however, and mentions on several occasions the overlap from each era into the next. He does this especially well in terms of putting an end date on Greek civiliza ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
In preparation for our upcoming trip to Greece, this resource provided a chronology of the region and the accomplishments per era.
Acropolis: "high city" is the hill upon which the Parthenon, temple to Athena, was built in the fifth century B.C. Pericles was the man responsible for getting the wonder built.

While the main text was reader-friendly enough, I preferred the Date List pages in the back of the book, which is an overview that begins with the Bronze Age 2000-1600 (when the palace civiliza
Aug 09, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-love-history
Read this in preparation for a trip to Greece - and it's a good survey that pays equal attention to straight history along with examination of various aspects of cultural history, including drama, philosophy, mathematics and medicine. I'm not a big fan of military history, so I found some of the chapters focused on the various wars a little slow, but I loved the discussion of Greek theatre and philosophy - Freeman makes me want to revisit Sophocles! Recommended as a good overall introduction to ...more
Aug 31, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Loved this book when I took my upper division level Greek History way back in another lifetime of completing my BS. I kept this book and have referred to it from time to time. One of the best texts for a class that I have read and actually enjoyed outside of novels.
Aug 08, 2011 Mel rated it really liked it
A masterful and engaging examination of "what the Greeks did for us" (to misquote Monty Python). Freeman's passion for his work shines through.
Nov 20, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for those looking to brush up on the Greeks.
An overview of Greek culture.
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Charles Freeman is a freelance academic historian with wide interests in the history of European culture and thought. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Egypt, Greece and Rome, Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean. He has followed this up with The Greek Achievement (Penguin 1999), The Legacy of Ancient Egypt (Facts on File, 1997) and The Closing of the Western Mind, a study of the rela ...more
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