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The Bull Of Minos

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This brilliant book explores the most remote beginnings of the Mediterranean civilizations that became classical Greece.
Mass Market Paperback, 223 pages
Published 1955 by Pan Books Ltd (first published 1953)
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Barnaby Thieme
Cotrell's book reads rather like a hagiography of the two great venerable figures of modern Greek archaeology, Arthur Evans and Heinrich Schliemann. While both deserve praise and gratitude, both have likewise earned a degree of criticism for their impatience, gradiosity, runaway imaginations, and lack of intellectual discipline that arguably led to as much harm as good. One reads with a sense of agony of Schliemann burrowing hastily through and destroying entire levels of Troy, now lost to us fo ...more
C.S. Boag
This is a fine journalistic effort to marry myth and reality and bring both within the scope of the common reader -eg, me.
Cottrell travels to Greece and traces the work of amateur archaeologists in the 19th century and early 20th century to show how the myths like that of the famous minotaur have their basis in fact. So much that I was brought up to believe fairy stories happened. The Bull of Minos is a sweet, slow moving threnody. Enlightening
First off, I must say I flat-out adored the writing style. A tale of early archaeological studies, done by the wealthy and obsessed amateurs Heinrich Schliemann (Troy) and Arthur Evans (Minos), this book was exactly that - a wildly improbable tale, Boys Own style.

Written in 1953, it really is a great read. The author traveled in the footsteps of these two, and it's as much a travel adventure as a scholarly piece and all to the good, I say. I can't imagine how many young people this book must ha
I found "The Bull of Minos" long ago as a bibliography item for Mary Renault's "The King Must Die", and it's been a favourite since my high school days (yes, about the same time as Minos ruled at Knossos). Cottrell's account of Evans at Knossos is absorbing and vivid. For all the changes that archaeology has undergone over the last couple of generations, Evans' image of Minoan Crete has held up remarkably well, and his reconstructed Palace of Minos is there at Knossos as something very much on m ...more
Realmente esperaba un libro que tratase mas sobre los minoicos que sobre arqueologia, sin embargo el texto es interesante y ameno de leer
Not the best place to get a popular summary of the Minoan civilization. Of course, you already know that the best place is Wikipedia, but I'll explain briefly. This book is a several decades out of date and it spends most of its space on archeologists from several decades before that. I'm not an expert on the subject, but the result can't be state of the art. Furthermore, the author has decided to interrupt the book's real content with descriptions of his own sabbatical in the isles of Greece. T ...more
Kit Dunsmore
I found this fascinating. A nice mix of the early history of the archaeology of ancient Greece, along with details of what was found. Includes stories of the finding of Troy, Mycenae, and the palace at Knossos. Read with a grain of salt, however. Published in 1952, some of the interpretations have changed as more has been discovered. Has me eager to find some more recent sources to answer the unanswered questions.
Less than 100 pages to go. Very interesting how amateurs did all this.
Just started this - recommended by my friend the historian, Jim.
Took a year to finish but glad I did. Amazing stuff about amateurs who found so many artifacts.
Joshua Spotts
Cottrell is a very skilled writer. He makes archaeology interesting. It is as enjoyable as listening to Liam Neeson as dictator for the documentary I watched on ancient Crete.
Heinrich Schliemann and Sir Arthur Evans -- Greek history and archaeology.

Working from a list of books I read years ago.
Michael Brady
Before Rome, Greece, or even Troy, there were the Minoans of Crete...
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Leonard Eric Cottrell was a prolific and popular British author and journalist. The majority of his books were popularizations of the archaeology of ancient Egypt.
More about Leonard Cottrell...
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