It's All Greek to Me
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It's All Greek to Me

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  15 reviews

Why is ancient Greece important? Because, quite simply, if we want to understand the modern Western world, we need to look back to the Greeks. Consider the way we think about ethics, about the nature of beauty and truth, about our place in the universe, about our mortality. All this we have learned from the ancient Greeks. They molded the basic disciplines and genres in wh

Hardcover, 254 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Short Books (first published October 2nd 2008)
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James Williams
This book was incredibly disappointing.

I'd hoped to get an overview of ancient Greek thought, politics, philosophy, and art and then a linking between these facets of antiquity and the world today. For example, I'd hoped for the journey that political thought took from Athenian democracy to the modern systems of democracy practiced in the world.

This book doesn't deliver that. Don't get me wrong: it *does* describe Athenian democracy (for example). And it does point out that an Athenian wouldn'...more
It's important to approach this book for what it is - and for that, I'll quote the author who describes it as "a bluffer's guide, a primer that will give you a helping hand around Greek democracy of the Persian Wars or the Parthenon...a book of enthusiasms and pleasures...if the mighty roll call of Greek writers...can seem daunting or inaccessible, I hope to help you to unlock some of their richness and discover (them) afresh."

I will readily admit that my exposure to Greek history and the classi...more
Carey Combe
For anyone anywhere who has an interest in Ancient Greece, this accessible, clear, fascinating, easily readable book is a must read.
Serves as a purposeful guide/map to Ancient Greek history and mythology, blending them together startlingly coherently. Rather than opting for a chronological approach, settling on chapters by themes of interest (e.g. love, war, foreigners) was something I found refreshing and focused. Expect the Iliad and Odyssey quoted throughout; one is initiated into this volume by an apology (Gk. apologia) of the Homeric epics. Main themes were very expansive and comprehensive: wars and women, love and deat...more
This was a very basic overview of Ancient Greece. A bit repetitive at times, it's almost like the chapters were written independently of one another and then compiled into a book. It reads more like a thank-you letter to Ancient Greece than a scholarly work, though there is enough scholarship to keep your interested. It's a good first book to launch you into a deeper study of the subject matter.
I really liked this "layman's guide" to many (if not most) things Greek. Charlotte Higgins walks the reader through the Iliad and the Odyssey; the ins and outs of Sparta; Greek architecture (which brought back memories of Mr. Tippery's World History class sophomore year - I had those column styles down pat!); mythology; and the philosophers. And that's just some of the information that is packed into this gem of a book. There's also a timeline, a map, and a Who's Who of Greeks (actual and mythol...more
I first ran across this book a few years ago in, appropriately, the book store of the British Museum. While I didn’t buy it then I did pick it up a few years later in Philadelphia when Borders was going out of business. This is a highly readable introduction to the influence of ancient Greek culture on our own world. It is, as the author intends, a “bluffer’s guide” to all things Greek. There is just enough here to whet your appetite for a more serious and prolonged encounter with Homer, Aeschyl...more
A wonderful little book on the value of the Greek classics, marred only by occasional errors (mostly in language, for example, saying that "gnothi seauton" was glossed as "tecum nosce" in Latin for "The Matrix" - actually "temet nosce," of course). But don't let this stop you from buying the book - it truly is a little gem!
A basic intro study of all that is Greek. It really does have it all including the Greek alphabet as an addendum. I always loved reading Homer in high school and thrilled with everyone else at the movie 300, so it was nice to bring it all together and see how this time in history has affected us.
Nice and easy read. I'm definitely going to read parts of it again. As the author writes, It is "a love letter to the act of thinking about ancient Grece". This book might just have inspired me enough to start to read Homer...
Very good at describing Ancient Greece for someone who may not understand or know anything about the history and how it effects us today. I also love the Greek alphabet in the references section of the book.
Tracey Sinclair
Entertaining and easy to read look at the classics -
All sorts of fascinating trivia that will probably do me no good unless I were on Jeopardy, but I enjoy learning all the same.
This just goes too show the kind of book you can find at the local thrift store.
very interesting! makes me want to break out my copy of the Iliad and read Thucydides
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as to-read
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Carey Combe
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