Los Griegos
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Los Griegos

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  398 ratings  ·  42 reviews
"This is a study of the character & history of an ancient civilisation, & of the people who created it."
The Formation the Greek People
The Country
The Polis
Classical Greece: The Early Period
Classical Greece: The Fifth Century
The Greeks at War
The Decline of the Polis
The Greek Mind
Myth & Religion
Life & Character
"The best introdu...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published October 28th 2004 by Eudeba (first published 1951)
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This book is the one that really caught my imagination and fired me up about the Greeks. Kitto has a truly infectious love of the era and the people to whom we owe so much of what we now call our civilization. Always interesting, at times he takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes. How I would have loved to have him as a teacher! To him I trace my passion for The Iliad and my love for Homer in general. I also gained an appreciation for how terse an expressive languages can be which have...more
I cried with joy when I heard that something had happened at the "Eleutheria Square" in Athens because I now know what Eleutheria means! and to the minute detail. After reading 6 chapters on it, I am also now quite knowledgeable on the concept of "Polis". I discovered innumerable etymological facts, Western habits whose roots lie in Greek traditions, characters previously unknown to me (like Solon). Though it is an introduction to Archaic and Classical Greece (not to Hellenistic period as the bo...more
Darran Mclaughlin
Marvelous, brief, witty but serious introduction to ancient Greece. Kitto is obviously in love with his subject and his enthusiasm carries his readers with him. The author is an old fashioned, no-nonsense cultivated man who leavens the book with waspish asides and donnish humour. He isn't afraid of expounding partisan views or to argue against what seems to be more widely accepted points of view. He argues that the notion that the slavery that existed in Greece resembled our modern idea of slave...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here

The Greeks has long been touted as the best basic introduction to the culture of ancient Greece, where the foundations for much of the way we think and live today were laid but which still can seem strangely alien from a viewpoint two and a half millennia years later. Now over sixty years old, is it still worth reading?

Clearly, the book itself has not changed in any way (especially as mine is quite an elderly copy). It remains an excellent basic description of...more
Kitto's THE GREEKS is less a chronological history of ancient Greece than an assessment of the ancient Greeks themselves. The book might be described as a series of vignettes, zeroing closer in a certain aspects of Greek culture, literature, war, and politics. Although it suffers slightly from reliance on out-of-date evidence that modern archaeology has all but disproven (e.g., the mythical "Dorian invasion"), and also reflects some of the ethnocentrism so prevalent at the time of publication (1...more
The book is more of interpretations than of descriptions. The author makes some very inspiring or enlightening comments. Here are some samples:

"The polis was made for the amateur. ... It implies a respect for the wholeness or the oneness of life, and a consequent dislike of specialization. It implies a contempt for efficiency - or rather a much higher idea of efficiency: an efficiency which exists not in one department of life, but in life itself."

"The word ['sophist'] means 'teacher of sophia,...more
Bob Nichols
Kitto covers the history of the Greeks up to the time of Phillip and Alexander. The books' focus is on 5th and 4th century BCE.

The author has a point of view. Greece's golden period was the 5th century when the polis shined. Kitto is impressed with the organic nature of the polis. Everyone took responsibility for the welfare of the whole. Rule was the responsibility of amateurs who lived in accord with the earlier Homeric ideal of "arete" (all-around excellence). This idea stands in contrast to...more
Zach Augustine
If you're going to read one book about Classical Greece then this is it.

It's lively writing by a sassy Englishman. Kitto makes every aspect of Greek culture accessible and relevant. The Greeks were obsessed with the idea of natural unity and wholeness. It was the duty of every Athenian to be soldier, politician, family member, and stock holder. A Greek man was not a man at all if he neglected any aspect of his physical, mental, spiritual, or moral being. Everything he does strives for virtue an...more
David Withun
Far and away the best introduction to ancient Greece that I have yet found. Kitto has a real love -- even a passion -- for his subject; not only does this passion show throughout but it is contagious as well. With joyful, dynamic prose Kitto introduces us to the history, the people, the places, the culture, and the events of Greece before Alexander the Great. In the process of retelling the story of ancient Greece, he opens up the Greek mind and the Greek heart for us, examining each minutely an...more
David A. Beardsley
This is a fine introduction to the culture of Ancient Greece--not a dry history but more of a profile that makes the Greeks seem almost contemporary. An excerpt:
But the future of Greek religious thought lay neither with the mythology nor with the Olympian gods nor yet with the more personal ‘mystery’ religions which were complimentary to the Olympian cults. It lay with the philosophers. The Greek element in Christianity is considerable, and it derives from Plato. The Zeus of Aeschylus, pure and...more

A writer who infuses his passion for the period into the history and he also concentrates on cultural aspects. A delightful read.

Not for the reader who is after facts and figures but for those interested in a sense of immersion into the way of life of the Greeks.
I actually had the pleasure of preparing an exam from this book, a true enjoyment compared to studying from regular text books. I love everything that has to do with ancient societies especially the Greeks, so no need to say that I didn't find the book boring. The author presents much more then the dry historical facts. He portraits the rich Greek culture, their way of life, and try's to explain the Greek way of thinking. The only reason I took away one star was that I didn't really like him com...more
The Greeks, Humphrey Davy Findley ‎Kitto,
عنوان: «یونانیان»؛ نویسنده: «اچ.دی.اف. کیتو»؛ برگردان: «سیامک عاملی»؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نشر گفتار، 1370، در 437 صفحه، مصور، موضوع: یونان، تمدن، تاریخ، از آغاز تا 146 قبل از میلاد
Michael Kosmides
Excellent introduction to classical Greece (despite some modern conservative thoughts of Kitto). Somewhat surprisingly he has, in my view, the best assessment of Plato and Socrates as threats to the Athenian Democracy.
David Kowalski
I love this book. Scholarly, sweet, measured. Of its time yet easily forgiven for the occasional mid 20th century myopia. I found this a magnificent introduction and summary to my favourite guys: The Greeks. Καλός.
A great overview of a part of history I needed to know more about- I started reading it after Celia got into the Percy Jackson books. Kitto's description of the Greek "polis" forming is the biggest thing I've taken so far from the book- I'm mostly familiar with classical Greece through lit and philosophy, but understanding the political decentralization shows how it inspired regions to compete with each other and reach new heights. The book is peppered with comparisons to Kitto's contemporary wo...more
A beautiful, jewel-like introduction to Greek history and classical, in that it is quite concerned with the doings of 'dead white men'. I am interested to one day read a more recent history that also sheds some more light on the slave economy and women. But in its account of what made ancient Athens forever special, I do not imagine it can be beat. I first saw a reference to this book in Pirsig's 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' and was very pleased to stumble on an old copy.
John Macgregor
A primer (lots of information compressed into a small space), but reads like something of a classic itself (beautifully paced, pellucid prose).

Kitto is patently an admirer of this unique civilisation, and after completing his book it's hard not to share his view. (How much we have lost!)

It also occurred to me that the Greeks were much more leftwing and much more rightwing than our societies today - greater equality but also more extreme criminal punishments, and no apology for colonialism.
A loving book. What I most clearly remember is his description of himself sitting in an armchair by a fire (did he mention slippers?) writing the book. He supposed that a good old Greek would've scorned such a sedentary monotone existence; in a proper Greek balance, thought should be accompanied with rigorous movement, walking miles in bare feet, that sort of thing. He seemed to chuckle at the idea, but then he obviously adores it as well - the inconsistency made me sad
I get the feeling that this book is a broad overview classical greece. could be useful in cultivating interest that can be honed with a more specific text. early point in Kitto's favor: several-pages-long tangent into etymology. love it.

i was right. brief overview. not bad, very generalized but good for what it offers.
This book was written in the 1950s, and it shows. The author is not shy in his glorification of the Greek "race," and his enthusiasm and clarity of thought is what kept my attention throughout.

A much better introduction to ancient Greece than a dry textbook. I daresay it was a _fun_ read.

The Greeks are dope, yo.

This is a classic about the classics. Kitto starts with Homer and works his way to Alexander. Throrough, readable, sometimes even funny. 300 fans be warned, Kitto is clearly an Athenophile who feels the Spartans were a bunch of peculiar checker-eaters.
Mohammed Galal
The Greeks have left a legacy that will never be forgotten.They have taught the world,Along with the ancient Egyptians,the meaning of civilisation.The poignant fact is ,I think,We no longer live in a so-called"civilised society".Ah Greeks!Ah humanity!!
It's been years since I last read this book, but I remember it as a delightful and illuminating treatment of ancient Greece. Highly recommended to anyone interested in any facet of the culture and life of the ancient Greeks.
The only short history of the Greeks that I have read. Really good though. He analyzed most of the points that I wanted him too throughout. Really small and easy as fuck to read but full of info.
Erik Graff
Jul 13, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students beginning study of ancient Greece
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Shocked by how much science fiction I read as soon as the school year ended, I was pleased to find this serious introduction to ancient Greek history and culture listed amidst the escapism.
was loving it till Kitto started babbling all sorts of rationalizations for treating women like shit. i was all: yo kitto, you just lost yourself a star. i really told him, man!
Richard Harden
This is a very accessible, yet informative and academic introduction to the country. It served me well to have read it just prior to visiting Greece.
Zeenat Mahal
Like all his books on Greek literature and thought, it is very thorough and detailed. Liked the chapter on Homer the best though.
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“It is an interesting, though idle, speculation, what would be the effect on us if all our reformers, revolutionaries, planners, politicians, and life-arrangers in general were soaked in Homer from their youth up, like the Greeks. They might realize that on the happy day when there is a refrigerator in every home, and two in none, when we all have the opportunity of working for the common good (whatever that is), when Common Man (whoever he is) is triumphant, though not improved--that men will still come and go like the generations of leaves in the forest; that he will still be weak, and the gods strong and incalculable; that the quality of a man matters more than his achievement; that violence and recklessness will still lead to disaster, and that this will fall on the innocent as well as on the guilty.” 3 likes
“The city-state was the means by which the Greek consciously strove to make the life both of the community and of the individual more excellent than it was before.” 1 likes
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