Liz's Reviews > Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea by Thomas Cahill
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's review
Jul 04, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: books-read-in-2009, reviewed, history, greece, non-fiction
Read in July, 2009

This book examines the civilization of the ancient Greeks and shows how their cultural contributions continue to shape our Western way of life even today. He makes use of seven archetypal figures: The Warrior, The Wanderer, The Poet, The Politician, The Playwright, The Philosopher and The Artist to break down the complexities of ancient Greek life into easily manageable sections, then proceeds to show how each of these aspects is relevant to us.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm not an expert on ancient Greek history, though I am familiar with most of the major events and players. This book helped me to expand my knowledge on the subject while keeping me entertained, which is usually all I ask from a book on history. The author manages to present the subject in a fairly concise manner without getting bogged down in excessive detail, and this kept the pages turning at a good clip. I also liked the overall tone of the writing, which was casual and conversational...it felt like the author was sitting down and speaking with me personally. It kept me involved and didn't make me feel as though I was being put at a distance. So while this is definitely not the most exhaustive or detailed work on the subject, it's a very accessible and not at all intimidating, good for people like me who don't know a whole lot about the subject and would like to know more, but without being overwhelmed. This is actually the fourth volume in the "Hinges of History" series, which shows how various ancient civilizations shaped our current culture. I'm definitely going to be reading the others when I can get my hands on them!
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Reading Progress

07/04/2009 page 100
28.41%

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Shelley (new)

Shelley oh, this sounds really interesting. Last year I really got hooked on Roman history after travelling to Italy.


message 2: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Wow, you're lucky. I would love to go to Italy, but I don't see it happening anytime in the near future, what with the economic situation being what it is. I think it would be fascinating to see all of those places knowing the vast amount of history behind them.


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