Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times
In this compact yet comprehensive history of ancient Greece, Thomas R. Martin brings alive Greek civilization from its Stone Age roots to the fourth century B.C. Focusing on the development of the Greek city-state and the society, culture, and architecture of Athens in its Golden Age, Martin integrates political, military, social, and cultural history in a book that will a...more
Took me nearly a year, but hot damn, it's done!
This is a great, detailed book about life for the Ancient Greeks, from the early, early days to the last days of Queen Cleopatra (you know, the famous one that Elizabeth Taylor played). I don't know how Martin did it, but he struck that perfect writing tone of being highly intellectual but highly approachable as well.
Please Note: The fact it took me so long to finish should NOT be indicative of the value of the subject matter or the qu ...more
It’s worth noting that whilst this book was originally published in 1996, this is the second edition, fully revised and updated in 2013.
This book came to my attention when I was reading through book samples looking for the perfect gift for my friend with no prior knowledge of the history of ancient Greece. Just from the sample, Ancient Greece by Thomas Martin seemed ideal. The book is structured in a straightforwards chronological sequence rather than by theme, which for the beginner helps to be ...more
The Great Courses series on Ancient Greece suggested Martin's book as a course companion. I had read it before and enjoyed it more this time around. It is a well written, high readable survey of Greek history from Prehistoric to Hellenistic times. One of ...more
The prose is accessible though not not especially memorable. Discussions are informative with a few quotes from the primary sources but more would've been welcome. The arts are given a fair shake as well as the phil ...more
This was book number one! I chose it to get a quick overview of the history of ancient Greece, because I haven't really studied it since I took Search in 1990. If an overview is what you're looking for, this is the book for you. It gives a survey of the major highlights ...more
Anyone interested in diving deeper into the ...more
To know the civilization that created/discovered/invented: Botany, Zoology, Geography, Medicine, Philosophy, Philology, Mathematics, Engineering, Anatomy, Rhetoric, Logic, Literary criticism, Universities and research institutes, Architecture, Urbanism, Political Science, History, Historiography, Anthropology, Comparative Theology, Theater, Comedy, Musicology (and some of the best music ever), Western Literature, Poetry (some of the best and as a subject of stu ...more
Martin starts with a chapter on prehistory which is not really about Greece at all, and gets sidetracked with speculation - for example, that the development of agricultural society resulted in women taking a subordinate social position.
However, from chapter two the book provides a clear, straightforward account of the economic, political, social and cultural development of Greece. Its strength is in description ra ...more
As the author later confesses in the epilogue of the book that it is an intentionally brief and selective narrative of this fascinating time in human history.
This is the go to book for beginners. The book doesn't contain the academic tone and you will find yourself slipping into your imagination and finding yourself somewhere in the ancient Greek world.
It is pretty deta ...more
While all eras are reasonably covered, this can be considered as a paean to the freedom of speech that was unique to Greece. The best example of it (by way of Plutarch) is a commoner wanting Aristides the "Just" to be ostracized solely because he was sick of Aristides being way too popular for his just orientation.
However, the author sensibly advocates the exercise of caution in the evaluation of the Greeks and Greek-influence ...more
His research field covers the history of ancient Greece and Rome and numismatics. He is author and c ...more