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Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Hellenistic Age, the three extraordinary centuries from the death of Alexander in 323 B. C. to Octavian's final defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, has offered a rich and variegated field of exploration for historians, philosophers, economists, and literary critics. Yet few scholars have attempted the daunting task of seeing the period whole, of ...more
Hardcover, 970 pages
Published September 24th 1990 by University of California Press (first published 1990)
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Rindis
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I've long been interested in the ancient world. The Roman Empire, especially, gets a lot of my historical interest. In my reading, it's very easy to find books on Rome (Empire and Republic), and on Alexander. The period right after Alexander is a bit more difficult. So I've been searching for a good book on the diadochoi and the successor states in general for quite some time.

Peter Green's Alexander to Actium is that book. Green is a professor of Classics who needed a textbook on the Hellenistic
...more
J. Clayton Rogers
Having known very little about the Hellenistic period beyond what I picked up from Will Durant (who I still love, in spite of his ill repute among professional historians), I must say Mr. Green has pretty much filled in all the gaps with his exhaustive history. Yes, you have to battle your way through a host of historical figures and the innumerable power plays of the post-Alexander disentegration. And yes, I needed to pull out my dictionary on occasion. (Although my Webster's New World ...more
Logan Marlowe
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this is a very long book. Be warned. As someone who loves the Hellenistic period I wasn't deterred. I've read this book twice, and it is wonderful both as a read and as a reference. It covers everything political and cultural which happened between Alexander's death and the battle of Actium (duh). If he is a little negative, as one reviewer mentioned rightly, I think it's because many mistakes were made by the rulers of the time. Their infighting and Rome's outsider status are what ...more
Adam
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is for real scholarship, son.
Thomas Baughman
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient, history
Still the best book on The Hellenistic World.
Wes Christensen
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece of history. A treasure I return to again and again.
Ryan
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age
Peter Green
Read it in an enormous used Hardback weighing in at a massive 970 pages.

Alexander to Actium is a sort of sequel to an excellent earlier work covering the life of Alexander the Great. This behemoth picks up after Alexander's conquest and death when the conquest lands were separated amongst his most faithful, in turn creating Kingdoms and Dynasties that would last for some time. It aims to cover these splinter kingdoms,
...more
John Bohman
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully comprehensive. Does a great job connecting gaps between the better know events of the period, while focusing on topics like culture, art and intellectual developments that are usually left out of other, more episodic and geo-politically focused studies of the period. Highly recommend if you looking for a more academic but still readable look at the Hellenistic period.
David Montgomery
A dense, informative look at the Hellenistic period — one I'd argue is often ignored in Western history classes. We learn about the Greeks and the Persians, about Athens and Sparta, and Alexander's conquests, but then skip forward to the rise of Rome. I knew bits and pieces about this period, but this very comprehensive book has really filled in the gaps.

It doesn't just tackle the straight history of battles and kings, although that's there. Just as much if not more of the book is devoted to the
...more
Josiah
rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2013
Nathan
Jan 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thematic history of the Greek world between Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire. Lots of philosophers, poets and artists. Surprisingly few kings, battles and dates. Green claimed to only use "common words and phrases from non-English languages", but that really meant "common to old-fashioned classicists. Oh, and he really really likes the poet Cavafy. I don't. Still, lots of info here, and it is quite depressing seeing just how like today the old times were. Budget surpluses! Rated PG for ...more
Erik
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding, but does everything have to happen for the most cynical reasons? Historians are such pessimists. I also found the contemporary references and Weltschmerz a bit out of place. But the history, ooo la la.
Mary Beth
A great history book on the era between Alexander the Great's Empire and the rise of the Roman Empire. Reads like fiction, unlike most history books!
Derek Davis
Jan 25, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
still early on, but undoubtedly the best book on Hellenistic history. Beautiful stylist
Alicia Ruggieri
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Wonderful resource for writers as well as entertaining in its own right.
Evan Leach
Probably the best general history book I have ever read.
Patrick Aisher
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic
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There is more than one author by this name in the database. This is Peter^Green.

Peter Morris Green (born 22 December 1924) is a British classical scholar noted for his works on the Greco-Persian Wars, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age of ancient history, generally regarded as spanning the era from the death of Alexander in 323 BC up to either the date of the Battle of Actium or the death
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