Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Cartledge

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199601348

Category: History

Page: 184

View: 3319

Introduces major topics in ancient Greek civilization through the development of eleven characteristic city states, ranging from prehistoric Cnossos through Byzantion, and including the future Marseilles as well as Athens and Sparta.

Ancient Greece

A History in Eleven Cities

Author: Paul Cartledge

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191571571

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 9783

The contribution of the Ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizably different without the formative influence of Ancient Greek models. Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city - in Greek, the polis, from which we derive 'politics'. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny and - last but by no means least - democracy. This highly stimulating introduction to Ancient Greece takes the polis as its starting point. Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language around 1400 BCE, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around CE 330. Covering everything from politics, trade, and travel to slavery, gender, religion, and philosophy, it provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization that helped give birth to the world as we know it.

Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Morales

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192804766

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 2752

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths in both high art and popular culture.

Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Harry Sidebottom

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577979

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 7779

Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare before and after. The key difference is often held to be that the Greeks and Romans practised a 'Western Way of War', where the aim is an open, decisive battle, won by courage instilled in part by discipline. Harry Sidebottom looks at how and why this 'Western Way of War' was constructed and maintained by the Greeks and Romans, why this concept is so popular and prevalent today, and at whether or not this is an accurate interpretation. All aspects of ancient warfare are thoroughly examined - from philosophy and strategy to the technical skills needed to fight. He looks at war in the wider context - how wars could shape classical society, and how the individual's identity could be constructed by war, for example the Christian soldier fighting in God's name. He also explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict: Can a war be just? Why was siege warfare particularly bloody? What role did divine intervention play in the outcome of a battle? Taking fascinating examples from the Iliad, Tacitus, and the Persian Wars, Sidebottom uses arresting anecdotes and striking visual images to show that the any understanding of ancient war is an ongoing process of interpretation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Kelly

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577847

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 7123

The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. It had a population of sixty million people spread across lands encircling the Mediterranean and stretching from drizzle-soaked northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates in Syria, and from the Rhine to the North African coast. It was, above all else, an empire of force - employing a mixture of violence, suppression, order, and tactical use of power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture. This Very Short Introduction covers the history of the Empire from Augustus (the first Emperor) to Marcus Aurelius, describing how the empire was formed, how it was run, its religions and its social structure. It examines how local cultures were "romanised" and how people in far away lands came to believe in the emperor as a god. The book also examines how the Roman Empire has been considered and depicted in more recent times, from the writings of Edward Gibbon, to the differing attitudes of the Victorians and recent Hollywood blockbuster films. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Democracy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Crick

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577650

Category: Political Science

Page: 144

View: 7960

No political concept is more used, and misused, than that of democracy. Nearly every regime today claims to be democratic, but not all 'democracies' allow free politics, and free politics existed long before democratic franchises. This book is a short account of the history of the doctrine and practice of democracy, from ancient Greece and Rome through the American, French, and Russian revolutions, and of the usages and practices associated with it in the modern world. It argues that democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for good government, and that ideas of the rule of law, and of human rights, should in some situations limit democratic claims. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jennifer T. Roberts

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620238

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 2441

Herodotus has come to be respected by most scholars as a responsible and important historian. Herodotus was both a critical thinker and a lively storyteller, a traveller who was both tourist and anthropologist. Like Homer, he set out to memorialize great deeds in words; more narrowly, he determined to discover the causes of the wars between Greece and Persia and to explain them to his fellow Greeks. In his hands, the Greeks' unforeseeable defeat of the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes, with their vast hosts, made for fascinating storytelling. Influenced by the work of the natural scientists and philosophers of his own and earlier eras, Herodotus also brought his literary talents to bear on a vast, unruly mass of information gathered from many interviews throughout his travels and left behind him the longest work that had ever been written in Greek - the first work of history, and one which continues to be read with enjoyment today. Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction introduces readers to what little is known of Herodotus's life and goes on to discuss all aspects of his work, including his fascination with his origins; his travels; his view of the world in relation to boundaries and their transgressions; and his interest in seeing the world and learning about non-Greek civilizations. We also explore the recurring themes of his work, his beliefs in dreams, oracles, and omens, the prominence of women in his work, and his account of the battles of the Persian Wars. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Hellenistic Age

Author: Peter Thonemann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198746040

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 1883

The three centuries which followed the conquests of Alexander are perhaps the most thrilling of all periods of ancient history. This was an age of cultural globalization: in the third century BC, a single language carried you from the Rhone to the Indus. A Celt from the lower Danube could serve in the mercenary army of a Macedonian king ruling in Egypt, and a Greek philosopher from Cyprus could compare the religions of the Brahmins and the Jews on the basis of first-hand knowledge of both. Kings from Sicily to Tajikistan struggled to meet the challenges of ruling multi-ethnic states, and Greek city-states came together under the earliest federal governments known to history. The scientists of Ptolemaic Alexandria measured the circumference of the earth, while pioneering Greek Argonauts explored the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic coast of Africa. Drawing on inscriptions, papyri, coinage, poetry, art, and archaeology, in this Very Short Introduction Peter Thonemann opens up the history and culture of the vast Hellenistic world, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) to the Roman conquest of the Ptolemaic kingdom (30 BC). ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Classical Literature

A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Allan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199665451

Category: Fiction

Page: 135

View: 2001

William Allan's Very Short Introduction provides a concise and lively guide to the major authors, genres, and periods of classical literature. Drawing upon a wealth of material, he reveals just what makes the 'classics' such masterpieces and why they continue to influence and fascinate today.

Introduction ;Introducing Assyria ;Assyrian places ;Assyrians at home ;Assyrians abroad ;Foreigners in Assyria ;Assyrian world domination ;Chronology ;Glossary ;References ;Further reading ;Index

Author: Karen Radner

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198715900

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 8144

Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. In this Very Short Introduction, Karen Radner sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the end of the 7th century BC. Since the archaeological rediscovery of Assyria in the mid-19th century, its cities have been excavated extensively in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Israel, with further sites in Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan providing important information. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most geographically vast, socially diverse, multicultural, and multi-ethnic states of the early first millennium BC. Using archaeological records, Radner provides insights into the lives of the inhabitants of the kingdom, highlighting the diversity of human experiences in the Assyrian Empire. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jack A. Goldstone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199858500

Category: History

Page: 148

View: 9109

This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.

Classics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mary Beard,John Henderson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019160643X

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 160

View: 9238

This Very Short Introduction to Classics links a haunting temple on a lonely mountainside to the glory of ancient Greece and the grandeur of Rome, and to Classics within modern culture-from Jefferson and Byron to Asterix and Ben-Hur. We are all Classicists - we come into touch with the Classics daily: in our culture, politics, medicine, architecture, language, and literature. What are the true roots of these influences, however, and how do our interpretations of these aspects of the Classics differ from their original reception? This introduction to the Classics begins with a visit to the British Museum to view the frieze which once decorated the Apollo Temple at Bassae. Through these sculptures, John Henderson and Mary Beard prompt us to consider the significance of Classics as a means of discovery and enquiry, its value in terms of literature, philposophy, and culture, and its importance as a source of imagery. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Amanda H. Podany

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195377990

Category: History

Page: 148

View: 7080

The ancient Near East is defined, for the purposes of this book, as the cuneiform lands," the regions of the ancient world where the cuneiform script, written on clay tablets, was used as the most common medium for written communication. These lands comprise Mesopotamia (with its variously named regions: Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria); Syria, Elam (later known as Persia), and Anatolia. The three thousand years to be covered by this book - from around 3500 BCE, with the founding ofthe first Mesopotamian cities (which coincide with the invention of writing) to the conquest of the Near East by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE - encompass an era of remarkable innovation and achievement. Many of the creations of the people of the ancient Near East are still with us, from fundamental inventions such as the wheel and the plow to intellectual feats such as the inventions of astronomy, law, and diplomacy. The region is known as the "cradle of civilization" for good reason. Here, men and women first tried to live peacefully together in densely urban cities, and found ways, through law and custom, to thrive and prosper. The popular image of history as a story of progress from primitive barbarism to modern sophistication is completely belied by the study of the ancient Near East. For example, women had many rights and freedoms; they could own property, run businesses, and represent themselves in court. Diplomats traveled between the capital cities of major powers ensuring peace and friendship between the kings. Scribes and scholars studied the stars and could predict eclipses and the movements of the planets. These achievements were lost in subsequent centuries, only to be reborn in more modern times. Perhaps the most obvious legacy from the ancient Near East is seen in some of our units of measurement. The Mesopotamians invented a mathematical system based on the number 60, and all the 60-based units in our modern world (including seconds, minutes, and degrees) have come down, unaltered, directly from Mesopotamia. Taking a chronological view, the book will include what we know, ideas about what we don't yet know (but perhaps will in the future), evidence used for discerning the history of the region, and approaches taken to the evidence by scholars of the ancient Near East. Each chapter will focus on one or two archaeological sites that have contributed extensive evidence (both textual and archaeological) to our understanding of an era and expanding from that evidence to a broader view of the era as a whole."

Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Barnes

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191606553

Category: Philosophy

Page: 176

View: 850

The influence of Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, on the intellectual history of the West is second to none. In this book Jonathan Barnes examines Aristotle's scientific researches, his discoveries in logic and his metaphysical theories, his work in psychology and in ethics and politics, and his ideas about art and poetry, placing his teachings in their historical context. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Byzantium

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Sarris

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199236119

Category: History

Page: 142

View: 3472

Explores the fusion of Roman political culture, Greek intellectual tradition, and Christian faith that characterized Byzantium. Shows how the empire held power for eleven centuries and why it ultimately fell.

History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Arnold

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191606375

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 430

There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's Very Short Introduction is a stimulating essay about how we study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and explores the ways these questions have been answered in the past. Concepts such as causation, interpretation, and periodization, are introduced by means of concrete examples of how historians work, giving the reader a sense of the excitement of discovering not only the past, but also ourselves. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World

Author: John Boardman,Jasper Griffin,Oswyn Murray

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0191500623

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 3105

A comprehensive view of the ancient Greek world, its history and its achievements. The legacy of the Hellenistic world is vast--it ranges from architecture to philosophy, literature, and the visual arts to military strategy and science. This authoritative study covers the period from the eighth century BC, which witnessed the emergence of the Greek city-states, to the conquests of Alexander the Great and the establishment of the Greek monarchies some five centuries later. Chapters dealing with political and social history are interspersed with chapters on philosophy and the arts, including Homer, Greek myth, Aristotle, and Plato, Greek dramatists such as Sophocles and Aristophanes, and the flourishing of the visual and plastic arts. This volume, first published as part of The Oxford History of the Classical World, includes illustrations, maps, a Chronology of Events, and suggestions for Further Reading.

Alexander the Great: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Hugh Bowden

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191016365

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 2228

Alexander the Great became king of Macedon in 336 BC, when he was only 20 years old, and died at the age of 32, twelve years later. During his reign he conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest empire that had ever existed, leading his army from Greece to Pakistan, and from the Libyan desert to the steppes of Central Asia. His meteoric career, as leader of an alliance of Greek cities, Pharaoh of Egypt, and King of Persia, had a profound effect on the world he moved through. Even in his lifetime his achievements became legendary and in the centuries that following his story was told and retold throughout Europe and the East. Greek became the language of power in the Eastern Mediterranean and much of the Near East, as powerful Macedonian dynasts carved up Alexander's empire into kingdoms of their own, underlaying the flourishing Hellenistic civilization that emerged after his death. But what do we really know about Alexander? In this Very Short Introduction, Hugh Bowden goes behind the usual historical accounts of Alexander's life and career. Instead, he focuses on the evidence from Alexander's own time — letters from officials in Afghanistan, Babylonian diaries, records from Egyptian temples — to try and understand how Alexander appeared to those who encountered him. In doing so he also demonstrates the profound influence the legends of his life have had on our historical understanding and the controversy they continue to generate worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.