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“Tracing 3,500 years of ancient Greek culture . . . this survey reveals the
myriad ways in which these people made unparalleled contributions to the rise
of Western civilization.”— Science News The ancient Greeks set out from their
mountainous homeland to colonize and settle much of the Mediterranean and Black
Sea coasts. They have left their imprint on virtually every aspect of modern
politics, theater, art, philosophy, medicine, architecture, and athletics.
Their story is presented here from the Palaeolithic era to the Ottoman empire.
Of key importance is the question of how the Greeks developed and adapted
through the centuries, and how they interacted, both peaceably and otherwise,
with the surrounding cultures. From mythology to recent history, the struggle
has surged back and forth across the Aegean: Greeks against Troy, Greek
migration and settlement in Asia Minor and southern Italy, Persian invasions of
Greece, Alexander’s conquest of Asia, Roman intervention in the Greek world,
the spread of Christianity, the rise of Islam, the Crusades to the Holy Land,
and the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Individual chapters on
Greek heroes and gods and extracts from Classical authors and inscriptions
bring the story vividly to life and allow the Greeks to speak for themselves.
107 color and 269 b/w photographs and illustrations