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Greece in the Ancient World

Jeremy McInerney


Balancing textual and archaeological evidence, this brand-new, single-voiced narrative paints a vivid picture of Ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the Roman conquest

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This single-author survey combines an authoritative and engaging retelling of the history of ancient Greece with an assessment of the relevance of the Greeks today. Drawing upon the latest archaeological research and a wealth of textual evidence, Jeremy McInerney describes an extraordinary culture that produced innovations in such areas as philosophy, democracy and medicine that have helped shape our concepts of truth, justice and science, among many others. Spanning the Minoan and Mycenaean origins of Greece to its eventual conquest by Rome, this wide-ranging and comprehensive account also emphasizes the interconnectedness of the Greek experience in the Mediterranean, framing the history of the Greeks as inextricably tied to their relationship with the wider world of antiquity, and the Persians in particular.

Beautifully illustrated with examples of art, archaeology and architecture – from the frescoes of Akrotiri to the spectacular discovery of the Tomb of the Griffin Warrior in 2015 – this account foregrounds the variety and diversity of what it meant to be Greek. Dedicated chapters on Athens and Sparta highlight the differences of culture and civic structure within the Greek world, as well as the political tensions that would precipitate the Peloponnesian War and the subsequent Macedonian Hellenistic Age. Numerous maps and timelines support the clear chronological narrative, while ‘Spotlight’ features at the end of each chapter offer a visual commentary on specific concepts, places and institutions, such as the oracle of Delphi and the image of Alexander the Great.

Greece in the Ancient World is the story of a culture that transformed the Western world. The Greeks’ achievements and failures, their ideals and their faults, established a legacy that remains at the heart of our modern life.

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'Eminently readable, lots of illustrations, with a good balance between narrative history and critical analysis'
Denise Demetriou, Professor, University of California

'An engaging personal perspective on this extraordinary period … as fascinating as it is thought-provoking'
Current World Archaeology

'McInerney’s writing is clear and engaging so that undergraduates at any level should be able to grasp the arguments'
Paula Debnar, Professor of Classics, Mount Holyoke College

'This is an excellent text. The author has found a good balance of detailed description and critical analysis over a range of topics'
Lucien Frary, Associate Professor, Rider University

'McInerney is a good storyteller, who authoritatively and compellingly makes Greece in antiquity relevant to the contemporary experience of both Greeks and others'
History Today

'Perfect for the perplexed first-timer and the old hand in need of refreshment … nothing is taken for granted and nothing is left out'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.4 x 19.2 cm

Extent: 368 pp

Illustrations: 272

Publication date: 18 January 2018

ISBN: 9780500252260

Contents List

Preface • Timeline • 1. Why Study the Greeks? • 2. Early Greece and the Minoans: The Labyrinth and the Minotaur • 3. Mycenae: Rich in Gold • 4. The Iron Age • 5. The Archaic Age: Sparta • 6. The Archaic Age: Athens • 7. Persia • 8. Democracy and Empire 9. Inclusion and Exclusion: Life in Periklean Athens • 10. Religion and Philosophy: Belief and Knowledge in the Classical Age • 11. The Peloponnesian War • 12. Panhellenism and the Rise of Philip • 13. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age

About the Author

Jeremy McInerney is Davidson Kennedy Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and chair of the Graduate Group in Ancient History. He also serves on the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where he was Whitehead Professor. At the University of Pennsylvania he has won the Ira Abrams Teaching Award and the Lindback Award.