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The Greeks in Asia

John Boardman


An accessible account of the remarkable influence of ancient Greek culture across Asia

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


Britain’s most distinguished historian of ancient Greek art recounts the influence of Greek communities and their culture through Central Asia, India and Western China, from the Bronze Age through to the rise of Islam. John Boardman examines a wealth of art and artifacts as well as literary sources to reveal the remarkable influence of Greek culture upon peoples – Anatolians, Levantines, Persians, Asiatics, Indians, Chinese – whose settled civilizations were far older, with their own strong traditions in life, government and the arts.

The Greeks were not empire-builders. They did not seek to conquer or rule. However, they were highly literate and adept at trade; they spread a monetary economy through Eurasia; their religion was easily adapted to that of others; their art developed a form of narrative that was to be dominant for centuries to come; and their poets and philosophers were widely respected outside their homeland.

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'Undoubtedly an erudite book, the product of a lifetime’s research and reflection'
Current World Archaeology

'Attractively illustrated'
Society of Antiquaries

'A learned book, displaying an enormous and enviable range'
Journal of Greek Archaeology

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.5 x 18.3 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Illustrations: 208

Publication date: 25 May 2015

ISBN: 9780500252130

Contents List

1. Greece and the east: beginnings • 2. Greeks and Achaemenid Persia; 3. Greeks and Alexander ‘the Great’ • 4. The new Greek kingdoms in the east • 5. Greeks and their arts in Central Asia • 6: Greeks and their arts in India • 7. Greeks, Romans, Parthians and Sasanians: before Islam; Epilogue: myth, history and archaeology

About the Author

Sir John Boardman was born in 1927, and educated at Chigwell School and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He spent several years in Greece, three of them as Assistant Director of the British School of Archaeology at Athens, and he has excavated in Smyrna, Crete, Chios and Libya. For four years he was an Assistant Keeper in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and he subsequently became Reader in Classical Archaeology and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He is now Lincoln Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and Art in Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy, from whom he received the Kenyon Medal in 1995. He was awarded the Onassis Prize for Humanities in 2009. Professor Boardman has written widely on the art and archaeology of Ancient Greece.

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