The Greeks were the first to ask and discuss in a rational way two fundamental questions that never cease to concern thinking human beings: what is the nature of the universe, and what can I make of my brief time in it? Their answers, developed between the 8th century BC and the 4th century AD, are as relevant today as they were in ancient times.
In this clear and evocative account, John Gaskin unfolds the thinking about nature, life, death and other worlds that informed the culture and society of the Classical world, drawing out its interest for modern readers. Witty sketches and diagrams enliven the story, which runs from Homeric Greece to the banning of pagan religions in AD 391. The book concludes with a gazetteer describing notable sites and the people and ideas connected with them, making it an ideal companion for visitors to Classical ruins and for all armchair travellers curious to explore life’s big questions.
'A great idea, smartly executed … You’ll never confuse a Stoic with a Cynic again'
'One of my favourite discoveries in the last twelve months'
'Clear and evocative … a delightful book … It is written with a light and witty touch but you will be the wiser for reading it'