|Trim Size / Pages||8.7 x 5.7 in / 368|
A masterly investigation into the classical roots of Western civilization, taking the reader on an illuminating journey from Troy, Athens, and Sparta to Utopia, Alexandria, and Rome.
An authoritative and accessible study of the foundations, development, and enduring legacy of the cultures of Greece and Rome, centered on ten locations of seminal importance in the development of classical civilization. Starting with Troy, where history, myth and cosmology fuse to form the origins of classical civilization, Nigel Spivey explores the contrasting politics of Athens and Sparta, the diffusion of classical ideals across the Mediterranean world, classical science and philosophy, the eastward export of Greek culture with the conquests of Alexander the Great, the power and spread of the Roman imperium, and the long Byzantine twilight of Antiquity.
Nigel Spivey is Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology at Cambridge. He wrote Songs on Bronze: The Greek Myths Made Real and The Ancient Olympics and presented the television series "How Art Made the World" for the BBC. He lives in Cambridge.
“Engaging. A concise guide to the myriad events that helped to shape our culture.” The New Criterion
“A fascinating book, with much to teach. He brings alive the place, the time, and the brutal men who came together to fiercely compete for honor and glory.” USA Today (praise for 'The Ancient Olympics')
“A grand ‘traverse of classical civilization.’ Just one of the delightful aspects of this book is the author’s penchant to throw in Greek and/or Latin sources for many of our words. He also provides countless telling details about each period in a way that makes ancient history feel fresh and invigorating. Anyone with the slightest curiosity about ancient classics will love this book. Shelve next to the work of Mary Beard.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Well informed and concise. As for the origin of the games, in his view, that is simple: it is war.” The New York Review of Books (praise for 'The Ancient Olympics')
“Spivey’s descriptions of historical facts and personages read smoothly. A serviceable overall look at Graeco-Roman history and its ideals.” Library Journal
“Lively and accessible. The book is learned without being scholarly. Fascinating.” The Wall Street Journal (praise for 'The Ancient Olympics')
“Thoughtful and approachable.” The Boston Globe (praise for 'The Ancient Olympics')
“A delightful tour through ancient Greece with plenty for the sports-minded, historian, Greek scholar, and linguist.” St. Petersburg Times (praise for 'The Ancient Olympics')