The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine

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However, 'the Birth of Classical Europe' provides a succinct and enjoyable history of the foundation of civilisation in the Mediterranean, the rise of the Greek city states and the war with Persia, Alexander the Great and the emergence of Rome. In my opinion, the authors place too much emphasis on how the peoples of the region defined their own identities and this is made more frustrating when some significant events are given very scant coverage indeed, for example the Roman destruction of Carthage is covered in half a page.

There is also very little mention of the nearby Egyptians. In summary, a good read but you'll have to look elsewhere if pre-Roman British and Northern European history interests you too. An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia. Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. I Agree This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and if not signed in for advertising.

Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms. Members Reviews Popularity Average rating Mentions 7 66, 3. At every level, from languages to calendars to political systems, we are the descendants of a "classical Europe," using frames of reference created by ancient Mediterranean cultures. As this consistently fresh and surprising new audio book makes clear, however, this was no less true for the inhabitants of those classical civilizations themselves, whose myths, history, and buildings were an elaborate engagement with an already old and revered past - one filled with great leaders and writers, emigrations and battles.

Indeed, much of the reason we know so much about the classical past is because of the obsessive importance it held for so many generations of Greeks and Romans, who interpreted and reinterpreted their changing casts of heroes and villains. Figures such as Alexander the Great and Augustus Caesar loom large in our imaginations today, but they themselves were fascinated by what had preceded them.

The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine

A stunning work of research and imagination, The Birth of Classical Europe is an authoritative history, covering two millennia of human experience and casting new light on the world that in many ways still defines our own. In their thoughtful look at the twin engines of memory and culture, Simon Price and Peter Thonemann show how our own changing values and interests have shaped our feelings about an era that is by some measures very remote but by others startlingly close. No current Talk conversations about this book.

After reading two of the Penguin History of Europe volumes, which were bad and quite bad, why did I pick up this one? The two authors of this historical overview give you a hop-scotch approach to this period. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the title, this book largely ignores any of the early history of Europe that is not directly related to that of Rome or Greece. Status Simon Price — primary author all editions calculated Thonemann, Peter — main author all editions confirmed.

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You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data. The Penguin History of Europe 1. Athens, Greece. Rome, Italy. Knossos, Crete, Greece. Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia. Fall of Troy. Foundation of Rome. References to this work on external resources.

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The Birth of Classical Europe

Google Books — Loading Audio MP3 on CD. An innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians; the first volume in the Penguin History of Europe The influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives. From calendars to democracy to the very languages we speak, Western civilization owes a debt to these classical societies.

Yet the Greeks and Romans did not emerge fully formed; their culture grew from an active engagement with a deeper past, drawing on ancient myths and figures to shape vibrant civilizations. In this impeccably researched and immensely readable history we see the ancient world unfold before us, with its grand cast of characters stretching from the great Greeks of myth to the world-shaping Caesars.

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Add to Wishlist. USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview An innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians; the first volume in the Penguin History of Europe The influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives.

Average Review. Write a Review. David-The-Reviewer More than 1 year ago There are thousands of books about the classical world so one might ask if we really need another. The answer is yes we do. Our understanding of the past is constantly changing as new information is discovered. New writers have new ways of looking at old subjects. Most of all as the world we live in changes we need new books to help us connect with a past that is constantly moving.

The Birth of Classical Europe is a wonderful introduction to the ancient world. The authors focus on Greek history and then move on to Rome. They do not spend a lot of time on the civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Ancient Near East, and Egypt. That is not because of any Eurocentric prejudice, but rather they focus their story on one specific region.

They spend a lot of time on Minoan and Mycenaean cultures. Using archeological discoveries from the last 20 years they build up a picture of the ancient world that is a little less catastrophic than the previous pictures that we have had. They argue more for a story of a sequence migrations that ends with assimilation. This is a little less sudden than the image of hordes of invaders wiping out the natives and resettling the region.

The authors spend a lot of time with ancient authors and recognize the value of the ancient sources.

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They do not accept the ancient stories at face value, that would of course be a mistake. Instead they look at the archeology and see how that illuminates the stories. Often credible theories of the past can be built when one uses this method.

The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine by Simon Price and Peter Thonemann

This book is not meant to be a comprehensive history of the ancient world. Instead it is an introduction to the period. As the first volume of The Penguin History of Europe its purpose is to give the reader an understanding of the foundations of European civilization.