Here is their story, told within its historical and cultural framework. The eastern Mediterranean has always been a point of contact and conflict between East and West, and the book relates how the Greeks interacted, both peaceably and otherwise, with the surrounding culturesMinoans, Phoenicians, Lydians, Persians, and Romans. Herodotus began his account of the Persian Wars in the fifth century BC by saying that the trouble started 700 years earlier, with the events leading up to the Trojan War. Over time the struggle surged back and forth across the Aegean: Greece against Troy, Greek migration and settlement in Asia Minor, Persian invasions of Greece, Alexander's conquest of Asia, Roman intervention in the Greek world.
The world of the ancient Greeks is presented here in chronological order, from the Bronze Age to the Christian era, a span of some 3,500 years. Athens plays a large role, but other Greek cities are given much closer attention than in standard accounts. Individual chapters look at the Greeks and their gods, and Greek art and architecture. The result is a sweeping and authoritative survey of a culture that made an unparalleled contribution to the rise of Western civilization. 280 illustrations and phtotographs, 90 in color.
Quotations from Greek authors
The latest archaeological discoveries
Numerous sidebars and special features
Timeline and gazetteer of ancient Greek sites