I really enjoyed this book. The Greeks undoubtedly had a very interesting culture, and an analysis of their early scientists is an important an interesting read. Mr Lloyd has compiled a good introductory overview, outlining the major players, the development of various ideas, and some suggestions why their "science" got started in the first place. This is not an easy question to answer. I liked his idea that critical analysis of ideas about the natural world may have been a corrollary of a general environment of critical examination of political structure and ideas in difficult times. In other words, because ideas in general were subjected to critical analysis, critical examination of the natural world logically followed, more as an afterthought than a deliberate injunction. It is an interesting theory.
The book includes discussions of various differences and similarities between modern and ancient science. Ancient thinkers seemed less concerned with the practical potential of their ideas. The pursuit of knowledge for knowledge sake, with a few notable exceptions, was a worthy enough endeavour in itself. They saw the natural world as something more to be studied than "tamed". "Science" was a more vaguely defined discipline; few people practised it much less got paid for it. The book discusses the various streams and ideas which grew about, with, and around it, such as medicine, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and biology. The Pythagorians, Platonists, Milesians, Aristotle, Thales, and Anaximander are all names which come to the fore, but unfortunately, their contribution withers away far too quickly in the history of the world. Some interesting points I noted were early suggestions that man had sprung from other organisms, (namely fish), the problem of change, theories concerning the nature of matter-you know-elements, atoms and so on.
A look into the thinking of the early Greeks is in part a mirror into the heart and nature of our society. My only complaint with the book is that we have so little remaining information about these thinkers and their times.
Please, archaeologists and the like, find much more about the Greeks in some colossal discovery of thousands of well-preserved, buried manuscripts in a buried ancient city somewhere about Greece, so we can know more about the ancient world.