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Literature in the Greek World: A New Perspective Paperback – 9 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (9 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192893033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192893031
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.3 x 12.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,405,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"Authoritative and well written...a beautifully produced and reasonably priced volume."--Anglo-Hellenic Review

About the Author

Oliver Taplin, a distinguished classicist and author, is Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at Oxford University and a Fellow of Magdalen College.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The rosy fingers which heralded the extraordinary era we know as 'ancient Greece' first gradually spread between about 900 and 700 BCE. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luna Corona on 31 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific little book. I bought it from a secondhand book stall and was hoping to get it on Kindle too. However, not finding it in the Kindle store had me check it out as a published version, and lo and behold, what a shocking price it is here! The RRP is only £9.99, and I got it secondhand for just £4. The prices on here, starting at more than £54 for a used version, are just outrageous and unacceptable. Surely this book is not THAT valuable?!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ancient Greek literature for grad students 30 Dec. 2012
By Aaron Lipka - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This small book on Greek literature is written for a small audience. On the one hand, this book is not an introduction to ancient literature. It expects a certain amount of reader familiarity with authors and poets of Greece, as well as a tolerance for Greek terms and spellings (e.g. Kallimachos instead of Callimachus). This is only a weakness in that it potentially alienates readers of casual interest. On the other hand, the book never asserts itself as a thorough review of Greek literature for scholars on the topic. Instead, it is written for "those who know a little and would like to know more" about Greek works from Homer to the Roman period. That is to say, it is written for the advanced/advancing student.

With that in mind, this book treats its topic by breaking Greek literature into six or seven genres and assessing the values of each from the perspective of the intended receivers. In other words, this book focuses on the interface between the authors and their ancient audience. In some cases, such as Greek tragedy and comedy, this is a very fruitful and interesting approach, since it guides the student readers in question away from seeing Euripedes or Aristophanes in modern terms and more in terms of "their own" (i.e. classical) expectations and mores. Other chapters, dealing with Greek historians or "wisdom literature," face certain challenges, since the works in question often seem to defy such an approach; indeed, what has made Thucydides and Plato special has been their scope and their universality.

The different chapters on each genre are written by different modern scholars; they are also interwoven and sometimes refer the reader to sections in other chapters, so that this is not merely a collection of essays arranged with a common thread. Although any book which takes such a large scope of literature into its sights is necessarily summary, there is appropriate depth of detail, as well as a brief but useful bibliography for further reading. Even though this book is by no means a comprehensive look at literature in the Greek world, this may be a strength- it treats some scholarly issues in an refreshing way, and leaves it to the reader to find out more. Highly recommended for aspiring Hellenists.
Solid work 14 Jan. 2015
By Al - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting, but dense book, which explores Greek literature in eight essays, from Homer to literature created under Roman rule. This is a work for those who already have some background in Greek literature. Some of the essays were easier going than others because a different scholar wrote each essay. I thought the strongest essays were those on Archaic Greek poetry, the development of drama, and the literature of the philosophers. There was an essay on the historians and concentrated on Herodotus and Thucydides which was good but I thought it too brief. The poetry essay went into detail on the three genres of Greek poetry, as well as the context for their performances. Overall, the essays showed the progression from the reception of oral poetry and epic, to the almost exclusive use of writing. I have only three real complaints about the text, and they relate entirely to personal preference. The print was very small, which made for laborious reading. The authors used direct transcription of Greek names, which is becoming the trend, however, that’s not how some of us learned the names in school. I have always found the use of BCE/CE an irritating conceit and nod toward PC. Regardless of how you annotate the periods, the reason for the demarcation is still the same.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It saves my day 19 Oct. 2013
By Anders Poulsen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am totally unable to judge the qualities of the book, but I have been responsible for my wife loosing hers...
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