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The Tomb of Agamemnon: Mycenae and the Search for a Hero [Paperback]

Cathy Gere
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 April 2007
From Homer to Himmler, from Thucydides to Freud, Mycenae has occupied a singular place in the western imagination. Gere takes us from the Cult of the Hero that sprung up in the shadow of the great burned walls in the eighth century BC, to Agamemnon's twentieth-century reincarnation as an Aryan military genius and to the distinctly anti-heroic conclusions of modern archaeology. The Wonders of the World is a series of books that focuses on some of the world's most famous sites or monuments. Their names will be familiar to almost everyone: they have achieved iconic stature and are loaded with a fair amount of mythological baggage. These monuments have been the subject of many books over the centuries, but our aim, through the skill and stature of the writers, is to get something much more enlightening, stimulating, even controversial, than straightforward histories or guides.

Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New Ed edition (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861976674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861976673
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"'Her fascinating new book does a consummate job' Tom Holland, Mail on Sunday (5 stars) 'Ambitious, illuminating and witty' Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Sunday Times 'insightful account of how the archaeological ruins of Mycenae have been interpreted and misinterpreted to fit contemporary cultural agenda.' THES 'A wide-ranging and often surprising fulfilment of the book's title, namely a search for a hero.' Minerva Magazine"

About the Author

Cathy Gere is a lecturer in the History of Science at the University of Chicago. She has published on a wide range of topics from witchcraft to brain banking. Her book on Knossos in Crete is forthcoming.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tomb of Agamemnon 26 Mar 2006
This gorgeous volumne, with its sumptuous gold cover, should be top of the book-shopping list for anyone who is interested in history, archaeology or travel. Witty and erudite, Ms Gere writes beautifully, and, while clearly an academic, never talks down to those of us who are not. Reading this book is like having a long chat with your favourite teacher... if only all history books were as broad in their range and as amusing. Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
This feels like a book you want to buy from the moment you pick it up and hold it in your hands and in a world where publishing values have slumped, that makes a pleasant change. But the contents are also worth reading: Gere isn't a classicist and that shows, but she has done her homework and has written an entertaining book that engages with the 'reception' of not just the tale of Troy but also the heroic ethos of the archaic Greek world. From the 5th century bc, tragedians re-engaged with Homer, and that re-writing and appropriation of myths and meaning continues through history. The chapter on the Nazi appropriation of the Greeks, and particularly the Spartans, as the original Aryan race is both chilling and fascinatingly weird.

An excellent read in an excellent series, which will both inform the layman and maybe reinvigorate the professional classicist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read 27 Feb 2008
Rather than telling you the story of what happened at ancient Mycenae what we have here is the story of the story and how it grew over the centuries.

It is a text book example (literally) of how someone's wishful thinking is picked up by later generations as undisputed fact who in turn pile on more myth from there leading you to a completely inaccurate view of what really happened.

The story is a fascinating one and if you then take all the suppositions heaped on this site and start thinking about more sensitive sites in Biblical archaeology you start seeing the raft of problems you have describing exactly what went on and trying to please the believers and the searchers of facts all at the same time.

However the whole book is written with a wit and pace that many other historical authors should take note of. It is fun, entertaining and informative all at the same time.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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