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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern classics
A novel take on 'the Classics' in a volume that avoids the usual emphasis on history and the arts. Instead, it focuses on such intangibles as identity in the ancient world. The authors take the Greek writer Pausanias as a starting point. Although he was was writing his 'Guidebook to Greece' more than two centuries after Greece had become a Roman colony, he chooses to...
Published on 15 Feb 2008 by Jon Chambers

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting light read - sadly nothing more
This book is a nice, easy read, suitable for introducing classics as a subject. It is not, however, and academic introduction to classics or an introduction to classical literature. It covers the main fundementals (mythology, theatre, architecture etc.) briefly, so if its a detailed introduction to classics you are looking for, buy seperate specific books on each...
Published on 5 Mar 2005


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book on Classics as a field of study, 15 Nov 2011
This book deals with "Classics" as a field of study. The authors show how the successive generations of historians, travellers, archaeologists, writers or artists have influenced each other's ways of searching for and interpreting the traces left by the Greek and Roman cultures.

The style is lively (though perhaps a bit too conversational), and some considerations are thought-provoking or at least unusual (ex: According to the authors, Aristotle's work studying tragedy as a genre helped plays set in democratic Athens to be passed down in countries ruled by non-democratic regimes).

I find the book's structure quite unclear, as if one thought had led to another. Consequently, the intertwined aspects and multiple layers of "Classics" are well rendered, but the book is no reference work. The "index" echoes the rambling structure, and the final timeline includes mostly subjective information which those interested in ancient Greece and Rome will probably find pointless ( 1753 : British Museum founded; 1959: Ben-Hur film starring Charlton Heston...).

However, many of the authors' reflections on "Classics" as a field of study are true for later historical periods such as the Middle Ages or The Enlightenment.
It makes that entertaining little book worth borrowing from your local library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what is needed, 17 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. J. C. S. Wong "JamesW" (London) - See all my reviews
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Its a university set book for a relative. Just what is needed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classical education, 21 Nov 2010
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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The timeline at the end of this book gives a clue to the authors' approach. It starts at c800-500 BCE ("Early Greece"), ends at 1995 with the publication of this book, and includes entries like "1959 Ben Hur film starring Charlton Heston". It is about Classics as a subject, about how the Classical world has been viewed and interpreted over the years, and how it continues to impact today's world. In other words, it is more about the nature and significance of Classics as a discipline than about specific Classical topics. That makes it an excellent introduction for someone embarking on such a study.

The Further Reading section at the end is something of a letdown, being just an unhelpful list of titles. See Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction, by Helen Morales, for an example of how a Further Reading section should be done. In fact, the Morales book should be seen as a companion volume to the present one.

But this is a well written and entertaining exploration of a fascinating subject, full of valuable insights. Read this first and then the Morales book.
[PeterReeve]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics in your pocket, 31 Mar 2014
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Mr. P. Johnson (Leeds, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This book by Mary Beard and John Henderson is clearly well informed, very interesting and beautifully written. It fits nicely into your pocket, handy to have for a quick read, and has a really nice cover, It's what I would call a wonderful little book. I did try to find something I didn't like about it but gave up in the end. So I confidently give this little gem 5 stars, because there's no space to give it six.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Classics and all those who are not - a right riveting read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good way in, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: Classics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Edition)
Another fine example of this admirable series. Lively, straightforward, engaging, the book shows how "Classic" links the ancient classical worlds with today - and all the yesterdays in between. Stronlgy recommended to the interested but ignorant, like me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 18 Oct 2014
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Good book
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Intro, 7 July 2013
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This review is from: Classics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Edition)
This is specially useful if you happen to live in visiting range of the British Museum so you can see the objects in the Greek collection.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classics novel., 3 Mar 2013
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Mrs. Joanne Vogiatzis (n ireland) - See all my reviews
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A short review of the classics.
Not quite what I expected. Had hoped for something a bit more in depth.

Good delivery.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Print too small by far..., 2 Sep 2009
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I bought this book for myself and my son on the strength of the good reviews and name Mary Beard. What a real disappointment when it arrived - tiny format, very tiny print, which is a strain on my eyes even with my glasses. A crass piece of publishing design which detracts from any interest in reading.
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