3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Classics is always the same and is always different",
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Classics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first in the "Very Short Introduction" series and perhaps a very good place to start. Is the book very short? Yes, it is something you can accomplish in a few hours of uninterrupted reading (or two days of mildly interrupted reading in my case). And does it introduce the subject matter? Yes, through one useful example.
The book lost its way to detail around the 61% mark (accuracy attributed to my kindle) and I felt I would need to start taking notes but eventually the book regained its macro approach in a way that is appropriate for an introductory text.
I'm always explaining to people that economics (my degree at university) is the study of choice and not just about money and markets. In the same way, Classics has been explained to me to be not just about temples and friezes. If you scratch the surface of the scientific method both disciplines are sociological and anthropological.
Whilst classics incorporates Greek and Roman products (art, language, philosophy, archaeology, etc.) it is explained that Greece is to be seen through Roman eyes; and so begins the transition of culture down the ages. This is a study just not of the static state of such products just mentioned but of their constant state of flux. The subjectivity of the interpretation develops our understanding of the past whilst also revealing nuances about the present context from which our opinions have come from.
Historical inquiry is in a jostle between technological advancement that may reveal and 'Chinese Whispers' that may reconstruct. Eventually the subject boils down to philosophy, that, without providing an answer that is concrete (or maybe I should say marble), provides a journey that is informative and enjoyable in itself. To know where you are going, it helps to know where you are coming from.