91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Classical History - Short, Sweet, Elegant,
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This review is from: The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome (Paperback)
This is an outstanding sweep across hundreds of years of Classical Greek and Roman history by a very fine scholar with a well-tuned popular touch.
Ranging from the poet Homer in the 7th century BCE, to the Roman 'First Citizen' Hadrian surveying his empire from the Tyne to the Euphrates, Lane Fox communicates a lifetime experience of teaching the Classics in one compact volume, deliciously divided into chapters which can capture an era or event in one pre-sleep bite! His view is even handed, but his enthusiasm for figures such as Pliny and Cicero shine out. He also has a soft spot for gardeners...
This is an excellent starting point for further reading, with excellent and easily usable notes and bibliographies. The illustrations are fascinatingly discussed in an appendix. I especially enjoyed the careful modern nuances that alluded to 'spin' and 'regime change' - these can be clumsy in lesser writers, but they were revealing and apposite here.
A very very fine book covering a vital aspect of human history, and essential to fully understand the Western World with all its achievements, weaknesses and cruelties.