Ancient Greece: Everyday Life in the Birthplace of Western Civilization Hardcover – 7 Dec 2013
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About the Author
Robert Garland is the Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics at Colgate University. He is the author of many books, including 'The Greek Way of Death'; (Cornell University Press), 'The Greek Way of Life'; (University of Michigan Press), and 'Julius Caesar'; (Liverpool University Press). He lives in Hamilton, NY.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are several takeaways from this book, among which the following may be found. First, Greece and the people living in what we now conceive as Ancient Greece were human beings in the every day use of the term. They had worries, fears, health problems, practical issues, etc. This may be common sense as it reads if it was not for the fact that Ancient Greece is many times put at a level that appears unachievable to the human race and only comparable to godlike figures. This insight will ring true to any student of Philosophy.
Second, this did not prevent the people from Greece from being advanced in their thought systems and in their cultural potential. Some of the mythos-logos thought systems are alien to our own. We are unable to abstract and concretize simultaneously, at least consciously. We may be able to achieve some of it, but at the risk of becoming paranoid or of being considered irrational.
Finally, the author purports in a very clear way the challenge that represents to compare the political and social structures of ancient times to our current ideals, for instance in regards to individual rights. Positions of unfairness and the like are detrimental to the study of ancient peoples because their thought systems are unequal to our current standards. This does not provoke the fast track moral decision that reads that relativity should be the leading system, but far from it, that in order to study History it is necessary to entertain value judgments different to ours. To add to the author, if we do not fulfill our enterprise this way, the exercise of studying ancient peoples will render no value, this being a typical and unsolved inquiry into the science of History.
A must read and a superb book!! I hope to find more titles from Robert Garland.