The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (Penguin History of Europe (Viking)) Hardcover – 17 Feb 2011
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The Birth of Classical Europe combines a strong narrative with sophisticated thematic analysis and reflection ... Despite the immense ground covered, there is no impression of the breathlessness and superficiality which one might have thought unavoidable. (Simon Hornblower TLS)
The Penguin History of Europe series ... is one of contemporary publishing's great projects (New Statesman)
With five volumes now out, the Penguin History of Europe series ... is shaping up to be the best general account available, superseding all previous ones (Economist) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
From 1981 to 2008 Simon Price was a Lecturer at the University of Oxford, where he taught Greek and Roman history for Lady Margaret Hall and St Hugh's College. He has written, co-written, or co-edited books on ancient religions and rituals and also co-edited The Greek City from Homer to Alexander.
Peter Thonemann has taught Greek and Roman history at Wadham College, Oxford, since 2007. He has published widely on the history of Asia Minor, and is director of the Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua XI project. His first book, The Maeander, will be published shortly.
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Top Customer Reviews
I would strongly encourage others with even a passing interest in Classical Europe to read this book.
As alluded to earlier and despite these thoughts , it was still an entertaining read. If I knew then what I know now, would I have proceeded with the purchase? Yes, absolutely!
Price and Thonemann's chronological narrative is well-constructed, taking us from the so-called Dark Ages of the early Aegean civilisations of the Minoans, Mycenaeans and Trojans to the age of Augustine ~ from the mid-Second millennium BC to AD425. The sheer scope of the undertaking, the broad sweep of history, is underpinned by lucid clarity in the writing, meticulous research and a schema which can be easily understood by lay reader and Classics student alike, the general ideas firmly rooted in circumstances and events.
I like the inset boxes within the text, which explain or explore in depth or give more information on peripheral issues, e.g., Evans and Knossos, Black Athena, Hellenism in Asia Minor, Flaubert's 'Salammbo'...
Under the aegis of 'memory', the three themes of the work are communal identity and the spatial, conceptual and changing ideas of 'Europe' as a geographical entity and at the same time an historical and cultural construct.Read more ›
Otherwise, if you'd like a slightly longer and more detailed view of the ancient world, try Robin Lane Fox's The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome (also from Penguin).
This brings us to the question of intent. What is the purpose of these books? What audience are they written for? This one will never be used by scholars as a serious source.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, even better than I expected from the reviews. It takes an effort to engage with the content, but is well worth the effort.Published 24 months ago by H S D Grimsditch
The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine
I was really disappointed reading this book. Read more
My first impression is that this is not the book to start with if you want an insight into ancient Greek life other than the usual round of kings and wars and population... Read morePublished on 27 Nov. 2011 by R. Herriott
'Comrade Smith' is correct, this book largely ignores any of the early history of Europe that is not directly related to that of Rome or Greece. This is disappointing. Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2010 by Overseas Reviewer