Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (Penguin History of Europe (Viking)) Hardcover – 17 Feb 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, 17 Feb 2011
£34.82
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books (17 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670022470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670022472
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16.1 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,133,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed A History from Troy to Augustine. It is not a period of history I am familiar with and this book is a helpful start! It is well written, easily readable and beautifully illustrated with wonderful cultural insights. It covers a period of over two thousand years and understandably important historical events may be dealt with swiftly.
I would strongly encourage others with even a passing interest in Classical Europe to read this book.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Overall, an informative, enjoyable if at times, discursive read. On balance,it was worthwhile. This said, the narrative was at times a bit laboured for my taste and lacked the elegance and fluidity of Robin Lane Foxes's longer inrtoductory ( in my view ) masterpiece - An Epic History of Ancient Greece and Rome ( don't have exact title to hand while typing this note). I would have appreciated elaboration on the tactical skills of Hannibal, a little more said about the Peleponnesian Wars, and a lot more detail about characters including Sulla, Cato, the colourful social life of Caesar and , generally, more about first century bc Rome a period which fascinates me personally. As to the bibliograppy, I was a little perplexed at the omission of Momsens History of Rome ( which I also enjoyed) a little dated I acknowledge but good enough to win the 1902 Nobel Prize for Literature!

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!
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I can't recommend this book too highly ~ I found it completely enjoyable, enormously informative as well as extremely readable. The back cover of the Penguin paperback edition says 'We still live in the shadow of the classical world' ~ I'd rather say we still live in the light of that world. In the same way that we look back to the Classical era to throw some light on our modern world, the Greeks and Romans harked back to times 'whose myths, history and buildings were an elaborate engagement with an already old and revered past'. Although Tacitus said 'Omnia, [...] quae nunc vetustissima creduntur, nova fuere' (All the things we now believe ancient were once new: Tac., Annals, 11:24) it's also true the ancient world still has resonance and is very much alive today: much we deem 'new' is old.
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 ›
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I'm not going to disagree with much of Jane-Anne's assessment (though I found the section on Republican Rome a little too much a mixture of a slightly patronizing presentation of basic info mixed with debunking views of scholarship that the general reader is hardly likely to be aware of, and it seemed quite misleading in places - someone being 'proscribed' doesn't mean his being 'put to death for [his] money', surely a 'simplification' that will seriously mislead) the main problem I have had with my Kindle copy this that neither the plates nor the page numbers would display. Most Penguins give page numbers; this apparently doesn't. More infuriating is the lack of plates (I'm reading on a Kindle app on an iPad). Come on, Penguin, update the files for us so we can read ALL the book we paid for.
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).
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Before reviewing the book I'd like to discuss the series which it is a part of. The problem with the Penguin History of Europe series is that they are terribly inconsistent. This book is designed as a basic introduction for beginners while others attempt a serious overview of the era in question. The book immediately following this one (even though it was written before it) was The Inheritance of Rome. It covered the Dark Ages, or more precisely the period from 400-1000 AD. This book covers 1750 BC-425 AD. That's 600 years vs. 2175! Admittedly most of the Bronze Age material is dismissed in a chapter, but the section on Classical Greece doesn't even start until page 113. So after covering over 1200 years of history in 100 pages they have 200 pages in which to cover 900 years. The later ones cover even less time than Inheritance. Europe in the High Middle Ages covers about 300 years while The Pursuit of Glory covers about half that. I know it makes sense to spend more time on fewer years as we get closer to the present since the quality and number of the sources increase, but they have seriously limited the value of the Classical era and relegated it to little more than an introductory volume to their series. In my opinion, if you're going to do something then do it properly. If you don't want to cover the Classical Era then you don't have to.

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 ›
3 Comments 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback