The Ancient Greek World
The history of a place, a people, and a culture that has left some of the most beautiful art, the greatest stories, and the most magnificent cities and buildings that the world has ever known. The Ancient Greek World uses primary sources such as Homer's Odyssey, Herodotus' Histories, a Minoan drinking cup, and a child's grave epitaph to present a balanced and lively narrative history of ancient Greece.
A thoroughly researched political and cultural history. The writing is lively, often using humorous titles for chapters and sidebars: "Always Look a Gift Horse in the Belly: The Trojan War," "Everybody's Got a Sore Spot" (referring to Achilles). Extensive quotes from primary sources, attractive page layouts, numerous good-quality color photographs of ruins and artifacts, plus the infusion of humor make for a palatable, solid resource for any collection.
School Library Journal
In the wake of Joy Hakim's fabulous A History of US, the publishers are pairing historians and novelists for similarly readable, meaty tours of more ancient cultures. Here, paying particular attention to the roles of women and repeatedly noting that the cultural and economic achievements of the Greek city-states rested solidly on the backs of farmers and slaves, the authors trace the rise and fall of Crete, Mycenae, Classical Greece, and Alexander's empire, interspersing topical chapters, illuminating side notes, and even an interview with a working archaeologist. Photos of artifacts and ruins, plus an admixture of carefully identified Renaissance art, support it all nicely. Leavened with engagingly informal commentary-"It's very tempting for someone who isn't governed by any laws to get a little relaxed about the difference between right and wrong." . . . [It] rises easily past the general run of assignment titles.