It’s all Greek to Me

Last week at the library book sale I picked up some books about the Ancient Greeks.

I know that at some point I will want to find out more about different ancient cultures, so pick up books when I can find them at a good bargain. The books I will share tonight will be tucked away for future reference.

I also like to have different levels of detail about history of different cultures and also works that have been written in different times. It is sometimes interesting to see the progression of what is known about the history of a culture.

pelican history of Greece, A. R. Burn, Greek HistoryThe first is The Pelican History of Greece by A. R. Burn. This book was originally published as Traveller’s History of Greece in 1965.

The book follows the history of Greece from Prehistory  to about 30 B.C.

Penguin, The Greeks, H.D. F. Kitto, Greek HistoryThe Greeks by H. D. F. Kitto was first published in 1951. The approach for this book is a bit different than the previous one as it is less of a sequential history and more of a study of the culture in different eras.

The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodutus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, M. I. FinleyThe Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon and Polybius is edited by M. I. Finley. The book has selections from these four Greek historians. I of course have more complete works of some of them in my stacks.

Greek Society, Frank J. Frost, Greek CultureGreek Society by Frank J. Frost was published in 1971. This book follows Greek society a bit further up to the 5th century A.D. and also benefits from additional years of archaeological exploration and historical research.

One interesting note is that H. D. F. Kitto reviewed most of the manuscript before it was published. At that time he was in his 70’s.

Myths, Legends, Greeks, Nicola Ann SissonsI shared this book before in my post Historic Book Acquisitions IV.

Myths and Legends of the Greeks compiled by Nicola Ann Sissons is a collection of classic Greek tales. The book is for intermediate readers and has nice illustrations by Rafaello Busoni.

The books are now tucked away for later reading, but not before browsing through them looking at maps, illustrations and chapter listings.

Do you have a favorite event in Greek History?

Steven

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4 responses to “It’s all Greek to Me

  1. I’ve always been a sucker for the Persian wars. The battle of Marathon is just one of those epic events which rings down through history. If you haven’t already, I suggest reading Persian Fire by Tom Holland – an excellent history book which reads like a novel.

    • I second the Persian Wars! Although I wouldn’t single out Marathon as ‘the’ event that echoes down history… except of course it gave its name to the marathon race and in that it certainly outdid Thermopylae or Salamis (not to mention Plataea or Artemision of which practically nobody heard – including the spell-checker!). 🙂

  2. I think you might like It’s All Greek To Me by Charlotte Higgins! 🙂 It’s like an introduction as to why the Ancient Greeks still matter (at least to some of us). Tom Holland (as suggested above by A Paradoxical Millennial) is good but personally I’m a great fan of Ernle Bradford… who even convinced me to read the Odyssey from cover to cover, a thing I thought I’d never do. (Nor did I regret it.)

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