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The Greeks: Lost Civilizations

Philip Matyszak

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Reaktion Books
01 May 2018
History; Classical history & classical civilisation; Classical Greek & Roman archaeology
This is ancient Greece - but not as we know it. Few people today appreciate that Greek civilisation was spread across the Middle East, and that there were Greek cities in the foothills of the Himalayas. This book tells the story of the Greeks outside Greece, such as Sappho, the poet from Lesbos; Archimedes, a native of Syracuse; and Herodotus, who was born in Asia Minor as a subject of the Persian Empire.

From the earliest times of prehistoric Greek colonies around the Black Sea, through settlements in Spain and Italy, to the conquests of Alexander and the glories of the Hellenistic era, Philip Matyszak illuminates the Greek soldiers, statesmen, scientists, and philosophers who, though they seldom - if ever -set foot on the Greek mainland, nevertheless laid the foundations of what we call 'Greek culture' today. Instead of following the well-worn path of describing Athenian democracy and Spartan militarism, this book offers a fresh look at what it meant to be Greek by telling the story of the Greeks abroad, from India to Spain.
By:   Philip Matyszak
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm, 
ISBN:   9781780239002
ISBN 10:   1780239009
Series:   Lost Civilizations
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   01 May 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Philip Matyszak teaches ancient history for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education. He has written extensively on the ancient world, including Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day (2008), Greek and Roman Myths: A Guide to the Classical Stories (2010) and most recently Sparta: Fall of a Warrior Nation (2017).

Reviews for The Greeks: Lost Civilizations

Matyszak succeeds in showing that Greek civilization consisted of more than the Peloponnese and Attica, and he has provided the general reader with a different story of the origin, development, and collapse of Greek civilization. -- Bryn Mawr Classical Review In this book Matyszak deliberately ignores the well-trodden fifth century BC on mainland Greece and concentrates on the Greeks of the diaspora. This spans a period of nearly 1900 years between 700 BC and AD 1200 and a geographic spread from Spain to Bactria. To cover this at all in less than two hundred pages is a tour de force and to cover it with such a breadth of knowledge and with such clarity is a triumph. The sixty-eight, mainly colored, illustrations are attractive and relevant, and the timeline at the start of the book is an essential tool. . . . The Greeks is a masterful and eminently readable account of an unfamiliar theme and is excellent value for money. -- Classics for All A colorful cavalcade of soldiers, scholars, philosophers, and political leaders who spread Greek culture so far afield populate the pages of The Greeks, and thanks for Matyszak's crisp prose and wry humor, his tale never flags. -- Minerva


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