Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Paul Cartledge

Language: English

Pages: 216

ISBN: 0199601348

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This highly original introduction to ancient Greece uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative aspects of Greek culture. Cartledge highlights the role of such renowned cities as Athens (birthplace of democracy) and Sparta, but he also examines Argos, Thebes, Syracuse in Sicily, and Alexandria in Egypt, as well as lesser known locales such as Miletus (home of the West's first intellectual, Thales) and Massalia (Marseilles today), where the Greeks introduced the wine grape to the French. The author uses these cities to illuminate major themes, from economics, religion, and social relations, to gender and sexuality, slavery and freedom, and politics.




















in order to end a long-running dispute over contested land between ‘the Wealthy’ and the ‘Handworkers’. What emerged was a compromise oligarchy shared between all the wealthiest, whatever the source of their wealth, and supported by the priestly elite. Miletus’s prosperity, intellectual fertility, and indeed very existence were abruptly terminated, by the Persians, in 494. This was by no means the first time Miletus had entered into hostilities with an Iranian power. A century earlier it had

Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece. Like this book, the CIHAG combines thematic with chronological approaches, and social, economic, religious, and cultural with political, military, and diplomatic history, but in a format which, unlike the present volume, is very definitely not suitable for pulling out of a pocket to read on the train or bus or plane. I hope that it may be useful as a companion to readers of this book, as it has been to me in the writing of it. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

and to zone its sprawl on something like a grid-pattern of streets and public spaces. For those reasons alone Athens would surely seem to merit three times the space allotted to any other Greek city that one might choose to single out. But for various reasons, both endogenous and exogenous, Athens has also generated many more times more data, archaeological and art-historical as well as written, than any other city. As a character in a dialogue of Cicero nicely puts it, ‘Wherever we go in this

settled comfortably under the Achaemenid yoke (as they saw it), and had periodically revolted. From 404 until 342, indeed, revolt had become a semi-permanent condition under the last of the native Pharaohs, but Great King Artaxerxes III had eventually reconquered the land, only for a successor, Darius III, to lose it to Alexander ten years later. The Egyptians were generally welcomed in Alexander, as their enemies’ enemy, but it didn’t take long for the old grievances against a foreign, imperial

sacks Syracuse 200 (to 197) Second Macedonian War 196 Rome declares Greece ‘Free’ 194 Rome abandons Greece 192 (to 188) Syrian War of Rome against Antiochus III 171 (to 168) Third Macedonian War 168 Battle of Pydna, end of Antigonid dynasty 148 Macedonia becomes Roman province 147 (to 146) Achaean (League) rising against Rome Late Roman Republic 146 Sack of Corinth, Achaea becomes Roman protectorate 133 Attalus III of Pergamum bequeaths kingdom to Rome (becomes Roman province of

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