Eureka!: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ancient Greeks But Were Afraid to Ask

Eureka!: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ancient Greeks But Were Afraid to Ask

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 1782395164

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The ancient Greeks gave us our alphabet and much of our scientific, medical and cultural language; they invented democracy, atomic theory, and the rules of logic and geometry; laid the foundations of philosophy, history, tragedy and comedy; and debated everything from the good life and the role of women, to making sense of foreigners and the best form of government, all in the most sophisticated terms. But who were they? Peter Jones tells their epic story by breaking down each major period into a series of informative nuggets. Along the way he introduces the major figures of the age, including Homer, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Euclid and Archimedes; explores the Greek myths and the role of the gods; provides fascinating insights into everyday life in ancient times; and shows us the very foundations of Western culture.



















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producing mortal offspring; and at this point, a sort of early Greek ‘history’ emerges – a golden age, when men and gods dined together, as Hesiod says. Among these heroes were Heracles, Memnon, king of the Ethiopians (who fought at Troy); Jason of the Golden Fleece; Dionysus who married Ariadne, daughter of the Cretan king Minos (p. 17); Thetis who married the mortal Peleus, producing Achilles (p. 59); and Aphrodite who bedded the mortal Anchises, producing the Trojan hero Aeneas… and seamlessly

told about it. One lucky diner tasted it and said: ‘Now I know why the Spartans don’t fear death.’ Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, ordered a Spartan slave of his to cook it. One mouthful was quite enough. The cook commented that, if you wished to develop a taste for it, you had to have trained like a Spartan and bathed in the (freezing) river Eurotas. OIL TO THE GOOD Climate and soil in Messenia and Laconia were ideal for the olive tree, and Spartans seem to have introduced the Greek habit of

help him offset the expense it involves. Do not allow such a one to maintain his private splendour at his country’s expense. Remember that such persons injure the public fortune while they squander their own. This is a matter of great importance, and not for a young man to decide or hastily take in hand. Everyone knew whom he meant. SICILY: A YOUNG MAN REPLIES Alcibiades stood up: Athenians, I have a better right to command than others – I must begin with this as Nicias has attacked me – and

Greeks dated events: (i) with reference to the year in which a priest or executive official (archon) was in power, as above; (ii) with reference to the first Olympic Game, held (by our reckoning) in 776 BC. They were held thereafter every four years. This four-year period of time was called an ‘Olympiad’, and chronological lists of these were kept. So ‘the first Olympiad’ would indicate the period 776–772 BC, perhaps further sharpened up to the year with reference to (e.g.) an archon (‘when

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