The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization
Review of a book written by Paul Anthony Cartledge
This is an informative read if you are looking for an overview of some of the more salient achievements attributed to Classical Greece. The narrative is told through reference to the life and deeds of fifteen characters selected by the author and academic Paul Anthony Cartledge as being instrumental in the rise and fall of the Ancient Civilization.
It’s the second time that I’ve ready this book. The first coincided with a televised documentary screened some time ago in the UK on which the book was based. It takes an accomplished historian to even attempt to dissect and unify such an expansive and crucial history such as that of Ancient Greece, but the author manages to achieve it with aplomb.
From Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the first two recognised books of European literature, to the military expansionism of Alexander The Great, The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the early years of Western political theory and modern thought.
So great is the debt owed to the Ancient Greeks, that Shelley was claimed to have once pronounced We are all Greeks. It’s an appropriate epitaph to a great Civilization.