Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens of Greece
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Ancient Greek history presents us with many puzzles, but one stands out above all.
Wherever they lived, on the Greek mainland or southern Italy and Sicily, or the coastlines of what is now Turkey, they spoke the same language (albeit in different dialects), worshipped more or less the same gods, dressed similarly, ate and drank similarly, fought their battles similarly, and had similar political institutions. In short, they recognized one another as kin.
Why, then, is their history so often the history of one state fighting another? How could they treat their kin as enemies to be slaughtered and sold into slavery? Why did it take so long for their cultural unity to be translated into a degree of political unity? The long march of Greek history, from its origins c. 750 BC to the takeover of the last of the Hellenistic Greek kingdoms by the Romans in 30 BC, reveals some of the answers.
Author Robin Waterfield gives a magisterial and comprehensive re-telling of Greek history from Archaic, Classic, and Hellenistic periods.
Robin Waterfield is an independent scholar and translator, living on a small olive farm in southern Greece. He took the Classics Prizes in 1972 and 1973 at Manchester University. He accepted a one-year post in the Classics department at Newcastle University, followed by three one-year posts at St Andrews University, in the Department of Greek. He was an invited lecturer at Williams College, Massachusetts, in January and February 2000, and Writer in Residence at the University of Sussex in the academic year 2001-2; and between 2002 and 2005 he taught academic writing skills at several universities and colleges in London and south-east England. He is co-editor, with Richard Alston, of the Oxford University Press series ‘Ancient Warfare and Civilization’. In addition to more than 25 translations of works of Greek literature, he is the author of numerous books, including Dividing the Spoils and Taken at the Flood and Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece.