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Classics

AELIAN'S ON THE NATURE OF ANIMALS ED. MACNAMEE

AELIAN'S ON THE NATURE OF ANIMALS ED. MACNAMEE

By: McNamee, Gregory
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Not much can be said with certainty about the life of Claudius Aelianus, known to us as Aelian. He was born sometime between A.D. 165 and 170 in the hill town of Praeneste, what is now Palestrina, about twenty-five miles from Rome, Italy. He grew up speaking that town's version of Latin, a dialect that other speakers of the language seem to have found curious, but--somewhat unusually for his generation, though not for Romans of earlier times--he preferred to communicate in Greek. Trained by a sophist named Pausanias of Caesarea, Aelian was known in his time for a work called Indictment of the Effeminate, an attack on the recently deceased emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who was nasty even by the standards of Imperial Rome. He was also fond of making almanac-like collections, only fragments of which survive, devoted to odd topics such as manifestations of the divine and the workings of the supernatural.

His De Natura Animalium (On the Nature of Animals) has a similar patchwork quality, but it was esteemed enough in his time to survive more or less whole, and it is about all that we know of Aelian's work today. A mostly randomly ordered collection of stories that he found interesting enough to relate about animals--whether or not he believed them--Aelian's book constitutes an early encyclopedia of animal behavior, affording unparalleled insight into what ancient Romans knew about and thought about animals--and, of particular interest to modern scholars, about animal minds.

If the science is sometimes sketchy, the facts often fanciful, and the history sometimes suspect, it is clear enough that Aelian had a fine time assembling the material, which can be said, in the most general terms, to support the notion of a kind of intelligence in nature and that extends human qualities, for good and bad, to animals. His stories, which extend across the known world of Aelian's time, tend to be brief and to the point, and many return to a trenchant question: If animals can respect their elders and live honorably within their own tribes, why must humans be so appallingly awful?

Aelian is as brisk, as entertaining, and as scholarly a writer as Pliny, the much better known Roman natural historian. That he is not better known is simply an accident: he has not been widely translated into English, or indeed any European language. This selection from his work will introduce readers to a lively mind and a witty writer who has much to tell us.

AGE OF ALEXANDER

AGE OF ALEXANDER

By: Plutarch
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Includes textual and historical notes that supplement a segment of Plutarch's Lives which covers the rise of Macedonia.
AGE OF CAESAR: FIVE ROMAN LIVES

AGE OF CAESAR: FIVE ROMAN LIVES

By: Plutarch
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Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Antony: the names still resonate across thousands of years. Major figures in the civil wars that brutally ended the Roman republic, their lives pose a question that haunts us still: how to safeguard a republic from the flaws of its leaders.

This reader's edition of Plutarch delivers a fresh translation of notable clarity, explanatory notes, and ample historical context in the Preface and Introduction.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: Journey to the End of the Earth

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: Journey to the End of the Earth

By: Cantor, Norman F
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Alexander's behavior was conditioned along certain lines -- heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty. He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure.

In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of men. Cantor draws from the major writings of Alexander's contemporaries combined with the most recent psychological and cultural studies to show Alexander as he was -- a great figure in the ancient world whose puzzling personality greatly fueled his military accomplishments.

He describes Alexander's ambiguous relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedon; his oedipal involvement with his mother, the Albanian princess Olympias; and his bisexuality. He traces Alexander's attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, using Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, as his model. Finally, Cantor explores Alexander's view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt.

More than a biography, Norman Cantor's Alexander the Great is a psychological rendering of a man of his time.

AN ORESTEIA: Agamemnon by Aiskhylos, Electra by Sophokles, Orestes by Euripides

AN ORESTEIA: Agamemnon by Aiskhylos, Electra by Sophokles, Orestes by Euripides

By: Euripides
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In An Oresteia, the classicist Anne Carson combines three different versions of the tragedy of the house of Atreus -- A iskhylos' Agamemnon, Sophokles' Elektra and Euripides' Orestes. After the murder of her daughter Iphigeneia by her husband, Agamemnon, Klytaimestra exacts a mother's revenge, murdering Agamemnon and his mistress, Kassandra. Displeased with Klytaimestra's actions, Apollo calls on her son, Orestes, to avenge his father's death with the help of his sister Elektra. In the end, Orestes is driven mad by the Furies for his bloody betrayal of family. Condemned to death by the people of Argos, he and Elektra must justify their actions -- or flout society, justice and the gods.

Carson's translation combines contemporary language with the traditional structures and rhetoric of Greek tragedy, opening up this ancient tale of vengeance to a modern audience and revealing the essential wit and morbidity of the original plays.

ANCIENT CITY: STUDY OF RELIGION, LAWS & INSTITUTIONS OF GREECE & ROME

ANCIENT CITY: STUDY OF RELIGION, LAWS & INSTITUTIONS OF GREECE & ROME

By: Fustel De Coulanges, Numa Denis
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With this influential study, French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges initiated a new approach to Greek and Roman city organization. Fustel de Coulanges' 1864 masterpiece, La Cité antique, drew upon physical evidence as well as ancient documents rather than the usual post-Classical histories. The result is a fresh, accurate, and detailed portrait of the religious, family, and civic life of Periclean Athens and Rome during the time of Cicero.
This fascinating sociological account reveals the significance of kinship and the cult of the family hearth and ancestors to ancient Hellenic and Latin urban culture. It chronicles the rise of family-centered pagan belief systems, tracing their gradual decline to the spread of Christianity. Fustel cites ancient Indian and Hebrew texts as well as Greek and Roman sources. The ingenuity of his interpretations, along with his striking prose style, offer readers a vital and enduring historic survey.
ANCIENT GREECE: A History in Eleven Cities

ANCIENT GREECE: A History in Eleven Cities

By: Cartledge, Paul
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The contribution of the ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizable without the formative influence of ancient Greek models.
This highly original and stimulating introduction to ancient Greece takes the city as its starting point, revealing just how central the polis ("city-state" or "citizen-state") was to Hellenistic cultural achievements. In particular, Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities--out of more than a thousand--to illuminate the most important and informative aspects of Greek history. The book spans a surprisingly long time period, ranging from the first examples of ancient Greek language from Cnossus in Crete around 1400 BC to the establishment of Constantinople (today's Istanbul) in 324 AD on the site of the Greek city of Byzantion. 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. And throughout, the book explores how these eleven cities differed both from each other and from modern society.
An innovative approach to ancient Greece and its legacy, both in terms of the time span covered and in its unique city-by-city organization, this superb volume provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization.
ANCIENT GREEK DEMOCRACY: Readings and Sources

ANCIENT GREEK DEMOCRACY: Readings and Sources

By: Robinson
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This book invites readers to join in a fresh and extensive investigation of one of Ancient Greece's greatest inventions: democratic government.

  • Provides an accessible, up-to-date survey of vital issues in Greek democracy.
  • Covers democracy's origins, growth and essential nature.
  • Raises questions of continuing interest.
  • Combines ancient texts in translation and recent scholarly articles.
  • Invites the reader into a process of historical investigation.
  • Contains maps, a glossary and an index.
  • ANCIENT GREEK EPIGRAMS: Major Poets in Verse Translation

    ANCIENT GREEK EPIGRAMS: Major Poets in Verse Translation

    By: Fain, Gordon L
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    After Sappho but before the great Latin poets, the most important short poems in the ancient world were Greek epigrams. Beginning with simple expressions engraved on stone, these poems eventually encompassed nearly every theme we now associate with lyric poetry in English. Many of the finest are on love and would later exert a profound influence on Latin love poets and, through them, on all the poetry of Europe and the West. This volume offers a representative selection of the best Greek epigrams in original verse translation. It showcases the poetry of nine poets (including one woman), with many epigrams from the recently discovered Milan papyrus. Gordon L. Fain provides an accessible general introduction describing the emergence of the epigram in Hellenistic Greece, together with short essays on the life and work of each poet and brief explanatory notes for the poems, making this collection an ideal anthology for a wide audience of readers.
    ANCIENT GREEKS AN INTRODUCTION

    ANCIENT GREEKS AN INTRODUCTION

    By: Budin, Stephanie Lynn
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    This accessible introduction surveys the land and peoples who gave us the Labyrinth, the Acropolis, the Iliad and Odyssey, Herodotus and Thucydides, Sappho and Sophocles, Aphrodite and Aristotle, and so much more. Using the full range of resources of art history, archaeology, and philology, this book details the familiar--mythic heroes and heroines, famous philosophers and poets, as well as classical art and architecture--and introduces the less-well-known aspects of ancient Greece, notably the civilizations of the Bronze and Dark Ages and even the earliest form of written Greek--Linear B. In addition, Stephanie Lynn Budin offers a full history of how the study of classical Greece has evolved from ancient times through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present day. She covers ongoing questions and new directions in Greek studies, including Minoan religion, the role of women in early Greek cultures, the historical accuracy of Homer and Herodotus, and the role of Greece amongst its non-Greek neighbors. The Ancient Greeks includes a rich collection of illustrations, drawings, maps, and photographs, including detailed renderings of Knossos, the evolution of Greek sculpture and pottery, and even a section on ancient weaponry. The result is a superb companion for both newcomers and long-time Hellenophiles, revealing not only what we know about ancient Greece but how we know it and how these cultures continue to influence us.
    ANCIENT GUIDE TO MODERN LIFE

    ANCIENT GUIDE TO MODERN LIFE

    By: Haynes, Natalie
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    In this thoroughly engaging book, Natalie Haynes brings her scholarship and wit to the most fascinating true stories of the ancient world. The Ancient Guide to Modern Life not only reveals the origins of our culture in areas including philosophy, politics, language, and art, it also draws illuminating connections between antiquity and our present time, to demonstrate that the Greeks and Romans were not so different from ourselves: is Bart Simpson the successor to Aristophanes? Do the Beckhams have parallel lives with The Satiricon's Trimalchio? Along the way Haynes debunks myths (gladiators didn't salute the emperor before their deaths, and the last words of Julius Caesar weren't "et tu, brute?") from Athens to Zeno's paradox, this irresistible guide shows how the history and wisdom of the ancient world can inform and enrich our lives today.
    ANCIENT RHETORIC: FROM ARISTOTLE TO PHILOSTRATUS

    ANCIENT RHETORIC: FROM ARISTOTLE TO PHILOSTRATUS

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    A new and original anthology that introduces the use of rhetoric in the classical world, from Aristotle to Cicero and beyond

    Classical rhetoric is one of the earliest versions of what is today known as media studies. It was absolutely crucial to life in the ancient world, whether in the courtroom, the legislature, or on ceremonial occasions, and was described as either the art of persuasion or the art of speaking well. This anthology brings together all the most important ancient writings on rhetoric, including works by Cicero, Aristotle, Quintilian, and Philostratus. Ranging across such themes as memory, persuasion, delivery, and style, it provides a fascinating introduction to classical rhetoric and will be an invaluable sourcebook for students of the ancient world.

    For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

    ANCIENT ROME: Momuments Past and Present

    ANCIENT ROME: Momuments Past and Present

    By: Staccioli, R A
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    [series copy]
    The Monuments Past and Present series explores the ancient regions of Rome, Greece, and Pompeii with an eye toward contrasting what they were with what they are today. Important monuments and districts are presented with overlays that clearly depict how these notable ancient sites look today and how they may have appeared when first built. These titles are excellent resources for travelers, students, and anyone else interested in the fascinating histories of these ancient regions.
    Beginning with the Colosseum, the symbol of "The Eternal City," this volume explores twenty-four significant ancient landmarks such as the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, and the Appain Way.
    ANCIENT SKIES: CONSTELLATION MYTHOLOGY OF THE GREEKS

    ANCIENT SKIES: CONSTELLATION MYTHOLOGY OF THE GREEKS

    By: Marshall, David Weston
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    The stars and constellations are among the few remaining objects that appear to us just as they appeared to our distant ancestors. From anywhere on Earth, a person may view the celestial panorama simply by stepping outside at night and gazing upward.

    This non- fiction narrative presents the tales of the forty- eight classical constellations, compiled from literature spanning a thousand years from Homer (c. 800 BC) to Claudius Ptolemy (c. 150 AD). These age- old tales have captured the human imagination from ancient times to the present, and through them we can examine the early practical astronomy, philosophical speculation on the cosmos, and fundamental moral beliefs of much of Western civilization.

    Illustrations and star charts carefully reconstructed from ancient sources lend a visual element and immerse the reader in the world of ancient cosmology and constellation mapping. Through Marshall's research and storytelling, Ancient Skies brings the belief systems of the classical world to shining life.

    ANTH OF ANCIENT GREEK POPULAR LITE

    ANTH OF ANCIENT GREEK POPULAR LITE

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    Not all readers in ancient Greece whiled away the hours with Homer, Plato, or Sophocles - at least, not always. Many enjoyed light reading, such as can be found in the pages of this lively anthology. Various types of popular writing - novels, short stories, books of jokes or fables, fortune-telling handbooks - trace their origins to the ancient Mediterranean. In fact, some of this literature was so successful that it remained in circulation for centuries, even into the Middle Ages. Translated into other languages, these works were the best sellers of their time and remain enjoyable reading today. They are also fascinating social documents that reveal much about the daily lives, humor, loves, anxieties, fantasies, values, and beliefs of ordinary men and women.
    ANTIGONICK

    ANTIGONICK

    By: Carson, Anne
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    Anne Carson has published translations of the ancient Greek poets Sappho, Simonides, Aiskhylos, Sophokles and Euripides. Antigonick is her seminal work. Sophokles' luminous and disturbing tragedy is here given an entirely fresh language and presentation. This paperback edition includes a new preface by the author, "Dear Antigone."
    ARCHIDAMIAN WAR

    ARCHIDAMIAN WAR

    By: Kagan, Donald
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    This book, the second volume in Donald Kagan's tetralogy about the Peloponnesian War, is a provocative and tightly argued history of the first ten years of the war. Taking a chronological approach that allows him to present at each stage the choices that were open to both sides in the conflict, Kagan focuses on political, economic, diplomatic, and military developments. He evaluates the strategies used by both sides and reconsiders the roles played by several key individuals.

    ARCHITECTURE AND MEANING ON THE ATHENIAN ACROPOLIS

    ARCHITECTURE AND MEANING ON THE ATHENIAN ACROPOLIS

    By: Rhodes, Robin Francis
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    Architecture and Meaning on the Athenian Acropolis focuses on the architectural complex that is generally considered to be one of the outstanding achievements of Western civilization. Though the buildings and sculpture of the Acropolis, erected over the course of the fifth century B.C., have been scrutinized by scholars for more than a century, Robin Rhodes' sensitive analysis is the first to consider the ensemble as a whole and to explain how the monuments communicate meaningfully with one another to form an iconographic narrative. His study also examines the sculpture and decoration, which were conceived together with the abstract features, while relating both to the larger issues in Greek architecture and aesthetics.
    ARETE GREEK SPORTS FROM ANCIENT SOURCES

    ARETE GREEK SPORTS FROM ANCIENT SOURCES

    By: Miller, Stephen G
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    From the informal games of Homer's time to the highly organized contests of the Roman world, Miller has compiled a trove of ancient sources: Plutarch on boxing, Aristotle on the pentathlon, Philostratos on the buying and selling of victories, Vitruvius on literary competitions, and Xenophon on female body building. Arete offers readers an absorbing lesson in the culture of Greek athletics from the greatest of teachers, the ancients themselves, and demonstrates that the concepts of virtue, skill, pride, valor, and nobility embedded in the word arete are only part of the story from antiquity. This bestselling volume on the culture of Greek athletics is updated with a new preface by leading scholar Paul Christesen that discusses the book's continued importance for students of ancient athletics.
    ARGONAUTIKA EXPANDED

    ARGONAUTIKA EXPANDED

    By: Rhodios, Apollonios
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    The Argonautika, the only surviving epic of the Hellenistic era, is a retelling of the tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece, probably the oldest extant Greek myth. Peter Green's lively, readable verse translation captures the swift narrative movement of Apollonios's epic Greek. This expanded paperback edition contains Green's incisive commentary, introduction, and glossary.

    Alternate spelling: Argonautica, Apollonius Rhodius
    ARISTOTLE and XENOPHON ON DEMOCRACY AND OLIGARCHY

    ARISTOTLE and XENOPHON ON DEMOCRACY AND OLIGARCHY

    By: Moore, J M
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    This collection contains:

    Aristotle's The Constitution of Athens

    Xenophon's The Politeia of the Spartans

    The Constitution of the Athenians ascribed to Xenophon the Orator

    The Boeotian Constitution from the Oxyrhynchus Historian

    In bringing together, translating, and annotating these constitutional documents from ancient Greece thirty five years ago, J. M. Moore produced an authoritative work of the highest scholarship. An explanatory essay by classics scholar Kurt A. Raaflaub expands this indispensable collection.

    ARISTOTLE'S CHILDREN: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages

    ARISTOTLE'S CHILDREN: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages

    By: Rubenstein, Richard E
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    Europe was in the long slumber of the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire was in tatters, and the Greek language was all but forgotten, until a group of twelfth-century scholars rediscovered and translated the works of Aristotle. His ideas spread like wildfire across Europe, offering the scientific view that the natural world, including the soul of man, was a proper subject of study. The rediscovery of these ancient ideas sparked riots and heresy trials, caused major upheavals in the Catholic Church, and also set the stage for today's rift between reason and religion.

    In Aristotle's Children, Richard Rubenstein transports us back in history, rendering the controversies of the Middle Ages lively and accessible-and allowing us to understand the philosophical ideas that are fundamental to modern thought.

    ASSASSINATION OF JULIUS CAESAR

    ASSASSINATION OF JULIUS CAESAR

    By: Parenti, Michael
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    "A provocative history" of intrigue and class struggle in Ancient Rome--"an important alternative to the usual views of Caesar and the Roman Empire" (Publishers Weekly).

    Most historians, both ancient and modern, have viewed the Late Republic of Rome through the eyes of its rich nobility--the 1 percent of the population who controlled 99 percent of the empire's wealth. In The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti recounts this period, spanning the years 100 to 33 BC, from the perspective of the Roman people. In doing so, he presents a provocative, trenchantly researched narrative of popular resistance against a powerful elite.

    As Parenti carefully weighs the evidence concerning the murder of Caesar, he adds essential context to the crime with fascinating details about Roman society as a whole. In these pages, we find reflections on the democratic struggle waged by Roman commoners, religious augury as an instrument of social control, the patriarchal oppression of women, and the political use of homophobic attacks. The Assassination of Julius Caesar offers a whole new perspective on an era thought to be well-known.

    "A highly accessible and entertaining addition to history." --Book Marks

    ATHENIAN AGORA

    ATHENIAN AGORA

    By: Camp, John M
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    The Agora was the great public square in ancient Athens. Drawing on the wealth of excavated evidence, and supplemented by literary and inscriptional references, this book tells the story of the Agora from Neolithic to medieval times.
    ATHENIAN POLITICS 800-500 BC

    ATHENIAN POLITICS 800-500 BC

    By: Stanton, G R
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    This book is designed to sharpen historical skills by a critical approach to the sources of information on ancient Athenian politics. It presents contemporary sources, later historical and biographical writings, archaeological evidence, inscriptions on stone, and papyri from Egypt. The reader has available in translation virtually all the documents on which scholars of this period base their conclusions.

    The period covered embraces the reforms of Solon, the tyranny of Peisistratos and his sons, and the constitutional changes of Kleisthenes. When Athenian politics first become visible, the noble families are firmly in control. At the end of the period democracy is just beginning to emerge. Central to an understanding of the politics of the time are the conflict among aristocratic clans and the vertical ties between noble patrons and their supporters and dependants in the lower social strata. Paradoxically, democracy emerged from the actions of noble leaders who were certainly not of democratic disposition.

    ATHENS FROM ALEXANDER TO ANTHONY

    ATHENS FROM ALEXANDER TO ANTHONY

    By: Habicht, Christian
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    From the heights of empire to the depths of Roman subjugation, Athens' fortunes seemed to be on a downward spiral after Alexander the Great's effective takeover in 323 BC. Yet even though foreign policy and foreign domination was effectively taken out of her hands, Greece's greatest polis never lost autonomy in internal affairs. Culturally, intellectually and socially, Athens retained a leading role throughout the Hellenistic period; in this book, Habicht documents both the struggles and the continuing vitality of one of the most important cities in Western civilization.
    BEGINNING OF ALL WISDOM

    BEGINNING OF ALL WISDOM

    By: Stavropoulos, Steven
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    Who knew the ancient Greeks had it all figured out three thousand years ago? In The Beginning of All Wisdom, author Steve Stavropoulos has sifted through nearly every recorded ancient Greek text for the very best sayings, proverbs, and maxims by ancient Greek philosophers, tragedians, scientists, politicians, generals, and poets, from Plato and Pericles to Socrates and Sophocles. Here is practical advice on everyday problems as well as answers to deep moral questions: Getting to know yourself is extremely difficult (Thales). Ignorance is a tough evil to conquer (Sophocles). We must take care of our minds because we cannot benefit from beauty when our brains are missing. (Euripides). Organized into 100 topics that cover all human experience -- anger, fear, good and evil, truth, prayer and hope, aging and old age, friendship, gossip, pain and sorrow, self-deception, war and peace, public speaking, democracy -- The Beginning of All Wisdom inspires, advises, and satisfies the urge to learn the best the ancient Greeks have to teach -- without having to read through a whole shelf of Loeb classics.
    BETWEEN ECSTASY AND TRUTH: INTERPRETATIONS OF GREEK POETICS FROM HOMER TO LONGINUS

    BETWEEN ECSTASY AND TRUTH: INTERPRETATIONS OF GREEK POETICS FROM HOMER TO LONGINUS

    By: Halliwell, Stephen
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    As well as producing one of the finest of all poetic traditions, ancient Greek culture produced a major tradition of poetic theory and criticism. Halliwell's volume offers a series of detailed and challenging interpretations of some of the defining authors and texts in the history of ancient Greek poetics: the Homeric epics, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Gorgias's Helen, Isocrates' treatises, Philodemus' On Poems, and Longinus' On the Sublime.

    The volume's fundamental concern is with how the Greeks conceptualized the experience of poetry and debated the values of that experience. The book's organizing theme is a recurrent Greek dialectic between ideas of poetry as, on the one hand, a powerfully enthralling experience in its own right (a kind of "ecstasy") and, on the other, a medium for the expression of truths which can exercise lasting influence on its audiences' views of the world. Citing a wide range of modern scholarship, and making frequent connections with later periods of literary theory and aesthetics, Halliwell questions many orthodoxies and received opinions about the texts analyzed. The resulting perspective casts new light on ways in which the Greeks attempted to make sense of the psychology of poetic experience - including the roles of emotion, ethics, imagination, and knowledge - in the life of their culture.

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    BEYOND GREEK: THE BEGINNINGS OF LATIN LITERATURE

    By: Feeney, Denis
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    A History Today Best Book of the Year
    A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

    Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Horace, and other authors of ancient Rome are so firmly established in the Western canon today that the birth of Latin literature seems inevitable. Yet, Denis Feeney boldly argues, the beginnings of Latin literature were anything but inevitable. The cultural flourishing that in time produced the Aeneid, the Metamorphoses, and other Latin classics was one of the strangest events in history.

    "Feeney is to be congratulated on his willingness to put Roman literary history in a big comparative context... It is a powerful testimony to the importance of Denis Feeney's work that the old chestnuts of classical literary history--how the Romans got themselves Hellenized, and whether those jack-booted thugs felt anxiously belated or smugly domineering in their appropriation of Greek culture for their own purposes--feel fresh and urgent again."
    --Emily Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

    "[Feeney's] bold theme and vigorous writing render Beyond Greek of interest to anyone intrigued by the history and literature of the classical world."
    --The Economist

    BIRTH OF POLITICS: EIGHT GREEK AND ROMAN POLITICAL IDEAS AND WHY THEY MATTER

    BIRTH OF POLITICS: EIGHT GREEK AND ROMAN POLITICAL IDEAS AND WHY THEY MATTER

    By: Lane, Melissa
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    A lively and accessible introduction to the Greek and Roman origins of our political ideas

    In The Birth of Politics, Melissa Lane introduces the reader to the foundations of Western political thought, from the Greeks, who invented democracy, to the Romans, who created a republic and then transformed it into an empire. Tracing the origins of our political concepts from Socrates to Plutarch to Cicero, Lane reminds us that the birth of politics was a story as much of individuals as ideas. Scouring the speeches of lawyers alongside the speculations of philosophers, and the reflections of ex-slaves next to the popular comedies and tragedies of the Greek and Roman stages, this book brings ancient ideas to life in unexpected ways.

    Lane shows how the Greeks and Romans defined politics with distinctive concepts, vocabulary, and practices--all of which continue to influence politics and political aspirations around the world today. She focuses on eight political ideas from the Greco-Roman world that are especially influential today: justice, virtue, constitution, democracy, citizenship, cosmopolitanism, republic, and sovereignty. Lane also describes how the ancient formulations of these ideas often challenge widely held modern assumptions--for example, that it is possible to have political equality despite great economic inequality, or that political regimes can be indifferent to the moral character of their citizens.

    A stimulating introduction to the origins of our political ideas and ideals, The Birth of Politics demonstrates how much we still have to learn from the political genius of the Greeks and Romans.