THE ANCIENT GREEKS by M. I. Finley

THE ANCIENT GREEKS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

M. I. Finley's tight, thoughtfully tempered tapestry of Greek life and ways has at-your-fingertips appeal. Cultural groundlings, especially the hot shot collegiate, should use it with both pleasure and profit. Admittedly a personal analysis and not a mammoth summary, The Ancient Greeks still covers much historical, archaeological and linguistic territory, pinpointing the principal aspects of Hellenic civilization, from the early Dark Ages and Homer, the Trojan invasion and the Olympian gods, to Sparta's military-political organization an unparalleled, closed society if ever there was one, and the polis of Athens, the city states where eunomia, isonomia and demokratia started; then the subsequent breakdown and the rise of the Romans. Religion and the Eleusian mysteries, tyrants and lawgivers, the Peloponnesian War and imperialist ambitions, art bound up with sexual patterns, specifically the social roles of pederasty and the courtesan, class factors in Plato, early city planning and Aristotelian science, maps and illustration- all are knowledgeably, craftily presented. An up-to-date, easy-to-take introduction.

Publisher: Viking