THE SPLENDOR OF GREECE by Robert Payne

THE SPLENDOR OF GREECE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Apparently based on notebooks covering years of observation, this latest book by the author of The Gold of Trey, etc.. is a loosely connected and well-written volume of comments on Greek art and life from Mycenae and Knossos to the present day. Wisely making little effort to load his narrative with an excess of historical fact, the author writes instead of such things as the lurking sense of tragedy at Mycenae, the somewhat spurious flavor of the Hall of the Double Axe at Knossos, spoiled by misguided excavations and restorations, and the vanished temples and statues at Olympia, sacred to Zeus, site of the Olympic Games, and once the holiest spot on earth. Writing of Greek islands, their ruined temples white against a dark sea, he tells of Patmos and Delos, sacred to the sun-god, Apollo where no one was allowed to be born or to die; of Delphi and the Pythian Sibyl and many others-- and, of course, of Athens, ancient and modern. Enjoyable rather than important, designed neither as guidebook nor history, this collection of informal observations will hold little interest for scholars but should appeal to past, present, and all prospective visitors to Greece and should make an excellent gift for afficionados of travel books of all kinds.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1960
Publisher: Harper