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The Greeks History, Culture, and Society

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-11-12
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In The Greeks, Ian Morris and Barry B. Powell try to see ancient Greece as a whole: not just a narrative of events or an overview of culture, but history and culture taken together. From ancient Greece comes the modern conviction that through open discussion and the exercise of reason a society of free citizens can solve the problems that challenge it. In one period of Greek history, a society just so governed produced timeless masterpieces of literature, art, and rational thought at the same time that it waged terrible wars and committed countless cruelties. If we understand the past, we can live better in the present, but the past is hard to understand. In The Greeks, Morris and Powell offer new ways of thinking about old problems.

Table of Contents

About the Authors

1 A Small, Far-Off Land
Historical Sketch
Why Study the Greeks?
Who Were the Greeks?
The Structure of This Book: History, Culture, and Society
Key Terms Further Reading

2 Country and People
Greek Geography, Climate, and Agriculture
Health and Disease
Economic Growth in Ancient Greece
Key Terms Further Reading

3 The Greeks at Home
Gender Relationships: Ideals and Realities
Adults and Children
Key Terms Further Reading

4 The Greeks Before History, 12,000-1200 bc
The End of the Last Ice Age, 13,000-9500 bc
The Origins of Agriculture, 9500-5000 bc
Neolithic Society and Economy, 5000-3000 bc
The Early Bronze Age, 3000-2300 bc
The Middle Bronze Age, 2300-1800 bc
The Age of Minoan Palaces, 2000-1600 bc
The Rise of Mycenaean Greece, 1750-1500 bc
The End of Minoan Civilization, 1600-1400 bc
Mycenaean Greece: Archaeology, Linear B, and Homer
The End of the Bronze Age, c. 1200 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

5 The Dark Age, 1200-800 bc
The Collapse of the Old States
Life Among the Ruins
Dark Age "Heroes"
Art and Trade in the Dark Age
The Eighth-Century bc Renaissance: Economy
The Eighth-Century bc Renaissance: Society
The Eighth-Century bc Renaissance: Culture
Key Terms Further Reading

6 Homer
The Homeric Question
Milman Parry and Oral Poetry
The Oral Poet in Homer
Heinrich Schliemann and the Trojan War
The Tragic Iliad
Homer and the Invention of Plot
The Comic Odyssey
Odysseus and Homer
Key Terms Further Reading

7 Religion and Myth
Definitions of Religion and Myth
Hesiod's Myth of the Origin of the Gods
Greek Religion in History
Forms of Greek Religious Practice
Hesiod's Myth of Sacrifice
Gods and Other Mysterious Beings
Chthonic Religion
The Ungrateful Dead and the Laying of the Ghost
Ecstatic and Mystical Religion
Key Terms Further Reading

8 Archaic Greece, 800-480 bc: Economy, Society, Politics
Government by Oligarchy
Elite Culture
The Tyrants
The Structure of Archaic States
Key Terms Further Reading

9 The Archaic Cultural Revolution, 800-480 bc
Natural Philosophy in Miletus
Pythagoras: Philosophy and Social Science in the West
Hecataeus, Herodotus, and Historiê
Lyric Poetry
Material Culture
Art and Thought in Sixth-Century bc Greece
Key Terms Further Reading

10 A Tale of Two Archaic Cities: Sparta and Athens, 800-480 bc
Spartiates, Perioikoi, and Helots
Plutarch's Sparta
Spartan Government
The Seventh-Century bc Crisis
Pisistratus and the Consequences of Solon's Reforms
Athens Submits to Persia
Key Terms Further Reading

11 Persia and the Greeks, 550-490 bc
Empires of the Ancient Near East
Cyrus and the Rise of Persia, 559-530 bc
Cambyses and Darius, 530-521 bc
Persia's Northwest Frontier and the Ionian Revolt, 521-494 bc
The Battle of Marathon, 490 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

12 The Great War, 480-479 bc
Storm Clouds in the West
Storm Clouds in the East
The Storm Breaks in the West: The Battle of Himera, 480 bc
The Storm Breaks in the East: The Battle of Thermopylae, 480 bc
The Fall of Athens
The Battle of Salamis
The End of the Storm: Battles of Plataea and Mycale, 479 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

13 Democracy and Empire: Athens and Syracuse, 479-431 bc
The Expansion of the Syracusan State, 479-461 bc
The Western Democracies, 461-433 bc
Economic Growth in Western Greece, 479-433 bc
Cimon and the Creation of the Athenian Empire, 478-461 bc
The First Peloponnesian War, 460-446 bc
Pericles and the Consolidation of Athenian Power, 446-433 bc
Economic Growth in the Aegean
The Edge of the Abyss, 433-431 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

14 Art and Thought in the Fifth Century bc
Material Culture
Key Terms Further Reading

15 Fifth-Century bc Drama
The City Dionysia
The Theater of Dionysus
Narrative Structure
Character and Other Dimensions of Tragedy
Tragic Plots
The Origins of Comedy
The Plots of Old Comedy
The Structures of Old Comedy
Key Terms Further Reading

16 The Peloponnesian War and Its Aftermath, 431-399 bc
The Archidamian War, 431-421 bc
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition, 421-413 bc
Sicily and the Carthaginian War, 412-404 bc
The Ionian War, 412-404 bc
Aftermath, 404-399 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

17 The Greeks Between Persia and Carthage, 399-360 bc
Sparta's Empire, 404-360 bc
Economy, Society, and War
Sparta's Collapse, 371 bc
Anarchy in the Aegean, 371-360 bc
Carthage and Syracuse, 404-360 bc
The Golden Age of Syracuse, 393-367 bc
Anarchy in the West, 367-345 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

18 Greek Culture in the Fourth Century bc
Material Culture
Key Terms Further Reading

19 Philip and Alexander the Great, Warlords of Macedon
Macedonia Before Philip II
Philip's Struggle for Survival, 359-357 bc
Philip Consolidates His Position, 357-352 bc
Philip Seeks a Greek Peace, 352-346 bc
The Struggle for a Greek Peace, 346-338 bc
Philip's End, 338-336 bc
Alexander the King
The Conquest of Persia, 334-330 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

20 Alexander the God
The Fall of the Great King Darius, 331-330 bc
Alexander in the East, 330-324 bc
War in India, 327-326 bc
The Long March Home, 326-324 bc
The Last Days, 324-323 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

21 The Greek Kingdoms in the Hellenistic Century, 323-220 bc
The Wars of the Successors, 323-301 bc
The Hellenistic World After the Battle of Ipsus
The Seleucid Empire
Ptolemaic Egypt
The Antigonids: Macedonia
Key Terms Further Reading

22 The Greek Poleis in the Hellenistic Century, 323-220 bc
Impoverishment and Depopulation in Mainland Greece
Athens in Decline
Sparta's Counterrevolution
The Western Greeks: Agathocles of Syracuse (361-289/8 bc)
Pyrrhus of Epirus
Hellenistic Society: The Weakening of Egalitarianism
Key Terms Further Reading

23 Hellenistic Culture, 323-30 bc
Hellenistic Historians
Material Culture
Hellenistic Philosophy
Quantitative Science in the Hellenistic Age
Key Terms Further Reading

24 The Coming of Rome, 220-30 bc
The Rise of Rome, 753-280 bc
Rome, Carthage, and the Western Greeks, 280-200 bc
Rome Breaks the Hellenistic Empires, 200-167 bc
Consequences of the Wars: The Greeks
Consequences of the Wars: The Romans
Rome's Military Revolution
The Agony of the Aegean, 99-70 bc
Pompey's Greek Settlement, 70-62 bc
The End of Hellenistic Egypt, 61-30 bc
Key Terms Further Reading

25 Conclusion
The Bronze Age (ca. 3000-1200 bc; Chapter 4)
The Dark Age (ca. 1200-800 bc; Chapter 5)
The Archaic Period (c. 800-480 bc; Chapters 6-10)
The Classical Period (c. 480-323 bc; Chapters 11-18)
The Macedonian Takeover (c. 350-323 bc; Chapters 19-22)
The Hellenistic Period (c. 323-30 bc; Chapters 22-24)

Pronunciation Guide
Index and Glossary

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