the birth of classical europe review

An innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians; the first volume in the Penguin History of Europe. Consider, for instance, modern Greece’s decade-longgeo-linguistic campaign against international recognition of the Republic ofMacedonia, because the Macedon of Alexander the Great was Hellene while today’simposters are Slavs. So Penguin was, in a way,exquisitely prescient when it set off, in the parlance of comic-book mythoswithout beginning or end, to “reboot” its Penguin History of Europe a decade ago. Perhaps the greatest tributeone can give Oxford classicists Simon Price and Peter Thonemann is that The Birth of Classical Europe reads nothing at all like a textbook, despite beingcharged to cover about twice the ground in 350 pages—1750 B.C. Throughout the chapter, the authors compare the … Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2013. In September 1997 Richard Dawkins allowed an Australian film crew into his Oxford home, only … In The Birth of Classical Europe, the latest entry in the much-acclaimed Penguin History of Europe, historians Simon Price and Peter Thonemann present a fresh perspective on classical culture in a book full of revelations about civilizations we thought we knew. Capsule Review: The Birth of Classical Europe By Omar Ali 3 Comments This book is a great review of the rise and fall of classical Europe, from the earliest civilizations in Crete and Greece to the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity. But they’d have quickly runup against the complications of history as argument—Rome’s millennium-oldfounding myth had the city settled by the Trojan,not the Achaean (Greek), survivors of the war. I found the content of the book very informative and interesting. The Mahamuni temple in Mandalay, built by the Burmese king Bodawpaya in 1784. Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2012. These books are good for beyond the beginner, and someone with a little more knowledge and understanding. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. An authoritative history covering two millennia of human experience, The Birth of Classical Europe presents provocative new perspectives on the world in whose shadow we continue to live. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Still, these are appropriate endpoints. Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2020. In 1796 or 1996—the year Penguin published its previous History of Europe, a one-volume opus by J. M. Roberts—the layman prodded for whateverreason to vague interest in the Minoans (the mysteriouspre-Greek inhabitants of Crete) could have moved from the Britannica (or Encarta) entry to a treatment like Price and Thonemann’s 22 pages on the topic and come awaysated. I took a course recently on Ancient Greece and Rome, and this book was a great resource in evaluating and succinctly describing some of the most complex parts of Classical Europe. Unlike any of my friends or family I am a fan of dry textbooks. This iscertainly no replacement for actual scholarship—actual archaeology and philologyand dendrology—but it also represents more than a difference in scale, alongsome trajectory a real classicist might say started with the Library ofAlexandria. At every level from languages to calendars to political systems, we are the descendants of a 'classical Europe', using frames of reference created by ancient Mediterra The detail historical events in the book are fascinating and necessary for understanding the history of Europe. There are thousands of books about the classical world so one might ask if we really need another. Such an impulse far precedes the Internet. seven centuries, geographically focusing on the Aegean region: Crete and parts of mainland Greece, the birthplaces of the Minoan and the Mycenaean palatial civilizations. Price does a great job of digging into the cultural, political and philosophical richness of the time period, complete with illustrations and non verbose text that makes what could be a stuff topic seem accessible and engaging. But the basic question with which this book is concerned is whether we can meaningfully describe this period as the 'birth' of Europe. Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2017. (Neither isWikipedia, incidentally.) Chapters 8, 9, and 10 cover the next great migrations—the Viking Diaspora and the movement of slavs and magyars into the areas once dominated by Germanic speakers and beyond to form the essential demography of Europe by about 1000 CE. The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine by Simon Price and Peter Thonemann (Viking) An innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians. Great book and a fast and easy transaction. After William ChesterJordan’s Europe in the High Middle Ages (2004), Chris Wickham’s The Inheritance of Rome:Illuminating the Dark Ages, 400­–1000 (2007),and Tim Blanning’s The Pursuit of Glory: Europe1648­–1815­ (2009)—Penguin’schronology is as confoundingly ad hoc as a Hulkor Superman film franchise—theseries now alights on the origin story, or “A History from Troy to Augustine.”Series editor David Cannadine is a scholar of the British Empire by trade (hewrote 2001’s clever and influential Ornamentalism), but his instincts as historiographical castingdirector appear as well acquitted to the haze of Pax Romana and its B.C.antecedents as they were to the more recent Peaces, of Westphalia and Vienna,which bookended Blanning’s well-received entry. The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine by Simon Price and Peter Thonemann. This book offers insights into the ancient world that are not found elsewhere. Reviewed in Canada on July 14, 2015. -- Simon Hornblower, TLS I like the way the authors meld social, historical, literary, and artistic issues in a really engaging narrative style. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. This is the first in Penguin’s new series of European history and inexcusably they’re overwrought narrative failures. The Birth of Classical Europe, by Simon Price and Peter Thronemann is the first book in a series, The Penguin History of Europe. Oneimagines the young man, otherwise schooled in engineering or poetry, readingEdward Gibbon before embarking on a career in colonial administration—or WillDurant before joining the State Department. Buy a cheap copy of The Birth of Classical Europe: A History... book by Peter Thonemann. In this impeccably researched and immensely readable history we see the ancient world unfold before us, with its grand cast of characters stretching … While I appreciate a lively and /or compelling narrative I also enjoy crisp and concise neutrality. The chapter encompasses a period of ca. Concept Development Fill out the chart as we analyze these 3 types of art. Part of the emphasis seems to be on the beliefs of peoples of antiquity: what they perceived to be their own history and how it … The birth of science in Europe was the greatest revolution of all, argues this dazzling polemic William Blake’s 1795 portrait of Isaac Newton. I really like this series of history books from Penguin. The B&N Podcast: Holly Jackson on A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The B&N Podcast: Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, The B&N Podcast: Jeanine Cummins on American Dirt, Abigail Hing Wen on How One Summer Can Change a Lifetime, The B&N Podcast: Ann Napolitano on our January Book Club Selection, Still Good to Him: Robert Christgau on a Life of Writing about Listening, A Year in Reading: A Reviewer’s Favorites from 2019, The B&N Podcast: Alice Hoffman on the Stories We Need to Survive, American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s, The B&N Podcast: Charlie Mackesy on our Book of the Year. Launched in January 2001, Wikipediafinally emblematizes nothing less than a revolution for the armchair historian,the cultural dilettante (or polymath) of all kinds. This page works best with JavaScript. to A.D. 475,give or take—than its three much longer predecessors combined. Today, via hyperlink and ubiquitous bandwidth, he could spend as manyhours as his determination or day-job allows reviewing hyper-detailedblueprints of every Minoan palace, considering the purported matriarchal oreven proto-feminist subtext of Minoan bull-jumping, “reading” everyextant inscription of Linear A, the undeciphered Minoan script. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. The Birth of Classical Europe is a wonderful introduction to the ancient world. Still,Price and Thonemann have an uncanny feel for evidence capable of appealingviscerally to modern, relatively well-informed civilians as neither arcane (thepointy-head specialist trapping us in the trees) nor cheap (the silver-tongued “intellectual”cultivating his public). But The Birth of Classical Europe isn’t aformless cloud of facts and dates, without narrative or argument. Though the derivative high literature is properly (andsuccinctly) surveyed, the outsize affective role of Troy—a war, after all,which no serious archaeologist will quite exactlyconfirm took place—is most neatly demonstrated by a bit of Banksy­-cleverfound art: already in 730 B.C., far afield in the Bay of Naples, atwelve-year-old boy is buried with a wine cup inscribed, in Euboean, with ajoke obliquely referencing Nestor, mythic king of Pylos. Infact, it may be in the focus on the vagaries and self-flatteries of identitythat The Birth of Classical Europecomes closest to the tone and texture of old-school popular history. The data used is current and findings from just the past few years are referenced to support various hypotheses. Have read others in the series and they all have been a good investment of time. Thereason Price and Thonemann aren’t saved by appeals to proportion or curationis, ironically but unsurprisingly, the same thing that makes their take on anold form so laudably modern: they’re too sophisticated—or too respectful oftheir audience’s sophistication—to attempt the feel-good sophistry longsynonymous with “popular.”. Perhaps the greatest tribute one can give Oxford classicists Simon Price and Peter Thonemann is that "The Birth of Classical Europe" reads nothing at all … RRP $46.99 Learn more Available on orders $80 to $2,000. It is the singular merit of The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe to invite historians of the ancient Mediterranean to consider the landmark events that signaled the end of the Western Roman empire in the context of a Eurasia nomadic imperialists had rendered interconnected in late antiquity. EMBED (for wordpress.com hosted blogs and archive.org item tags) Want more? The authors focus on Greek history and then move on to Rome. That is a lot of ground to cover in only four hundred pages, and The Birth of Classical Europe barely skims the centuries of history. The influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives. Like the best of their predecessors, Priceand Thonemann aren’t propagandists or court chroniclers, but actuallygracefully incorporate recent academic threads and theories—even Martin Bernal’soft-caricatured “Black Athena” hypothesis is given a fair hearing.Their genre, however, remains decidedly touristic and so, arguably, static: likethe Durants’ 11-volume The Story ofCivilization, say, or Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples (which Labour rival Clement Attlee piquantly renamed”Things in History that Interest Me”), the imagined audience is notthe budding scholar primed ultimately to make her own advances in the field,but the cosmopolitan and curious, moving up from the Encyclopedia Britannica. In earliercenturies, popular grand history could rather openly be predicated on impartinga certain chronological and moral elegance to its subject matter—all of Westerncivilization leading, for the Whig historians, to the British parliamentarysettlement; for the Marxists, to bourgeois hegemony, then world revolution. The birth of classical Europe Item Preview remove-circle Share or Embed This Item. Of course there was, forbetter or worse, probably more of the raw “stuff” of history—written(and electronic) correspondence, commercial records, diplomatic “cables”—createdin the first month of 2011 than in the entire second millennium B.C. Good survey history of a busy timeframe. 5.0 out of 5 stars The Birth of Classical Europe - Excellent! The authors of this terrific history are willing to reveal the translation process from findings to speculations. Excellent Introduction to the Classical World, Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2014. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2015. It offered Napoleon's Europe an alternative to everything he stood for, and helped shape the nineteenth century. The global history of literature from the ancient Near East to the present can be divided into five main, overlapping stages. According to Simon Price and Peter Thonemann's The Birth of Classical Europe, just … No_Favorite. Indeed, the library model—the encyclopedia model—has, almostimperceptibly, inverted itself even as we continue using its metaphors: for thefirst time in the popular dispersal of knowledge, it is easier for the casualexplorer to reach the raw details, the material evidence, the internecinetheoretical squabbles and, yes, even the elaborately manicured fabrications,than any finite, authorized, and authoritative account. One might be tempted to conclude that Troy, across the Aegean onAsia Minor, became in the collective imaginary the ur-instance of that greatEuropean preoccupation: Occident vs. Orient, the West against the rest. Archeological evidence is interpreted and at times reinterpreted to explain what we think we know about what happened between two and four thousand years ago in Europe. Similarly, the ratherabsurdist hangover of classical prestige that’s plagued Europe since thenineteenth century is evoked through episodes perfectly pitched betweenfarcical and tragic. Jonathan Liu is a reviewer and journalist who has written for The New York Observer, Gawker.com, and The Harvard Book Review. From calendars to democracy to the very languages we speak, Western civilization owes a debt to these … See all details for The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (The... © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Dr Isbell reasserts Staël's place in history and analyses her vast agenda, which covers every Classical and Romantic divide in art, philosophy, religion, and society from 1789 to 1815. They were, in other words,as confused about themselves as we are about them—perhaps the grandesthistorical lesson of all. This first book helps to give a good, however brief start to a history of Europe. Chapter 5, 'The "fine" Europe of towns and universities (thirteenth century)', revisits some of the areas most central to Le Goff's life work. What, after all, is the end of History—in the teleological,species-encompassing monotony of either classic liberalism or revolutionaryMarxism—but a return to the colorful history of maps and chaps,sects and infidels, great walls and defenestrations, the past as telenovela? The second half of Chapter 6, ‘The Later Huns and the Birth of Europe’, puts flesh on the bones of the key argument of the book by tracing the origins of European early med- ieval socio-political organisation and culture back to the steppes: absolute royal power, itinerant kingship, a ruling clan, divisions of territory among sons or relatives of the king, stratified ranking system for sub-kings, centralised feudalism, … A landmark achievement, "The Birth of Classical Europe"provides insight into an epoch that is both incredibly foreign and surprisingly familiar. I wish the print were a bit more comfortable to read for the people with compromised vision. The authors sometimes have a clear focus on what they want to tell. The Birth of Classical Europe A History From Troy to Augustine (Book) : Price, S. R. F. : Presents revisionist insights into the influences of classical cultures, revealing the lesser-known roles played by ancient civilizations on shaping the modern West, in an account that also cites the contributions of Greek and Roman figures. Top subscription boxes – right to your door. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. The answer is yes we do. This is the richest irony; as Price and Thonemann recountelsewhere, Alexander’s sixth-century forbearer needed a legal dispensation tocompete in the Pan-Hellenic Olympics since no one was convinced the tribal andking-ruled Macedonians were Greek, atleast in the way of the city-states. Learn more. September 11, for all itsself-consciously seismic effects on the surrounding discourse, only affirmedthe apparent trend. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2011. These two major civilizations form the precursors of the Greek one, and consequently, of what we consider the cradle of Classical Europe. New Penguin chronicles of European history are dismal, Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2018. Is concerned is whether we can meaningfully describe this period as the '... Data used is current and findings from just the past is constantly changing new... Civilizations of Mesopotamia, the ancient world longer predecessors combined the detail historical events in the States. And surprisingly familiar this series of European history and inexcusably they ’ re narrative! ’ s good intentions use the link below to share a full-text version of this terrific history are,. Chronicles of European history are dismal, reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2014 give good. Content of the book very informative and interesting back in wonder, says Tom Holland or i... 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