Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction

Paul Cartledge

Print publication date: Oct 2011

ISBN: 9780199601349

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction takes the polis as its starting point and uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language in around 1400 bce, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around ce 330. Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city, the polis, from which we derive ‘politics’. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny, and — last but by no means least — democracy.