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Présentation de l'éditeur

The Greeks were extraordinary not least because they evolved "a totally new conception of what human life was for". Elaborating on that claim, the author explores the life, culture and history of classical Greece.

Biographie de l'auteur

Humphrey Kitto (1897-1982) was Emeritus Professor of Greek at the University of Bristol.

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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
THE reader is asked, for the moment, to accept this as a reasonable statement of fact, that in a part of the world that had for centuries been civilized, and quite highly civilized, there gradually emerged a people, not very numerous, not very powerful, not very well organized, who had a totally new conception of what human life was for, and showed for the first time what the human mind was for. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 44 commentaires
49 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Showing the Cradle of Western Civilization. 27 octobre 2004
Par Maximiliano F Yofre - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I got in touch with this book as a mandatory reading when I was applying to study at Buenos Aires University. As usually happens with prescribed readings, I eyed "The Greeks" with little enthusiasm.

But to my big surprise it was a great read! Professor Kitto has done an outstanding work here. Now, after all this years, I treasure this volume in my library and read it again and again.

In very few pages he gives the reader a complete picture of Ancient Greece, from its origins till the advent of Alexander the Great.

Every main issue is described here: the Polis, their religion, the construction step by step of a unique civilization; art and war; literature and theater; philosophy and history; not a significant issue is left over. At the same time Professor Kitto succeed in writing a very straightforward account and an easy reading.

We may understand thru this book our eternal debt to that Mediterranean people. Nothing will be as it is without the Greek heritage.

A recommended read for students and any person interested in Western Culture.

Enjoy this trip!

Reviewed by Max Yofre.
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An excellent overview of Greek history and culture! 31 août 2005
Par David Lundberg - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Kitto has done a nice job with this book. It is an extremely well researched overview of ancient Greek history and culture. Quite scholarly, and written in an interesting way, he leads the reader through his research and thinking, not always giving definitive answers to cultural questions. In the end the reader comes to fairly confident assumptions of what the Greek world was, and is, like. His first chapters are quite good: Introduction, Formation of the Greek People, The Country, Homer, The Polis. The later chapters are less engaging, but overall a good scholarly read!

Reviewed by David Lundberg, author of Olympic Wandering: Time Travel Through Greece
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting introduction to Ancient Greece, and Greeks :) 30 juillet 2004
Par B. Alcat - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The author of "The Greeks", a well-known professor who devoted a great part of his life to the study of Ancient Greece, wrote this book with an aim: help others to understand better the subject that he taught. In my opinion, H. D. F. Kitto fulfilled his self-imposed task marvelously.

Kitto doesn't pretend to write an exhaustive history of Ancient Greece, but rather an introductory book that touches upon many subjects without delving too much into any of them. As a result, after reading this book you will end up with a general idea of the culture, art, literature and historical facts regarding Ancient Greece, but you won't be able to say you know all about it. On the other hand, you will know much more about the Greeks, and the values that shaped them and motivated their actions. That is probably more than enough to recommend this book :)

I want to point out that even though the author doesn't oversimplify the subject at hand to the point of distorting it, he highlights so much certain central ideas that even those who read the book without paying it due attention will understand them. For instance, Kitto emphasizes the great divide that existed for the Greeks between themselves and the others, the barbarians. According to the Greeks, that divide was undeniable because only they had mastered the way of being truly "free". That certitude, and their consequent feeling of exceptionalism, marked all their actions.

Kitto says, in the introduction, that he strove to allow the Greeks to speak for themselves, and the reader gets exactly that impression from time to time. I don't know much about Ancient Greece, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I guess that is a good indication that even those who just want to dabble in the subject are likely to enjoy it...

I believe that "The Greeks" is a very well-written book, something that combined with the fact that it isn't overly long makes it the kind of reading material that almost everybody might be interested in. All in all, I highly recommend this book to you :)

Belen Alcat
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Classic in the Field 28 août 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I am rereading this book, and I'm inspired to share the good news. It is truly a remarkable work, conveying information in the same measure as passion, humor and reverence. A proud scholar of the old school, Kitto unashamedly reveres the Greek culture as he understands it. There are more modern works, which muddle in gender issues, and in other ways cut the Greeks to our measure; but this brilliant lens is the rare optic that inspires, draws in, engrosses.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The fascination of Attica 16 mai 2004
Par Rick Darby - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Here is history as pure pleasure -- formidable in its learning, yet delivered in a style that is plain and direct, yet enlivened with color and wit. After you have read a few pages, you will have no doubts as to why this relatively slim volume is an evergreen among studies of classical Greece.

Kitto, who taught at the University of Glasgow and the University of Bristol in England, set for himself an ambitious aim: to probe the very soul of the Greeks, from the beginning of their literature and history in Homer and Hesiod, through the sublime artistic creations of the 5th century to the decline of the polis (inadequately translated, Kitto says, as "city-state") following the disastrous Peloponnesian war.

He avoids two extremes that would have hobbled such an attempt. Kitto neither gets bogged down in historical minutiae (as even the great Will Durant occasionally did in his masterly The Life of Greece), nor does he turn the work into a series of free-floating thought balloons of philosophy and theory. His observations about the spirit of these people who have left an indelible print on western civilization are invariably penetrating, the more so because he is careful, good scholar that he is, to illustrate them with specifics from Greek history and arts.

I'll end my review here because your time would be better spent reading the book itself.
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