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A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization (Brief Histories) (English Edition) par [Kershaw, Stephen]
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A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization (Brief Histories) (English Edition) Format Kindle

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Longueur : 418 pages Langue : Anglais
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Description du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

A general introduction to the classical world from its origins to the fall of the Roman Empire.

The book focuses on questions of how we know about Classical civilization from archaeology and history; deals with the Mycenaean era and the world of Myth and Epic in Homer's Iliad & Odyssey; gives an outline of Greek history in the 5th & 4th Centuries BC; looks at Greek social life and the alternative model of Sparta, and considers the achievements of the Greeks in their art and architecture, tragedy and comedy.

Turning to Rome, it engages with Roman history, the Roman Epic tradition, the fascinating features of Roman social life, analyses Roman satire, explores the urban environment in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and concludes with the End of Rome.

Biographie de l'auteur

Stephen Kershaw wrote his PhD under Richard Buxton, arguably the leading scholar on Greek myth in the world. He has taught Classics in numerous establishments, including Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and Warwick University. He runs the European Studies Classical Tour for Rhodes College and the University of the South.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1064 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 418 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0762439866
  • Editeur : Robinson (26 août 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004JMZD84
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  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Erudite in substance, wide in coverage, rich in information and beautifully written, even with a very nice sense of humour. Did not try to avoid any of the questions, instead provided the reader with his informed and balanced opinion. Occasionally extensive in summarising the great literature or poetic works of the Greeks and the Romans, but informative nevertheless. The only aspect I found missing, is due to probably personal shortcomings. The total absence of drawings or pictures was rending the visualisation of the descripted monuments something of a challenge. But strongly recommended for an overview of the Greek and Roman history, society and achievements.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 3.9 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Enter Kershaw Maximus of Britannia! "Maximus, Maximus, Maximus ... !" 9 juillet 2016
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Thank goodness for Dr. Kershaw! I will give you a hint. So, just why was it that Crete suddenly popped into view? You have to read this. If you are a serious student of the ancient world here it is! If doesn't matter if you are a classics scholar, a weekend pastor, a graduate student, in high school, out of high school, back in graduate school again, 200 years old, - none of that matters. Dr. Kershaw reads everything and before he writes he does something very, very unique. He thinks about it. Yes, he brings truck loads of traditional understandings with him, but as you can tell when you read his work he has even read the graffiti on the walls in Pompeii too. The man is a vacuum cleaner - just plug him into the library and hit the switch. Also, Dr. Kershaw has no barriers. He is as fluent in Latin as he is in Greek, and he brings that skill set to a fluidity and a gift with the English language as well. Have you ever read a history book written by a "scholar" who uses the same compound-complex sentence for 10, 000 pages as if that were normal? Well, if you like artfully written and scholarly works, open the curtain! Lift the gate! Enter Kershaw Maximus of BRITANNIA! Dr. Kershaw knocks every other scholar who is anywhere near his subject out of the ring. If you have never read books on the ancient world read some junk first, then buy this and read the first paragraph.
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Recapitulation? or Introduction? 26 octobre 2016
Par Paul F. Ross - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Review of Kershaw’s "A brief guide to classical civilization"

by Paul F. Ross

Those reared in western (European and American) cultures can read this "Guide" (2010) by Kershaw as an interesting recapitulation of their learned-at-school history of early civilization. But the world’s cultures have not all derived from the Greek and Roman cultures. Those reared in non-western cultures, and they number well over half of all Earth dwellers, can read this "Guide" (2010) by Kershaw as an interesting introduction to the western self-focused view of the roots of western culture. Kershaw’s last

Kershaw, Stephen "A brief guide to classical civilization: From the origins of democracy to the fall of the Roman Empire" 2010, Robinson, London UK, xii + 402 pages

sentence in this work reads “… the saying goes that all roads lead to Rome, but it might be better to say that they lead from Rome (p 379).” The materials presented are dense with detail. The work is interesting. It is history written with blinders firmly in place, blinders much more functionally effective than those worn by horses. Even the contributions to western cultures clearly derived from other cultures (as in geometry) in the 1600 BCE – 1453 CE period covered by this work are not recorded. If “all glory to us” is the sense of the history of western civilization that you wish to preserve for yourself (or explore for its blindness), this work by Kershaw provides an interesting example.

Kershaw uses eleven of his eighteen chapters to give us a history of the Greeks beginning with the Minoans of Crete in 1600 BCE, turns next to the Mycenae, then to Troy. He condenses Homer’s "Iliad" and "Odyssey" for our reading pleasure. They can be read in forty minutes. He compares and contrasts the history we get from the ancient sources and the evidence developed through archaeology and other recent methods. We glimpse the Greek contests with Persia and the Greek dominance of their naval world. We are introduced to Greek social life. We get a snapshot of the culture that was Spartan. We get condensations of Aeschylus’ "Agamemnon," Sophocles’ "Oedipus," Euripides’ "Medea," Aristophanes’ "The frogs," Menander’s "Old cantankerous." He introduces us to Greek art and architecture. His verbal tour of the Parthenon is something I wish I had read before I visited that impressive structure. Kershaw revels in the technical terms describing elements of Greek architecture. You’ll need an architect’s dictionary.

Kershaw then gives seven chapters to Roman history beginning pre-Romulus and Remus. He leaves no doubt about the Roman indebtedness to Greek culture. He reviews Roman history from the Republic to the Principate. Two centuries of Pax Romana evaporate in wars of every kind in the twenty three centuries between the founding of Rome in 753 BCE and Emperor Majorian’s (ever hear of him?) death in the west in 476 CE and the fall of Constantinople in the east in 1453 CE. Roman contributions to city life by delivering running water to cities is appropriately recognized as a major Roman achievement. We have Kershaw’s condensation of Virgil’s "Aeneid" for our reading. Kershaw’s reconstruction of Roman social life from the findings at Pompeii and Herculaneum buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE is fascinating. A visit to Kershaw’s publications shown on tells me that he has published a volume since 2010 given solely to the history of Rome.

Kershaw is a tiger for detail. I suspect he is a dropout from architectural studies since, as historian, he describes architectural details lovingly. He shows no hesitation in contrasting the content of the classics with the details of life and history that archaeology and other historical methods have unearthed. The reading goes from somnambulant detail to exciting detail, sometimes with only the turn of a page.

Kershaw seems to have earned a PhD in classical history somewhere under the guidance of Richard Buxton, but this printing and my brief search of the internet using Google’s help – I did not go to Kershaw’s self description on his LinkedIn account – has not revealed where he earned this PhD, when it was earned, and how he’s been using it in the meantime. He seems to have a powerful urge toward self promotion. The book has a few maps of Europe and the Mediterranean but very much needs a generous supply of additional pages presenting maps, architectural drawings, and glossaries of technical terms used so generously by the author. I suspect Kershaw has produced a nice read by summarizing the longer works listed in his “recommended reading.” College freshmen and sophomores produce some wonderful papers by using similar methods very efficiently.

As a reader, I’m caught between having enjoyed much of Kershaw's account and being warned away from incautious respect for what I’ve learned by my fundamental distrust of peddlers who promote themselves first. I bring no special expertise to this read and can only report my impressions.

Bellevue, Washington
26 October 2016

Copyright © 2016 by Paul F. Ross All rights reserved.


Kershaw, Stephen "A brief guide to classical civilization: From the origins of democracy to the fall of the Roman Empire" 2010, Robinson, London UK
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brief but deep 10 avril 2012
Par Constructed Resignation - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Ours is not the first 'civilization.' That may be an obvious statement but it is one important for any human to be able to say to itself. 'A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization' is an authoritative examination of that word 'civilization' from the Minoan palaces of Knossos roughly 1900 BCE to the fall of Rome 410 CE.

Stephen Kershaw does not simply cover the major events, times and dates but goes into detail in respect of how people were in any particular time. Whilst I enjoyed reading how war was such a part of life I could also understand how such far away times resonate exactly with history as it has unfolded in my lifetime. And how radically different they once were. Marriage, slavery, sex, working conditions; all are relayed in Kershaw's coherent narrative.

Of special interest to me was the stark contrast of civilizations that were the Athenian and Spartan ways of living. Side by side, in the same time period. The Athenian free-traders and dynamic creativity as opposed to the rigid upbringing of men in Sparta: 'they almost completely rejected economic activity.' Their inability to adapt was their downfall.

For those, like me, who have wondered about ancient times but have not really known where to start in respect of getting a hook on the period of time I heartily recommend 'A Brief Guide to Civilization' the Kindle edition is ideal for unfamiliar words explained in the dictionary. The analysis of pottery, text, architecture is careful to understand how people treated each other in any given 'civilization.' You will read it right through.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Book!!! 4 novembre 2011
Par Henry - Publié sur
I'm taking both History of Roman & Greek Civilization classes currently, and this book has been a tremendous help studying. Stephen Kershaw hits on all of the main points and gives a great overview of the classical world. He states in the introduction he designed the book to cover all the key points on the GCSE A level, and undergraduate courses. His book is concise, but it does cover everything given in an undergraduate class. My notes from class and this text are identical, nothing is left out.
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