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The Echo of Greece by Edith Hamilton

The Echo of Greece

by Edith Hamilton

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New York, W. W. Norton
  wibby | Nov 13, 2010 |
A fun read on Greece (rare indeed). Entertaining and fast paced. I plan to read it again. ( )
  chriszodrow | Jul 8, 2009 |
Not sure if Hamilton "idealizes" the intense love of Freedom which is claimed to have emerged, if it did, so strongly in the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Herodotus reports a Greek saying to a Persian: "You do not know what freedom is. If you did, you would fight for it with bare hands even if you had no weapons." [17] Not sure if the Greeks were the only exception to a history that claims there was only "universal slavery" in 500 BC. Did they meet Scythians? Bedouin?
No Index. Easy reading. Incredibly inspiring..."freedom" after all.

Hamilton's basic research is unimpeachable and well-witted. Of course, there is that concern over the lack of footnotes.

She concludes with a chapter on Plutarch, placing him where his "lives" are most important -- in their times. As Plutarch saw that the oracles were failing -- in times of change, all see it -- he states that the Delphic priestess spoke under the influence of the vapor in the cave. Neither was divine. And "God is not a ventriloquist." [205]

Hamilton takes what we know about Plutarch -- and we know much because he was a prolific writer -- and applies it to what we do not know. For example, we have virtually nothing about the personal lives of Plato and Aristotle. Hamilton compares Marcus Arelius.

Finally, Hamilton asks a loaded question about Christian Religion. Christianity was first addressed to Greeks. The Gospels are in Greek (and Aramaic). And yet, extraordinarily, with two paths laying open to her, the Church bent its way to Rome.
  keylawk | Feb 3, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393002314, Paperback)

Fourth-century Athens has a special claim on our attention, apart from the great men it produced, for it is the prelude to the end of Greece.

The kind of events that took place in the great free government of the ancient world may, by reason of unchanging human nature, be repeated in the modern world. The course that Athens followed can be to us not only a record of distant and forgotten events, but a blueprint of what may happen again.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:11 -0400)

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