HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Life of Greece 1939 A History of Greek…
Loading...

The Life of Greece 1939 A History of Greek Civilization Will Durant (original 1939; edition 1939)

Series: The Story of Civilization (Volume 2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,815109,340 (4.13)18
The second volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, The Life of Greece: The Story of Civilization, Volume 2 chronicles the history of ancient Greek civilization. Here Durant tells the whole story of Greece, from the days of Crete's vast Aegean empire to the final extirpation of the last remnants of Greek liberty, crushed under the heel of an implacably forward-marching Rome. The dry minutiae of battles and sieges, of tortuous statecraft of tyrant and king, get the minor emphasis in what is preeminently a vivid recreation of Greek culture, brought to the reader through the medium of supple, vigorous prose.In this masterful work, readers will learn about:- the siege of Troy- the great city-states of Athens and Sparta- the heroes of Homer's epics- the gods and lesser deities of Mount Olympus- the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle- the life of Alexander the Great… (more)
Member:simon.atreides.ii
Title:The Life of Greece 1939 A History of Greek Civilization Will Durant
Authors:
Info:Geek Out Books (1939)
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

The Life of Greece by Will Durant (1939)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Classic Durant. Exhaustively detailed, delightfully opinionated. ( )
  Huba.Library | Feb 5, 2024 |
The foundations of European and thus “Western civilization” were founded on the shores of the Aegean Seas among the Hellenes on the western coast of Anatolia before returning to their brethren in the ‘old country.’ The Life of Greece is the second volume of Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization series in which the focus of the series turns to the western peninsula of the Eurasia landmass.

From the rise of the Minoans on Crete to the Roman conquest, Durant follows the ups and downs of Grecian civilization and culture. Covering a millennium and a half of time over an ever increasing amount of area were Greek-influence spread, Durant divided the book into five “eras” that he gave an overview of the history then how those events affect the development of government, art, religion, philosophy, science, and everything else connected with culture. Highlight throughout the volume was Durant’s explanation of various schools of philosophy that developed and their relation to religion over that time as well. If there is a negative, it would be the fact that the book is over 80 years old and some of Durant’s information in the Minoan and Mycenean areas has been contradicted by new finds.

The Life of Greece tells the rise and fall of the “foundational” European culture before it was eclipsed and built upon by a rising power from the West. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jan 17, 2023 |
After the preprepatory volume, about the end of pre-history, and a very brief survey of the Asian civilizations, Durant gets into stride with this survey volume on Greek history, and philosophy. The philosophical essays are quite informative, and the rest of the background covered reasonably well. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 2, 2021 |
The Life of Greece was on my April TBR, but I started it at the end of March because it is a longer book. (Which probably wasn't necessary, but whatever.) This was a fun read. Learning about Greece is always fun for me, and this definitely added to my interest in the country's history. This book was hefty, and it felt like some parts took forever, but that isn't a huge deal for me. Will Durant has an interesting writing style, which has so far worked for The Story of Civilization series - both for its length and the contents of each specific book. ( )
  historybookreads | Jul 26, 2021 |
I have yet to find an author on ancient history who writes any better than Will Durant. And if your opinion differs, please let me know as I’d be forever grateful. One of the enjoyable things about Durant’s writing is his books are truly ‘readable’. He keeps things interesting, is thorough, and he goes out of his way to explain the big picture… that is, tying together the sequence of events within a country with what is happening at the same moment elsewhere around the globe.

In reading Greek history there is a lot to absorb. Covering approximately 1000 years- give or take a hundred- Durant schools the reader on the empire’s rise and fall. He patiently takes you from the glorious days at the pinnacle of power to the devastating destruction caused by war, internal strife and political disorder, a corrupted government, depletion of natural resources, and the decay of moral values and waning patriotism.

There are valuable lessons to be learned by studying the history of any great empire, though it is somewhat frightening in knowing that history has often repeated itself.

Will Durant offers a wide variety of information in this 700 page tome:

-the sequence of events in Greece’s rise and decline including distinct ages and eras, wars, power struggles, boundary disputes, government leaders, and evolving philosophies from 1400 BC to 30 BC

-in-depth analysis of Greek’s three famous philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

-the evolution of Greek mythology and other religions- legends, shrines, festivals, and patron saints- and how the Greek myths and Jewish beliefs influenced the evolution of Christianity

-facts about Greek literature- comedy and drama, poetry and prose: Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, Pindar and Thucydides

-cultural development and social interests from sports and the Olympics to dance and music, the arts of sculpture and painting, architecture, clothing and jewelry

-economic growth and failures, natural resources and trade with other countries

-scientific discoveries in medicine, astronomy, and mathematics

-personal interest stories about the philosophers, the great leader Pericles, Alexander the Great, and King Ptolemy the ancestor of Cleopatra

-marriage and family

-education and jobs

-morals and ethics

-the legal system, slavery, and women’s rights

This book has it all!

I would like to leave you with several quotes:

“Greek civilization was at it’s best when democracy had grown sufficiently to give it variety and vigor, and aristocracy survived sufficiently to give it order and taste.”

“The Athenians are too brilliant to be good, and scorn stupidity more than they abominate vice... endlessly curious and perpetually mobile. No people ever had a livelier fancy, or a readier tongue. Clear thought and clear expression seem divine things to the Athenian; he has no patience with learned obfuscation, and looks upon informed and intelligent conversation as the highest sport of civilization.”

“The life of thought endangers every civilization that it adorns. In the early stages of a nation’s history there is little thought; action flourishes; men are direct, uninhibited, frankly pugnacious and sexual. As civilization develops, as customs, institutions, laws, and morals more and more restrict the operation of natural impulses, action gives way to thought, achievement to imagination, directness to subtlety, expression to concealment, cruelty to sympathy, belief to doubt; the unity of character common to animals and primitive men passes away; behavior becomes fragmentary and hesitant, conscious and calculating; the willingness to fight subsides into a disposition of infinite argument.”

This quote was finished with a statement explaining that by the time a nation reaches this level of progression, it’s wealth presents an irresistible temptation to barbarians of surrounding nations… thus the inevitable downfall. ( )
  LadyLo | Oct 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Will Durantprimary authorall editionscalculated
Durant, Arielsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rossiter, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Virlag, HirmerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Being a history of Greek civilization from the beginnings, and of civilization in the Near East from the death of Alexander, to the Roman conquest; with an introduction on the prehistoric culture of Crete.
Being a history of civilization in Egypt and the Near East to the death of Alexander, and in India, China and Japan from the beginning to our own day; with an introduction on the nature and foundations of civilization
Dedication
To my friend Max Schott
To Ariel
First words
As we enter the fairest of all waters, leaving behind us the Atlantic and Gibraltar, we pass at once into the arena of Greek history.
Chapter I: The Conditions of Civilization -- Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Four elements constitute it: economic provision, political organization, moral traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. It begins where chaos and insecurity end. For when fear is overcome, curiosity and constructiveness are free, and man passes by natural impulse towards the understanding and embellishment of life.
Quotations
. . . a barbarian was a man content to believe without reason and to live without liberty. In the end the two conceptions of life - the mysticism of the East and the rationalism of the West - would fight for the body and soul of Greece. Rationalism would win under Pericles, as under Caesar, Leo X, and Frederick, but mysicism would always return. The alternate victories of these complementary philosophies in the vast pendulum of history constitute the essential biography of Western civilization.
Lycurgus . . . wished children to learn his laws not by writing but by oral transmission and youthful practice under careful guidance and example; it was safer, he thought, to make men good by unconscious habituation than to rely upon theoretical persuasion . . . Only choral dance and music remained, for there Spartan discipline could shine, and the individual could be lost in the mass.
The past would be startled if it could see itself in the pages of historians.
[Orthagoras] appealed to the racial pride of the dispossessed, led them in a successful revolution, made himself dictator, and established the manufacturing and trading classes in power.
The growth of wealth and luxury made epicureanism fashionable, while stoicism and patriotism seemed antiquated and absurd; . . . Science and philosophy, in the history of states, reach their height after decadence has set in; wisdom is a harbinger of death.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
THE LIFE OF GREECE is volume 2 of THE STORY OF CIVILIZATION. It should not be combined with any of the other individual volumes, nor with the complete work.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

The second volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, The Life of Greece: The Story of Civilization, Volume 2 chronicles the history of ancient Greek civilization. Here Durant tells the whole story of Greece, from the days of Crete's vast Aegean empire to the final extirpation of the last remnants of Greek liberty, crushed under the heel of an implacably forward-marching Rome. The dry minutiae of battles and sieges, of tortuous statecraft of tyrant and king, get the minor emphasis in what is preeminently a vivid recreation of Greek culture, brought to the reader through the medium of supple, vigorous prose.In this masterful work, readers will learn about:- the siege of Troy- the great city-states of Athens and Sparta- the heroes of Homer's epics- the gods and lesser deities of Mount Olympus- the teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle- the life of Alexander the Great

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.13)
0.5
1
1.5
2 4
2.5
3 19
3.5 5
4 35
4.5 7
5 40

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 204,385,538 books! | Top bar: Always visible