Helen of Troy

The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Author: Bettany Hughes

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307485889

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 1439

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For 3,000 years, the woman known as Helen of Troy has been both the ideal symbol of beauty and a reminder of the terrible power beauty can wield.In her search for the identity behind this mythic figure, acclaimed historian Bettany Hughes uses Homer’s account of Helen’s life to frame her own investigation. Tracing the cultural impact that Helen has had on both the ancient world and Western civilization, Hughes explores Helen’s role and representations in literature and in art throughout the ages. This is a masterly work of historical inquiry about one of the world’s most famous women. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Helen of Troy

From Homer to Hollywood

Author: Laurie Maguire

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781444308631

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 280

View: 8374

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Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood is a comprehensive literary biography of Helen of Troy, which explores the ways in which her story has been told and retold in almost every century from the ancient world to the modern day. Takes readers on an epic voyage into the literary representations of a woman who has wielded a great influence on Western cultural consciousness for more than three millennia Features a wide and diverse variety of literary sources, including epic, drama, novels, poems, film, comedy, and opera, and works by Homer, Euripides, Chaucer, Shakespeare Includes an analysis of a radio play by the prize-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and a Faust play by a contemporary Scottish playwright Explores themes such as narrative difficulties in portraying Helen, how legal history relates to her story, and how writers apportion blame or exculpate her Considers the aesthetic and narrative difficulties that ensue when literature translates myth
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The Power of Glamour

Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion

Author: Virginia Postrel

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416561110

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 269

View: 1788

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An exploration of glamour, a potent cultural force that influences where people choose to live, which careers to pursue, where to invest, and how to vote, offers empowerment to be smarter about engaging with the world.
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Dictionary of Classical Mythology

Author: Jennifer R. March

Publisher: Oxbow Books

ISBN: 1782976353

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 8632

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Jenny March’s acclaimed Dictionary of Classical Mythology, first published in 1998 but long out of print, has been extensively revised and expanded including a completely new set of beautiful line-drawing illustrations for this Oxbow edition. It is a comprehensive A – Z guide to Greek and Roman mythology. All major myths, legends and fables are here, including gods and goddesses, heroes and villains, dangerous women, legendary creatures and monsters. Characters such as Achilles and Odysseus have extensive entries, as do epic journeys and heroic quests, like that of Jason and the Argonauts to win the Golden Fleece, all alongside a plethora of information on the creation of the cosmos, the many metamorphoses of gods and humans, and the Trojan War, plus more minor figures – nymphs, seers, kings, rivers, to name but a few. In this superbly authoritative work the myths are brilliantly retold, along with any major variants, and with extensive translations from ancient authors that give life to the narratives and a sense of the vibrant cultures that shaped the development of classical myth. The 172 illustrations give visual immediacy to the words, by showing how ancient artists perceived their gods and heroes. The impact of myths on ancient art is also explored, as is and their influence in the postclassical arts, emphasising the ongoing inspiration afforded by the ancient myths. Also included are two maps of the ancient world, a list of the ancient sources and their chronology, the more important genealogies, and an index of recurrent mythical motifs.
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The Long Shadow of Antiquity

What Have the Greeks and Romans Done for Us?

Author: Gregory S. Aldrete,Alicia Aldrete

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1441189815

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 6151

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Democracy? Mathematics? The Calendar? Hospitals? This book is an enlightening look at the myriad ways that the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome have fundamentally influenced and shaped our modern world. Familiar institutions, rituals, and aspects of everyday modern life are examined to reveal their often surprising classical roots, while the authors explore a selection of the innovations of ancient Greek and Roman civilization to trace how these have developed through history and still affect the world of the twenty-first century. The style is fast-paced and, while drawing on authoritative and current scholarship, the factual information is enlivened with anecdotal details. This book will open the reader's eyes to a new understanding of the world that we live in today.
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The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Eric H. Cline

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199333823

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 9328

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The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the abduction of Helen and the decade-long Trojan War, has fascinated mankind for millennia. Even today, the war inspires countless articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, movies, television documentaries, even souvenirs and collectibles. But while the ancients themselves believed that the Trojan War took place, scholars of the modern era have sometimes derided it as a piece of fiction. Combining archaeological data and textual analysis of ancient documents, this Very Short Introduction considers whether or not the war actually took place and whether archaeologists have really discovered the site of ancient Troy. To answer these questions, archaeologist and ancient historian Eric H. Cline examines various written sources, including the works of Homer, the Epic Cycle (fragments from other, now-lost Greek epics), classical plays, and Virgil's Aeneid. Throughout, the author tests the literary claims against the best modern archaeological evidence, showing for instance that Homer, who lived in the Iron Age, for the most part depicted Bronze Age warfare with accuracy. Cline also tells the engaging story of the archaeologists--Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann--who found the long-vanished site of Troy through excavations at Hisarlik, Turkey. Drawing on evidence found at Hisarlik and elsewhere, Cline concludes that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place during the Late Bronze Age, forming the nucleus of a story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into final form by Homer. But Cline suggests that, even allowing that a Trojan War took place, it probably was not fought because of Helen's abduction, though such an incident may have provided the justification for a war actually fought for more compelling economic and political motives. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
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Venus and Aphrodite

Author: Bettany Hughes

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1474610390

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 9142

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Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Bettany Hughes shows why this immortal goddess endures through to the twenty-first century, and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans. Charting Venus's origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess's mythical birthplace, Bettany decodes Venus's relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and, in turn, Aphrodite's mixed-up origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation - but also, as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte. On a voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind Venus, Hughes reveals how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance and sex. It is the both the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces, and the story of human desire - how it transforms who we are and how we behave.
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A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths

Author: Stephen P. Kershaw

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1472107543

Category: Social Science

Page: 160

View: 3644

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The book leads the reader through these vibrant stories, from the origins of the gods through to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. All the familiar narratives are here, along with some less familiar characters and motifs. In addition to the tales, the book explains key issues arising from the narratives, and discusses the myths and their wider relevance. This long-overdue book crystallises three key areas of interest: the nature of the tales; the stories themselves; and how they have and might be interpreted. For the first time, it brings together aspects of Greek mythology only usually available in disparate forms - namely children's books and academic works. There will be much here that is interesting, surprising, and strange as well as familiar. Experts and non-experts, adults, students and schoolchildren alike will gain entertainment and insight from this fascinating and important volume.
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A Humanitarian Past

Antiquitys Impact on Present Social Conditions

Author: Adele Änggård

Publisher: AuthorHouse

ISBN: 1496993349

Category: Social Science

Page: 310

View: 2820

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This book opens a window on our historical past. We find antiquity has drawn a blind over earlier and more humanitarian cultures, writing off their artistic and egalitarian practices – while antiquity’s social habits escalated stress. Psychologists have recently made us aware that stress has very negative results for community life. Simultaneously, archaeologists have uncovered information about Neolithic cultures and art that makes no sense seen beside ancient Greek descriptions. The more we learn about Old Europe, the more staggering and distorted the policies conveyed in ancient Greek myths, dramas, and epic poems become. Surprisingly, the Achaeans also show an intimate knowledge about their predecessor’s social values. Sadly, the Renaissance uncritically fell for the ancient Greek’s version of history, seeing it as the cradle of civilisation and our cultural heritage. They have even passed on these ideas to us today. Discovering A Humanitarian Past pitches us into an exciting and previously unexplored part of the human story.
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The Hemlock Cup

Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

Author: Bettany Hughes

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446419169

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 544

View: 9358

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We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did. His aphorism 'The unexamined life is not worth living' may have originated twenty-five centuries ago, but it is a founding principle of modern life. For seventy years Socrates was a vigorous citizen of Golden Age Athens, philosophising in the squares and public arenas rather than in the courts of kings, before his beloved city turned on him, condemning him to death by poison. Socrates lived in and contributed to a city that nurtured key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought - yet, as he wrote almost nothing down, he himself is an enigmatic figure. In The Hemlock Cup, acclaimed historian Bettany Hughes gives Socrates the biography he deserves, painstakingly piecing together Socrates' life and using fresh evidence to get closer to the man who asked 'how should we live?' - a question as relevant now as it has ever been.
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