The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece

Author: Josiah Ober

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691173141

Category: History

Page: 448

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Lord Byron described Greece as great, fallen, and immortal, a characterization more apt than he knew. Through most of its long history, Greece was poor. But in the classical era, Greece was densely populated and highly urbanized. Many surprisingly healthy Greeks lived in remarkably big houses and worked for high wages at specialized occupations. Middle-class spending drove sustained economic growth and classical wealth produced a stunning cultural efflorescence lasting hundreds of years. Why did Greece reach such heights in the classical period—and why only then? And how, after "the Greek miracle" had endured for centuries, did the Macedonians defeat the Greeks, seemingly bringing an end to their glory? Drawing on a massive body of newly available data and employing novel approaches to evidence, Josiah Ober offers a major new history of classical Greece and an unprecedented account of its rise and fall. Ober argues that Greece's rise was no miracle but rather the result of political breakthroughs and economic development. The extraordinary emergence of citizen-centered city-states transformed Greece into a society that defeated the mighty Persian Empire. Yet Philip and Alexander of Macedon were able to beat the Greeks in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE, a victory made possible by the Macedonians' appropriation of Greek innovations. After Alexander's death, battle-hardened warlords fought ruthlessly over the remnants of his empire. But Greek cities remained populous and wealthy, their economy and culture surviving to be passed on to the Romans—and to us. A compelling narrative filled with uncanny modern parallels, this is a book for anyone interested in how great civilizations are born and die. This book is based on evidence available on a new interactive website. To learn more, please visit: http://polis.stanford.edu/.
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Roots of Ancient Greek Civilization

The Influence of Old Europe

Author: Harald Haarmann

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476615896

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 9354

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Contrary to a prevalent belief of the Western world, that democracy, agriculture, theater and the arts were the attainments of Classical Greek civilization, these were actually a Bronze Age fusion of earlier European concepts and Hellenic ingenuity. This work considers both the multicultural wellspring from which these ideas flowed and their ready assimilation by the Greeks, who embraced these hallmarks of civilization, and refined them to the level of sophistication that defines classical antiquity.
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Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

What History Teaches Us about Strategic Barriers and International Security

Author: Brent L. Sterling

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

ISBN: 1589017277

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 8119

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A number of nations, conspicuously Israel and the United States, have been increasingly attracted to the use of strategic barriers to promote national defense. In Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?, defense analyst Brent Sterling examines the historical use of strategic defenses such as walls or fortifications to evaluate their effectiveness and consider their implications for modern security. Sterling studies six famous defenses spanning 2,500 years, representing both democratic and authoritarian regimes: the Long Walls of Athens, Hadrian’s Wall in Roman Britain, the Ming Great Wall of China, Louis XIV’s Pré Carré, France’s Maginot Line, and Israel’s Bar Lev Line. Although many of these barriers were effective in the short term, they also affected the states that created them in terms of cost, strategic outlook, military readiness, and relations with neighbors. Sterling assesses how modern barriers against ground and air threats could influence threat perceptions, alter the military balance, and influence the builder’s subsequent policy choices. Advocates and critics of strategic defenses often bolster their arguments by selectively distorting history. Sterling emphasizes the need for an impartial examination of what past experience can teach us. His study yields nuanced lessons about strategic barriers and international security and yields findings that are relevant for security scholars and compelling to general readers.
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The Age of Titans

The Rise and Fall of the Great Hellenistic Navies

Author: William M. Murray

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912785

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 1746

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While we know a great deal about naval strategies in the classical Greek and later Roman periods, our understanding of the period in between--the Hellenistic Age--has never been as complete. However, thanks to new physical evidence discovered in the past half-century and the construction of Olympias, a full-scale working model of an Athenian trieres (trireme) by the Hellenic Navy during the 1980s, we now have new insights into the evolution of naval warfare following the death of Alexander the Great. In what has been described as an ancient naval arms race, the successors of Alexander produced the largest warships of antiquity, some as long as 400 feet carrying as many as 4000 rowers and 3000 marines. Vast, impressive, and elaborate, these warships "of larger form"--as described by Livy--were built not just to simply convey power but to secure specific strategic objectives. When these particular factors disappeared, this "Macedonian" model of naval power also faded away--that is, until Cleopatra and Mark Antony made one brief, extravagant attempt to reestablish it, an endeavor Octavian put an end to once and for all at the battle of Actium. Representing the fruits of more than thirty years of research, The Age of Titans provides the most vibrant account to date of Hellenistic naval warfare.
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Athens on Trial

The Antidemocratic Tradition in Western Thought

Author: Jennifer Tolbert Roberts

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400821320

Category: History

Page: 426

View: 5509

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The Classical Athenians were the first to articulate and implement the notion that ordinary citizens of no particular affluence or education could make responsible political decisions. For this reason, reactions to Athenian democracy have long provided a prime Rorschach test for political thought. Whether praising Athens's government as the legitimizing ancestor of modern democracies or condemning it as mob rule, commentators throughout history have revealed much about their own notions of politics and society. In this book, Jennifer Roberts charts responses to Athenian democracy from Athens itself through the twentieth century, exploring a debate that touches upon historiography, ethics, political science, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, and educational theory.
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Enactments

American Modes and Psychohistorical Models

Author: Daniel Dervin

Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press

ISBN: 9780838635919

Category: History

Page: 356

View: 9552

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Enactments addresses several needs. It introduces readers to the young field of psychohistory, examines the continuous interplay of psychoanalytic insights with the irrational forces that shape history, and systematizes a highly diverse field into six usable models. These models begin with analogies to the theater as arena of accepted illusion and dramatic characters as types of imposters. Political processes then come into sharper focus as the leader serves as delegate for a host of popular wishes, fears, and agendas that extend into the unconscious and comprise a group-fantasy. Group-fantasy not only empowers the delegate, but also defines and occasionally destroys this chosen figure as well. From the classical stage to the modern political arena, the hero as leader and group-fantasy delegate becomes embroiled in sacrificial agendas as the heat for magical solutions is turned up. The leader usually has three options: to find external enemies, to finger domestic scapegoats, or to submit himself as victim. Perceived in this psychohistorical light, history may be interpreted as various kinds of enactments; a key model overlapping the others. Other models include an evolution of childhood through changing modes of parenting, and a blending of Foucault and Freud, in which sexuality and aggression thrive culturally through the production of repression.
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Caesar’s Calendar

Ancient Time and the Beginnings of History

Author: Denis Feeney

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520933767

Category: History

Page: 386

View: 5371

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The ancient Romans changed more than the map of the world when they conquered so much of it; they altered the way historical time itself is marked and understood. In this brilliant, erudite, and exhilarating book Denis Feeney investigates time and its contours as described by the ancient Romans, first as Rome positioned itself in relation to Greece and then as it exerted its influence as a major world power. Feeney welcomes the reader into a world where time was movable and changeable and where simply ascertaining a date required a complex and often contentious cultural narrative. In a style that is lucid, fluent, and graceful, he investigates the pertinent systems, including the Roman calendar (which is still our calendar) and its near perfect method of capturing the progress of natural time; the annual rhythm of consular government; the plotting of sacred time onto sacred space; the forging of chronological links to the past; and, above all, the experience of empire, by which the Romans meshed the city state’s concept of time with those of the foreigners they encountered to establish a new worldwide web of time. Because this web of time was Greek before the Romans transformed it, the book is also a remarkable study in the cross-cultural interaction between the Greek and Roman worlds. Feeney’s skillful deployment of specialist material is engaging and accessible and ranges from details of the time schemes used by Greeks and Romans to accommodate the Romans’ unprecedented rise to world dominance to an edifying discussion of the fixed axis of B.C./A.D., or B.C.E./C.E., and the supposedly objective "dates" implied. He closely examines the most important of the ancient world’s time divisions, that between myth and history, and concludes by demonstrating the impact of the reformed calendar on the way the Romans conceived of time’s recurrence. Feeney’s achievement is nothing less than the reconstruction of the Roman conception of time, which has the additional effect of transforming the way the way the reader inhabits and experiences time.
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Language and Culture in the Growth of Imperialism

Author: Sharron Gu

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786490934

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 311

View: 7947

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Political science interpretations of international relations tend to focus on abstract terms of economic interest, domination, rights and justice. Trapped within this limited horizon, the discipline fails to explain why nations of similar economic structure would have variant ideas for their foreign policies, and why nations with different economic structures and ideologies could develop a similar global posture during certain periods of their histories. This innovative study examines imperialism from a cultural and linguistic perspective, portraying the rise and fall of ancient Greek, Roman, medieval Islamic, modern British, Russian and American empires as a part of the natural life of world civilizations. As these imperial cultures matured through centuries of literary accumulation and interaction with other cultures, they finally found their confidence on the world stage and transitioned from an aggressive policy towards others to a more tolerant one.
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The Greeks

An Illustrated History

Author: Diane Harris Cline

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 142621670X

Category: History

Page: 223

View: 9901

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"Companion to the PBS series The Greeks"--Dust jacket.
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The Birth of Politics

Eight Greek and Roman Political Ideas and Why They Matter

Author: Melissa Lane

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691166476

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 7468

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"[An introduction] to the foundations of Western political thought, from the Greeks, who invented democrary, to the Romans, who created a republic and then transformed it into an empire...[Lane] focuses on eight political ideas from the Greco-Roman world that are especially influential today...and describes how the ancient formulations of these ideas often challenge widely held modern assumptions"--From publisher description on book jacket.
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