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Until recently, popular biographers and most scholars viewed Alexander the Great as a genius with a plan, a romantic figure pursuing his vision of a united world. His dream was at times characterized as a benevolent interest in the brotherhood of man, sometimes as a brute interest in the exercise of power. Green, a Cambridge-trained classicist who is also a novelist, portrays Alexander as both a complex personality and a single-minded general, a man capable of such diverse expediencies as patricide or the massacre of civilians. Green describes his Alexander as "not only the most brilliant (and ambitious) field commander in history, but also supremely indifferent to all those administrative excellences and idealistic yearnings foisted upon him by later generations, especially those who found the conqueror, tout court, a little hard upon their liberal sensibilities." This biography begins not with one of the universally known incidents of Alexander's life, but with an account of his father, Philip of Macedonia, whose many-territoried empire was the first on the continent of Europe to have an effectively centralized government and military. What Philip and Macedonia had to offer, Alexander made his own, but Philip and Macedonia also made Alexander form an important context for understanding Alexander himself. Yet his origins and training do not fully explain the man. After he was named hegemon of the Hellenic League, many philosophers came to congratulate Alexander, but one was conspicuous by his absence: Diogenes the Cynic, an ascetic who lived in a clay tub. Piqued and curious, Alexander himself visited the philosopher, who, when asked if there was anything Alexander could do for him, made the famous reply, "Don't stand between me and the sun." Alexander's courtiers jeered, but Alexander silenced them: "If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes." This remark was as unexpected in Alexander as it would be in a modern leader. For the general reader, the book, redolent with gritty details and fully aware of Alexander's darker side, offers a gripping tale of Alexander's career. Full backnotes, fourteen maps, and chronological and genealogical tables serve readers with more specialized interests.
Until recently, popular biographers and most scholars viewed Alexander the Great as a genius with a plan, a romantic figure pursuing his vision of a united world. His dream was at times characterized as a benevolent interest in the brotherhood of man, sometimes as a brute interest in the exercise of power. Green, a Cambridge-trained classicist who is also a novelist, portrays Alexander as both a complex personality and a single-minded general, a man capable of such diverse expediencies as patricide or the massacre of civilians. Green describes his Alexander as "not only the most brilliant (and ambitious) field commander in history, but also supremely indifferent to all those administrative excellences and idealistic yearnings foisted upon him by later generations, especially those who found the conqueror, tout court, a little hard upon their liberal sensibilities."This biography begins not with one of the universally known incidents of Alexander's life, but with an account of his father, Philip of Macedonia, whose many-territoried empire was the first on the continent of Europe to have an effectively centralized government and military. What Philip and Macedonia had to offer, Alexander made his own, but Philip and Macedonia also made Alexander form an important context for understanding Alexander himself. Yet his origins and training do not fully explain the man. After he was named hegemon of the Hellenic League, many philosophers came to congratulate Alexander, but one was conspicuous by his absence: Diogenes the Cynic, an ascetic who lived in a clay tub. Piqued and curious, Alexander himself visited the philosopher, who, when asked if there was anything Alexander could do for him, made the famous reply, "Don't stand between me and the sun." Alexander's courtiers jeered, but Alexander silenced them: "If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes." This remark was as unexpected in Alexander as it would be in a modern leader.For the general reader, the book, redolent with gritty details and fully aware of Alexander's darker side, offers a gripping tale of Alexander's career. Full backnotes, fourteen maps, and chronological and genealogical tables serve readers with more specialized interests.
The Hellenistic Age, the three extraordinary centuries from the death of Alexander in 323 B. C. to Octavian's final defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, has offered a rich and variegated field of exploration for historians, philosophers, economists, and literary critics. Yet few scholars have attempted the daunting task of seeing the period whole, of refracting its achievements and reception through the lens of a single critical mind. Alexander to Actium was conceived and written to fill that gap. In this monumental work, Peter Green--noted scholar, writer, and critic--breaks with the traditional practice of dividing the Hellenistic world into discrete, repetitious studies of Seleucids, Ptolemies, Antigonids, and Attalids. He instead treats these successor kingdoms as a single, evolving, interrelated continuum. The result clarifies the political picture as never before. With the help of over 200 illustrations, Green surveys every significant aspect of Hellenistic cultural development, from mathematics to medicine, from philosophy to religion, from literature to the visual arts. Green offers a particularly trenchant analysis of what has been seen as the conscious dissemination in the East of Hellenistic culture, and finds it largely a myth fueled by Victorian scholars seeking justification for a no longer morally respectable imperialism. His work leaves us with a final impression of the Hellenistic Age as a world with haunting and disturbing resemblances to our own. This lively, personal survey of a period as colorful as it is complex will fascinate the general reader no less than students and scholars.
The Argonautika, the only surviving epic of the Hellenistic era, is a retelling of the tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece, probably the oldest extant Greek myth. Peter Green's lively, readable verse translation captures the swift narrative movement of Apollonios's epic Greek. This expanded paperback edition contains Green's incisive commentary, introduction, and glossary. Alternate spelling: Argonautica, Apollonius Rhodius
Only one surviving source provides a continuous narrative of Greek history from Xerxes' invasion to the Wars of the Successors following the death of Alexander the Great--the Bibliotheke, or "Library," produced by Sicilian historian Diodorus Siculus (ca. 90-30 BCE). Yet generations of scholars have disdained Diodorus as a spectacularly unintelligent copyist who only reproduced, and often mangled, the works of earlier historians. Arguing for a thorough critical reappraisal of Diodorus as a minor but far from idiotic historian himself, Peter Green published Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12. 37. 1, a fresh translation, with extensive commentary, of the portion of Diodorus's history dealing with the period 480-431 BCE, the so-called "Golden Age" of Athens. This is the only recent modern English translation of the Bibliotheke in existence. In the present volume--the first of two covering Diodorus's text up to the death of Alexander--Green expands his translation of Diodorus up to Athens' defeat after the Peloponnesian War. In contrast to the full scholarly apparatus in his earlier volume (the translation of which is incorporated) the present volume's purpose is to give students, teachers, and general readers an accessible version of Diodorus's history. Its introduction and notes are especially designed for this audience and provide an up-to-date overview of fifth-century Greece during the years that saw the unparalleled flowering of drama, architecture, philosophy, historiography, and the visual arts for which Greece still remains famous.
"I hadn't, till I really started digging, gauged the fierce intensity of the need for myth in the human psyche, of any age, or sensed the variety of motives dictating that need," writes Peter Green in the introduction to this wide-ranging collection of essays on classical mythology and the mythic experience. Using the need for myth as the starting point for exploring a number of topics in Greek mythology and history, Green advances new ideas about why the human urge to make myths persists across the millennia and why the borderland between mythology and history can sometimes be hard to map. Green looks at both specific problems in classical mythology and larger theoretical issues. His explorations underscore how mythic expression opens a door into non-rational and quasi-rational modes of thought in which it becomes possible to rewrite painful truths and unacceptable history--which is, Green argues, a dangerous enterprise. His study of the intersections between classical mythology and Greek history ultimately drives home a larger point, "the degree of mythification and deception (of oneself no less than of others) of which the human mind is capable. "
For years, Elisabeth Hasselbeck couldn't figure out what was making her sick. She asked doctors and consulted nutritionists, but no one seemed to have any answers. It wasn't until spending time in the Australian Outback, living off the land on the grueling Survivor TV show, that, ironically, her symptoms vanished. Returning home, she pinpointed the food that made her sick -- gluten, the binding element in wheat. By simply eliminating it from her diet, she was able to enjoy a completely normal, healthy life. But that wasn't all. Hasselbeck discovered the myriad benefits that anyone can enjoy from a gluten-free diet: from weight loss and increased energy to even the alleviation of the conditions of autism. In this all-inclusive book, Hasselbeck shares her hard-earned wisdom on living life without gluten and loving it. She gives you everything you need to know to start living a gluten-free life, from defining gluten - where to find it, how to read food labels - to targeting gluten-free products, creating G-Free shopping lists, sharing recipes, and managing G-Free living with family and friends.
This is a reissue, with a new introduction and an update to the bibliography, of the original edition, published in 1970 as The Year of Salamis in England and as Xerxes at Salamis in the U. S. The long and bitter struggle between the great Persian Empire and the fledgling Greek states reached its high point with the extraordinary Greek victory at Salamis in 480 B. C. The astonishing sea battle banished forever the specter of Persian invasion and occupation. Peter Green brilliantly retells this historic moment, evoking the whole dramatic sweep of events that the Persian offensive set in motion. The massive Greek victory, despite the Greeks' inferior numbers, opened the way for the historic evolution of the Greek states in a climate of creativity, independence, and democracy, one that provided a model and an inspiration for centuries to come. Green's accounts of both Persian and Greek strategies are clear and persuasive; equally convincing are his everyday details regarding the lives of soldiers, statesmen, and ordinary citizens. He has first-hand knowledge of the land and sea he describes, as well as full command of original sources and modern scholarship. With a new foreword, The Greco-Persian Wars is a book that lovers of fine historical writing will greet with pleasure.
The Hellenistic Age chronicles the years 336 to 30 BCE, a period that witnessed the overlap of two of antiquity's great civilizations, the Greek and the Roman. Peter Green's remarkably far-ranging study covers the prevalent themes and events of those centuries: the Hellenization, by Alexander's conquests, of an immense swath of the known world; the lengthy and chaotic partition of this empire by rival Macedonian bands; the decline of the city-state as the predominant political institution; and, finally, Rome's moment of transition from republican to imperial rule. It is a story of war and power-politics, and of the developing fortunes of art, science, and statecraft, spun by an accomplished classicist with an uncanny knack for infusing life into the distant past, and applying fresh insights that make ancient history seem alarmingly relevant to our own times. "Spectacular ... [filled with] Mr. Green's critical acumen." -The Wall Street Journal. "Green draws upon a lifetime of scholarship to brilliantly sum up the three-hundred-year Hellenistic age. ... Happily, this book's brevity-admirable in itself, and in its concision, elegance, and authority-isn't achieved at the expense of subtlety and complexity." -The Atlantic Monthly. "An interesting and well-written overview ... Students of world history are in Green's debt." -The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Marvelous ... splendid ... a brilliant introduction to this crucial transitional period." -Publishers Weekly (starred review).
The so-called first war of the twenty-first century actually began more than 2,300 years ago when Alexander the Great led his army into what is now a sprawling ruin in northern Afghanistan. Frank L. Holt vividly recounts Alexander's invasion of ancient Bactria, situating in a broader historical perspective America's war in Afghanistan.
In the year A. D. 8, Emperor Augustus sentenced the elegant, brilliant, and sophisticated Roman poet Ovid to exile--permanently, as it turned out--at Tomis, modern Constantza, on the Romanian coast of the Black Sea. The real reason for the emperor's action has never come to light, and all of Ovid's subsequent efforts to secure either a reprieve or, at the very least, a transfer to a less dangerous place of exile failed. Two millennia later, the agonized, witty, vivid, nostalgic, and often slyly malicious poems he wrote at Tomis remain as fresh as the day they were written, a testament for exiles everywhere, in all ages. The two books of the Poems of Exile, the Lamentations (Tristia) and the Black Sea Letters (Epistulae ex Ponto), chronicle Ovid's impressions of Tomis--its appalling winters, bleak terrain, and sporadic raids by barbarous nomads--as well as his aching memories and ongoing appeals to his friends and his patient wife to intercede on his behalf. While pretending to have lost his old literary skills and even to be forgetting his Latin, in the Poems of Exile Ovid in fact displays all his virtuoso poetic talent, now concentrated on one objective: ending the exile. But his rhetorical message falls on obdurately deaf ears, and his appeals slowly lose hope. A superb literary artist to the end, Ovid offers an authentic, unforgettable panorama of the death-in-life he endured at Tomis.
A lively combination of scholarship and unorthodoxy makes these studies in ancient history and literature unusually rewarding. Few of the objects of conventional admiration gain much support from Peter Green (Pericles and the "democracy" of fifth-century Athens are treated to a very cool scrutiny) but he has a warm regard for the real virtues of antiquity and for those who spoke with "an individual voice. " The studies cover both history and literature, Greece and Rome. They range from the real nature of Athenian society to poets as diverse as Sappho and Juvenal, and all of them, without laboring any parallels, make the ancient world immediately relevant to our own. (There is, for example, a very perceptive essay on how classical history often becomes a vehicle for the historian's own political beliefs and fantasies of power. ) The student of classical history will find plenty in this book to enrich his own studies. The general reader will enjoy the vision of a classical world which differs radically from what he probably expects.
Perhaps more than any other writer, Juvenal (c. AD 55-138) captures the splendour, the squalor and the sheer energy of everyday Roman life. In The Sixteen Satires he evokes a fascinating world of whores, fortune-tellers, boozy politicians, slick lawyers, shameless sycophants, ageing flirts and downtrodden teachers. A member of the traditional land owning class that was rapidly seeing power slip into the hands of outsiders, Juvenal also creates savage portraits of decadent aristocrats - male and female - seeking excitement among the lower orders of actor and gladiators, and of the jumped-up sons of newly-rich former slaves. Constantly comparing the corruption of his own generation with its stern and upright forebears, Juvenal's powers of irony and invective make his work a stunningly satirical and bitter denunciation of the degeneracy of Roman society.
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