posted on 30/01/19
Spanning the rise and fall of the Greco-Roman world, this excellent survey ranges from the Aegean city-states that became Greece, to the final days of the Roman Empire in the fifth century CE. Through an interdisciplinary approach that includes history, anthropology, and literature, Spawforth follows the thread of civilisation to the coming of Christianity and the consequences of the first caliphate.
In addition to this historical narrative, Spawforth vitaly provides a fresh exploration, which tells the extraordinary story of the classical world in its entirety. Contradictory to the perception that the "civilised" Greek and Roman empires spurned their ‘barbarian’ neighbours, Spawforth recognises how, to varying degrees, they were receptive to external influences, particularly from Mesopotamia, Egypt and Carthage.
Erudite and conversational, this accessible work provides an insight to the classical world which is entirely fresh.
"Informed, informative and thoroughly enjoyable ... A book that brings the past back to life." – Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads.
"An incredibly engaging read, written with scholarly precision and clarity. With great agility, Spawforth mixes literary, inscriptional and archaeological material and offers a nuanced understanding of how civilisations evolve." – Professor Michael Scott, author of Ancient Worlds.
Professor Antony Spawforth. Historian, broadcaster, lecturer and writer specialising in Greek and Roman antiquity and in rulers’ courts. Books include The Complete Greek Temples, Greece: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (with C. Mee), and Versailles: A Biography of a Palace. Formerly Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, he is now Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at Newcastle University.