Ancient History & Civilisation

A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization

A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization

A general introduction to the classical world from its origins to the fall of the Roman Empire.

The book focuses on questions of how we know about Classical civilization from archaeology and history; deals with the Mycenaean era and the world of Myth and Epic in Homer's Iliad & Odyssey; gives an outline of Greek history in the 5th & 4th Centuries BC; looks at Greek social life and the alternative model of Sparta, and considers the achievements of the Greeks in their art and architecture, tragedy and comedy.

Turning to Rome, it engages with Roman history, the Roman Epic tradition, the fascinating features of Roman social life, analyses Roman satire, explores the urban environment in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and concludes with the End of Rome.


Chapter 1. The Minoans of Crete: The First Europeans

Chapter 2. Mycenae: ‘Rich in Gold’

Chapter 3. Troy: The Great Adversary?

Chapter 4. The World of Greek Myth and Epic: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

Chapter 5. Greek History to the End of the Fifth Century BCE

Chapter 6. Greek Social Life

Chapter 7. Sparta: The Alternative Model

Chapter 8. Communicating with the Gods: Sacrifice, Oracles and Athletics

Chapter 9. Greek Tragedy

Chapter 10. Greek Art and Architecture

Chapter 11. Greek Comedy

Chapter 12. Roman Comedy and the Roman Theatre

Chapter 13. Roman History: From the Republic to the Principate

Chapter 14. Roman Epic: Virgil’s Aeneid

Chapter 15. Roman Social Life

Chapter 16. Roman Relaxation, Recreation and Religion

Chapter 17. The Roman City

Chapter 18. The End of Rome

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