Ancient History & Civilisation

The Life of Greece: (The Story of Civilization #2) - by Will Durant

The Life of Greece: (The Story of Civilization #2)

This is the classic reference on world history, recognized as the most comprehensive general history ever written, the result of four decades of work by Will and Ariel Durant -- a set that The New York Times called "a splendid, broad panorama of hereditary culture in words and images that the layman can fully understand." This series began as an effort to write a history on the nineteenth century, an undertaking that Will Durant realized could only be understood in terms of what had come before. So the Durants embarked on an encyclopedic survey of all civilization, ancient and modern, Occidental and Oriental.

The books:

Our Oriental Heritage (Volume 1): Will Durant opens his massive survey of civilized history with a sweeping look at the Orient: the Egyptians, who perfected monumental architecture, medicine and mummification; the Babylonians, who developed astronomy and physics; the Judeans, who preserved their culture in the immortal books of the Old Testament; and the Persians, who ruled the largest empire in recorded history before Rome.


The Life of Greece (Volume 2): Will Durant's survey of ancient Greece shows us the origins of democracy and the political legacy to the Western world; the golden age of Athens, its architecture, poetry, drama, sculpture and Olympic contests; the blossoming of philosophical thought amid a society still rooted in slavery and barbarism; and the mysterious lost island of Crete, land of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth.

Caesar and Christ (Volume 3): Spanning a millenium in Roman history, the third volume in the Durants' series shows us a world-conquering Roman army, undefeated, unafraid and...vegeterian; Hannibal, who transported an army of elephants over the Alps to invade Rome; Julius Caesar, who brought Western Europe under Roman rule; the life and Passion of Christ; and the struggle of the rising church.

The Age of Faith (Volume 4): Over 1,000 years, we meet the Christian ascetics and martyrs, including Simeon Stylites, who sat atop a pillar for 30 years, exposed to rain, sun, and snow, and rejoiced as worms ate his rotting flesh; the saints, including Augustine, the most influential philosopher of his age; Mohammed, the desert merchant who founded a religion that conquered one-third of the known world in two centuries; and the Italian poet Dante, whose sensibility marks the transition to the Renaissance.

The Renaissance (Volume 5): In this volume, Will Durant examines the economic seeds -- the growth of industry, the rise of banking families, the conflicts of labor and capital -- for Italy's emergence as the first nation to feel the awakening of the modern mind. He follows the cultural flowering from Florence to Milan to Verona and eventually to Rome, allowing us to witness a colorful pageant of princes, queens, poets, painters, sculptors and architects. We see humanity moved boldly from a finite world to an infinite one.

The Reformation (Volume 6): In Europe's tumultuous emergence from the Middle Ages, we encounter two rival popes fighting for control of a corrupt, cynical church; the Hundred Years' War and 13-year-old warrior Joan of Arc; Christopher Columbus' accidental discovery of the New World; and Martin Luther, who defied the pope and ultimately led Northern Europe into the age of individualism.

The Age of Reason Begins (Volume 7): In one of Europe's most turbulent centuries, Philip II of Spain sees his "invincible" armada suffer defeat at the hands of England; Elizabeth I of England receives assistance from explorer Walter Raleigh and pirate Francis Drake; and new appeals for reason and science are exemplified in the ideas of Copernicus, Galileo and Descartes.

The Age of Louis XIV (Volume 8): This installment is the biography of a period some consider the apex of modern European civilization. "Some centuries hence," Frederick the Great predicted to Voltaire, "they will translate the good authors of the time of Louis XIV as we translate those of the age of Pericles or Augustus." Those authors are lovingly treated here: Pascal and Fenelon, Racine and Boileau, Mme. de Sevigne and Mme. de La Fayette, and, above all, the philosopher-dramatist Moliere, exposing the vices and hypocrisies of the age.

The Age of Voltaire (Volume 9): A biography of a great man and the period he embodied. We witness Voltaire's satiric work in the salons and the theater as well as his banishment to England. With him we view the complex relationships between nobility, clergy, bourgeoisie and peasantry in the France of Louis XV. We explore the music of Bach and the struggle between Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa of Austria. And finally we hear an imaginary discussion between Voltaire and Pope Benedict XIV on the significance and value of religion.

Rousseau and Revolution (Volume 10): This volume ranges over a Europe in ferment, but centers on the passionate rebel-philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who contended with Voltaire for the mind of Europe. Rousseau condemned civilization as a disease, glorified the noble savage, proclaimed to the world with equal intensity his own love affairs and the natural rights of man, and became the patron saint of the French Revolution and social upheavals across the globe for two centuries.

The Age of Napoleon (Volume 11): The final volume. Napoleon is the archetypical hero, whose restless, ambitious, and intelligent mind dominated his age and has never ceased to fascinate the world he helped fashion. Yet even Bonaparte is dwarfed by the age that took his name. For, the Durants have re-created the life, the history, the arts, the science, the politics, the philosophy, the manners and the morality, the very spirit of the turbulent epoch that began with the French Revolution, ended with the fall of the emperor and ushered in the modern world.

Preface

BOOK I: AEGEAN PRELUDE: 3500–1000 B.C.

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Chapter I. CRETE

  I. The Mediterranean

  II. The Rediscovery of Crete

  III. The Reconstruction of a Civilization

      1. Men and Women

      2. Society

      3. Religion

      4. Culture

  IV. The Fall of Cnossus

Chapter II. BEFORE AGAMEMNON

  I. Schliemann

  II. In the Palaces of the Kings

  III. Mycenaean Civilization

  IV. Troy

Chapter III. THE HEROIC AGE

  I. The Achaeans

  II. The Heroic Legends

  III. Homeric Civilization

      1. Labor

      2. Morals

      3. The Sexes

      4. The Arts

      5. The State

  IV. The Siege of Troy

  V. The Home-Coming

  VI. The Dorian Conquest

BOOK II: THE RISE OF GREECE: 1000–480 B.C.

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Chapter IV. SPARTA

  I. The Environment of Greece

  II. Argos

  III. Laconia

      1. The Expansion of Sparta

      2. Sparta’s Golden Age

      3. Lycurgus

      4. The Lacedaemonian Constitution

      5. The Spartan Code

      6. An Estimate of Sparta

  IV. Forgotten States

  V. Corinth

  VI. Megara

  VII. Aegina and Epidaurus

Chapter V. ATHENS

  I. Hesiod’s Boeotia

  II. Delphi

  III. The Lesser States

  IV. Attica

      1. The Background of Athens

      2. Athens under the Oligarchs

      3. The Solonian Revolution

      4. The Dictatorship of Peisistratus

      5. The Establishment of Democracy

Chapter VI. THE GREAT MIGRATION

  I. Causes and Ways

  II. The Ionian Cyclades

  III. The Dorian Overflow

  IV. The Ionian Dodecapolis

      1. Miletus and the Birth of Greek Philosophy

      2. Polycrates of Samos

      3. Heracleitus of Ephesus

      4. Anacreon of Teos

      5. Chios, Smyrna, Phocaea

  V. Sappho of Lesbos

  VI. The Northern Empire

Chapter VII. THE GREEKS IN THE WEST

  I. The Sybarites

  II. Pythagoras of Crotona

  III. Xenophanes of Elea

  IV. From Italy to Spain

  V. Sicily

  VI. The Greeks in Africa

Chapter VIII. THE GODS OF GREECE

  I. The Sources of Polytheism

  II. An Inventory of the Gods

      1. The Lesser Deities

      2. The Olympians

  III. Mysteries

  IV. Worship

  V. Superstitions

  VI. Oracles

  VII. Festivals

  VIII. Religion and Morals

Chapter IX. THE COMMON CULTURE OF EARLY GREECE

  I. Individualism of the State

  II. Letters

  III. Literature

  IV. Games

  V. Arts

      1. Vases

      2. Sculpture

      3. Architecture

      4. Music and the Dance

      5. The Beginnings of the Drama

  VI. Retrospect

Chapter X. THE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM

  I. Marathon

  II. Aristides and Themistocles

  III. Xerxes

  IV. Salamis

BOOK III: THE GOLDEN AGE: 480–399 B.C.

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Chapter XI. PERICLES AND THE DEMOCRATIC EXPERIMENT

  I. The Rise of Athens

  II. Pericles

  III. Athenian Democracy

      1. Deliberation

      2. Law

      3. Justice

      4. Administration

Chapter XII. WORK AND WEALTH IN ATHENS

  I. Land and Food

  II. Industry

  III. Trade and Finance

  IV. Freemen and Slaves

  V. The War of the Classes

Chapter XIII. THE MORALS AND MANNERS OF THE ATHENIANS

  I. Childhood

  II. Education

  III. Externals

  IV. Morals

  V. Character

  VI. Premarital Relations

  VII. Greek Friendship

  VIII. Love and Marriage

  IX. Woman

  X. The Home

  XI. Old Age

Chapter XIV. THE ART OF PERICLEAN GREECE

  I. The Ornamentation of Life

  II. The Rise of Painting

  III. The Masters of Sculpture

      1. Methods

      2. Schools

      3. Pheidias

  IV. The Builders

      1. The Progress of Architecture

      2. The Reconstruction of Athens

      3. The Parthenon

Chapter XV. THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING

  I. The Mathematicians

  II. Anaxagoras

  III. Hippocrates

  The Hippocratic Oath

Chapter XVI. THE CONFLICT OF PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION

  I. The Idealists

  II. The Materialists

  III. Empedocles

  IV. The Sophists

  V. Socrates

      1. The Mask of Silenus

      2. Portrait of a Gadfly

      3. The Philosophy of Socrates

Chapter XVII. THE LITERATURE OF THE GOLDEN AGE

  I. Pindar

  II. The Dionysian Theater

  III. Aeschylus

  IV. Sophocles

  V. Euripides

      1. The Plays

      2. The Dramatist

      3. The Philosopher

      4. The Exile

  VI. Aristophanes

      1. Aristophanes and the War

      2. Aristophanes and the Radicals

      3. The Artist and the Thinker

  VII. The Historians

Chapter XVIII. THE SUICIDE OF GREECE

  I. The Greek World in the Age of Pericles

  II. How the Great War Began

  III. From the Plague to the Peace

  IV. Alcibiades

  V. The Sicilian Adventure

  VI. The Triumph of Sparta

  VII. The Death of Socrates

BOOK IV: THE DECLINE AND FALL OF GREEK FREEDOM 399–322 B.C.

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Chapter XIX. PHILIP

  I. The Spartan Empire

  II. Epaminondas

  III. The Second Athenian Empire

  IV. The Rise of Syracuse

  V. The Advance of Macedonia

  VI. Demosthenes

Chapter XX. LETTERS AND ARTS IN THE FOURTH CENTURY

  I. The Orators

  II. Isocrates

  III. Xenophon

  IV. Apelles

  V. Praxiteles

  VI. Scopas and Lysippus

Chapter XXI. THE ZENITH OF PHILOSOPHY

  I. The Scientists

  II. The Socratic Schools

      1. Aristippus

      2. Diogents

  III. Plato

      1. The Teacher

      2. The Artist

      3. The Metaphysician

      4. The Moralist

      5. The Utopian

      6. The Lawmaker

  IV. Aristotle

      1. Wander-Years

      2. The Scientist

      3. The Philosopher

      4. The Statesman

Chapter XXII. ALEXANDER

  I. The Soul of a Conqueror

  II. The Paths of Glory

  III. The Death of a God

  IV. The End of an Age

BOOK V: THE HELLENISTIC DISPERSION: 322–146 B.C.

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Chapter XXIII. GREECE AND MACEDON

  I. The Struggle for Power

  II. The Struggle for Wealth

  III. The Morals of Decay

  IV. Revolution in Sparta

  V. The Ascendancy of Rhodes

Chapter XXIV. HELLENISM AND THE ORIENT

  I. The Seleucid Empire

  II. Seleucid Civilization

  III. Pergamum

  IV. Hellenism and the Jews

Chapter XXV. EGYPT AND THE WEST

  I. The Kings’ Register

  II. Socialism under the Ptolemies

  III. Alexandria

  IV. Revolt

  V. Sunset in Sicily

Chapter XXVI. BOOKS

  I. Libraries and Scholars

  II. The Books of the Jews

  III. Menander

  IV. Theocritus

  V. Polybius

Chapter XXVII. THE ART OF THE DISPERSION

  I. A Miscellany

  II. Painting

  III. Sculpture

  IV. Commentary

Chapter XXVIII. THE CLIMAX OF GREEK SCIENCE

  I. Euclid and Apollonius

  II. Archimedes

  III. Aristarchus, Hipparchus, Eratosthenes

  IV. Theophrastus, Herophilus, Erasistratus

Chapter XXIX. THE SURRENDER OF PHILOSOPHY

  I. The Skeptical Attack

  II. The Epicurean Escape

  III. The Stoic Compromise

  IV. The Return to Religion

Chapter XXX. THE COMING OF ROME

  I. Pyrrhus

  II. Rome the Liberator

  III. Rome the Conqueror

EPILOGUE - Our Greek Heritage

Glossary of Foreign Words

Bibliography

Notes