Ancient History & Civilisation

Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

In the city-states of Athens and Sparta and throughout the Greek islands, honors could be won in making love and war, and lives were rife with contradictions. By developing the alphabet, the Greeks empowered the reader, demystified experience, and opened the way for civil discussion and experimentation—yet they kept slaves. The glorious verses of the Iliad recount a conflict in which rage and outrage spur men to action and suggest that their “bellicose society of gleaming metals and rattling weapons” is not so very distant from more recent campaigns of “shock and awe.” And, centuries before Zorba, Greece was a land where music, dance, and freely flowing wine were essential to the high life. Granting equal time to the sacred and the profane, Cahill rivets our attention to the legacies of an ancient and enduring worldview.

INTRODUCTION: The Way They Came

Chapter 1 - THE WARRIOR. How to Fight

Chapter 2 - THE WANDERER. How to Feel

Chapter 3 - THE POET. How to Party

Chapter 4 - THE POLITICIAN AND THE PLAYWRIGHT. How to Rule

Chapter 5 - THE PHILOSOPHER. How to Think

Chapter 6 - THE ARTIST. How to See

Chapter 7 - THE WAY THEY WENT. Greco-Roman Meets Judeo-Christian

The Greek Alphabet

Pronouncing Glossary

Notes and Sources

Chronology

Illustrations