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Early World History

A course guide for students in Early World History courses

Plato (428-347 BC)

Rethinking Plato: A Cartesian Quest for the Real Plato

No new book on Plato can surprise Plato scholars. For there is nothing new under the sun, nor inside the cave. We have grown complacent in our preconceptions of Plato, habitually adopting the web of belief that comes with the canonical corpus. Yet it is not the web itself that stands in the way of progress, but the tendency to adopt it without question. Rethinking Plato is, as the subtitle suggests, a Cartesian quest for the real Plato. What makes it Cartesian is that it looks for Plato independently of the prevailing paradigms on where we are supposed to find him. The result of the quest is a complete pedagogical platform on Plato.

The Form of Politics: Aristotle and Plato on Friendship

For statesmen, friendship is the lingua franca of politics. Considering the connections between personal and political friendship, John von Heyking's The Form of Politics interprets the texts of Plato and Aristotle and emphasizes the role that friendship has in enduring philosophical and contemporary political contexts. Beginning with a discussion on virtue-friendship, described by Aristotle and Plato as an agreement on what qualifies as the pursuit of good, The Form of Politics demonstrates that virtue and political friendship form a paradoxical relationship in which political friendships need to be nourished by virtue-friendships that transcend the moral and intellectual horizons of the political society. Von Heyking then examines Aristotle's ethical and political writings – which are set within the boundaries of political life – and Plato's dialogues on friendship in Lysis and the Laws, which characterize political friendship as festivity.

Imperial Plato: Albinus, Maximus, Apuleius

Imperial Plato presents new translations of three introductions to Plato's thought from the second half of the second century CE: Dissertation 11 of Maximus of Tyre, the Introduction to Plato by Albinus of Smyrna, and On Plato and his Teaching by Apuleius of Madaurus. These three presentations of Plato's ideas—one a Greek speech in the sophistic style of the time, another a Greek dialectic introduction with a suggested reading order for Plato's dialogues, and one a lengthy doxological study in Latin—are examples by three distinct authors using divergent methods of the assorted ways in which Plato and Platonism were understood and discussed during the revival of Hellenism and Greek Philosophy, and the period of the Roman Empire often referred to as the Second Sophistic.

Plato: a Guide for the Perplexed

It is widely agreed that Plato laid the foundations for the whole history of western thought and, well over 2000 years later, his work is still studied by every student of philosophy. Yet his thought and writings continue to evoke perplexity in readers; and perplexity (aporia) is itself a characteristic of many of his writings, a recurrent motif of his thought, and apparently an important stage one must pass through along the path to wisdom that Plato presents. Plato: A Guide for the Perplexed is a clear and thorough account of Plato's philosophy, his major works, and ideas, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex thought of this key philosopher.

Plato: Political Philosophy

Each volume provides a clear, accessible, historically informed account of a thinker's work, focusing on a reassessment of the central ideas and arguments. The series encourages scholars and students to link their study of classic texts to current debates in political philosophy and social theory. In this authoritative general account of Plato's political thought, a leading scholar of ancient Greek philosophy explores its key themes: education, democracy, and its shortcomings, the role of knowledge in government, utopia and the idea of community, money and its grip on the psyche, ideological uses of religion. Between them, these define what Plato considered to be the fundamental challenges for politics. All remain live issues. On all of them, Plato took radical and uncomfortable positions. The radicalism derives above all from his reflections on the fate of Socrates at the hands of the Athenian democracy in 399 BC.

Plato

Plato (c.428-347 BCE) stands at the beginning of many debates that have continued throughout the history of philosophy. His literary career spanned fifty years and the influence of his ideas and those of his followers pervaded philosophy throughout antiquity. Andrew Mason's lucid and engaging introduction, draws on recent scholarship to offer a fresh general survey of Plato's philosophy.

Greek Society

Status in Classical Athens

Ancient Greek literature, Athenian civic ideology, and modern classical scholarship have all worked together to reinforce the idea that there were three neatly defined status groups in classical Athens--citizens, slaves, and resident foreigners. But this book--the first comprehensive account of status in ancient democratic Athens--clearly lays out the evidence for a much broader and more complex spectrum of statuses, one that has important implications for understanding Greek social and cultural history.

Exploring the World of the Ancient Greeks

Print book

The Gods of Ancient Greece

This book presents a synchronic and diachronic view of the gods as they functioned in Greek culture until the triumph of Christianity.

A Companion to Science, Technology, and Medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome

Brings a fresh perspective to the study of science, technology, and medicine in the ancient world, with 60 chapters examining these topics from a variety of critical and technical perspectives Begins coverage in 600 BCE and includes sections on the later Roman Empire and beyond.

War in Ancient Greece

The Athenian Thucydides (c490-395BC) wrote this history of the Peloponnesian War between the Spartans and the Athenians, believing that it would be a greater war than any that had preceded it, and his version of events would serve as a possession for all time. The fragmentary nature of ancient Greece increased the frequency of conflict, but conversely limited the scale of warfare. Unable to maintain professional armies, the city-states relied on their own citizens to fight, reducing the potential duration of campaigns. The rise of Athens and Sparta as preeminent powers, however, led directly to the Peloponnesian War, which saw further development of the nature of warfare, strategy and tactics. Fought between leagues of cities dominated by Athens and Sparta, the increased manpower and financial resources increased the scale, and allowed the diversification of warfare.

The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks

David Konstan, however, argues that the emotions of the ancient Greeks were in some significant respects different from our own, and that recognizing these differences is important to understanding ancient Greek literature and culture. With The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks, Konstan reexamines the traditional assumption that the Greek terms designating the emotions correspond more or less to those of today.

Rituals of Death and Dying in Modern and Ancient Greece: Writing History From a Female Perspective

This research, therefore, combines ethnography with historical sources to examine the relationship between modern Greek death rituals and ancient written and visual sources on the subject of death and gender. The central theme of this work is women's role in connection with the cult of the dead in ancient and modern Greece. The research is based on studies in ancient history combined with the author's fieldwork and anthropological analysis of today's Mediterranean societies. Since death rituals have focal and lasting importance and reflect the gender relations within a society, the institutions surrounding death may function as a critical vantage point from which to view society. The comparison is based on certain religious festivals that are dedicated to deceased persons and on other death rituals. Using laments, burials, and the ensuing memorial rituals, the relationship between the cult dedicated to deceased mediators in both ancient and modern society is analyzed. The research shows how the official ideological rituals are influenced by the domestic rituals people perform for their own dead, and vice versa, that the modern domestic rituals simultaneously reflect the public performances.

Ancient Greece

In this compact yet comprehensive history of ancient Greece, Thomas R. Martin brings alive Greek civilization from its Stone Age roots to the fourth century B.C. Focusing on the development of the Greek city-state and the society, culture, and architecture of Athens in its Golden Age, Martin integrates political, military, social, and cultural history in a book that will appeal to students and general readers alike. Now in its second edition, this classic work now features new maps and illustrations, a new introduction, and updates throughout. “A limpidly written, highly accessible, and comprehensive history of Greece and its civilizations from prehistory through the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire.

Olive Cultivation in Ancient Greece: Seeking the Ancient Economy

Lin Foxhall explores the cultivation of the olive as an extended case study for understanding ancient Greek agriculture in its landscape, economic, social, and political settings. Evidence from written sources, archaeology, and visual images is assembled to focus on what was special about the cultivation and processing of the olive in classical and archaic Greece, and how and why these practices differed from Roman ones. This investigation opens up new ways of thinking about the economies of the archaic and classical Greek world.

Law and Drama in Ancient Greece

The relationship between law and literature is rich and complex. In the past three and a half decades, the topic has received much attention from literary critics and legal scholars studying modern literature. Despite the prominence of law and justice in Ancient Greek literature, there has been little interest among Classical scholars in the connections between law and drama. This is the first collection of essays to approach Greek tragedy and comedy from a legal perspective

The Symposion in Ancient Greek Society and Thought

The symposium was a key cultural phenomenon in ancient Greece. This book investigates its place in ancient Greek society and thought by exploring the rhetorical dynamics of its representations in literature and art. Across genres, individual Greeks constructed visions of the party and its performances that offered persuasive understandings of the event and its participants. Sympotic representations thus communicated ideas which, set within broader cultural conversations, could possess a discursive edge. Hence, at the symposium, sympotic styles and identities might be promoted, critiqued, and challenged. In the public imagination, the ethics of Greeks and foreigners might be interrogated and political attitudes intimated. Symposia might be suborned into historical narratives about struggles for power. And for philosophers, writing a Symposium was itself a rhetorical act. Investigating the symposium's discursive potential enhances understanding of how the Greeks experienced and conceptualized the symposium and demonstrate its contribution to the Greek thought world.

The Myths of Fiction : Studies in the Canonical Greek Novels

The tradition of historical literature begun by Herodotus and Thucydides molded the early Greek novel. As the genre evolved, however, Greek novels moved away from their historical roots to become more heavily influenced by mythological traditions. Edmund Cueva's new book examines the literary uses to which the ancient novelists put their mythological material. His work offers a stimulating discussion of myths and their rise to prominence as the key feature of the fully developed Greek novel. He also takes into account the impact of the Roman conquest on the development of the Greek novel, the last true literary creation of the Greek world. The Myths of Fiction will interest scholars of Greek literature, imperial history, literary myth, intertextuality, and comparative literature.

Women in the Classical World

Information about women is scattered throughout the fragmented mosaic of ancient history: the vivid poetry of Sappho survived antiquity on remnants of damaged papyrus; the inscription on a beautiful fourth century B.C.E. grave praises the virtues of Mnesarete, an Athenian woman who died young; a great number of Roman wives were found guilty of poisoning their husbands, but was it accidental food poisoning, or disease, or something more sinister. Apart from the legends of Cleopatra, Dido, and Lucretia, and images of graceful maidens dancing on urns, the evidence about the lives of women of the classical world--visual, archaeological, and written--has remained uncollected and uninterpreted. Now, the lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched Women in the Classical World lifts the curtain on the women of ancient Greece and Rome, exploring the lives of slaves and prostitutes, Athenian housewives, and Rome's imperial family. The first book on classical women to give equal weight to written texts and artistic representations, it brings together a great wealth of materials--poetry, vase painting, legislation, medical treatises, architecture, religious and funerary art, women's ornaments, historical epics, political speeches, even ancient coins--to present women in the historical and cultural context of their time. Written by leading experts in the fields of ancient history and art history, women's studies, and Greek and Roman literature, the book's chronological arrangement allows the changing roles of women to unfold over a thousand-year period, beginning in the eighth century B.C.E. Both the art and the literature highlight women's creativity, sexuality and coming of age, marriage and childrearing, religious and public roles, and other themes. Fascinating chapters report on the wild behavior of Spartan and Etruscan women and the mythical Amazons; the changing views of the female body presented in male-authored gynecological treatises; the new woman represented by the love poetry of the late Republic and Augustan Age; and the traces of upper- and lower-class life in Pompeii, miraculously preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. Provocative and surprising, Women in the Classical World is a masterly foray into the past, and a definitive statement on the lives of women in ancient Greece and Rome.

Aristotle (385-322 BC)

The Form of Politics: Aristotle and Plato on Friendship

For statesmen, friendship is the lingua franca of politics. Considering the connections between personal and political friendship, John von Heyking's The Form of Politics interprets the texts of Plato and Aristotle and emphasizes the role that friendship has in enduring philosophical and contemporary political contexts. Beginning with a discussion on virtue-friendship, described by Aristotle and Plato as an agreement on what qualifies as the pursuit of good, The Form of Politics demonstrates that virtue and political friendship form a paradoxical relationship in which political friendships need to be nourished by virtue-friendships that transcend the moral and intellectual horizons of the political society. Von Heyking then examines Aristotle's ethical and political writings – which are set within the boundaries of political life – and Plato's dialogues on friendship in Lysis and the Laws, which characterize political friendship as festivity.

Aristotle: His Life and School

This definitive biography shows that Aristotle's philosophy is best understood on the basis of a firm knowledge of his life and of the school he founded. First published in Italian, and now translated, updated, and expanded for English readers, this concise chronological narrative is the most authoritative account of Aristotle's life and his Lyceum available in any language. Gathering, distilling, and analyzing all the evidence and previous scholarship, Carlo Natali, one of the world's leading Aristotle scholars, provides a masterful synthesis that is accessible to students yet filled with evidence and original interpretations that specialists will find informative and provocative. Cutting through the controversy and confusion that have surrounded Aristotle's biography, Natali tells the story of Aristotle's eventful life and sheds new light on his role in the foundation of the Lyceum.

Subverting Aristotle: Religion, History, and Philosophy in Early Modern Science

Yet 'for centuries, Christian culture embraced Aristotelian thought as its own, reconciling his philosophy with theology and church doctrine. The image of Aristotle as a source of religious truth withered in the seventeenth century, the same century in which he ceased being an authority for natural philosophy. 'In this fresh study of the complicated origins of revolutionary science in the age of Bacon, Hobbes, and Boyle, Martin traces one of the most important developments in Western European history: the rise and fall of Aristotelianism from the eleventh to the eighteenth century. Medieval theologians reconciled Aristotelian natural philosophy with Christian dogma in a synthesis that dominated religious thought for centuries.

Aristotle's 'Metaphysics': A Reader's Guide

Aristotle's Metaphysics is an extremely rich and important philosophical work that continues to inspire reflection and debate. Indeed, no philosophical work has been more influential. Yet, Metaphysics is also notoriously complex. Because the work is an inquiry that seeks to discover solutions to problems rather than to defend doctrines, readers often struggle to follow the text and to understand its final solutions. This book focuses on the fascinating metaphysical issues that Aristotle is addressing.

Aristotle's Poetics: Edition Major of the Greek Text with Historical Introductions and Philological Commentaries

This important new edition major of Aristotle's Poetics is based on all the primary sources and is accompanied by a detailed critical apparatus. The introductory chapters provide important new insights about the transmission of the text to the present day and especially the significance of the Syro-Arabic tradition.

Aristotle

Aristotle is often underrated in educational circles but the impact of his philosophy and his actions are evident in the schools and universities around us today. Aristotle developed the first proper university that had different departments and vast collections of texts and artifacts. His philosophy has also influenced the greatest minds since his time, from Aquinas to today's logicians, rationalists, and empiricists.

Aristotle

Sir David Ross was one of the most distinguished and influential Aristotelians of this century; his study has long been established as an authoritative survey of the life, work and philosophy of Aristotle.This clear and lucid account contains useful summaries of theories and arguments, with brief, suggestive critical comments. Aristotle's work encompassed all the branches of science and learning which were central to the intellectual life of the ancient world: logic, the philosophy of nature, biology, psychology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, rhetoric and poetics. Aristotle's borrowings from his predecessors, and his own fundamental influence on later philosophy, are also examined.

The Symposion in Ancient Greek Society and Thought

The symposium was a key cultural phenomenon in ancient Greece. This book investigates its place in ancient Greek society and thought by exploring the rhetorical dynamics of its representations in literature and art. Across genres, individual Greeks constructed visions of the party and its performances that offered persuasive understandings of the event and its participants. Sympotic representations thus communicated ideas which, set within broader cultural conversations, could possess a discursive edge. Hence, at the symposium, sympotic styles and identities might be promoted, critiqued, and challenged. In the public imagination, the ethics of Greeks and foreigners might be interrogated and political attitudes intimated. Symposia might be suborned into historical narratives about struggles for power. And for philosophers, writing a Symposium was itself a rhetorical act. Investigating the symposium's discursive potential enhances understanding of how the Greeks experienced and conceptualized the symposium and demonstrate its contribution to the Greek thought world.