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Isaac Asimov ã 5 Read

The Greeks A Great Adventure

Read The Greeks A Great Adventure ä PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Chapter headings1 The Mycenaean Age2 The Iron Age3 The Age of Colonization4 The Rise of Sparta5 The Age of Tyrants6 The Rise of Ath. I remember this book fondly from reading a copy from the school library some 22 years ago and now that I at long last have a copy of my own I found that it held up wellAsimov entertainingly narrates in 18 chapters the history of Greece from the Mycenean Age ie Bronze Age though a brief mention of the still earlier Minoan Period is made down to the present at the time of publication 1964 The book as one might expect and possibly desire is heavily weighted towards coverage of classical Greece leaving only the last two chapters to cover the most recent two thousand yearsEverything you would expect to find is here the rise of the city states the Persian War the shifting alliances between the city states the Peloponnesian War the rise and decline of Sparta the Achaean League the fate of Syracuse the conuests of Alexander the Great and Hellenization of the ancient Near East the successor kingdoms and the rise of Rome Asimov being who he was all of the famous Greek playwrights historians and philosophers are introduced at appropriate points in the narrative alongside the political and military leaders who drive the conventional historical flow The author takes particular care to note the scientific observations of the ancient Greeks that have survived the test of time whether they were retained by later Western civilization or regrettably forgotten only to be recovered later sometimes after an interim of a thousand years or Asimov was an admitted classical Hellenophile and his enthusiasm for his subject suffuses practically every page Nevertheless his survey is far from an uncritical one even when it comes to his beloved Athenians and he does not hesitate to remind the reader that this foundation of Western culture was built propagated and sustained on the backs of slaves His disdain for the Spartans the most slavery dependent and anti democratic of all the Greek city states is sufficiently overt that it is amusing rather than insidious and a welcome counterweight to the recent fetishization of the Spartans in popular culture But Asimov is careful to give Sparta its dueThe parenthetical uestion mark is because one will note that Spartans has for decades been occasionally used for the name of a sports team but neither Athenians nor Macedonians are despite the comparable military achievements of Athens and the superior ones of Macedonia I suspect the Spartans have long been admired by reactionariesWhile targeted at older schoolchildren under the publisher s juvenile imprint the book can profitably be read by adults particularly those who lament the erosion of classical education Especially helpful is Asimov s offer of a phonetic pronunciation with accent marks of nearly every proper noun or proper adjective used on its first occurrence Because of the tortuous manner in which Greek names have made it into English explained by Asimov on page 5 in the only footnote in the book this is terribly useful I noted with interest that his pronunciation of Leonidas the famous Spartan king who fought at Thermopylae recently portrayed in film by Gerard Butler differs from that currently used instead placing stress on the second syllable lee on ih das as he renders it This pronunciation agrees with the only one offered in my copy of the American Heritage Dictionary fourth edition as it happens This may thus serve as a shibboleth identifying people who didn t get their ancient Greek history from 300I have three gripes with the book first there are so many proper nouns and adjectives used that later in the book one sometimes forgets how each should be spoken the only recourse is to go to the index figure out that the first usage usually but not always is accompanied by the pronunciation key and go look it up Had Asimov ever revised the work I would like to think he would have also placed pronunciations in the index or otherwise addressed this matterSecondly Asimov offers no sources for his research nor suggestions for further reading While Asimov was famous for his powers of retention and breadth of reading the notion that he prepared his manuscript from notes prompted only by his own recollections beggars belief As I have come to devour and of Asimov s nonfiction corpus I am disappointed to identify this as a systematic failing on his part and not just a symptom of this title being aimed at middle and high school children Even in his three autobiographiesmemoirs Asimov calls out only one work of history for praise and that is Edward Gibbon s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire As much of a self confessed narcissist as he was Asimov is too openly admiring of the work of others particularly scientists to sustain a charge that he felt a reader needed no books other than his own His reticence to cite his sources is therefore a mystery to me This is a point I d greatly like to discuss further with other AsimovophilesMy last complaint by contrast cannot be laid at the doorstep of the author I must lament that this book has been allowed to go out of print and never saw a paperback edition As it is one must haunt used bookstores or Marketplace for copies and most of those on offer seem to be former library books Even regrettably this title in particular goes for ridiculous prices at least on up to seventy dollars regardless of condition There are also multiple entries for it despite the fact that there is only one identifiable printing If you don t want to feel ripped off you may have to stake out the listings for weeks or months to snap up a good deal from a reputable seller If there is little to be gained commercially from resurrecting and reprinting this book and there may not be then I wish Asimov s estate would release the text into the public domain Or if they feel money must be made they should sell the rights to Dover PublicationsMy complaints with the work itself are minor however The Greeks was a joy to read and I look forward to reading the other thirteen or so history titles Asimov wrote for Houghton Mifflin

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Read The Greeks A Great Adventure ä PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Of Alexander15 The Twilight of Freedom16 The Hellenistic Monarchies17 Rome and Constantinople18 The Ottoman Empire19 Table of Date. Yes it would be nice to have listed sources but I m not going to really hold that against Isaac The book goes through the entire history of Greece up until 1964 when the book was written with the greatest portion dedicated to ancient Greece Not being up on my Greek history this book was a great way to start and set a foundation to build on if I want to delve a bit deeper It s fascinating with how much we owe to the Greeks I also had just finished reading the book on the Crusades which were also covered here and how they affected the Greeks Mainly the 4th Crusade that destroyed Constantinople and much of the existing Greek works Looking forward to reading of Asimov s histories

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Read The Greeks A Great Adventure ä PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ens7 Asia Minor8 The Persian War9 The Golden Age10 The Peloponnesian War11 Sparta In Control12 Decline13 Macedonia14 The Successors. Extremely well written account of Greek history from Mycenean all the way to current times Asimov s narration is very enjoyable