The Story of Greece and Rome Tony Spawforth

Publication date:
11 Feb 2020
Yale University Press
392 pages: 197 x 127mm
27 color illus. + 5 maps
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The extraordinary story of the intermingled civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, spanning more than six millennia from the late Bronze Age to the seventh century

The magnificent civilization created by the ancient Greeks and Romans is the greatest legacy of the classical world. However, narratives about the “civilized” Greek and Roman empires resisting the barbarians at the gate are far from accurate. Tony Spawforth, an esteemed scholar, author, and media contributor, follows the thread of civilization through more than six millennia of history. His story reveals that Greek and Roman civilization, to varying degrees, was supremely and surprisingly receptive to external influences, particularly from the East.
From the rise of the Mycenaean world of the sixteenth century B.C., Spawforth traces a path through the ancient Aegean to the zenith of the Hellenic state and the rise of the Roman empire, the coming of Christianity and the consequences of the first caliphate. Deeply informed, provocative, and entirely fresh, this is the first and only accessible work that tells the extraordinary story of the classical world in its entirety.

Tony Spawforth is emeritus professor of ancient history at Newcastle University, presenter of eight archaeological documentaries in the Ancient Voices series on BBC2, and author of numerous books, including Greece and the Augustan Cultural Revolution.

“Interesting and rewarding read” —Guy de la Bédoyère, BBC History Magazine

Spawforth's book stands out in a crowded field of histories of Greece and Rome for its liveliness and wit —Daisy Dunn, Literary Review

“Here is a chronicle replete with tales of extraordinary ability and inventiveness, of courage and cowardice, artistic and creative genius, of astonishing savagery and the hubris and failings that brought about disaster, of the love and passions that have continued to course through history, changing little down to our own times” —Diana Bentley, Minerva

"A beautifully written account of ancient history, breathtaking in its ambition and rich in insight."—Professor Paul Cartledge, author of The Spartans

"An incredibly engaging read, written with scholarly precision and clarity. With great agility, Spawforth mixes literary, inscriptional and archaeological material and offers a nuanced understanding of how civilisations evolve."—Professor Michael Scott, author of Ancient Worlds

“Informed, informative and thoroughly enjoyable . . . A book that brings the past back to life.”—Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads