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The Birth of Classical EuropeAn innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians; the first volume in the Penguin History of EuropeThe influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives From calendars to democracy to the very languages we speak Western civilization owes a debt to these classical societies Yet the Greeks and Romans. Reading a lot of historical fiction I’m starting to want to know about certain periods in European history that I’m aware of but don’t fully understand after a little search came across this epic series I hope by Penguin which covers 7 books entitled “Penguin history of Europe“ start with the above titled which in it’s own words tells us “This history of classical Europe will travel from the so called Minoan civilisation of Crete to the later Roman Empire from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC to the early 5th century AD”The book is an easy read giving mostly an overview of the civilisations of the region backed up with archaeological recordfindings or written historical text from the period or later Some of the early history is retold through later recorded historians the text advises us these are incomplete in places but the authors have compiled it all giving references as they go As a result some periods are expanded upon better recordedevidenced go into much depth mostly periods which are perhaps not so well known so I felt that I was learning all the time whilst having what I already knew reinforced put into perspective in a timeline Many civilisations are mentioned throughout which is great as ive heard of many of them through other works but couldn’t always place them geographically or knew much about them in terms of their overall placeroleimpact in history Throughout the book are short tie ins with other periods of history for instance the GreekTurkish war C 1920 22 which ended nearly 3500years of Greeks living throughout Asia Minor Spliced between the text are figures maps plates adding clarification as we go At the back of the book we have a date chart an index also further reading on the subject highlighting chapter by chapter where the authors have drawn their insight knowledge from In all a well put together informative text which gives a great overview for a beginner on the subject matter or even someone with some experience who wants to join the dots like meFollowing gives a flavour of each chapter Bare with me this might go on a bitI made notes as I went along skip to the end perhaps if you jus want the score or don’t want to know any detail cant really say spoilers ahead as its History after allThe book is broken into nine recognisable eras chapters our journey starting C 1750BC with the Minoans Mycenaeans Trojans ending around 1100BC where the ancient Greeks hold sway in the region The foundation of Europe so we are told starts in Create with the palaces of Knossos other city complexes found on the island Ancient Greek text is recovered from wax tablets on the island outdating that found on the mainland so the Minoans Of Crete are credited with being the first Europeans which as traders centred around the Aegean is a credible factor for me Further evidence shows there to be a lot of migration overlapping of the Mycenaeans Minoans which points towards the two cultures being the forerunners to ancient Greece We’re next taken to the Mediterranean The Levant Middle Europe C 110BC – 800BC where we start in the near East Today’s Modern Turkey the Middle East work our way through the turmoil of the region no difference there then for the period in uestion which is much to do with the collapse of the Hittites the civil wars takeovers of Egypt from Libyans then the Nubians A transition from Bronze to Iron Age is also relevant to this period of course the tradeexpansion of peoples across the Aegean We learn about the creation of Israel through archaeological evidence not the fictional work of the bible the expansion of the Phoenicians the rise of states in the Near East from mere cities along with their fall subseuent impact across the Aegean as trade routes disappear rise across the centuries Middle Europe gets a mention which is everything North of Greece encompassing France Spain everything in between then there’s the Atlantic System Atlantic Coast British Irish Isles finally the Nordic System Archeologically not a lot was going on in any of these three regions during that period in terms of development from a Bronze age era all the action is going on around the Aegean waters the Eastern Mediterranean which is mostly accredited to agriculture tradinginteraction of the civilisations presentChapter 3 takes us from 800 480BC with the focus on the Greeks Phoenicians the Western Mediterranean we experience evidence of a shift in Ancient Greece where the rise of the Greek Polis Citizen states occurs along with the orientalising of Greek culture and society which is influenced immensely during the earlier part of the period via the near East namely alphabet from the Phoenicians pottery designs from Egyptians deities from the remnants of the Hittites the period sees an urbanisation of the city states from rural enclaves population explodes a connected culture rises in the region which builds throughout until the clash with the growing Persian Empire C 500BC In the west we experience expansion in North Africa Iberia through the Phoenicians who originate from modern day Lebanon region by their establishing a series of trading posts set up to tap into exploit natural resources in Iberia Copper Iron Silver Gold lead thereafter along the Atlantic coast Tin trade whilst the Greeks begin to colonise westward to first Sicily southern Italy beyond to Marseilles which they founded C600BC It’s these interactions with local populous that sees technology culture begin to take root flourish in Western Europe The 8th 6th centuries BC was undoubtedly a critical stage in the development of Europe local cultures continued to evolve some dramatically like the Etruscans but the real story is the connectivity between the cultures by 500BC the Mediterranean can be thought of as a single cultural worldThe next few chapters see a split in EastWest Europe first Chapter 4 we concentrate on the Greeks Europe Asia 480 334BC We start with the defeat of the Persian Empire which is wrapped up in 2 neat paragraphs ive read a whole series of 6 books about this war Killer of Men Then the next dozen or so is about the Athenian Empire how by stealth for want of a better word naval power they set about being the domineering force in the Aegean Greek World The Spartans than enter the stage as the saviours of the Greeks from the Athenian Empire the Peloponnese War runs in earnest for 30 years its frontline running from the Greek states in Asia Minor to Sicily with hundreds of Greek polis taking part in the conflict the Athenians are finally defeated by virtue of Spartan assistance from Persian Satraps in Asia Minor Persia finally reclaiming all the Greek city Polis Ionians in Asia Minor after they Sparta go to war The Spartans have a period as being top dog in Ancient Greece before they too are toppled by the Thebans its a period of rise fall of individual Greek Polis who try to effect power over their near neighbours Once all the Greeks had beat each other into submission the Macedonians under Philip I defeated the Northernborder Greek city states in turn before defeating a combined AthenianThebian army Its this period C340 330BC where Europe is spoken of in broader terms as there was than jus the Greek culture in the region with the Macedonians the Illyrians Modern day Yugoslavian region Calendars are also discussed in this chapter which is very interesting as there were no conforming timelines between polis history is recalled by events as are claims to landstitles by displaced peoples with all timelines leading back to the fall of Troy Bronze Age HeroesChapter 5 we’re still in the East with Alexander the Great the Hellenistic World 334 146BC heard of him Not so much the world after him but the book portrays that Alexander in his own view in conuering the Persian Empire now controlled the entire inhabitable world With the spread of Hellenistic Greek Macedonian culture in Asia Minor occurring for the next 300 years in doing so it’s claimed by the authors that Europe in reality stretched as far as the Indus in the East the Nile in the South It’s a period when conversing in Greek or worshipping Greek Gods meant power all bar a small percentage of officials in the region were GreekMacedonian as a result the Hellenistic culture was embraced by the populous long after Alexander was gone by those that filled the power void left by him as his empire fragmented Ptolemies Attalids Seleucids Parthians Bactrians Antigonids – all founded by former satraps of Alexander Greek scholars mathematicians of the period are discussed the great leaps they made in their fields especially in the recordingdating of their pre history is a fascinating read The story then shifts to the La Tene Celts their name origins from the Eastside of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland we follow their expansionmigration across Central Europe subseuent battles with Rome sacked 386BC the Greeks C279BC again only a small flavour Towards the end of the chapter we have the Romans appear on the scene who have been slowly expanding along the Adriatic coast we follow their interactions with the Greeks first as benefactors aligning against Macedon C214BC with the help of the Aetolians a cycle which is continued amongst different Greek states until come 146BC Rome has picked off the Greek states wiped Corinth off the face of the earth The next chapter switches us to the West RomeRome Carthage the West C 500 146BC – We have already read that Rome superseded the Greeks in the East Mediterranean come 146BC through the Greek side of things now we switch to the Romans There is an opening caveat to this chapter about the origins early history of Rome in that much of the early history is taken from much later sources or from Greek historians when the Romans begin to expand into their territory Nevertheless the story begins C753BC with the founding of Rome by Trojan refugees the early originsmythsstorieslegends are discussed starting from Romulus the early kings to C507BC where Rome became a republic Archaeological facts are interspliced logically where possible as we go but as the caveat says it’s a fragmented history its an interesting start as we begin to understand the workings of the Roman culture it’s people how it expanded within the Italian peninsula in its informative years Once we get past C500BC the history is on solid ground the text illustrates how Rome expanded through firstly the Latin league alliances with local city states then through Roman colonies or in other cases subjugation The sack of Rome by the Gauls is covered we see from there on a determination that a repeat would not occur as they further expand through the Italian peninsula which is done in periods of rapidity We learn about their social economic historytransformation as well as the founding spread of Latin as a common Roman language the use of roads to foster their trade network most importantly that all subservient statescities didn’t pay taxeslevies to Rome but provided manpower for her armies which was the key to their success The last part of the chapter which is divided into three rationales talks of Carthage its Phoenician origins its early treaties with an expanding Rome as the senior partner C 507BC its affinity with the Greek World a further treaty with Rome C348BC where it looked to limit Rome’s trade expansion in Carthage’s Mediterranean world we all known about the Punic Wars the chapter is neatly wrapped up in 146BC with the destruction of both Carthage CorinthRome Italy Empire 146BC – AD14This chapter starts in a period where the Gauls were independent of Rome ends with Roman provinces over a huge part of Europe the Mediterranean which had major conseuences for how that territory was administrated We also see the change from a Republic to the days of an Emperor ruling Rome An event called the “social wars” is covered which revolved around the states on the Italian peninsula wanting at first Roman citizenship then a separate state to Rome the outcome was to see the Roman populous triple in size at wars end as most of Rome’s peninsula allies became Roman themselves which was originally what they craved In the East in 133BC the Attalid kingdom is beueathed to the Romans the province of Asia is born the next 40 years sees the annexing of the Seleucids kingdoms creating the province of Syria the state of Judea all rebellions Pontus in the region are crushed the old kingdoms of Alexander the Great in Asia Minor are absorbed into the Roman Empire To the West Massillia Marseilles reuest Roman assistance C125BC they too are absorbed into the Empire along with most of Southern France allowing the Italian peninsula to join up with their conuests in Iberia form a continuing border with the Middle European peoples Gauls La Tene Celts The status uo remains for a period then along comes a chap called Julius Caesar his history that of his heir Augustus is told by the end of his reign in 14AD the world is no longer spoke of in terms of Europe Asia or indeed Europe Asia Africa but that of the Roman Empire centred on Rome itself Roman historians travel the length breadth of the Empire to record history mention the peoples of the timeregions which is covered in this chapter as we learn of the Gauls Germans peoples North of the Rhine the BritishThe Roman Empire AD14 284 is the penultimate chapter swiftly takes us through the emperors talks of Roman expansion coming to a halt by the reign of Hadrian AD117 38 the empire now stretched from the hills of Cumbria to the Nile Delta the Portuguese coast to the desert plains of Jordan This period sees stability throughout bar a few minor revolts the chapter explains that this is simply it does detail its theoryfindings down to Romanisation which is driven by the local populous Its similar to how the Greek civilisation spread in the Near East where now everything of power is associated with Roman valuesgoodsculture The peoples in the West undergo the most change as before Rome there was no popular urbanisation there is even evidence of Celts in Gaul abandoning their own townsvillages in order to create a Latin gridwork one based on Roman architecture Languagebuildingspotterydesignculturegods are all affected the overriding factor is that all want to be part of the Roman civilisation during this period resulting in most of the pre Roman history of the region disappearing from our understanding In the East we experience a difference as the Greek culture is deep rooted cities are already established with urban population through the prior Greek expansion The overseas trade to India is revealed as is the conflicts with the Parthenon’s their successors but come the end of the chapter the main focus is about the spread of Christianity it’s impact in the Eastern regions of the Empire Talk of Europe in this chapter sees it split into 3 parts the first zone which is Roman the 2nd zone which is controlled by Roman client kingschiefs the 3rd zone which is all the rest outside of Roman control – simple reallyThe later Roman Empire AD284 425 – A complicated chapter if wanting to know about the fall of Rome as it wasn’t really 1 key event that brought it about but merely a drip drip effect over a long period of time which is retold for the reader Be it weak emperors too many in uick succession barbarians at the gates rise of Christianity the split between East West spiralling debt likely all of the above probably others too A fair bit of this chapter follows the religious activities of the time alongside the fragmentation of Roman power throughout it’s Empire mainly in the West It’s Christianity impact on the recordingwriting of history is explained too as it spreads throughout the region replacing the pagan ways of the Romans the Greeks We finish at the sack of Rome AD410 without much mention of the barbarians of the time which for me is uite an omissionI don’t read so much non fiction these days but found this an excellent entertaining read hope the rest of the series is as good as its helped pulled a lot of snippets of knowledge I had together to make semblance of it all FIVE Stars for me as it delivered exactly what I was looking for pitched at the right level of detail

Simon Price ↠ 6 READ

Did not emerge fully formed; their culture grew from an active engagement with a deeper past drawing on ancient myths and figures to shape vibrant civilizationsIn The Birth of Classical Europe the latest entry in the much acclaimed Penguin History of Europe historians Simon Price and Peter Thonemann present a fresh perspective on classical culture in a book full of revelations ab. An interesting bookAs a narrative it was fascinating The book covers a wide range of both time and place covering most of Europe However I found a few conclusions to be inadeuate badly explained or just plain wrongFor example in one chapter a burial of The Doctor is described a Celtic person who was cremated then the urn buried with trinkets and important items The book casually says the burial was probably of a man but shows no evidence to say why There were many of these little things throughout the bookAs a narrative like I said it was a fascinating read The book covers a wide range of subjects from the fall of Troy to the fall of Rome I uite enjoyed reading it despite its flaws

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READ The Birth of Classical Europe î PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ An innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians; the first volume in the Penguin History of EuropeThe influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives From calendars toOut civilizations we thought we knew In this impeccably researched and immensely readable history we see the ancient world unfold before us with its grand cast of characters stretching from the great Greeks of myth to the world shaping Caesars A landmark achievement The Birth of Classical Europe provides insight into an epoch that is both incredibly foreign and surprisingly famili. The Birth of Classical Europe A History from Troy to Augustine is a fantastic overview of Mediterranean and broader European history One advantage of reading modern books on history is you have the latest thoughts coming from recent archaeology technological development discoveries about languages and migrations etcI have read Freeman's Egypt Greece and Rome my review so this book was a good refresher for events but did a better job helping me understand the overall historical contexts of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor Anatolia during the time period covered Whereas Freeman tended to categorize his chapters by looking at art war technology and religion separately Price and Thonemann weave them together as a whole You can't understand what we know about say the Punic Wars without looking at who recorded the stories and the context they were writing in Price and Thonemann also look at what modern archaeology tells us about the lives and development There are also several inset boxes that explain the significance of an event or writing in modern history whether it be what influenced Machiavelli or Dante's writings Shakespeare the US's Founding Fathers or Nazi Germany's inspirationsWe start in the areas of Mycenae whose inhabitants also settled in Crete blending with a native culture that was growing and continue with the development of Classical Greece then through the later Greek periods Not too much time is spent on Philip and Alexander's Macedonian conuests We then look at the rise of Rome while also looking at the civilizations that existed in mainland Europe Gaul and Britain Carthage North Africa Persia and Syria The book concludes by looking at Christianity in the early Roman empire and the increasing divide between East and West Greek speakers vs Latin speakers It concludes with a look at St Augustine which having just read Confessions I found helpful to put him in a greater context Augustine is truly a post Roman a Latin speaker living in a Roman colony highly educated in the classics and trying to reconcile those classics and Roman history with biblical history If you want a general history of Europe and the Mediterranean with plenty of peeks at details without going too deep then this is your bookI greatly enjoyed it and give it 5 stars