The Greeks and Greek Civilization

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For the first time in English, one of the greatest masterpieces of historical writing: 'Every civilized library must have a copy.' CHRISTOPHER STACE, Telegraph 'A wonderfully fat and vivid reminder of the splendour and miseries of Hellenism...enlightened and enlightening, a joy to read, delicious with anecdotes and a manifest labour of love, candour and openmindedness.' FREDERIC RAPHAEL, Sunday Times Jacob Burckhardt (1818-97) was one of the greatest historians of classical and Renaissance art, architecture and culture. Though he died over a hundred years ago, his superb prose is as fresh and readable today as it was at the end of the nineteenth century. The Greeks and Greek Civilization describes, in glorious, elegant detail, the lives of the ancient Greeks and the origins of their culture.The book has never appeared before in English. Oswyn Murray, the book's editor, and his translator, Sheila Stern, have been labouring for many years on the text and now, finally, have ready an authoritative version which, in Oswyn Murray's words, 'remains the best account of Greek civilization.' 'His changes in tone, the sudden plunge from the grandest to the most minor themes, the zooming in and out from the broadest panoramas to a particular carpet on a particular floor, the massiveness of his project and the lightness with which he accomplishes it, not to mention his vast knowledge, his clear style, his precision and his general surefootedness, are what makes Burckhardt great in a way that is not so different from the way Shakespeare is great or Rembrandt or Beethoven. He created vast spaces in history, heights and depths, enormous ranges of pitch and timbre, sunny clearings in the midst of impenetrable gloom...Thanks to the efforts of Oswyn Murray and Sheila Stern, a Great Blue Whale is swimming for the first time in English waters. Tiddlers everywhere should be pleased to accept the invitation to swim in its posthumous wake.' JAMES DAVIDSON, London Review of Books