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225 × 145 × 20 mm
208 pages
68 illustrations, 57 in colour
14 May 2018
Lost Civilizations

The Greeks Lost Civilizations Philip Matyszak

This is ancient Greece – but not as we know it. Few people today appreciate that Greek civilization was spread across the Middle East, and that there were Greek cities in the foothills of the Himalayas. This book tells the story of the Greeks outside Greece, such as Sappho, the poet from Lesbos; Archimedes, a native of Syracuse; and Herodotus, who was born in Asia Minor as a subject of the Persian Empire.

From the earliest times of prehistoric Greek colonies around the Black Sea, through settlements in Spain and Italy, to the conquests of Alexander and the glories of the Hellenistic era, Philip Matyszak illuminates the Greek soldiers, statesmen, scientists and philosophers who, though they seldom – if ever – set foot on the Greek mainland, nevertheless laid the foundations of what we call 'Greek culture' today. Instead of following the well-worn path of describing Athenian democracy and Spartan militarism, this book offers a fresh look at what it meant to be Greek by telling the story of the Greeks abroad, from India to Spain.

‘A colourful cavalcade of soldiers, scholars, philosophers and political leaders who spread Greek culture so far afield populate the pages of The Greeks, and thanks for Matyszak’s crisp prose and wry humour, his tale never flags.’ — Minerva

‘In this book Matyszak deliberately ignores the well-trodden 5th C BC on mainland Greece and concentrates on the Greeks of the diaspora. This spans a period of nearly 1900 years between 700 BC and AD 1200 and a geographic spread from Spain to Bactria. To cover this at all in less than 200 pages is a tour de force and to cover it with such a breadth of knowledge and with such clarity is a triumph. The sixty-eight, mainly coloured, illustrations are attractive and relevant, and the timeline at the start of the book is an essential tool . . . The Greeks is a masterful and eminently readable account of an unfamiliar theme and is excellent value for money.’ — Classics For All

‘Matyszak's book covers 2,000 years of Greek history: from the prehistorical settlements in the shores of the Black Sea to the capture of the medieval Greek capital of Constantinople by Moslem Turks in 1453. The Greeks is a breath of fresh air in the stories it tells about the Greeks who lived primarily outside of mainland Greece: Southern Italy, Sicily, north Africa, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, France, Spain, Black Sea, and Asia Minor . . . Timely and riveting.’ — Counterpunch

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Philip Matyszak teaches ancient history for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education. He has written extensively on the ancient world, including Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day (2008), Greek and Roman Myths: A Guide to the Classical Stories (2010) and most recently Sparta: Fall of a Warrior Nation (2017).