The three centuries which followed the conquests of Alexander are perhaps the most thrilling of all periods of ancient history. This was an age of cultural globalization: in the third century BC, a single language carried you from the Rhône to the Indus. A Celt from the lower Danube could serve in the mercenary army of a Macedonian king ruling in Egypt, and a Greek philosopher from Cyprus could compare the religions of the Brahmins and the Jews on the basis of
first-hand knowledge of both. Kings from Sicily to Tajikistan struggled to meet the challenges of ruling multi-ethnic states, and Greek city-states came together under the earliest federal governments known to history. The scientists of Ptolemaic Alexandria measured the circumference of the earth, while
pioneering Greek argonauts explored the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic coast of Africa.
Drawing on inscriptions, papyri, coinage, poetry, art, and archaeology, in this Very Short Introduction Peter Thonemann opens up the history and culture of the vast Hellenistic world, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) to the Roman conquest of the Ptolemaic kingdom (30 BC).
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Peter Thonemann teaches Greek and Roman history at Wadham College, Oxford. He is the author of The Maeander Valley: A Historical Geography from Antiquity to Byzantium (2011), the winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League's prestigious Runciman Prize 2012, and co-author (with Simon Price) of The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (2010). His most recent book is an introduction to Hellenistic coinage, The Hellenistic World:
Using Coins as Sources (2015). He writes regularly on all aspects of Greek and Roman history and culture for the Times Literary Supplement.
Preface; 1 The idea of the Hellenistic; 2 From Alexander to Augustus; 3 Demetrius the Besieger and Hellenistic kingship; 4 Eratosthenes and the system of the world; 5 Encounters; 6 Priene; Timeline; Further Reading; Index
most usefully, in a work that aims to inspire further investigation among sixth formers, undergraduates and interested general readers, there is an eclectic range of books and articles cited as further reading for each chapter. In a small compass Thonemann successfully evokes the great variety and complexity of Hellenistic civilisation * Claire Gruzelier, Classics for All * Peter Thonemann's introduction to arguably one of the most fascinating of all epochs of human history may be very short but it is also very brilliant: wide-ranging, sharply focused, and deeply illuminating. * Paul Cartledge * Pocket-sized, highly engaging and packed full of varied and fascinating information the perfect introduction to an enthralling era. * Lucia Marchini, Minerva * In displaying his enthusiasm for the diversity of the Hellenistic world and the achievements funded by its monarchies, Thonemann rightly underlines the brutality of conflicts that spread far beyond the Mediterranean. * Carol Atack, Times Literary Supplement * Peter Thonemann's short, straightforward, but sharply written introductory volume, The Hellenistic Age, exemplifies a different trend, a miniature encapsulation of a complex world. * Carol Atack, Times Literary Supplement * A beautiful little jewel * Greece & Rome * Review from previous edition Those looking to find a concise and stimulating introduction to the Hellenistic world need look no further than this excellent pocket-sized volume. * Mark Thorne, The Classical Journal *
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