The Greeks and Greek Civilization

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9780006388821: The Greeks and Greek Civilization

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

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From the Back Cover:

Jacob Burckhardt, one of the most outstanding historians of classical and Renaissance art, architecture and culture, was also the inventor of a new approach to history – 'cultural history'. His famous lectures are here available in English for the first time, translated by Sheila Stern and introduced by Oswyn Murray's long essay which places his ideas in their historical context. In 'The Greeks and Greek Civilization', Burckhardt rejects idealized descriptions of Greek culture, revealing instead a tyrannous state with minimal personal freedom; that Athenian democracy provided a forum for demagogues and the individual was powerless against decisions of the 'demos'. A brilliant account is also given of Greek pessimism, despair and attraction to suicide. 'The Greeks and Greek Civilization' is the greatest work of nineteenth-century cultural history and the most convincing portrait of the Greeks in the modern age.

"This is certainly, in one sense an old book but Oswyn Murray's introduction and Sheila Stern's fresh translation make it new and supply 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'

"A volume of great significance…Burckhardt's lively intelligence and massive learning create ideas that shoot off the page like fireworks, some illuminating the scene with impressive clarity…a fascinating summation."
Peter Jones, 'Sunday Telegraph'

"Stimulating, a heady cultural brew…Burckhardt has long been an icon. This vigorous translation by Sheila Stern will bring his analyses to a new generation of readers…A hero to conservative scholars of today, he believed that he could gather together his own significant reports from the Greek world and thus display the true spirit of Greece. To achieve this end requires both an extraordinary range of reading in the ancient texts and a rare capability to construct cultural edifices from the best pieces. Burckhardt had both – and many of his constructions have lasted. A challenging writer…he had the best pessimist's sense of frailty of human civilization."
Peter Stothard, 'The Times'

About the Author:

Jacob Burckhardt was one of the greatest historians of the nineteenth century. He is best-known for his monumental Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, two editions of which are currently in print (Penguin 1990 and Phaidon 1995).
Oswyn Murray is a Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Balliol College, Oxford and the editor of the Fontana History of the Ancient World series.
Sheila Stern is a translator and critic. She was married to J. P. Stern, author of Hitler: The Fuhrer and the People.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780006388821

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780006388821

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Book Condition: New. For the first time in English, one of the greatest masterpieces of historical writing: 'Every civilized library must have a copy.' CHRISTOPHER STACE, Telegraph Editor(s): Murray, Oswyn. Translator(s): Stern, Sheila. Num Pages: 448 pages, With index. BIC Classification: 1DVG; 1QDAG; 3D; DNF; HBJD; HBLA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 232 x 144 x 43. Weight in Grams: 764. . 1999. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780006388821

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