|Publication Date||September 24, 2017|
Who were the classical Greeks? Paul Cartledge examines the Greeks in terms of their own self-image, mainly as it was presented by the supposedly objective historians - Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon. The Greeks were the inventors of history as it is understood today, just as they are the cultural ancestors of the West in so many other ways. Yet their historiography remained rooted in myth. The mental and material context of many of the inventions of Greek achievement which are rightly treasured today - especially democracy, philosophy and theatre, as well as history - was often deeply alien to today's way of thinking and acting. The aim of this book is to probe fully that achievement, principally using a typical Greek mode of conceptualization - polarity or binary opposition. It explores in depth how the dominant - adult, male, citizen - Greeks sought, with limited success, to define themselves unambiguously in polar opposition to a whole series of "others" - non-Greeks, women, non-citizens, slaves and gods. Colin Burrow is co-editor of the "Key Themes in Ancient History" series.