Within the space of three centuries leading up to the great Persian invasion of 480 BC, Greece was transformed from a simple peasant society into a sophisticated civilization that dominated the shores of the Mediterranean from Spain to Syria and from the Crimea to Egypt―a culture whose achievements in the fields of art, science, philosophy, and politics were to establish the canons of the the Western world.
Oswyn Murray places this remarkable development in the context of Mediterranean civilization. He shows how contact with the East catalyzed the transformation of art and religion, analyzes the invention of the alphabet and the conceptual changes it brought, describes the expansions of Greece in trade and colonization, and investigates the relationship between military technology and political progress in the overthrow of aristocratic governments.
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