A concise and accessible study of the foundations, development and enduring legacy of the cultures of Greece and Rome, centred on ten locations of seminal importance in the development of Classical civilisation. Starting with Troy, where history, myth and cosmology fuse to form the origins of Classical civilisation, Nigel Spivey explores the contrasting politics of Athens and Sparta, the diffusion of classical ideals across the Mediterranean world, Classical science and philosophy, the eastward export of Greek culture with the conquests of Alexander the Great, the power and spread of the Roman imperium, and the long Byzantine twilight of Antiquity. A secure grasp of the nature of our Greek and Roman heritage is absolutely fundamental to a true understanding of contemporary European society and culture. Nigel Spivey outlines and explains that heritage with supreme passion, rigour and clarity.
'This is where Spivey is most successful: creating accessibility. While Spivey's credentials as a lecturer at Cambridge ensure an incredibly well written study of the classics, his greatest achievement is providing context for stories' All About History. 'The history of the classical world as a whirlwind tour through familiar highlights ... a worthwhile enterprise' TLS. '[Spivey] conveys an impressive range and depth' The Tablet.
Nigel Spivey is Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at Cambridge. He wrote Songs on Bronze: The Greek Myths Made Real (2005) and The Ancient Olympics (2012) and presented the TV series How Art Made the World (2005).