The study of ancient civilizations can be overwhelming. There is so much information along with strange and exotic names and customs. It takes a well laid out book like Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History to help explain it.
This 568 page book covers Ancient Greece from the time before the great Minoans all the way through the Roman conquest. This can be a formidable task and can be contained in more than one volume, but the authors are able to put it all in the one book without losing anything.
It begins with a comprehensive timeline that breaks out the military, political and social, and cultural events that begin as early as 6500 B.C. through 30 B.C. This timeline is displayed over 8 pages which gives it plenty of space for hitting the major events.
The book is then divided into twelve major sections of Ancient Greek history. Within each of these sections, there are anywhere from five to twelve sub-sections. This helps break up the eras in an easy to absorb manner.
At the end of each sub-section is another section of key terms. This section lists names, terms, and important concepts. These can come in handy for students of Ancient Greece and prep them for tests and better understandings of the text. At the end of the book, the reader can find a glossary to help explain each of those terms.
Following this section are bibliographies for that particular sub-section which include translations of primary sources and contemporary pieces. Instead of listing all the resources and suggest readings at the end of the book which could be huge, the authors separate them and attach them to the relevant sub-sections to make it easier to research.
One thing that helps make a book really great to me is when they use a number of visual aids. This book gives me that. There are a large number of black/white and color photographs and maps all through the book. The reader gets to see the sites as they are today and then compare them to the drawings of what they once looked like. This can help a visual learner retain the reading material.
Ancient Greece is a great wonderful resource to have at your hand and add to your history library. This is one of the best books that I have read on the subject. Perfect for pleasure and for studying.
Disclaimer: This book was purchased by the author with her own funds.