Acclaimed classics scholar Edith Hall will be heading for The Beacon, Wantage, on Friday, October 30 at 2pm to offer us an entertaining insight into the world of these uniquely influential people: the ancient Greeks.
Hall’s eminently accessible tome, Introducing the Ancient Greeks, visits a different Greek community at a different moment during the 20 centuries of ancient Greek history.
In the process, the book makes a powerful original argument: A cluster of unique qualities made the Greeks special and made them the right people at the right time to take up the baton of human progress.
According to Herodotus, the father of history, what made all Greeks identifiably Greek was their common descent from the same heroes – the way they sacrificed to their gods, their rules of decent behaviour and their beautiful language.
Edith Hall argues, however, that their mind-set was just as important as their awe-inspiring achievements. They were rebellious, individualistic, inquisitive, open-minded, witty, rivalrous, admiring of excellence, articulate and addicted to pleasure.
But most important was their continuing identity as mariners – the restless seagoing lifestyle that brought them into contact with ethnically diverse peoples in countless new settlements, and the constant stimulus to technological innovation provided by their intense relationship with the sea.
Expertly researched and elegantly told, Introducing the Ancient Greeks is an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the Greeks.
Professor Edith Hall teaches at King’s College, London, writes regularly for The Financial Times, reviews drama on radio and has written a dozen books on the ancient world.
Friday, October 30. 2pm. The Beacon, Wantage. Tickets: £6.
Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.
Online booking closes on October 22.