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Ancient Greece, Second Edition

From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times
Written by: Thomas R. Martin
Narrated by: John Lescault
Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this compact yet comprehensive history of ancient Greece, Thomas R. Martin brings alive Greek civilization from its Stone Age roots to the fourth century BC. Focusing on the development of the Greek city-state and the society, culture, and architecture of Athens in its Golden Age, Martin integrates political, military, social, and cultural history in a book that will appeal to students and general audiences alike.

Now in its second edition, this classic work now features updates throughout.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good introduction

This is a very brief introduction to the history of ancient Greece, but still it presents the main ideas and developments of those societies. The book is enriched by the use of a vast amount of quotes from ancient sources.

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  • Sean Nowland
  • 2018-07-25

Just the way I like it!

I listened to this mostly while traveling in Greece, and it was a wonderful companion as I was visiting sites and museums. It is very clear, direct, and informational. I prefer an efficient narrative and this spoke to me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bardwire777
  • 2019-08-12

I’m a history fan and this was informative but a snoozer..

I got this because I’m a huge fan of Greek myths and am headed to Greece next month. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of fascinating material here (Alcibiades, Socrates, Sparta, Perecles) but there’s also plenty of general anthropological fat as well that dulls the taste for the rest. It takes a lot to bore me with history but this book occasionally fails to illuminate things that I found interesting and made me feel like a bored teenager being forced to sit through History Class - and I thought I’d outgrown that!! Furthermore the reader’s performance, though measured and lucid, had, by design, matched the sterility and blandness of the academic prose. I found myself tuning out for long sections and not feeling compelled to go back and get caught up - this is from a guy who didn’t want to miss a single moment of that great Frederick Douglass biography Prophet of Freedom and that book was LOOOONG. I wasn’t a huge fan of that reader either, but that had some poetry to it and at transported the listener. I struggled with this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • beakt
  • 2019-07-16

Well-written, poor reading/editing performance

The content is straightforward, and about what you'll expect. A narrative about how things were in Ancient Greece, mostly from a political perspective (rulers, government, relevant geography, wars, etc.), but with some information about social life.

What distracts from this is the poor production quality. First, the reading sounds heavily spliced, and so the tone and volume can change mid-sentence, which is distracting. The sound engineers and director didn't do enough to ensure consistency in the result. Also, no one proof-listened to this, as at least twice I noticed a phrase, or an entire passage, was repeated (different takes of each). I have to wonder if anything was skipped, or out-of-order.

Not only that, the narrator himself seems uninterested in the text. He sometimes puts emphasis on the wrong word in a sentence given the context, indicating he's not paying attention to what he's reading. He speaks haltingly and without proper phrasing. Sometimes there's a participial or prepositional phrase at the start of a sentence, and he reads it as if the sentence ended with the phrase. Or vice-versa; making the end of a sentence sound like a phrase connected to the next one. All this makes the text hard to follow at times. And there were a few words that he didn't pronounce clearly enough, and even as I listened several times, I never could figure out what it was, even in context!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-28

Author injects contemporary morals into the story

The job of a historian is to tell history, not to televise his or her personal ethics.

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  • Douglas Williams
  • 2019-08-13

Great Greek Overview

Narration started out dry, but it gets better about 45 minutes in. worth the wait.

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  • ReallyREB
  • 2019-07-07

A Masterful Review

This is a masterful review of Ancient Greek history with particular relevance to our current time. I found it well written and absorbing. The discussions of the development of democracy in the city states, the status of women, slaves, ‘outsiders’ and the decline of the Classical Era were very well done.