The Rise of Athens: The Story of the World's Greatest Civilization

The Rise of Athens: The Story of the World's Greatest Civilization

by Anthony Everitt


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A magisterial account of how a tiny city-state in ancient Greece became history’s most influential civilization, from the bestselling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian
Filled with tales of adventure and astounding reversals of fortune, The Rise of Athens celebrates the city-state that transformed the world—from the democratic revolution that marked its beginning, through the city’s political and cultural golden age, to its decline into the ancient equivalent of a modern-day university town.
Anthony Everitt constructs his history with unforgettable portraits of the talented, tricky, ambitious, and unscrupulous Athenians who fueled the city’s rise: Themistocles, the brilliant naval strategist who led the Greeks to a decisive victory over their Persian enemies; Pericles, arguably the greatest Athenian statesman of them all; and the wily Alcibiades, who changed his political allegiance several times during the course of the Peloponnesian War—and died in a hail of assassins’ arrows. Here also are riveting you-are-there accounts of the milestone battles that defined the Hellenic world: Thermopylae, Marathon, and Salamis among them. An unparalleled storyteller, Everitt combines erudite, thoughtful historical analysis with stirring narrative set pieces that capture the colorful, dramatic, and exciting world of ancient Greece.
Although the history of Athens is less well known than that of other world empires, the city-state’s allure would inspire Alexander the Great, the Romans, and even America’s own Founding Fathers. It’s fair to say that the Athenians made possible the world in which we live today. In this peerless new work, Anthony Everitt breathes vivid life into this most ancient story.

Praise for The Rise of Athens

“[An] invaluable history of a foundational civilization . . . combining impressive scholarship with involving narration.”Booklist

“Compelling . . . a comprehensive and entertaining account of one of the most transformative societies in Western history . . . Everitt recounts the high points of Greek history with flair and aplomb.”—Shelf Awareness

“Highly readable . . . Everitt keeps the action moving.”Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Anthony Everitt’s The Rise of Rome

“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”The Dallas Morning News

“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”Maclean’s

“Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator

“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fascinating history and a great read.”Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812984989
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/26/2017
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 362,010
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Anthony Everitt, formerly a visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European culture and is the author of Cicero, Augustus, Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome, and The Rise of Rome. He has served as secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Everitt lives near Colchester, England’s first recorded town, founded by the Romans.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction xxiii

Three's Company 1

1 National Hero 3

2 A State of War 13

3 The Persian Mule 28

The Invention of Democracy 51

4 The Shaking-Off 53

5 Friend of the Poor 71

6 Charioteers of the Soul 81

7 Inventing Democracy 95

The Persian Threat 109

8 Eastern Raiders 111

9 Fox as Hedgehog 129

10 Invasion 144

11 "The Acts of Idiots" 160

12 "O Divine Salamis" 171

The Empire Builders 195

13 League of Nations 197

14 The Falling-Out 216

15 The Kindly Ones 235

16 "Crowned with Violets" 247

The Great War 273

17 The Prisoners on the Island 275

18 The Man Who Knew Nothing 309

19 Downfall 326

20 The End of Democracy? 353

A Long Farewell 377

21 Sparta's Turn 379

22 Chaeronea-"Fatal to Liberty" 410

23 Afterword-"A God-forsaken Hole" 454

Glossary 461

Time Line 465

Acknowledgments 475

Sources 477

Bibliography 481

Notes 485

Index 523

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The Rise of Athens: The Story of the World's Greatest Civilization 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I find that the author knows virtually nothing about ancient Greek religion or theology. The book is written to be more of an entertainment piece than history.