Discover the cultural and political riches of Greece across 3,000 years, from classical might to modern rebirth. The Shortest History books deliver thousands of years of history in one riveting, fast-paced read.
Philosophy, art, democracy, language, even computers—the glories of Greek civilization have shaped our world even more profoundly than we realize. Pericles and the Parthenon may be familiar, but what of Epaminondas, the Theban general who saved the Greek world from Spartan tyranny? Alexander the Great’s fame has rolled down the centuries, but the golden Hellenistic Age that followed is largely forgotten. “Byzantine” conjures decadence and deadly intrigue, yet the thousand-year empire that ruled from Constantinople and saved Europe twice from invasion was, in fact, Greek.
Greece’s modern chapter, too, tells of triumph and calamity—from liberation and expansion to schism, homegrown dictatorship, Nazi occupation, and civil war. Today’s nation is battered by austerity, encroaching climate change, and a refugee crisis—yet unwavering in its ancient values.
James Heneage captures the full Grecian drama in this riveting, short history, revealing Greece as the wellspring of Western civilization—and a model that may yet save modern democracy.
James Heneage author of four bestselling historical novels set in Byzantium. He founded the Ottakar’s chain of bookshops (now owned by Waterstones), chaired the Cheltenham Literary Festival, and set up his own festival dedicated to history with author James Holland: the Chalke Valley History Festival, now in its ninth year. He lives in Wiltshire, England.
A Daily Mail History Book of the Year
"From alpha to omega, and from Socrates to Syriza, here is all of Greek history, expertly told.
— Tom Holland, author of Dominion
Highly entertaining . . . a colorful marvel of compression.
— Sydney Morning Herald
Beautifully written, full of apposite analogies and taking a long historical perspective. . . . Excellent.
— Paul Cartledge, author of Democracy: A Life
A complete history from the Homeric Age to the present. . . . Heneage draws parallels between current events and events in Greek history, while skillfully explaining what has come before.
— School Library Journal