The Hemlock Cup

Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life
Author: Bettany Hughes
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307595293
Category: History
Page: 528
View: 1986

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We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did; in his unwavering commitment to truth and in the example of his own life, he set the standard for all subsequent Western philosophy. And yet, for twenty-five centuries, he has remained an enigma: a man who left no written legacy and about whom everything we know is hearsay, gleaned from the writings of Plato, Xenophon and Aristophanes. Now Bettany Hughes gives us an unprecedented, brilliantly vivid portrait of Socrates and of his homeland, Athens in its Golden Age. His life spanned “seventy of the busiest, most wonderful and tragic years in Athenian history.” It was a city devastated by war, but, at the same time, transformed by the burgeoning process of democracy, and Hughes re-creates this fifth-century B.C. city, drawing on the latest sources—archaeological, topographical and textual—to illuminate the streets where Socrates walked, to place him there and to show us the world as he experienced it. She takes us through the great, teeming Agora—the massive marketplace, the heart of ancient Athens—where Socrates engaged in philosophical dialogue and where he would be condemned to death. We visit the battlefields where he fought, the red-light district and gymnasia he frequented and the religious festivals he attended. We meet the men and the few women—including his wife, Xanthippe, and his “inspiration” and confidante, Aspasia—who were central to his life. We travel to where he was born and where he died. And we come to understand the profound influences of time and place in the evolution of his eternally provocative philosophy. Deeply informed and vibrantly written, combining historical inquiry and storytelling élan, The Hemlock Cup gives us the most substantial, fascinating, humane depiction we have ever had of one of the most influential thinkers of all time. From the Hardcover edition.

The Hemlock Cup

Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life
Author: Bettany Hughes
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446419169
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 544
View: 4511

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We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did. His aphorism 'The unexamined life is not worth living' may have originated twenty-five centuries ago, but it is a founding principle of modern life. For seventy years Socrates was a vigorous citizen of Golden Age Athens, philosophising in the squares and public arenas rather than in the courts of kings, before his beloved city turned on him, condemning him to death by poison. Socrates lived in and contributed to a city that nurtured key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought - yet, as he wrote almost nothing down, he himself is an enigmatic figure. In The Hemlock Cup, acclaimed historian Bettany Hughes gives Socrates the biography he deserves, painstakingly piecing together Socrates' life and using fresh evidence to get closer to the man who asked 'how should we live?' - a question as relevant now as it has ever been.

Helen Of Troy

Goddess, Princess, Whore
Author: Bettany Hughes
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446419142
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 496
View: 3194

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As soon as men began to write, they made Helen of Troy their subject; for nearly three thousand years she has been both the embodiment of absolute female beauty and a reminder of the terrible power that beauty can wield. Because of her double marriage to the Greek King Menelaus and the Trojan Prince Paris, Helen was held responsible for both the Trojan War and enduring enmity between East and West. For millennia she has been viewed as an exquisite agent of extermination. But who was she? Helen exists in many guises: a matriarch from the Age of Heroes who ruled over one of the most fertile areas of the Mycenaean world; Helen of Sparta, the focus of a cult which conflated Helen the heroine with a pre-Greek fertility goddess; the home-wrecker of the Iliad; the bitch-whore of Greek tragedy; the pin-up of Romantic artists. Focusing on the 'real' Helen - a flesh-and-blood aristocrat from the Greek Bronze Age - acclaimed historian Bettany Hughes reconstructs the context of life for this elusive pre-historic princess and places her alongside the heroes and heroines of myth and history. Through the eyes of a young Mycenaean woman, Hughes examines the physical, historical and cultural traces that Helen has left on locations in Greece, North Africa and Asia Minor. Vivid and compelling, this remarkable book brilliantly unpacks the facts and myths surrounding one of the most enigmatic and notorious figures of all time.

Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths


Author: Robin Waterfield
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393072907
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 2290

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A revisionist account of the most famous trial and execution in Western civilization—one with great resonance for American society today. Socrates’ trial and death together form an iconic moment in Western civilization. In 399 BCE, the great philosopher stood before an Athenian jury on serious charges: impiety and “subverting the young men of the city.” The picture we have of it—created by his immediate followers, Plato and Xenophon, and perpetuated in countless works of literature and art ever since—is of a noble man putting his lips to the poisonous cup of hemlock, sentenced to death in a fit of folly by an ancient Athenian democracy already fighting for its own life. But an icon, an image, is not reality, and time has transmuted so many of the facts into historical fable. Aware of these myths, Robin Waterfield has examined the actual Greek sources and presents here a new Socrates, in which he separates the legend from the man himself. As Waterfield recounts the story, the charges of impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens were already enough for a death sentence, but the prosecutors accused him of more. They asserted that Socrates was not just an atheist and the guru of a weird sect but also an elitist who surrounded himself with politically undesirable characters and had mentored those responsible for defeat in the Peloponnesian War. Their claims were not without substance, for Plato and Xenophon, among Socrates’ closest companions, had idolized him as students, while Alcibiades, the hawkish and notoriously self-serving general, had brought Athens to the brink of military disaster. In fact, as Waterfield perceptively shows through an engrossing historical narrative, there was a great deal of truth, from an Athenian perspective, in these charges. The trial was, in part, a response to troubled times—Athens was reeling from a catastrophic war and undergoing turbulent social changes—and Socrates’ companions were unfortunately direct representatives of these troubles. Their words and actions, judiciously sifted and placed in proper context, not only serve to portray Socrates as a flesh-and-blood historical figure but also provide a good lens through which to explore both the trial and the general history of the period. Ultimately, the study of these events and principal figures allows us to finally strip away the veneer that has for so long denied us glimpses of the real Socrates. Why Socrates Died is an illuminating, authoritative account of not only one of the defining periods of Western civilization but also of one of its most defining figures.

Istanbul


Author: Bettany Hughes
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9780297868484
Category:
Page: 832
View: 1715

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Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu'ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - resonates as an idea and a place, and overspills its boundaries - real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a story. In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities. As the longest-lived political entity in Europe, over the last 6,000 years Istanbul has absorbed a mosaic of micro-cities and cultures all gathering around the core. At the latest count archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all called a patch of this earth their home. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate and scholarly narrative history at its finest.

How Philosophy Became Socratic

A Study of Plato's "Protagoras," "Charmides," and "Republic"
Author: Laurence Lampert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226470970
Category: Political Science
Page: 448
View: 921

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Plato’s dialogues show Socrates at different ages, beginning when he was about nineteen and already deeply immersed in philosophy and ending with his execution five decades later. By presenting his model philosopher across a fifty-year span of his life, Plato leads his readers to wonder: does that time period correspond to the development of Socrates’ thought? In this magisterial investigation of the evolution of Socrates’ philosophy, Laurence Lampert answers in the affirmative. The chronological route that Plato maps for us, Lampert argues, reveals the enduring record of philosophy as it gradually took the form that came to dominate the life of the mind in the West. The reader accompanies Socrates as he breaks with the century-old tradition of philosophy, turns to his own path, gradually enters into a deeper understanding of nature and human nature, and discovers the successful way to transmit his wisdom to the wider world. Focusing on the final and most prominent step in that process and offering detailed textual analysis of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic, How Philosophy Became Socratic charts Socrates’ gradual discovery of a proper politics to shelter and advance philosophy.

The Life and Times of Socrates


Author: Susan Zannos
Publisher: Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 1612289053
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 48
View: 5540

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Socrates, the great Athenian philosopher, was born during the Golden Age of Greece, one of the most glorious periods in human history. He grew up during the exciting days of Pericles in Athens, in the midst of the flowering of drama and poetry, the creation of magnificent architecture and sculpture, the writing of literature that has inspired mankind for 2,500 years. The glory of Athens, inspired by the Athenians’ victory over the Persians against great odds, lasted less than 50 years. Socrates lived to see his city conquered by the Spartans from without and by a terrible plague from within. He tried to convince his fellow citizens to examine their own beliefs and behavior. The Athenians, looking for someone to blame for their troubles, arrested Socrates. They accused him of corrupting the young men who were his students. He refused to run away to save his life and was tried and executed.

Dying Every Day

Seneca at the Court of Nero
Author: James Romm
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385351720
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 3750

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From acclaimed classical historian, author of Ghost on the Throne (“Gripping . . . the narrative verve of a born writer and the erudition of a scholar” —Daniel Mendelsohn) and editor of The Landmark Arrian:The Campaign of Alexander (“Thrilling” —The New York Times Book Review), a high-stakes drama full of murder, madness, tyranny, perversion, with the sweep of history on the grand scale. At the center, the tumultuous life of Seneca, ancient Rome’s preeminent writer and philosopher, beginning with banishment in his fifties and subsequent appointment as tutor to twelve-year-old Nero, future emperor of Rome. Controlling them both, Nero’s mother, Julia Agrippina the Younger, Roman empress, great-granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister of the Emperor Caligula, niece and fourth wife of Emperor Claudius. James Romm seamlessly weaves together the life and written words, the moral struggles, political intrigue, and bloody vengeance that enmeshed Seneca the Younger in the twisted imperial family and the perverse, paranoid regime of Emperor Nero, despot and madman. Romm writes that Seneca watched over Nero as teacher, moral guide, and surrogate father, and, at seventeen, when Nero abruptly ascended to become emperor of Rome, Seneca, a man never avid for political power became, with Nero, the ruler of the Roman Empire. We see how Seneca was able to control his young student, how, under Seneca’s influence, Nero ruled with intelligence and moderation, banned capital punishment, reduced taxes, gave slaves the right to file complaints against their owners, pardoned prisoners arrested for sedition. But with time, as Nero grew vain and disillusioned, Seneca was unable to hold sway over the emperor, and between Nero’s mother, Agrippina—thought to have poisoned her second husband, and her third, who was her uncle (Claudius), and rumored to have entered into an incestuous relationship with her son—and Nero’s father, described by Suetonius as a murderer and cheat charged with treason, adultery, and incest, how long could the young Nero have been contained? Dying Every Day is a portrait of Seneca’s moral struggle in the midst of madness and excess. In his treatises, Seneca preached a rigorous ethical creed, exalting heroes who defied danger to do what was right or embrace a noble death. As Nero’s adviser, Seneca was presented with a more complex set of choices, as the only man capable of summoning the better aspect of Nero’s nature, yet, remaining at Nero’s side and colluding in the evil regime he created. Dying Every Day is the first book to tell the compelling and nightmarish story of the philosopher-poet who was almost a king, tied to a tyrant—as Seneca, the paragon of reason, watched his student spiral into madness and whose descent saw five family murders, the Fire of Rome, and a savage purge that destroyed the supreme minds of the Senate’s golden age.

Socrates

A Life Examined
Author: Luis E. Navia
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616140860
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: N.A
View: 838

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A scholar of ancient Greek philosophy, Navia contributes to the immense body of commentary about Socrates with this tour of the historical man-about-Athens. All of the material about Socrates derives from four works that survived the wreck of Greco-Roman civilization: Aristophanes' comedy Clouds; Xenophon's dialogues; Plato's dialogues; and Aristotle's tracts.... Quoting extensively from these writers' works, Navia shows where biographical agreement exists and where inference and speculation begin, as in the story of the oracle of Delphi proclaiming Socrates the wisest of men. An assessment of Socrates' essential philosophical precepts culminates Navia's pursuit of the living Socrates, and his hunt could attract readers with a Platonic dialogue or two under their belts.-Booklist[A] vivid account of Socrates's life and ideas....The carefully documented research provides a valuable resource for those interested in the man and his ideas. Students researching philosophy will benefit from the author's accessible connections between the beliefs of Socrates and those of many modern thinkers.-School Library JournalOne of the most influential thinkers in the history of the West was Socrates of Athens (469-399 BCE). Literally, thousands of books and other works of art have been devoted to him, yet his character and the tenets of his philosophy remain elusive. Even his contemporaries had very different impressions of him, and since he himself left no writings to posterity, we can only wonder: Who was this man really? What ideas and ideals can be truthfully associated with him? What is the basis for the extraordinary influence he has exerted throughout history?Philosopher Luis E. Navia presents a compelling portrayal of Socrates in this very readable and well-researched book, which is both a biography of the man and an exploration of his ideas. Through a critical and documented study of the major ancient sources about Socrates - in the writings of Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle - Navia reconstructs a surprisingly consistent portrait of this enigmatic philosopher. He links Socrates' conviction that the unexamined life is not worth living with Immanuel Kant's later concept of an innate moral imperative as the only meaningful purpose of human existence. He highlights Socrates' unrelenting search for the essence and value of the soul as that aspect of his philosophical journey that animated and structured all his activities. Navia also considers Socrates' relationship with the Sophists, his stance vis-à-vis the religious beliefs and practices of his time, his view of the relationship between legality and morality, and the function of language in human life. Finally, he eloquently captures the Socratic legacy, which, more than twenty-four centuries after his death, is still so urgently relevant today.Navia brings to life this perennially important philosopher, illuminating the relevance of his ideas for our modern world.Luis E. Navia (Westbury, NY), professor of philosophy and chair of the Social Sciences Department at New York Institute of Technology, is the author of many books on ancient philosophy, including Socratic Testimonies, Antisthenes of Athens, and The Adventure of Philosophy.

The Last Days of Socrates


Author: Plato
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141965886
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 256
View: 3340

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'Consider just this, and give your minds to this alone: whether or not what I say is just' Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and skilful discussion of immortality. Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translation examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores how its content is less historical fact than a promotion of Plato's Socratic philosophy.

Socrates

A Man for Our Times
Author: Paul Johnson
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0143122215
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 208
View: 7834

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Illuminates key tenets in the influential philosopher's beliefs through the story of his life, tracing his middle-class existence against a vibrant backdrop of fifth century B.C. Athens while sharing intimate analyses of specific aspects of his personality. By the best-selling author of Churchill. 40,000 first printing.

Man Without a Hobby

Adventures of a Gregarious Egoist
Author: Tibor R. Machan
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761829461
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 260
View: 7375

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Loving the girl in the mirror isn't about changing how you look, but allowing God to change how you see. Teasi Cannon’s lifelong battle with body image nearly destroyed her. Yet today she feels blessed—not because the size of her lower half has changed but because her perspective has. In her often hilarious, no-nonsense style, Teasi's gut-honest journey and transparent insights will propel everyone one of us who struggles with...you name it: bad hair or chubby cheeks, skinny arms or wide hips... to realize our value and beauty. Even if nothing ever changes on the outside.

Battling the Gods

Atheism in the Ancient World
Author: Tim Whitmarsh
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307958337
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 3368

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How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities. Homer’s epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece’s only “sacred texts,” but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or “godless.” Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata. Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity’s establishment as Rome’s state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label “atheist” was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy—and so it would remain for centuries. As the twenty-first century shapes up into a time of mass information, but also, paradoxically, of collective amnesia concerning the tangled histories of religions, Whitmarsh provides a bracing antidote to our assumptions about the roots of freethinking. By shining a light on atheism’s first thousand years, Battling the Gods offers a timely reminder that nonbelief has a wealth of tradition of its own, and, indeed, its own heroes. From the Hardcover edition.

The Cave and the Light

Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0553907832
Category: History
Page: 704
View: 2692

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Arthur Herman has now written the definitive sequel to his New York Times bestseller, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, and extends the themes of the book—which sold half a million copies worldwide—back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the age of the Internet. The Cave and the Light is a magisterial account of how the two greatest thinkers of the ancient world, Plato and Aristotle, laid the foundations of Western culture—and how their rivalry shaped the essential features of our culture down to the present day. Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato’s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato’s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor’s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man’s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher’s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato’s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato’s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers—but never outside their influence. Accessible, riveting, and eloquently written, The Cave and the Light provides a stunning new perspective on the Western world, certain to open eyes and stir debate. Praise for The Cave and the Light “A sweeping intellectual history viewed through two ancient Greek lenses . . . breezy and enthusiastic but resting on a sturdy rock of research.”—Kirkus Reviews “Examining mathematics, politics, theology, and architecture, the book demonstrates the continuing relevance of the ancient world.”—Publishers Weekly “A fabulous way to understand over two millennia of history, all in one book.”—Library Journal “Entertaining and often illuminating.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Hardcover edition.

The Ironic Defense of Socrates

Plato's Apology
Author: David M. Leibowitz
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139490265
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 6273

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This book offers a controversial interpretation of Plato's Apology of Socrates. By paying unusually close attention to what Socrates indicates about the meaning and extent of his irony, David Leibowitz arrives at unconventional conclusions about Socrates' teaching on virtue, politics, and the gods; the significance of his famous turn from natural philosophy to political philosophy; and the purpose of his insolent 'defense speech'. Leibowitz shows that Socrates is not just a colorful and quirky figure from the distant past but an unrivaled guide to the good life - the thoughtful life - who is as relevant today as in ancient Athens. On the basis of his unconventional understanding of the dialogue as a whole, and of the Delphic oracle story in particular, Leibowitz shows that the Apology is the key to the Platonic corpus, indicating how many of the disparate themes and apparently contradictory conclusions of the other dialogues fit together.

The Death of Socrates


Author: Emily R. Wilson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674026834
Category: History
Page: 247
View: 2644

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Examines how the trial and death of Socrates has impacted the Western world throughout history.

Socrates: Greek Philosopher

World Cultures Through Time (Primary Source Readers)
Author: Lisa Zamosky
Publisher: Teacher Created Materials
ISBN: 0743904494
Category:
Page: 0
View: 4378

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Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who helped shape Greek beliefs. Readers will find out how Socrates' ideas and beliefs can still be found today in this captivating biography that features vivid images, easy to read text, a glossary, index, and table of contents. The stunning facts will have children enthralled as they learn about Socrates' influence on the world around him as well as ancient philosophy, Alexander the Great, Athens, Pericles, and the Acropolis. This 6-Pack includes six copies of this title and a lesson plan.

Helen of Troy

The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
Author: Bettany Hughes
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 9781400076000
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 458
View: 4480

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A noted historian reexamines the issue of the real Helen of Troy by delving into mythology, poetry, and art, and by examining the sparse shards of historical evidence for the possible reality of Helen's existence, tracing the fluid image of Helen from ancient times to the present day. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Istanbul

City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World
Author: Thomas F. Madden
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0670016608
Category: HISTORY
Page: 381
View: 3053

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Perched at the tip of Europe, gazing across to the shores of Asia, Istanbul remains as much a city of crossroads as it has been for the past two millennia. The history of this fabled metropolis--known at first as Byzantion, then Constantinople, and now Istanbul--is glorious, grandiose, and astounding. No other city has stood at the center of world events for so long, a home to great empires and diverse cultures from the Greeks to the Romans, the Italians to the Armenians, the Ottomans to the modern Turks. Prizewinning historian Thomas F. Madden's tremendous new biography of this mysterious city captures centuries of triumph and defeat, riches and poverty, seen through the lives of those who inhabited it: the emperors and empresses, craftsmen and architects, sailors and fishermen, street vendors and harem concubines. This book propels the reader on a journey of Mediterranean commerce, thought, religion, and power, running through ancient roads, wharfs, forums, and palaces. Excavating centuries of firsthand accounts, Madden sets this history against the background of men and women who forever changed their worlds, including Alexander the Great, Constantine, Empress Theodora, Mehmed the Conqueror, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Witness the construction of the massive Theodosian Walls, the embellishment of rich Hagia Sophia, and the transformation and revitalization of the Golden Horn district. From 667 BC to President Erdoğan's tumultuous twenty-first century presidency, Madden's account not only questions how we think of Istanbul's past, but also examines what we can learn from a people who have withstood invasion and threat time and time again. Through the long gaze of Madden's stirring narrative, we experience the strength of a people who endure at the intersection of faith, geography, and ideology.--Adapted from dust jacket.