Ancient Greece’s legacy can be seen all around us, including in our political system — but many of us don’t know that much about it. Fortunately, we have someone who has devoted his life to studying this remote time and place to give us a reading list. Chris Pelling, Emeritus Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, recommends his top five books on Ancient Greece.
The Social And Economic History Of Roman Empire
by Michael Rostovtzeff
A History of Education in Antiquity
by Henri-Irénée Marrou
Philosophy as a Way of Life
by Pierre Hadot
Mosaics as History: The Near East from Late Antiquity to Islam
by GW Bowersock
Pauvreté économique et pauvreté sociale à Byzance
by Evelyne Patlagean
The classical Greek philosopher is credited with laying the foundation of Western philosophy – without ever having written a word. Here, the eminent scholar M M McCabe enters into dialogue with Five Books to recommend the best texts through which we might understand Socrates, and engage with the eternal question: How best to live?
Lucy Coats, author of one of the best children’s books on Greek myths, recommends her own favourites. There’s one for children, one for teenagers, one for scholars, one to read out loud and one that’s very definitely adult in content…
Cultural and philosophical changes that occurred in late antiquity are essential to our understanding of the world today, but few us know much about that period. Historian Robin Lane Fox recommends the best books to read to get a good sense of late antiquity.
Cambridge classics professor Mary Beard explains how the Ancients are pertinent to modern life. Even the most “formative intellectual cultures” had a seething heart of irrationality underneath the sparkling surface.