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The Greeks (Hardback)

Roderick Beaton

The epic, fascinating history of one of the world’s great cultures.

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*Longlisted for the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2022*

‘A wonderful book.

Peter Frankopan

‘A masterpiece.’
Gregory Nagy, Harvard University

Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules—For Now

The way we think. The way we learn. The entertainment we seek. The way we are governed.

It all began on the mountains and islands of Europe’s southeastern edge, more than 3,000 years ago.

The Greeks is the story of a culture that has contributed more than any other to the way we live now in the West. It is a story that travels the entire globe and four millennia, taking us from the archaeological treasures of the Bronze Age Aegean, myths of gods and heroes, to the politics of the European Union today. Here are the glories of the classical city-states of Athens and Sparta, the far-reaching conquests of Alexander the Great, the foundations of early Christianity, the thousand-year empire of the Byzantines, and the rediscoveries of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It is a history of inventions, such as the alphabet, philosophy, and science — but also of reinvention, as Greeks adapted to catastrophic change and found new ways to survive and make their mark on the world around them; not least today, across a diaspora spread over five continents.

The product of a lifetime’s research by one of the subject’s most esteemed experts, this is the epic, revelatory story of the Greeks and their global impact, told as never before.

Critic Reviews

'A monumental, sweeping history of the Greeks covering more than three thousand years right up to the present day. Authoritative, compelling, and beautifully written. A wonderful book.'

Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads
Critic Reviews

A masterpiece, from a towering expert in all things Greek.’

Gregory Nagy, Harvard University
Critic Reviews

A remarkable and readable book: this single, masterful volume lays out the entire thirty-five-century history of the Greek-speaking peoples…For anyone who wants to understand Greece today, this is the place to start.

Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules—For Now
Critic Reviews

‘A consistently illuminating encapsulation of the manifold achievements of one of the globe's most creative and inspirational peoples.’

Paul Cartledge
Critic Reviews

'An authoritative guide to the countless ways in which Greek words and ideas have shaped the modern world...erudite and highly readable.'

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

'To write a book on this scale is an act of both intellectual daring and generosity, and it is testimony to Beaton's craft as historian and storyteller that so sizeable a work might still leave one wanting more.'

Prof Roderick Beaton

Roderick Beaton is Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature at King’s College London. He is a four-time winner of the Runciman Award, for books including George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel: A Biography; Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution, which was also shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and, most recently, Greece: Biography of…

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Prof Roderick Beaton