Read by Will Durant Ariel Durant امیرحسین آریان‌پور هرمز همایون‌پور فتح‌الله مجتبایی هوشنگ پیرنظر محمود مصاحب نادر هدی Online

1. کتاب اوّل: پیشدرآمدِ اژهای2. کتاب دوّم: تکامل یونان3. کتاب سوّم: عصر طلایی4. کتاب چهارم: انحطاط تمدن یونان5. کتاب پنجم: اضمحلال یونان•••مترجمانامیرحسین آریانپور: کتابهای یکم و دوّم / فتحالله مجتبائی: کتاب سوّم / هوشنگ پیرنظر: کتابهای چهارم و پنجمسرویراستار: محمود مصاحبویراستاران: نادر هدی، خشایار دیهیمی، فتحالله مجتبائی، هرمز همایونپور1. کتاب اوّل: پیش‌درآمدِ اژه‌ای2. کتاب دوّم: تکامل یونان3. کتاب سوّم: عصر طلایی4. کتاب چهارم: انحطاط تمدن یونان5. کتاب پنجم: اضمحلال یونان•••مترجمانامیرحسین آریان‌پور: کتاب‌های یکم و دوّم / فتح‌الله مجتبائی: کتاب سوّم / هوشنگ پیرنظر: کتاب‌های چهارم و پنجمسرویراستار: محمود مصاحبویراستاران: نادر هدی، خشایار دیهیمی، فتح‌الله مجتبائی، هرمز همایون‌پور...

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ISBN : 6631141
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Number of Pages : 904 Pages
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Reviews

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-09-17 12:10

    The Story of Civilization, Part II: The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization #2), Will Durant, Ariel Durant (Editor)تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1993 میلادیعنوان: تاریخ تمدن مجلد دوم یونان باستان؛ نویسنده: ویل دورانت؛ آریل دورانت؛ مترجمها: امیرحسین آریان‌پور: کتاب‌های یکم و دوّم ؛ فتح‌الله مجتبائی: کتاب سوّم ؛ هوشنگ پیرنظر: کتاب‌های چهارم و پنجم؛ ؛ سرویراستار: محمود مصاحب؛ ویراستاران: نادر هدی، خشایار دیهیمی، فتح‌الله مجتبائی، هرمز همایون‌پور؛ تهران،سازمان انتشارات؛ 1370؛ در 904 ص؛ فهرست: کتاب اوّل: پیش‌درآمدِ اژه‌ ای؛ کتاب دوّم: تکامل یونان؛ کتاب سوّم: عصر طلایی؛ کتاب چهارم: انحطاط تمدن یونان؛ کتاب پنجم: اضمحلال یونان؛ •••؛ ملحقات؛منشا رشد و بالندگی، کمال و انحطاط تمدن یونان (هلاس) در این کتاب آمده است. ا. شربیانی

  • Roy Lotz
    2018-09-30 15:21

    Edward Gibbon, never the optimist, in his long chronicle of the collapse of the Roman Empire defined history as “little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.” Will Durant thinks this is a terrible mistake, and his series on the Story of Civilization can in part be seen as a corrective to the Gibbonian view. Gibbon so often saw the worst in humankind: war, rebellion, deceit, mutiny, betrayal, mania, persecution, dogma, and any other crime you care to name. The heroes in Gibbon’s history are the few brave and compassionate souls who fought against the relentless tide of circumstances, only (at best) to slow the inevitable ruin of the empire. When Gibbon is not tracing out the long history of some martial campaign, with its dreary catalogue of victories, defeats, and slaughters, he is describing some horrid revolt at home, some cloak-and-dagger scheme for power, in which innocent after innocent are put to the sword—the bloody affair inevitably ending with some wretched villain clothed in the purple, destined to be hewn down by another villain. For Gibbon, everything worthwhile—philosophy, art, literature, science—happens in spite of the course of history, not because of it.As I said, Durant holds the opposite view. Durant is here interested in tracing out the progress of civilization. By this term, “civilization,” Durant means many things: lasting peace, strong morals, good government, moderate religion, the development of the fine arts, and the advance of knowledge. He is much more interested in styles of pottery than types of weaponry; he would rather dwell on a piece of music than a naval battle. Thus, in this volume, we find an enormous amount of space given over to the playwrights and poets, to architectural styles and the progress of painting, to philosophy and mathematics. And although Durant does largely subscribe to the “great man” view of history—or at least the “great man” view of civilization—he takes many opportunities to depict the daily lives of the Greeks. Indeed, compared with Gibbon, Durant’s tone and subject are often intimate, familiar, even mundane.Durant is a writer of rare caliber. He somehow manages to be both eloquent and direct, both sophisticated and easygoing, both erudite and approachable. His prose is welcoming; you can spend hours reading this book, and never tire. Yet unlike other books that are easily read, Durant’s prose is never plain or merely functional, but always sparkles with wit and charm. Consequently, this book (and I’m sure the others in this series) can be profitably and enjoyably read by anyone, bookworm or neophyte.Of course, this book is not without its flaws. The most obvious and forgivable is that Durant has many outdated opinions. Even for the time this book was published—1939—Durant had an old-fashioned turn of mind. He is a lover of tradition, and is typically skeptical of modern scholarship. But this leads to his more serious shortcoming: his credulity of tradition. Many stories are related in these pages that I suspect are apocryphal, or at least not very well supported by the record. History is relentlessly mythologized, and this is doubly true of Greek history, which is half myth to begin with; so I think much more skepticism is needed than what Durant brought to bear.Doubtless, part of this is due to Durant’s background. He is not a specialist in any sense of the word, but rather explicitly scorns specialization. It was his opinion that a “synthesis” was needed of the many “analytic” works in existence; that somebody with a broad background and a philosophical turn of mind was required to gather up the scattered materials of historical research into one grand fabric. The ultimate purpose of this venture is perspective—to see the subject from as near a universal point of view as possible. But as Durant admits himself, the huge mass of information makes errors inevitable. Yet the occasional error is not the gravest possibility for a venture of this kind. By writing from such a high vantage point, Durant risks mischaracterizing his subject entirely, as inaccurate generalizations and apocryphal tales are easy to accept when one isn’t well-acquainted with the original data. Otto Neugebauer, in his excellent Exact Sciences in Antiquity (1949), seems to be responding directly to Durant when he says:I do not consider it as the goal of historical writing to condense the complexity of historical processes into some kind of “digest” or “synthesis”. On the contrary, I see the main purpose of historical studies in the unfolding of the stupendous wealth of phenomena which are connected with any phase of human history and thus to counteract the natural tendency toward over-simplification and philosophical constructions which are the faithful companions of ignorance.Neugebauer’s approach is quite opposite to Durant’s. Neugebauer aims not to simplify or generalize, not to gather up what we know into a single narrative, but by patient scholarship to reveal the incredible and irreducible richness of every phase of human culture. Thus, instead of summarizing Babylonian mathematics, he deciphers a single Babylonian tablet for the reader, allowing us an indirect glimpse at the primary material, repeatedly reminding us how little we actually know about these bygone civilizations.Yet admirable and impressive as is Neugebauer’s work, and as persuasive as is his pedagogical philosophy, I think works like Durant’s are necessary. Somebody has to attempt, however imperfectly, the task of weaving together all of the disparate threads. One single mind, however limited, has to endeavor to tell the whole story. Of course Neugebauer is right that the final product will be riddled with errors, and perhaps is doomed from the start. But works like Durant’s and Gibbon’s allow us to develop a sense of history, to feel in our bones the many generations that have lived and died before us, to sense our own small place in a progression of works and deed that did not begin with us, and will not end with us.

  • Bryan
    2018-10-14 15:01

    Part II of Durant's mammoth series on Western Civilization is much better than the first installment. He does stick with his established format--it's important for prospective readers to understand that Durant's aim is not so much a political or dynastic focus but a cultural one. Thus the section on Plato stretches out to 15 pages, Alexander to 17; Aristotle 14, The Peloponnesian War 15. This would almost make it look as if it were 50/50, except there are about 4 chapters of cultural concerns (art, literature, religion, philosophy, daily life) to one chapter of 'history' history.I'm still adjusting to the overall arc of the series--I had expected more in the way of a narrative history, which this isn't. Still, I appreciated how the book is filling in the gaps in my readings--after reading Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, I had an idea of the major events of classical Greece, but from the rise of Alexander to the predominance of Rome, I was pretty much in the dark. This helped to clarify some.A quick, partial judgment on the series as a whole before I continue with Volume III: If you knew of a precocious pre-teen or early teen who was interested in history and ancient cultures, you could do a lot worse than set them free with this set. A friend of mine mentioned that in some ways, this series was like a time capsule from the 1940s (though this installment isn't nearly as bad as Volume I), and that seems fitting. But to a fresher, less cynical mind, Durant's work could be absolutely stunning. Not to imply in any way that it's for juveniles--not by any stretch. It has more to do with the outlook on life, and it seems to me that a more impressionable mind would find a lot of excellent things here to have impressed into their consciousness. Well, anyway--on to Volume III!

  • Jim
    2018-09-28 16:02

    For many years, I have been curious about Will and Ariel Durant, those amateur historians who attempted to plot the course of civilization from the beginnings to the present day. Unfortunately, they did not live long enough to accomplish their goal, but what they did accomplish was nothing short of amazing.I had expected The Life of Greece, the second volume in the massive Story of Civilization series to be pompous and well-meaning. Instead, I found it exhilarating and at the same time encyclopedic, as in the book's last paragraph:Civilization does not die, it migrates; it changes its habitat and its dress, but it lives on. The decay of one civilization, as of one individual, makes room for the growth of another; life sheds the old skin, and surprises death with fresh youth. Greek civilization is alive; it moves in every breath of mind that we breathe; so much of it remains that none of us in one lifetime could absorb it all. We know its defects—its insane and pitiless wars, its stagnant slavery, its subjection of woman, its lack of moral restraint, its corrupt individualism, its tragic failure to unite liberty with order and peace. But those who cherish freedom, reason, and beauty will not linger over those blemishes. They will hear behind the turmoil of political history the voices of Solon and Socrates, of Plato and Euripides, of Pheidias and Praxiteles, of Epicurus and Archimedes; they will be grateful for the existence of such men, and will seek their company across alien centuries. They will think of Greece as the bright morning of that Western Civilization which, with all its kindred faults, is our nourishment and our life.And then, with a wry smile, he ends his work by dedicating it to us: "To those who have come thus far; thank you for your unseen but ever felt companionship."While, as one would expect, the coverage of Periclean Athens is deep and thoughtful, the book's biggest surprise, however, is its coverage of Hellenic Greece, which most Historians hurry through as if they had to make a dash to the rest room. Instead, Durant lingers here and makes us realize that Greece did not die with Alexander, nor did it even die with Roman rule. It took the founding of the Eastern Roman Empire by Diocletian to mark the end.This is a book that is well worth seeking out. Fortunately, it is easy to buy complete sets of The Story of Civilization. If the other volumes are as good as this, that might not be a bad idea.

  • Danny
    2018-10-08 13:18

    I have FINALLY, (piecemeal over the last twenty years) finished what was a fascinating bit of torment. I have no natural interest in Greek philosophy and have slaved, here a little and there a little, thru this almost 700 page work. I have been amazed at the energy and intellect of Will Durant in putting together in a five (5) year period of time the most complete history possible of ancient Greek civilization and all it's generous gifts bestowed to us. I didn't just casually peruse this 2nd volume in the "History of Civilization", I tried to discipline myself to research, cross reference, digest and understand, a chapter at a time the content of the Greek civilization, especially Greek philosophy. Not to boast, but every page in my copy is now underlined with notes in the margins. I really am now more motivated than ever to move forward and finish up the subsequent eleven (11) volumes before I leave this mortal habitation.I do believe that volume three (3), "Caesar and Christ' will pique my interest more naturally, and should (hopefully) take less time and willpower to delve into. I will also be interested to see the added influence of the author's wife and research companion, Ariel Durant who joined his adventure starting with volume three. Wish me well!

  • Josh Friedlander
    2018-10-12 16:07

    Durant is a great historian for people who aren't usually 'into' history (like myself!) He pulls together an astonishing amount of knowledge into a compelling narrative, stopping to inspect art, architecture, poetry and drama. Though there are doubtless many points for specialist historians to disagree, there are few if any replacements for this masterful work.

  • M. Ashraf
    2018-10-17 17:10

    The Story of Civilization, after Our Oriental Heritage I decided that I'm going to finish this epic story, one way or another, and it 'd be great if I not only read the book but other referenced books in it and so my journey begun with The Life of Greece earlier this year :) I started the first chapters, then jumped to the greats - The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer - I re-read Politics by Aristotle and The Republic by Plato, I added the rest of the dialogues to my to read list and got introduced to The Literature of the Golden Age, great books to be read.From the rise of Crete, The Troy war, the Legends, the story of Athens, the Greek mythology, the democratic experience, the Persian wars, Sparta and its great history, Macedonia and Alexander the great!!! The rise and fall of the Civilization.And from history to philosophy and dialectic... to Theater, Drama, Comedy, Poems and music. To Science, Math, Geometry and Astronomy.Till the coming of The Roman Empire!Our Greek HeritageCivilization does not die, it migrates; it changes its habitat and its dress, but it lives on. The decay of one civilization, as of one individual, makes room for the growth of another; life sheds the old skin, and surprises death with fresh youth. Greek civilization is alive; it moves in every breath of mind that we breathe; so much of it remains that none of us in one lifetime could absorb it all.A great history book is a small word to describe this one, I <3 it, I enjoyed it, it is a very good read! it worth the effort and time.Next Year It is going to be with The Great Roman Empire :) With Volume III - Caesar and Christ.Our state is pregnant, shortly to produceA rude avenger of prolonged abuse.The commons hitherto seem sober-minded,But their superiors are corrupt and blinded.The rule of noble spirits, brave and high,Never endangered peace and harmony.The supercilious, arrogant pretenseOf feeble minds, weakness and insolence;Justice and truth and law wrested asideBy crafty shifts of avarice and pride;These are our ruin, ...!—never dreamOf future peace or safety to the state;Bloodshed and strife will follow soon or late." Theognis of MegaraAll things take place by necessity and by harmonyThe wise man will cultivate thought, will free himself from passion, superstition, and fear, and will seek in contemplation and understanding the modest happiness available to human life.Idealism offends the senses, materialism offends the soul; the one explains everything but the world, the other everything but life.The excess of liberty, whether in states or individuals, seems only to pass into slavery . . . and the most aggravated form of tyranny arises out of the most extreme form of liberty.Herodas writes: “Alexandria is the house of Aphrodite, and everything is to be found there—wealth, playgrounds, a large army, a serene sky, public displays, philosophers, precious metals, fine young men, a good royal house, an academy of science, exquisite wines, and beautiful women.”No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself. Deforestation and the abuse of the soil, the depletion of precious metals, the migration of trade routes, the disturbance of economic life by political disorder, the corruption of democracy and the degeneration of dynasties, the decay of morals and patriotism, the decline or deterioration of the population, the replacement of citizen armies by mercenary troops, the human and physical wastage of fratricidal war, the guillotining of ability by murderous revolutions and counterrevolutions.

  • Judy
    2018-10-09 18:20

    I took a long break from Will Durant after finishing Volume I: Our Oriental Heritage. When I cracked open The Life of Greece, it wasn't long before the Trojan War and Homer's legends showed up. About 40 pages actually. So I went to read The Iliad. That took me a long time on the 10 page a day plan. I intended to read The Odyssey, but kept putting it off.Meanwhile I had begun to read novels by Nikos Kazantzakis beginning with Zorba the Greek, then The Greek Passion, followed by Freedom or Death. I must credit Kazantzakis for giving me a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the Greek people (and I suppose I should also give a nod to Eugenides and Middlesex.)My personal reading odyssey finally led me back to The Life of Greece. I buckled down, reading a small section a day for months with frequent breaks and finally got to the end. It was worth all the work it took to read it. I feel I could not complete my quest to be truly well-read without reading at least some history.Because of Durant's self-professed goal to approach history by covering the entire expanse of civilization (from government, religion and philosophy to the arts, daily life and commerce as well as the progressions of wars and leaders) these volumes have given me a broad overview that now informs my reading and my understanding of current events. He has unlocked for me the old conundrum: you don't know what you don't know.At some point in my schooling I was forced to read The Golden Fleece. I did not get it at all. All I remember is some guys called argonauts and "rosy fingered dawn." Now that I have read about the ancient beginnings, the rise, the Golden Age, and the fall of Greece; now that I have learned when and how the great philosophers, the dramatists and even Alexander the Great fit into the history of Greece, I feel oriented in an entirely new way as a reader. Just as a small example, I learned that Aristotle was tutor to Alexander the Great during Alexander's teen years.I understand why we were made to learn about Greece, Plato, Aristotle, etc in school. The template for modern civilization was formed in Greece, a true crossroads of East and West. Mankind is still playing on that stage. I have begun Volume III: Caesar and Christ and am determined to press on until I get through the series. Wish me luck!

  • Nick Gibson
    2018-10-13 18:02

    Eminently readable - Durant's prose is clear without being repetitive and imaginative without being purple. I'm sure specialists can find enough faults in his narrative, maybe even generalists armed with the discoveries of the intervening eight decades. But Durant's strength is as a whetstone. The reader cannot help but be fascinated by what he reads. This is mesmerizing history in the tradition of Herodotus and Paul Johnson, not Thucydides and Gibbon.It helps to have a solid set of worldview chops before reading Durant, though. He (and his wife? It's hard to tell on these early volumes before the double credit) are a tricky blend, combining staunch Jesuit traditionalism with socialist sympathy, comparative religion, and proto-feminism. Many times he criticizes and repudiates only to - begrudgingly, in the final analysis - admit that the conservative old institutions and standards had it right all along.As far as the book's content, I was relieved and thankful to at last digest a well-styled general history of the Greeks after piecing together an image of the civilization through endless classical references in other books and essays. I was also amazed at just how much of our modern day life is inherited in one way or another from the Greeks. There are distinctions and differences, naturally, but to read Greek history is to walk through a hall of mirrors.Can't wait to follow Durant to Rome.

  • Steve
    2018-09-17 17:10

    Another monumental work from Durant, this time covering the history, politics, philosophy, literature, science, economics and art of the Greeks down to their subjugation by the Romans just before the time of Christ. The dominant impression is one of the intense variety: they founded democracy with Solon and Pericles, but perfected autocracy with the Spartan system. The emphasized individuality as in their independent city states but also united in numerous Leagues or Confederacies, and allowed an Alexander to become the closest thing the world had then seen to an all powerful emperor. They developed philosophy in its epistemological, political, ethical and scientific realms, building on the legacies of Plato and Aristotle to the hedonist but internally logical ideals of Epicurus and the stoicism of Zeno. Their colonies stretched from Spain to India, from central Europe to northern Africa. Their literature was dominated by the drama, especially those of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, but also branches out to include the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides. Its art includes the architecture of the Parthenon and the delicate pottery that inspired Keats. Unfortunately, little of their pictorial art survives, a fate shared by their music. Its science includes the geometry of Euclid and the practical inventions of Archimedes. With so many eminent thinkers and so many significant developments, it is little wonder that one can claim that no sphere of human endeavor in the modern world was not initiated or experienced mature growth in ancient Greece. In a sense, the book is actually too long: they are too many significant figures to remember them all; too many significant developments: political, economic, military, scientific, philosophical, social and artistic to keep a logical track or summary in one's mind; too many colonies and city states, each with its own particular political system and military history to be easily remembered. Such multifaceted richness of human development has rarely if ever been achieved by any people or peoples in the history of the world and its civilizations.

  • Foad
    2018-10-17 15:23

    بخش های سقراط و محاکمه و اعدام سقراط، شاگردش: افلاطون، و شاگرد افلاطون: ارسطو، و شاگرد جهانگشای ارسطو: اسکندر مقدونی.معمولاً اطلاعات ما نسبت به جهان گشایی اسکندر، از طریق منابع ایرانیه که به طرز غیر محققانه ای جانبدارانه نوشته شدن، اون هم راجع به واقعه ای که دوهزار سال قبل رخ داده و کمترین تأثیر واقعی ای روی زندگی کنونی ما نمی تونه داشته باشه. شخصیت اسکندر، خیلی خیلی جذاب تر از اون خون خوار سفّاکیه که توی کتاب های ایرانی-نوشت نشون داده می شه. اسکندر، البته یونانی و متمدن نیست، مقدونی و کمابیش وحشیه، اما از نژاد مقدونی خودش بیزاره و به جای فرهنگِ نداشته ی نژاد خودش، میخواد فرهنگ یونانی رو در مستعمراتش گسترش بده. اسکندر، شاگرد ارسطوئه و ارسطو کتاب معروف "اخلاق نیکوماخوس" و همچنین کتاب "ارغنون"، اولین کتاب منطق تاریخ رو برای اسکندر نوشته. همین کافیه که بدونیم با یه "چنگیز" مواجه نیستیم. با یه شخصیت خیلی پیچیده تر و صد البته جذاب تر سر و کار داریم.اما راجع به ارسطو، به نظر میرسید لحن کتاب، بدون دلیل، خصمانه میشه. صد در صد کسی از یه فیلسوف که آغازگر راه فلسفه ی تدوین شده است و تازه علم رو از پراکندگی دوره ی پیشاسقراطی در آورده، انتظار نداره که مثل محقق های هزاره ی سوم، که مرز و روش تحقیق هر علمی کاملاً مشخصه و ابزارها و کتب مختلفی راجع به هر علمی نوشته شده، رفتار کنه. اما انگار ویل دورانت این انتظار رو داره و پی در پی به خاطر اشتباهات ارسطو تمسخرش می کنه. لحن بیش از اندازه نیشدار، باعث میشه خواننده علیه نویسنده برانگیخته بشه، نه علیه اون کسی که نویسنده داره تمسخرش می کنه.می گه ارسطو، برای اولین بار چند تخم مرغ رو زیر مرغ های مختلف میذاره و طی مدتی که جنین رشد می کنه و تبدیل به جوجه میشه، هر روز یکی از تخم ها رو بر میداره و میشکنه، تا مراحل رشد جنین رو کاملاً محسوس ببینه و به مراحل رشد جنین انسان پی ببره. این کار ارسطو به قدری برای من جذاب بود که از فرط لذت، می خواستم کتاب رو پرت کنم بالا! (مبالغه می کنم) ولی از این نوآوری و روشن بینی عظیم و خیره کننده در چنان روزگاری، ویل دورانت خیلی ساده رد شده تا به اشتباهات اولین و اولین محقق جهان که پیشینیانش چیز زیادی براش به ارث نذاشتن، بپردازه. به نظرم واقعاً غیرمنصفانه است.

  • Joy
    2018-10-08 20:14

    P. 157: "Then, moving southward along the west shore of the Black Sea, they built the cities of Istrus (Constanta, Kustenje), Tomi (where Ovid died), Odessus (Varna), and Apollonia (Burgas). The historically sensitive traveler stands appalled at the antiquity of these living towns; but today's residents, engrossed in the tasks of their own generation, are undisturbed by the depth of the centuries that lie silent beneath them."P. 334, about the Parthenon: "Perhaps it was a mistake to place this extraordinary relief so high that men could not comfortably contemplate it, or exhaust its excellence. Pheidias excused himself, doubtless with a twinkle in his eye, on the ground that the gods could see it; but the gods were dying while he carved."P. 524. "Perhaps Aristotle would have developed a thoroughly scientific mind had he not listened so long to Plato (some say for twenty years); the doctor's son struggled in him with the Puritan's pupil, and neither side won; Aristotle never quite made up his mind. He gathered about him scientific observations sufficient for an encyclopedia, and then tried to force them into the Platonic mold in which his scholastic mind had been formed. He refuted Plato at every turn because he borrowed from him on every page."These are examples of the benevolent understanding with which Durant infuses his hundreds of pages packed with facts. THE LIFE OF GREECE includes an amazing collection of knowledge - and this is just the second in a series of similar books, chronicling what we knew of human history when the Durants were working through it. Yes, we get Pericles, Alexander the Great, also Socrates, Hieron II of Syracuse and his protégé Archimedes. We get sections on the spread of Greek colonies, and then the collisions of the various Greek empires with Egypt, Persia and Rome. My favorite chapter analyzed the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and how they fit into their culture as it changed.

  • Sarah Shahid
    2018-10-08 17:10

    المجلد الرابع من قصة الحضارة والذي يتضمن جزأين يتحدث كلاهما عن حياة اليونانويقسم الجزء الأول لقسمين: القسم الأول: العصر الذهبي من 480 إلى 399 ق.مالقسم الثاني: اضمحلال الحرية اليونانية وسقوطها من 399 إلى 322 ق.مفي القسم الأول الذي يتحدث فيه عن العصر الذهبي للإمبراطورية اليونانية كان من أغنى الأقسام حيث مثّل الازدهار في حياة اليونان، وقد تناوله الكاتب بالتفصيلإن هذا العصر هو عصر نهضة أثينا وقد كان الحاكم آنذاك هو بركليز صاحب التجربة الديمقراطية، وقد تناول الكاتب كل ما يتعلق بهذا العصر من سياسة وعمل وأخلاق وفن وعلوم وأدب وفلسفة، حيث ظهر في هذا العصر المثاليون والماديون والسفسطائيون بالإضافة لسقراط.وانتهى هذا القسم بالحديث عن انتحار بلاد اليونان حيث قامت الحرب الكبرى بين أثينا واسبارطة والتي انتهت بانتصار اسبارطةأما في القسم الثاني فإن الكاتب يتناول الإمبراطورية الاسبارطية التي كان زعيمها فيليب والد الإسكندر، ومن بعدها الإمبراطورية الأثينية الثانية وأخيراً تقدم مقدونياوقد ركز الكاتب في هذا القسم على الفلسفة، حيث كانت في عصرها الذهبي آنذاك وشهدت ظهور أعظم الفلاسفة مثل أتباع المدرسة السقراطية وأفلاطون وأرسطوطاليسوأخيراً اختتم هذا الجزء بالحديث عن الإسكندر  المقدوني الذي كان بمثابة الفاتحأما في الجزء الثاني من هذا الكتاب فإن الكاتب يتناول فيه العصر الهيلينستي من 322 إلى 146 ق.مكان ذلك العصر عصر التشتت حيث شهد تنازع السلطان بالإضافة إلى انحلال بلاد اليونان والثورة في اسبارطةوفي هذا العصر كان هناك عدة إمبراطوريات نشأت بعد وفاة الإسكندر حيث تقاسم قادته الحكم، ويتناول الكاتب الحضارة السلوقية أو الإمبراطورية السلوقية في الشرق، بالإضافة إلى البطالمة في مصروقد شهد هذا العصر ذروة مجد العلم اليوناني واستسلام الفلسفة حيث ظهر المتشككون وظهرت الأبيقورية والرواقية والعودة إلى الدين وكل تلك الفلسفات كانت دليلاً على انهيار اليونان والانشقاق الواضح بين السياسة والأخلاق، لينتهي هذا العصر بمجيء روما وسيطرتها على اليونانبالنسبة لي كان هذا المجلد ممتعاً للغاية لاحتوائه على كم هائل من الفلسفة، وقد شجعني لقراءة كتاب قصة الفلسفة للكاتب ذاته فقد أعجبني أسلوبه في كتابة الفلسفة

  • Bob Nichols
    2018-09-27 12:13

    There's history and there's history. Those who read history have their favorite historians. After reading Volume One, Our Oriental Heritage, I was impressed, very impressed, with Durant's knowledge and writing style. So much so, I went out and purchased the full eleven volume set, despite my recollection when he completed it many years ago that "that was a lot of history" (i.e, who would actually read?). I had just read a Mentor book, "A History of the World in 240 Pages." Volume II did not disappoint (though there is a lot of detail, hence the rating of 4 [too much detail?:]). In the West, we start with Greece, but Durant provides a fuller historical context, providing the various cultural streams that preceded Greece and made Greece, Greece. For example, Durant writes, "The Greeks took elephants as well as mysticism from India." But my favorite line was his last, "To those who have come thus far: Thank you for your unseen but ever felt companionship."

  • Jp
    2018-09-22 13:05

    I learned a lot about the origins of certain words and basically got a good enough overview of Greek History that I could probably call someone out if they were talking about it and being totally ignorant. The only thing I don't like is when he conjectures about day to day life. Also, this book is probably a little dated, I'm sure there have been new archaeological discoveries or rediscovered works (hopefully). One of the coolest things you learn about is how class struggles have always been around and follow a pattern. I think Will Durant's purpose is to show us that nothing is truly new (When I read the first book in this volume he said that even the Egyptians, who were as old to the Greeks as the Greeks are to us, thought this).

  • Erik Graff
    2018-09-23 12:01

    The first volume of Durant's Story of Civilization was a disappointment, except perhaps for the brief coverage of Gandhi, but here, with volume two, the series takes off and maintains its quality throughout the remaining volumes.Durant's background interest appears to have been philosophy. He is particularly strong on that, but otherwise this serves as a very good introduction to ancient Greece, its history and culture.

  • Mister Jones
    2018-10-11 16:58

    It took me more than a year to slog through it. I'm astonished that a human being could actually write a tome chock full with information about such a great and fascinating time and culture. Admittedly there were times that I thought I would give up in some of the less interesting parts, but I feel I am a better man and reader for not doing so. Almost want to read it again, but I'll wait until I turn 70.

  • Henry Demond
    2018-09-25 12:19

    Life of Greece, vol. 2 of The History of Civilization.by Will Durant.If I could have it my way, I would read one book a week and there wouldn’t be any limitation to the length, breadth or depth of the topic at hand. That way, I could most likely keep my SEO ranked high. Instead, alas, a busy schedule only succeeds at keeping me rankled.I have recently obtained and bought a slew of reading material, some of which I’ll most likely talk about on the next NTLS. But today, I’d like to talk about a book I spent some time immersed in, in a fashion some more technically-minded males would approach a Ship-in-a-Bottle. The name of the book is Life of Greece, and it was written 80 years ago by a fellow most any historian would perk his ears up at the mere mention: Will Durant.This book is the second in Durant’s decades-long series of historical tomes called The Story of Civilization, the first being (—I dunno(?)—a book I haven’t read yet), that he first published in 1935. Anyway, the great thing about reading any one of the Durant volumes is that whatever flavor-of-the-month your historical palate is interested in, you can most likely pick it up and bite right in without having to know who Frodo is or whether ‘Precious’ is a Hobbit, a Ring, an Orc or a Sea Monster. And it just so happened that a couple of months ago, I was craving me some Ancient Greece (Take some olive pesto, feta, a little Socrates mixed with Demosthenes, some Ouzo, you get one free-thinking mouthful).Now, before I tell you how credible and fascinatingly engaging Life of Greece is, let me stand on my anti-Progressivist soap-box for just a New York School-minute.It is an academically sound ethic to leave the personal stuff out of criticism. But, neither am I an academic nor am I sound, so I’m going to jump into the breach here. Will and Ariel were Socialists (insert [inhalation sound of incredulity])! Will Durant, per the Will Durant Foundation website, was originally matriculated through seminary school, as his parents had every intention of turning him into a Jesuit. But, as is the case with most near-lapsing Catholics I’ve ever met, once one gets a taste of the World, the Catholic World seems so far afield of the possible, you don’t want any part of anything dealing with Religion. At all.So Will became somewhat active in Socialist circles, turning his criminally young wife in that direction, and teaching Philosophy wherever he could get paid.However, to Will’s credit, he had enough moral flavor to stay away from the more radical aspects of Communism and Anarchism and found a marvelous niche in historical research. When people ask me about Durant and the Socialist stigma, I say, “Will Loved History and Ariel was the rampaging Socialist.” In other words, apart from an occasional editorial here and there in the course of 600 years, the Socialist mantra does not show through in Life of Greece. The writing and story-telling are colorful and engaging enough, yet one can draw their own conclusions about impact and cause-and-effect of the presented historical events.I hope to talk more about Will Durant and his History of Civilization series for future shows. In the meantime, I have to live out my own personal and private histories and just keep marching on.

  • Shawn
    2018-10-14 12:58

    This is the second of eleven volumes that cover The History of Civilization, which I have been listening to intermittently during the commute to and from work. These volumes are exceedingly long. There are more than 32 hours of audio in this volume alone, which is of such meticulous detail that one has to take periodic breaks from the monotony. Nevertheless, there is much to gain from this invaluable historical overview. It was about two years ago when I finished the first volume Our Oriental Heritage ; and with 9 more volumes to go I may be an old man before I finally conclude all the volumes. Perhaps my listening will be a bit more diligent on the next volume, which I’m very much looking forward to; it is entitled Caesar and Christ and covers the Roman empire. I leave this study of Greek history with the realization that Greece marks the beginnings of the major East-West conflicts. Listening to both Our Oriental Heritage, and now The Life of Greece, has illuminated the vast cultural differences between these two geographies. These cultures remain in conflict to this very day, both seeking dominance and imposition of its way of thinking ahead of the other. The terrorism of Xerxes and the rampages of Alexander are still going on today, just with new heads of state and frighteningly devastating modern technology. For Westerners, Greek history is the bright morning of its civilization and the Hellenic influence is still strong among us today, even in many ways that we never imagine. The Greeks are the precursors of western intellectual thought and from them arose profound revelations in philosophy, art, medicine, literature, theatre, etc. People are still reading Plato and the other Greek philosophers to this very day. The recognition of the Logos emerged in Greek thinking, before it became integral to early Christian philosophy. Similarly, Greek intellectuals provided the seeds for the later emergence of Enlightenment thinkers. I can only recommend this for someone committed to getting through it. I’ve found that one has to practice to gain sufficient focus for such long audio books. Its sort of like golf. Occasionally you laugh out loud when you hear a particularly amazing historical revelation, like hitting a good golf shot. Other times, you find yourself struggling just to keep your head out of the rough and cognizant of the direction the fairway is leading. Like golf, you come to accept that you’re going to miss some shots, just as you’re going to miss parts of this important history, as your mind wanders. But, like golf, you keep coming back again and again, because the value of suddenly profound and insightful revelations make it all worthwhile.

  • Gary
    2018-10-06 20:14

    Durant is history for those who do not like history. He covers the topic mostly by using a thematic approach tied with an overriding narrative.It takes the author a while to get into his own voice, but when he does the book comes alive and the history and the wisdom of the Greeks will live within the listener. He muddles his way through the first six chapters by speculating about pre-Homeric Greece and than using Homer as an authoritative source for history. It's worth wading through those eight or so hours to get to the real story.At about 700 BCE, he starts talking about Sparta and contrasting that with Athens, and the author develops his real theme, "individualism leads to the destruction of the group, but gives creativity and progress". This is when the book comes alive! Sparta gives perfect order, Athens gives birth to the individual's growth at some expense to the whole. This story is worth telling. The story of Greece is a metaphor for this dichotomy (Plato and the Cave verse Aristotle's knowledge through observation and the values from the individual).In two different spots in the narrative the author clues you into this dichotomy. When he talks about the Book of Ezra and how the question of evil is answered by stating that a part of the universe can never understand the whole universe and the question should never even be asked. The second time within the book he delves into Epicurean thought and explains that for the Epicurean the individual is only part of the whole and the group must be made of the parts as contrasted with a Stoic Philosophy that the group is understandable by the individual.The book is not without flaws. The first 8 or so hours is muddled and can easily be skipped. He spends way too much detail telling me about the Greek Plays. He makes weird statements like, "even the Jew, the least superstitious of all people uses the word Mazel tov when greeting people".When the author writes in his own voice and ties the pieces together through his narrative, nobody covers history better. In the end, Greece with it's individual city states gave us our heritage of valuing individual thought and the Romans will give us their structure for appreciating social order. I'll be looking forward to listening to Durant's spin on the Romans and their History.

  • Marcus
    2018-10-17 17:14

    In second volume of Durant's "History of Civilization" I am on much firmer ground and I've got to admit that I am rather disappointing in this book. Author's method of focusing on few prominent personalities and basing foundation of his story on narratives of their lives is fascinating, but I found that it left me unsatisfied on several occasions. Perhaps it's because I already posses significant amount of knowledge about the period and thought that Durant doesn't present whole picture.Another thing that bugged me throughout the book is Durant's partiality toward Athens. His disregard or perhaps I should even say, disdain for Sparta is almost palpable and the result is that this rather significant factor of Greek civilization gets rather short shrift in "The Life of Greece" on the few ocassions when it is remembered at all.By the time the book reaches to Alexander and Diadochi period, limitations of Duran'ts methodology become more evident - it is impossible to provide clear overview of the process of hellenization without a lot of space dedicated to the interaction between different geographic areas and dynasties. Durant's 'let's talk about few artists and thinkers and let the reader connect the dots dots'-approach just doesn't work with post-Alexandrian Euroasia and Africa. Thus in later part of the book, the reader without previous knowledge is subjected to a lithany of short biographies and tidbits of information that will probably provide little insight into the period.In one respect my admiration for the author is unchanged his skill in language and ability to express complex thoughts and ideas in simple and accessible way is simply superb. It is also rather refreshing to read a scholar of history who, being unfamiliar with concept of 'political correctness', isn't afraid to tell the reader his personal opinion about the discussed subject. Based solely on its literary merits, it's a beautiful work of art and I would totally recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good book.

  • Earl Grey Tea
    2018-10-11 14:21

    Will Durant continuous he epic march through western history by tackling Ancient Greece. Like in his first book, the author goes into great details about people, events, social structures, literature, arts, science, philosophy, and other topics for different regions and time periods from the foundations of Greece to the deterioration of the Hellenistic Period.There is a plethora of information and it can be extremely overwhelming. Many times, especially in the parts of literature or the arts, I got a general idea of what was happening in that time period in Ancient Greece, but I really could grasp or truly absorb all the details that Durant presented.I know every reader has their biased, but I felt that too much time was spent on the literature, arts, plays, and poetry of Ancient Greece and major events, people, and aspects of society could've been fleshed out more. I feel learning about the culture of Ancient Greece could've been better achieved - at least for me - with plenty of visual aids to reinforce what the author was explaining. Since I was listening to the audio book version of this book, I am not sure if these were present in the corporeal form of the book.One final thing that I enjoyed about the author was his quirky little comments throughout the book. When talking about non-religious people, he referred to them at one point as "people to industrious to be pious". Overall Will Durant remains very objective in his work, but these little tidbits add a nice flare to his work.

  • Heman
    2018-10-09 16:11

    For the first time I read through one of Durant's voluminous volumes. A bit old fashioned now, this one was published in 1939, it takes a "tsk tsk" attitude toward sexual liberties of the Greek world and is unashamedly a Eurocentric narrative. However, on the scale of the effort and breadth of subject I think it is a fantastic book (almost an encyclopedia.) It is mind boggling how much of what we know about Greece is through second-hand (or even many-hand) accounts. Then again much of what we know about anyone else is through the Greeks. When you combine that with a not so hidden tendency of the Greeks to spun long tales, it makes you wonder if we know anything much at all. So much was lost to the vagaries of time and the prejudice of the classically minded scribes, but apparently a good deal of what survived went to the bonfires of a Christianity that had plagiarized most of its philosophy off of pagan Greece. History is as much as an affront to religion as science (why do you think ISIS bulldozes the past?)One of the most fascinating topics is the limited democracy of Athens. It was so hands-on and so impractical: officials drawn by the lot, assemblies of hundreds of thousands, voting and counter-voting to banish or kill anyone who could be deemed a threat to the system, etc.

  • Kristi Richardson
    2018-09-22 16:59

    "The Greek might admit that honesty is the best policy, but he tries everything else first."I am trying to complete this series this year and this is my second book, entitled “The Life of Greece.”Mr. Durant starts where he left off in the first book with the death of Alexander but he also goes back to pre-history and talks again about the roots of the Greek civilization. The Greeks originally were pirates and warriors. They didn’t believe in farming but they did believe in stealing the crops from those who did. They also seemed to be the original Mafia, because they demanded protection money from farming communities to protect them. My favorite part is the story of Pericles and Aspasia. These two people are my favorite Greeks and I love learning more about them. Another great part was the story of later Greeks during the Hellenic diaspora with Ptolemy I and II in Egypt. Each section of history is broken down into the culture, people, religion, arts and architecture. We owe so much to the Greeks. They gave us Democracy and Dictators. They gave us our sentence structure, paragraphs, biography, history, and drama. They taught us mathematical properties and scientific solutions. They gave us medicine and oratory. Without the Greeks, we would have a very different world today.

  • Shawn Thrasher
    2018-09-23 13:26

    In used book stores, yard sales, or on some of the dustier shelves of libraries, you can often find them: Will Durant's (later Will and Ariel Durant's) The Story of Civilization. It's often moldering way, which I always think is a shame, because every one of these books that I've read - I will admit I have not read them all - is excellently written and completely enjoyable. I can't authoritatively speak for the research; these are old books; The Life of Greece was published in 1939, and surely some new discoveries have happened in archaeology of ancient Greece since 1939. But I know I can speak for the quality of the writing which isn't merely good or great: if you love history, it's magical. Durant is a wonderful wordsmith; a true painter of words. One could write reams on the reams that Durant has written: his life of Greece runs the gamut of a little bit of everything one could possibly want to know about the Greeks. There are too many things I loved about this book to list them all here - I wrote more about it in my blog, http://shawnmthrasher.blogspot.com/20....

  • Kevin
    2018-09-18 17:10

    I read a few of these during college, probably just Greece, Rome & Age of Faith and thought I was a history major. I'm pretty sure at the time all I cared about was Mongol death counts.Reading in my 30s, it was more about religion and being RIGHT and WRONG and again, probably made it through first four books at best. This time, jeebus -- it's like reading the newspapers. Maybe age & wisdom, but I'm just feeling like EVERYTHING has happened before and the mental comparisons to Occupy Wall Street made me laugh laugh laugh. Anyway, made it through Orient, Greece, Rome, Age of Faith, the Ren-AY-saunce ( BTW, HIMYM finale was tonight. Pour one out for Ted's wife) and I'm deep into the Reformation. Actually, the hilarity of spending so much of my life with this author, when I read the preface & how he REALLY should have titled it, I felt like it was a shared joke. Also, him saying he's going to 'finish up the last book in 5 years or so... all the way to Napolean' and knowing there are at LEAST five more (lets see: Age of Reason, Louis XIV, Voltaire, Rousseau and FINALLY... NAPOLEAN!). Good times.

  • John Doyle
    2018-09-19 17:19

    The Life of Greece is the second volume in the Durants' eleven volume history of civilization. The book begins with neolithic culture in the Mediterranean and the matriarchal society of ancient Crete and ends with the Romans turning Greece into a province in 146 BC. My previous reading about Greece has been mostly focused on the ironically named "Golden Age" that ended with the death of Socrates in 399 BC. "Ironic" because as Durant points out, when a civilization is successful enough that its citizens come to value leisure, art, and reflection above action, virility, and military arts, history has shown that that civilization's days are numbered. For me, it is powerful to consider that Aristotle's definition of the best life as one that combines prosperity and scholarship corresponds to priorities that contributed materially to the decay of Greek society and left it vulnerable to defeat by the Romans.

  • Troy Soos
    2018-10-10 14:20

    Originally published in 1939, some of the material is a bit outdated. More recent scholarship and archaeology have provided information and theories to which Durant did not have access. Nevertheless, this is a terrific overview of the history of ancient Greece. One major plus of this work is that Durant endeavors to give a comprehensive picture of Greek life rather than merely recount a sequence of wars and rulers. Culture and philosophy are given greater attention than battles. Durant’s writing is lively and charming, and his passion for the subject always comes through. He sometimes summarizes major concepts with amusing single sentences (e.g. “The basic principle of democracy is freedom inviting chaos.). The maps in the book were indecipherable, so I kept the Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece on hand for reference.

  • Hannah
    2018-09-26 16:27

    I've finally finished the MOTHA. ahem. The Mother of all Will Durant books (hopefully?) This was incredibly long, but quite amazing. Amazing overview of all aspects of the the varied Greek societies throughout their life cycle (at least of all aspects meaningful from a liberal arts perspective). I was amazed at the amazing achievements of scientists and more surprised, even than I expected to be, at the wide gamut of political systems that were employed in various Greek societies and their outcomes. As could be expected, it seemed time and again that a heavy focus was paid to the development of philosophy and thought in all it's variants. Quite wonderful. Sometimes he creates such wonderful turns of phrase - one of my favorite quotes:"It is as impossible to begin a civilization without robbery as it is difficult to maintain it without slaves."

  • Bruce
    2018-09-23 14:24

    Despite it being like 700 pages, this chunky book feels like it's going too fast. In one sense, it's filled with more information that one could ever hope to remember about Ancient Greece. On the other hand, it's a topical treatment that barely scratches the Mediterranean enigma. He makes history, well, his story. The most fascinating part is his dissection of cultural history, that is, the morals, customs, relations between genders, and the general common life of people. Easy to imagine yourself in their shoes. Beautiful prose, lively, witty, and full of the characteristic charming wisdom that one comes to expect from Will Durant. The first half is definitely more interesting than the last third: as Greek civilization wanes, so does your attention.