This book provides an original and challenging answer to the question: 'Who were the Classical Greeks?' Paul Cartledge - 'one of the most theoretically alert, widely read and prolific of contemporary ancient historians' (TLS) - here examines the Greeks and their achievements in terms of their own self-image, mainly as it was presented by the supposedly objective historians: Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon.
Many of our modern concepts as we understand them were invented by the Greeks: for example, democracy, theatre, philosophy, and history. Yet despite being our cultural ancestors in many ways, their legacy remains rooted in myth and the mental and material contexts of many of their achievements are deeply alien to our own ways of thinking and acting.
The Greeks aims to explore in depth how the dominant group (adult, male, citizen) attempted, with limited success, to define themselves unambiguously in polar opposition to a whole series of 'Others' - non-Greeks, women, non-citizens, slaves and gods. This new edition contains an updated bibliography, a new chapter entitled 'Entr'acte: Others in Images and Images of Others', and a new afterword.