Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea by Thomas Cahill
Why the Greeks Matter

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In Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, his fourth volume to explore “the hinges of history,” Thomas Cahill escorts the reader on another entertaining—and historically unassailable—journey through the landmarks of art and bloodshed that defined Greek culture nearly three millennia ago.

In the city-states of Athens and Sparta and throughout the Greek islands, honors could be won in making love and war, and lives were rife with contradictions. By developing the alphabet, the Greeks empowered the reader, demystified experience, and opened the way for civil discussion and experimentation—yet they kept slaves. The glorious verses of the Iliad recount a conflict in which rage and outrage spur men to action and suggest that their “bellicose society of gleaming metals and rattling weapons” is not so very distant from more recent campaigns of “shock and awe.” And, centuries before Zorba, Greece was a land where music, dance, and freely flowing wine were essential to the high life. Granting equal time to the sacred and the profane, Cahill rivets our attention to the legacies of an ancient and enduring worldview.

BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.

About Thomas Cahill

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THOMAS CAHILL's appealing approach to distant history has won the attention of millions of readers in North America and beyond. Cahill is the author of five previous volumes in the Hinges of History series: How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, and Mysteries of the Middle Ages. They have been bestsellers not only in the United States, but also in countries ranging from Italy to Brazil. His last book was A Saint on Death Row.

Author Residence: New York, NY
Published April 21, 2010 by Anchor. 352 pages
Genres: History, Law & Philosophy, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In highly readable fashion, Cahill explores the Greeks' great gifts to Western civilization, along with some less benign bequests that continue to grieve us.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Wh...

Publishers Weekly

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Dukakis makes an oddly fine match for this learned, accessible and occasionally glib survey of early Greek culture and its contributions to Western civilization.

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Cahill, who has written books about the medieval Irish, the ancient Jews and the birth of Christianity, this time guides us through the greatness of Greek plays, military tactics and political thinking, arguing that Greek democracy was superior in some respects to ours.

Dec 15 2003 | Read Full Review of Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Wh...

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