The Greeks and Greek Civilization by Jacob Burckhardt

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From one of the greatest historians of our modern age comes a masterpiece too controversial to be published in his own time. Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897) portrayed ancient Greek culture as an aristocratic world based on ruthless competition for honor, which led, in turn, to a tyrannous state with minimal personal freedom.

About Jacob Burckhardt

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Jacob Burckhardt was born in Basel, Switzerland on May 25, 1818. He received a degree in theology in 1839 and then attended the University of Berlin to study history. He taught at the University of Basel from 1843 to 1855, then at ETH, the engineering school in Zurich. In 1858, he returned to Basel to assume the professorship he held until his 1893 retirement. He was a historian of art and culture, and is considered one of the founding fathers of art history and one of the original creators of cultural history. His first book, Die Kunstwerke der belgischen Städte, was published in 1842. His best known works are The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and The History of the Renaissance in Italy. His other works include The Age of Constantine the Great, Judgments on History and Historians, and The Greeks and Greek Civilization. He died on August 8, 1897. Murray is a fellow and tutor in Ancient History.
Published January 1, 1998 by St. Martin's Press. 449 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Burckhardt’s investigation concludes in contrast to the traditional idealization of Greece as the cradle of Western humanism: “the blissful golden age of fantasy has never existed.” An instructive excursion into Greek life, provided readers are not intimidated by occasional dense scholarly passag...

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Publishers Weekly

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Burckhardt (1818-1897) broke with the positivist Hegelian historians of his time who preferred to study the progression of events and ""great men."" He reconceptualized Greek culture with his new methodology and believed that how an event was perceived was more important than the event itself, wh...

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London Review of Books

The first (posthumous) publication of the lectures entitled Greek Cultural History (1898-1902) produced a chorus of loud indifference from the likes of Theodor Mommsen, Julius Beloch, Eduard Meyer and Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, alleging that Burckhardt had written a non-existent book – ‘...

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