Synopses & Reviews
There has long been a need for a book which comprehensively takes account of the Greek Bronze Age, the transition to the Early Iron Age, the age of migration to Asia Minor and the period of colonisation of the Mediterranean, since it is clear that the foundations of Classical Greece were laid in this early period. Professor Hopper, in this important reappraisal of the period, links these developments to show the genius of the Greeks in the process of the emergence.
He reviews the archaeology of the period together with an account of the Greeks' own ideas of their earliest "history." In this era were placed the Greek Heroic Age and the episodes which the Greeks made the foundation of their chronology: Herakles, the Siege of Troy, the Return (Nostoi) of the Heroes and the Coming of the Dorians and the Return of the Herakleidai, besides a number of events purporting to take place in Greece before the expedition to Troy the dynastic struggles in the Peloponnese and the expedition of the Seven against Thebes.
The author consistently takes a broad view of the subject, while supporting his arguments with authoritative knowledge and scholarship. His descriptions of the visual arts are combined with well-chosen selections from literature. The subject of vase-painting, in particular, is brought to life Professor Hopper cuts through the technical difficulties of the discipline and communicates its vital and relevant aspects.
This book is especially valuable for its combination of political, economic and social history, literature, archaeology and philosophy into one whole picture of this fascinating subject. It should help the reader, general or specialist, gain a genuine insight into Greek history.