Books and other educational entertainments
As I have done research for this site I have found many highly recommended books and DVD's relevant to ancient Greece. Below are a few.
The latest blockbuster to cause a stir in literature circles. Check out Colm Toibin's perspective of ancient Greece.
Book 1 of 5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series: Age Range: 10 - 14 This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.
"A force to be reckoned with: a novel that involves even the most experienced reader of historical fiction, mythology fantasy, and adventure." —Midwest Book Review
"Betrayal, ardor, war, and prophecies--in The Song of Achilles, author Madeline Miller brings together everything I love about The Iliad without the labor of epic poetry." --S.W., Amazon review
A classic that I read and enjoyed in my youth. Though the one I remember the most because it was my foundation for learning about Alexander the Great was The Persian Boy.
"The Bull from the Sea reconstructs the legend of Theseus, the valiant youth who slew the Minotaur, became king, and brought prosperity to Attica. Chief among his heroic exploits is the seduction of Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons, who irrevocably brought about both his greatest joy and his tragic destiny."
For a romanticist's version of the Trojan Wars see Helen of Troy by Margaret George
Would you like to learn philosophy from a novel? I think this is a great book: Sofie's World by Jostein Gaarder
Lest we forget the work of scholars to broaden our understanding of our cultural roots.
Great facts, great quotes, great fun to make you sound like an ancient Greece insider.
"The selections are, on the whole, intriguing and often delightful... A Classicist will find much to use, and as a gift to a friend who wonders how the ancients can hold our fascination so thoroughly, this cabinet will surely inform and charm the recipient." --Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"These topics build on recent advances in the understanding ofancient Greek homo- and heterosexual customs and practices, visual and textual erotica, and philosophical approaches to eros asmanageable appetite or passion. However, the principal aim of the volume is to apply to the study of eros the theoretical insights offered by the rapidly expanding field of emotion studies, both in ancient cultures and elsewhere in the humanities and social sciences, thus maintaining throughout the focus on eros as emotion."
'Thought provoking and superbly written, this is the only book to examine thoroughly and seriously the question of divine birth in ancient Greece. Imperative for classical scholars, the book provides stunning insights that should be a fascinating read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in spirituality, religion, feminism, or ancient history.'- Jorge N. Ferrer, coeditor of The Participatory Turn: Spirituality, Mysticism, Religious Studies
“We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did; in his unwavering commitment to truth and in the example of his own life, he set the standard for all subsequent Western philosophy. And yet, for twenty-five centuries, he has remained an enigma: a man who left no written legacy and about whom everything we know is hearsay. His life spanned “seventy of the busiest, most wonderful and tragic years in Athenian history.” Athens in the fifth century B.C. was a city devastated by war, but, at the same time, transformed by the burgeoning process of democracy. Drawing on the latest sources—archaeological, topographical, and textual—Hughes re-creates the streets where Socrates walked, to place him there, and to illuminate for us the world as he experienced it.”
Please contact me if you have suggestions for books or DVD's to add or subtract from this list.