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Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece

$49.99

$49.99

Continuously inhabited for five millennia, and at one point the most powerful city in Ancient Greece, Thebes has been overshadowed by its better-known rivals, Athens and Sparta.

According to myth, the city was founded when Kadmos sowed dragon’s teeth into the ground and warriors sprang forth, ready not only to build the fledgling city but to defend it from all-comers. It was Hercules’ birthplace and the home of the Sphinx, whose riddle Oedipus solved, winning the Theban crown and the king’s widow in marriage, little knowing that the widow was his mother, Jocasta.

The city’s history is every bit as rich as its mythic origins, from siding with the Persian invaders when their emperor, Xerxes, set out to conquer Aegean Greece, to siding with Sparta – like Thebes an oligarchy – to defeat Pericles'
democratic Athens, to being utterly destroyed on the orders of Alexander the Great.

In Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece, the acclaimed classical historian Paul Cartledge brings the city vividly to life, and argues that it is central to our understanding of the ancient Greeks’ achievements – whether politically or culturally – and thus to our own culture and civilization.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781509873166
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pub Date: 26/05/2020
  • Category: Ancient Greece
    Humanities / Ancient Greek religion & mythology
    Humanities / Ancient history: to c 500 CE
    BCE To C 500 CE
    Humanities / Social & cultural history
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Pages: 448
  • Price: $49.99

Continuously inhabited for five millennia, and at one point the most powerful city in Ancient Greece, Thebes has been overshadowed by its better-known rivals, Athens and Sparta.

According to myth, the city was founded when Kadmos sowed dragon’s teeth into the ground and warriors sprang forth, ready not only to build the fledgling city but to defend it from all-comers. It was Hercules’ birthplace and the home of the Sphinx, whose riddle Oedipus solved, winning the Theban crown and the king’s widow in marriage, little knowing that the widow was his mother, Jocasta.

The city’s history is every bit as rich as its mythic origins, from siding with the Persian invaders when their emperor, Xerxes, set out to conquer Aegean Greece, to siding with Sparta – like Thebes an oligarchy – to defeat Pericles'
democratic Athens, to being utterly destroyed on the orders of Alexander the Great.

In Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece, the acclaimed classical historian Paul Cartledge brings the city vividly to life, and argues that it is central to our understanding of the ancient Greeks’ achievements – whether politically or culturally – and thus to our own culture and civilization.

Author Information

Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the Faculty of Classics, where he taught from 1979 to 2014. His undergraduate and doctoral qualifications were obtained at Oxford, where he completed a dissertation on the archaeology and history of early Sparta under the supervision of Professor Sir John Boardman. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of well over a score of books, including The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece; The Spartans: An Epic History; Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past; Thermopylae: The Battle that Changed the World; and most recently Democracy: A Life. He co-edits a monograph series, sits on the editorial boards of three learned journals, and serves as consultant in ancient history to publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and an Honorary Citizen of Sparta, Greece, and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour awarded by the President of the Hellenic Republic.