Sir William Smith's exceptional and concise account of ancient Greece is celebrated for its clarity of tone and depths of scholarship - this edition contains the original illustrations.
Smith begins his history with a look at the geographical realities of Greece: why these lands became the crucible of Western civilization, and how the people were able to create one of the most refined societies of antiquity on it, is considered. The origins of the Greek peoples, and how they bonded with a shared religious pantheon and family traditions, are told.
A historian of considerable learning and ability, Smith was familiar with the tenets of Greek society. These are superbly explained incidental to the events of Greek society; for instance, the advancement of the civics in ancient Athens from the first establishment of democracy by Clistenes in B.C. 510, the stunning architectural splendor of Athens during and after the reign of Pericles, and the establishment of the arts and drama as important entertainment for the citizenry.
We hear how Sparta and Thebes grew in influence, and the advancement of military organization and technology. Alexander the Great's glorious expeditions, famed for reaching areas which now comprise India and Pakistan, are also told. Finally we hear of Greece's colonization of Sicily, and how Greek culture would subsequently come to influence the incipient Roman Republic. In concluding, Smith looks at the subsumption of Greece into Rome's dominion in 146 B.C. , and its lasting effect upon the new order.