Ancient History & Civilisation

The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine

The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine

An innovative and intriguing look at the foundations of Western civilization from two leading historians; the first volume in the Penguin History of Europe

The influence of ancient Greece and Rome can be seen in every aspect of our lives. From calendars to democracy to the very languages we speak, Western civilization owes a debt to these classical societies. Yet the Greeks and Romans did not emerge fully formed; their culture grew from an active engagement with a deeper past, drawing on ancient myths and figures to shape vibrant civilizations. 

In The Birth of Classical Europe, the latest entry in the much-acclaimed Penguin History of Europe, historians Simon Price and Peter Thonemann present a fresh perspective on classical culture in a book full of revelations about civilizations we thought we knew. In this impeccably researched and immensely readable history we see the ancient world unfold before us, with its grand cast of characters stretching from the great Greeks of myth to the world-shaping Caesars. A landmark achievement, The Birth of Classical Europe provides insight into an epoch that is both incredibly foreign and surprisingly familiar.


Chapter 1. The Aegean World: Minoans, Mycenaeans and Trojans: c. 1750–1100 BC

Chapter 2. The Mediterranean, the Levant and Middle Europe: 1100–800 BC

Chapter 3. Greeks, Phoenicians and the Western Mediterranean: 800–480 BC

Chapter 4. Greece, Europe and Asia: 480–334 BC

Chapter 5. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World: 334–146 BC

Chapter 6. Rome, Carthage and the West: 500–146 BC

Chapter 7. Rome, Italy and Empire: 146 BC–AD 14

Chapter 8. The Roman Empire, AD 14–284

Chapter 9. The Later Roman Empire: AD 284–425

Further Reading

Date Chart

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