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The Shortest History of Greece

The Odyssey of a Nation from Myth to Modernity

By James Heneage

Discover the cultural and political riches of Greece across 3,000 years, from classical might to modern rebirth. The Shortest History books deliver thousands of years of history in one riveting, fast-paced read.

Philosophy, art, democracy, language, even computers—the glories of Greek civilization have shaped our world even more profoundly than we realize. Pericles and the Parthenon may be familiar, but what of Epaminondas, the Theban general who saved the Greek world from Spartan tyranny? Alexander the Great’s fame has rolled down the centuries, but the golden Hellenistic Age that followed is largely forgotten. “Byzantine” conjures decadence and deadly intrigue, yet the thousand-year empire that ruled from Constantinople and saved Europe twice from invasion was, in fact, Greek.

Greece’s modern chapter, too, tells of triumph and calamity—from liberation and expansion to schism, homegrown dictatorship, Nazi occupation, and civil war. Today’s nation is battered by austerity, encroaching climate change, and a refugee crisis—yet unwavering in its ancient values.

James Heneage captures the full Grecian drama in this riveting, short history, revealing Greece as the wellspring of Western civilization—and a model that may yet save modern democracy.

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James Heneage

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Review quotes
A Daily Mail History Book of the Year

“From alpha to omega, and from Socrates to Syriza, here is all of Greek history, expertly told.”—Tom Holland, author of Dominion

“Highly entertaining . . . a colorful marvel of compression.”—Sydney Morning Herald

“Beautifully written, full of apposite analogies and taking a long historical perspective. . . . Excellent.”—Paul Cartledge, author of Democracy: A Life
Product Details
Shortest History Series
Number of pages
Publication date
March 21, 2023