The Greeks: A Global HistoryProfessor Prof Roderick Beaton
It is a story that covers the entire globe and four millennia, from the mythical 'Age of the Heroes' to the complex European state of today. For all the fame of the Greek Byzantine Empire and the glorifications of the ancient culture during the Renaissance, this is not a simple, victorious history of a single enduring culture. It is littered with peril and disasters, with oppression and near obliteration. It is a story of scatterings and refuge, where only innovations (most tellingly, their invention of the alphabet and a gift for seafaring) allowed the Greek culture of today to survive and flourish once more.
But is 'survive' the right word? This enrapturing story is also a lesson: that even the world's most celebrated and ancient cultures were forever in flux, forged by currents of history, immigration and resource crises, an ever-changing blend of myriad, diverse cultures. In today's age of rising nationalism, in Greece and the wider Western world, this epic sweeping history becomes crucial reading.