User login

The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction [#548]
The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction [#548]
  • First published in hardback as The Hellenistic Age
  • Covers all aspects of the Hellenistic world, including its history, culture, architecture, literature, science, and art
  • Deftly navigates the power struggles and wars in the three centuries which followed the conquests of Alexander
  • Uses a range of sources such as inscriptions, coins, literature, and art to draw a complete picture of the Hellenistic world
  • Offers both a broad historical sweep of the period and also narrative close-ups of individual cities and kings

The three centuries which followed the conquests of Alexander are perhaps the most thrilling of all periods of ancient history. This was an age of cultural globalization: in the third century BC, a single language carried you from the Rhône to the Indus. A Celt from the lower Danube could serve in the mercenary army of a Macedonian king ruling in Egypt, and a Greek philosopher from Cyprus could compare the religions of the Brahmins and the Jews on the basis of first-hand knowledge of both. Kings from Sicily to Tajikistan struggled to meet the challenges of ruling multi-ethnic states, and Greek city-states came together under the earliest federal governments known to history. The scientists of Ptolemaic Alexandria measured the circumference of the earth, while pioneering Greek argonauts explored the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic coast of Africa. 

Drawing on inscriptions, papyri, coinage, poetry, art, and archaeology, in this Very Short Introduction Peter Thonemann opens up the history and culture of the vast Hellenistic world, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) to the Roman conquest of the Ptolemaic kingdom (30 BC).


1: The idea of the Hellenistic
2: From Alexander to Augustus
3: Demetrius the Besieger and Hellenistic kingship
4: Eratosthenes and the system of the world
5: Encounters
6: Priene
Further Reading

About the author: 

Peter Thonemann, Associate Professor in Ancient History, University of Oxford
Peter Thonemann teaches Greek and Roman history at Wadham College, Oxford. He is the author of The Maeander Valley: A Historical Geography from Antiquity to Byzantium(2011), the winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League's prestigious Runciman Prize 2012, and co-author (with Simon Price) of The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (2010). His most recent book is an introduction to Hellenistic coinage, The Hellenistic World: Using Coins as Sources (2015). He writes regularly on all aspects of Greek and Roman history and culture for the Times Literary Supplement.

"Having worked on the history and historiography of the Hellenistic world and Middle Roman Republic for over twenty-five years, I gained a firmer synoptic grasp of my subject from reading this book. I can think of no higher praise than that for a book of this type." - Craig B. Champion, The American Historical Review

Review from previous edition 
"Those looking to find a concise and stimulating introduction to the Hellenistic world need look no further than this excellent pocket-sized volume." - Mark Thorne, The Classical Journal

"A beautiful little jewel" - Greece & Rome

"Peter Thonemann's short, straightforward, but sharply written introductory volume, The Hellenistic Age, exemplifies a different trend, a miniature encapsulation of a complex world." - Carol Atack, Times Literary Supplement

"In displaying his enthusiasm for the diversity of the Hellenistic world and the achievements funded by its monarchies, Thonemann rightly underlines the brutality of conflicts that spread far beyond the Mediterranean." - Carol Atack, Times Literary Supplement

"Pocket-sized, highly engaging and packed full of varied and fascinating information the perfect introduction to an enthralling era." - Lucia Marchini, Minerva

"Peter Thonemann's introduction to arguably one of the most fascinating of all epochs of human history may be very short but it is also very brilliant: wide-ranging, sharply focused, and deeply illuminating." - Paul Cartledge

"most usefully, in a work that aims to inspire further investigation among sixth formers, undergraduates and interested general readers, there is an eclectic range of books and articles cited as further reading for each chapter. In a small compass Thonemann successfully evokes the great variety and complexity of Hellenistic civilisation" - Claire Gruzelier, Classics for All

Product details

ISBN : 9780198746041

Peter Thonemann
152 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
Very Short Introductions
Customer reviews

You may also like

Customer reviews



The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.

The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction [#548]

The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction [#548]

The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction [#548]