A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture (3rd International Edition)

Sarah B. Pomeroy; Stanley M. Burstein; Jennifer Tolbert Roberts
  • Key terms (boldfaced at their first appearance) and an extensive glossary
  • Uniquely in-depth coverage of social and cultural topics including women and family life, material culture, religion, law, homosexuality, slavery, athletics, and life in the countryside
  • Excerpts from ancient documents, selective recommendations for further reading, and a timeline and general introduction that provide a bird's-eye view of Greek history

Written by five leading authorities on the classical world, A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture, Third Edition, is a shorter version of the authors' highly successful Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History, Third Edition (OUP, 2011). It offers a captivating account of Greek civilization and history in all its complexity and variety, covering the entire period from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic Era.


List of Maps
Time Line

Sources: How We Know About the Ancient Greeks
Retrieving the Past: The Material Record
Retrieving the Past: The Written Record
A Synopsis of Written Sources by Periods
The Physical Context: The Land of Greece
Chapter One
Early Greece and the Bronze Age
Greece in the Stone Ages
Greece in the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (c. 3000-1600 BC)
Greece and the Aegean in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1600-1100 BC)
Chapter Two
The "Dark Age " of Greece and the Eighth-Century "Renaissance " (c. 1100-700 BC)
Decline and Recovery (c. 1100-900 BC)
Revival (c. 900-750 BC)
Homeric Society
The End of the Dark Age
Chapter Three
Archaic Greece (c. 700-480 BC)
The Formation of the City-State (Polis)
Government in the Early City-States
The Colonizing Movement
Economic and Social Divisions in the Archaic Poleis
Hesiod: A View from Below
The Hoplite Army
The Archaic Age Tyrants
The Arts and Sciences
Panhellenic Institutions
Relations Among States
Chapter Four
The Dark Age and the Archaic Period
The Spartan System
Demography and the Spartan Economy
Spartan Government
The Peloponnesian League
Historical Change in Sparta
The Spartan Mirage
Chapter Five
The Growth of Athens and the Persian Wars
Athens from the Bronze Age to the Early Archaic Age
The Reforms of Solon
Pisistratus and His Sons
The Reforms of Cleisthenes
The Rise of Persia
The Wars Between Greece and Persia
Chapter Six
The Rivalries of the Greek City-States and the Growth of Athenian Democracy
The Aftermath of the Persian Invasions and the Foundation of a New League
New Developments in Athens and Sparta
The "First " (Undeclared) Peloponnesian War (460-445 BC)
Pericles and the Growth of Athenian Democracy
Literature and Art
Oikos and Polis
The Greek Economy
Chapter Seven
Greek Life and Culture in the Fifth Century
Greece After the Thirty Years' Peace
The Physical Space of the Polis: Athens in the Fifth Century
Intellectual Life in Fifth-Century Greece
Historical and Dramatic Literature of the Fifth Century
Currents in Greek Thought and Education
The Breakdown of the Peace
Resources for War
Chapter Eight
The Peloponnesian War
The Archidamian War (431-421 BC)
The Rise of Comedy
Between Peace and War
The Invasion of Sicily (415-413 BC)
The War in the Aegean and the Oligarchic Coup at Athens (413-411 BC)
The Last Years of War (407-404 BC)
Chapter Nine
The Fourth Century: Changing Ideas, Continuing Warfare
Oligarchy at Athens: The Thirty Tyrants
The Trial of Socrates (399 BC)
The Fourth Century: Changing Ideas, Continuing Warfare
Law and Democracy in Athens
The Fourth-Century Polis
Philosophy and the Polis
Chapter Ten
Philip II and the Rise of Macedon
Early Macedon
Macedonian Society and Kingship
The Reign of Philip II
Philip's Plans for Greece
Chapter Eleven
Alexander the Great
Consolidating Power
From Issus to Egypt: Conquest of the Eastern Mediterranean (332-331 BC)
From Alexandria to Persepolis: The King of Asia (331-330 BC)
The High Road to India: Alexander in Central Asia
India and the End of the Dream
Return to the West
The Achievements of Alexander
Chapter Twelve
The New World of the Hellenistic Period
The Struggle for the Succession
The Regency of Perdiccas
The Primacy of Antigonus the One-Eyed
Birth Pangs of the New Order (301-276 BC)
The Polis in the Hellenistic World
The Macedonian Kingdoms
Hellenistic Society
Alexandria and Hellenistic Culture
Social Relations in the Hellenistic World
Art and Illustration Credits


Sarah B. Pomeroy is Distinguished Professor of Classics and History Emerita at Hunter College and The City University of New York Graduate Center.
Stanley M. Burstein is Professor of History Emeritus at California State University, Los Angeles.
The late Walter Donlan was Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine.
Jennifer Tolbert Roberts is Professor of Classics and History at City College and The City University of New York Graduate Center.
David W. Tandy is Research Fellow in Classics at the University of Leeds, UK.

Authoritative, clear, and coherent. The authors' prose is mercifully free of jargon, engaging, and moves steadily forward. An excellent textbook for a one-semester survey of Greek history. - Lawrence Okamura, University of Missouri-Columbia

An excellent and affordable textbook. - Andrew Nichols, University of Florida