Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: The Classics by Caroline Taggart

The thought of ancient civilizations is enough to make anyone groan. Between long hours of tedious mathematics and years of droning Latin classes, it's no wonder that the Greek and Roman societies are most often thought of as dull subjects from school. The Classics, however, flips this long-standing opinion on its head, revealing the clever humor and impressive technological and scientific advancements made by these societies. Between the ninth century B.C. and the seventh century A.D., these great civilizations thrived, leaving behind a legacy felt in every part of the world-from language to medicine, from art to architecture. 

The Classics lets you understand the importance of...
  • The Greek alphabet, from alpha to omega  
  • The history and characteristics that define Greek and Roman architecture and its influence on modern building 
  • Greek and Latin words, which make up more than 30 percent of the words in the English language, and how you can build your vocabulary by learning the roots  
  • The Greek and Roman gods, the mythology surrounding them, and the part these figures play in our culture  
  • Almost 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history, from the birth of democracy to Caesar's empire
  • The philosophies taught by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and what their ideas have contributed to the world we live in today  
  • How the modern cultural staples such as the Olympics were formed by classical literature, written by authors such as Homer and Cicero-what happened, what does it mean, and why is it still being read and taught today  
  • And much more!
This concise and witty text makes both a fascinating introduction to the world that became the foundation for Western Civilization and the perfect refresher course for the individual looking to brush up on years of schooling. The Classics puts the same information available in volumes of stuffy textbooks at your fingertips in one entertaining read, guaranteed to inform and delight.


Received from the publicist for review.

I was thrilled to receive this for review since I just love these valuable books from the Reader's Digest series!

This was simply packed with genuinely useful information about the classics - things that you either never learned or forgot quickly because they weren't made interesting enough to retain past exam tine.

The section on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was especially fun to read. Just as an FYI, the only one still standing is the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

This one gets four stars. It was a genuinely educational book and I learned quite a bit. It was presented in clear, concise language which makes the subject accessible to all those interested. The chapters are broken into smaller sections which makes it incredibly easy to pick it up, read a bit, and not lose your file when you take a break. This would make a great gift for someone interested in the subject or for a student struggling with his or her classical studies.

★★★★ = Really Liked It



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