Monday, 28 September 2009
The article, entitled "Greece's Golden Century" examines why scholars have always been fascinated by the golden 5th century BC - the era of the Parthenon - and in doing so, what they have missed out on. I argue that the 4th century BC, the period from the fall of democratic Athens to the rise and fall of Alexander the Great - the period which I focus on in my book - is a hidden treasure trove which gives us unparalleled insights into the workings and make-up of the ancient Greek world. It is after all, when individuals, cities, countries and worlds are under most pressure that they often reveal their true colours - and the same is true for ancient Greece. It was in the 4th century, battling changing political, military and economic crises, at a time of increased globalisation and social anxiety, when the stakes were at their highest, and democracy was at its most threatened, that the Greeks really thought hard about what they had, what they wanted and how best to go about getting it. The resultant thinking, discoveries, actions and debates show the fascinating complexity and ingenuity of the ancients - and remind us, once again, just how much we owe of our own culture to them.
Check out my podcast for BBC History Magazine - where I talk about issues raised in the article, as well as about studying ancient worlds and about where to go and what to do in Greece, on the BBC History magazine website from 12th October!
Look out for my next blog on the launch event for From Democrats to Kings later this week!
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Welcome to the new blog to promote my first book, 'From Democrats to Kings' which will be launched on the 1 October 2009.
Extract: "Everyone has heard about Athenian democracy, the height of liberty in the ancient world. Everyone has heard about Alexander the Great, the most powerful despot to rule the planet. But no book – academic or popular history – has told the story about how the world of Athenian democracy morphed into the world of King Alexander. In less than 100 years, the Greek world was turned on its head and changed completely forever. This book is about that 100 years of world change. It tells the story of how a way of life which the modern western world has held up as its progenitor and ideal so quickly evolved into its antithesis. Democrats to Kings – how and why did it happen and, more importantly, why is it a story that matters for us today?"
Review: Prof. Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge has reviewed the book and had this to say:
“Dr Michael Scott, a research fellow at Cambridge, is making a big splash with his first book – it is on a major historical theme and the storyline is handles with verve and original insights. The treatment is accessible and punchy, and a wide readership cannot fail to be entertained as well as instructed about a world that is both familiar and alien, modern as well as ancient"
Please get in touch and let me know what you think about the book.