|← White Fang by Jack London||Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling →|
The Rise of the Greeks was first published by the Phoenix Press in London in 1987. The author Michael Grant intended to give an outline of the history of the Greeks using a geographical and ethic approach. His main goal was thus to describe the various cultural aspects of the Greek in order to create an understanding of their history. Grant has analyzed the various interactions of the tribes of Greeks since the invention of writing. He has also outlined the political, military, artistic and social interactions of the people through an analysis of each of the eras they lived. The book is particularly important for giving information concerning the influential states of the Greek factions and other ethnic groups they related with either in marriages or in conflicts. Grant has attempted to give the likely meanings of the early names of places and people. He has used the available clues and sources to analyze the lives of the Greeks in the period 1000-500 BC.
Grant has not fully explained the rise of the Greeks in his book. Although he tries to express the harmony in Greek culture by emphasizing on their artistic progress, Grant does not justify technological and social progress of the people. He described an era that was characterized by a male-dominated society, social stratification in the states and little technological progress. This does not necessarily justify the rise of the Greeks. Grant did not have the appropriate resources to base his arguments on. He had little information concerning the Greeks' pre-history period. Grant describes the negative cultural influences that the Greeks had upon their neighbors. The Greeks were examples of fallen democracies and dictatorships. Grant possibly lacked the information or resources he needed to link the pre-historic era of the Greeks with their present status.
Grant's book can be termed deceptive because it does not achieve its main goal. The book is full of data that can confuse the reader or divert interest and attention. The book is not conclusive making it appear like a summary of each of the cities. Take for instance Polycrates of Ephesus who was a great scientist and engineer. Although he contributed greatly towards the rise of the Greeks, he is only mentioned in one place throughout the book. This is only an example of one important person left out. This shows how Grant missed very important details that would have justified the writing of the book. Grant focused on less important details such as the early eras of the Greeks and failed to capture important details concerning the main contributors of the rise. There is a lot repetition and overlap in the book as Grant attempts to describe the history of each state separately and independently from any other. This only adds to the length of the book and has no value as far as describing the rise of the Greeks is concerned. At some points Grants lacks the appropriate content to write and just names the types of sculptures or government administrators. There are several cross-references, maps and indexes throughout the book. These do not add value to the book making them unnecessary additions. Although Grant makes valid historical judgments, he fails in justifying or explaining academic controversies. He has not used the appropriate resources to justify technological development.
The geographical approach that Grant used to explain the rise of the Greeks was not the best. He could have another approach such as development of technology or through the use of outstanding developments. The pre-historical Greek cities and states which were all independent were close to seven hundred. With the geographical approach, Grant takes a lot of time and space in describing the history of each of the city-states. In fact, he uses eight chapters to describe the geographical area stretching from Peloponnese to the southern coast of France. The pre-historical Athens which is very significant in the rise of the Greeks takes an insignificant potion of the text. Grant thus should have limited the details of some of the less significant cities and instead focus on the most significant cities. He should have thought of the best approach to describe the rise of the Greeks other than using the geographical approach.
The book failed to achieve its objective of justifying the rise of the Greeks. Grant failed to connect the pre-historic period of the Greeks with the present. The book is a mere descriptive of the Greeks culture without necessarily providing new or useful information. The book however gets a credit for describing the social, economic and political lives of the Greeks. It would thus be useful for people researching on the lives of the Greeks in the 1000-500BC but not explaining the rise of the Greeks. This is because Grant has failed to analyze technological progress of the Greeks during this period. The analysis of the ancient authors' writings and scientific thoughts is not enough to justify the rise of the Greeks. This book is thus recommended for people or researchers interested in geographical history of the Greeks rather than those interested in learning about the rise of the Greeks. Finally, the book is not well organized. Grant's description of the rise is characterized by big gaps and sub-ideas which leave the reader hanging. It is also full of repetition as Grant attempts to create a separate history of each polis.