Why is ancient Greece important? Because, quite simply, if we want to understand the modern Western world, we need to look back to the Greeks. Consider the way we think about ethics, about the nature of beauty and truth, about our place in the universe, about our mortality. All this we have learned from the ancient Greeks. They molded the basic disciplines and genres in which we still organize thought, from poetry to drama, from medicine to philosophy, from history to ethnography.
Packed with useful facts, including a timeline, a “mythology for dummies,” a who's who, a guide to Homer's epics, and a handy map for those struggling to know their Lemnos from their Lesbos, It's All Greek to Me is an entertaining and insightful tour through the world of the ancient Greeks. Why are some laws Draconian? What is an Achilles' heel? Why were the Spartans spartan? Charlotte Higgins provides these answers and more, arming average readers with the knowledge they need to understand the Greeks and their tremendous contributions to our lives. This book aims to unlock the richness of a fascinating culture and place it where it should be—in the mainstream of life.