The Greek Way

The Greek Way Five hundred years before Christ in a little town on the far western border of the settled and civilized world a strange new power was at work Athens had entered upon her brief and magnificent flower

Five hundred years before Christ in a little town on the far western border of the settled and civilized world, a strange new power was at work Athens had entered upon her brief and magnificent flowering of genius which so molded the world of mind and of spirit that our mind and spirit today are different What was then produced of art and of thought has never been s Five hundred years before Christ in a little town on the far western border of the settled and civilized world, a strange new power was at work Athens had entered upon her brief and magnificent flowering of genius which so molded the world of mind and of spirit that our mind and spirit today are different What was then produced of art and of thought has never been surpasses and very rarely equalled, and the stamp of it is upon all the art and all the thought of the Western world A perennial favorite in many different editions, Edith Hamilton s best selling The Greek Way captures the spirit and achievements of Greece in the fifth century B.C A retired headmistress when she began her writing career in the 1930s, Hamilton immediately demonstrated a remarkable ability to bring the world of ancient Greece to life, introducing that world to the twentieth century The New York Times called The Greek Way a book of both cultural and critical importance.

  • ì The Greek Way ¶ Edith Hamilton
    173 Edith Hamilton
The Greek Way

  1. Edith Hamilton, an educator, writer and a historian, was born August 12, 1867 in Dresden, Germany, of American parents and grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A Her father began teaching her Latin when she was seven years old and soon added Greek, French and German to her curriculum Hamilton s education continued at Miss Porter s School in Farmington, Connecticut and at Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in 1894 with an M.A degree The following year, she and her sister Alice went to Germany and were the first women students at the universities of Munich and Leipzich.Hamilton returned to the United States in 1896 and accepted a position of the headmistress of the Bryn Mawr Preparatory School in Balti, Maryland For the next twenty six years, she directed the education of about four hundred girls per year After her retirement in 1922, she started writing and publishing scholarly articles on Greek drama In 1930, when she was sixty three years old, she published The Greek Way, in which she presented parallels between life in ancient Greece and in modern times The book was a critical and popular success In 1932, she published The Roman Way, which was also very successful These were followed by The Prophets of Israel 1936 , Witness to the Truth Christ and His Interpreters 1949 , Three Greek Plays, translations of Aeschylus and Euripides 1937 , Mythology 1942 , The Great Age of Greek Literature 1943 , Spokesmen for God 1949 and Echo of Greece 1957 Hamilton traveled to Greece in 1957 to be made an honorary citizen of Athens and to see a performance in front of the Acropolis of one of her translations of Greek plays She was ninety years old at the time At home, Hamilton was a recipient of many honorary degrees and awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters Edith Hamilton died on May 31, 1963 in Washington, D.C.

304 Reply to “The Greek Way”

  1. In the late Victorian, an eighteen year old Edith Hamilton graduated from Bryn Mawr College Enraptured by the spirit of Classical Antiquity, she did what any academic would and traveled to the center of Greek and Roman studies, Germany, to continue her education She was the first woman to attend classes in these great European colleges, though she could not pursue a degree, instead she had to audit, watching lectures from s specially built booth that screened her from the view of her classmates [...]

  2. Edith Hamilton is my favourite writer when it comes to describing ancient Greek mythology This is her first book where she tries to place the context of intellectual life in 5th C Athens from which so much influential poetry, theatre and philosophy will be born It feels like you are walking down the lane in front of the Parthenon with the plunging view of Athens seeing Socrates pass by with a gaggle of students around him, Aristophanes on the side of a building looking up at a flock of birds, a [...]

  3. Llegu a este ensayo a trav s de una conferencia de Carlos Garc a Gual En t rminos Herodotianos, decir que este ensayo me ha parecido una maravilla.Llevo todo el mes de enero entregado a la lectura de los tr gicos griegos Esquilo aquel que despoj la guerra de toda gloria, aquel hombre que vio la vida tan dram ticamente que para expresarse, tuvo que inventar el drama , S focles y Eur pides, y este ensayo de Edith Hamilton 1867 1963 , que no hab a sido traducido al castellano hasta 2002, ha sido el [...]

  4. Edith Hamilton s prose reads like a disjointed and stilted school boy translation of ancient greek Plus, she s a snob and a hyperbolist Her books should be put on the trash heap with all the other Victorian bombasts If you want to learn why to love the ancients, go read a novel by Mary Renault.

  5. The disdain of professional classicists for Edith Hamilton is understandable but nevertheless unfair, since she never held herself out as a learned scholar or textual critic Instead, she simply took a great interest in communicating to a broader audience i.e the masses what it was that made Greek civilization worthy of our attention Hamilton was one of those enthusiasts who was simply in love with the Greeks, and that affection is evident on every page.She was, in short, a popularizer, and she w [...]

  6. I have been re reading this, for the first time since high school It remains a splendid book Hard to imagine what could be better for the purpose of introducing the achievements of classical Greece to modern readers The author treats her subject with the clarity and brevity that comes from mastery She explains to the reader what was singular about the Greeks, and why it continues to matter to this day.When I had read it in high school, I had not favored it as much as I had H D F Kitto s The Gree [...]

  7. Although it s sixty years old, this masterful little book brings ancient Greece to life and connects the core issues and questions that drove their lives to the issues and questions any thinking person struggles with today Hamilton masterfully integrates a long view of the ebb and flow of human thought with the specifics that drive us making each period unique She describes how in ancient Greece, for the first time in history, man was sufficiently secure to let go of the day to day concerns such [...]

  8. I finished it months ago, but skimming over it to write my research project Hamilton is a classicist rather than a historian, although historians of Ancient Greece tend to be as familiar with Aeschylus as they are Thucydides Hamilton does know her history, but is rather bold if not reckless in her ideas which would probably get a circumspect response from a true historian The Athenians were the only civilization up to that time who loved life, she says All other civilizations, she says, created [...]

  9. Chapters 5 14 of The Greek Way are excellent Edith Hamilton is at her best when sketching biographies of specific people She makes historical figures come alive as real humans by examining their writings as well as anecdotes told about them by their contemporaries One high point for me was the story of Socrates drinking everyone else under the table at the dinner party, and of him being ribbed by his companions about his shrewish wife Such moments make this book worthwhile for any student of the [...]

  10. Alas, an old and decrepit copy Simply, a treatise on the greatness of the Ancient Greeks From this statement, Hamilton then proceeds to show the reader why we can say great She traces each big writer Aeschylus, Herodutus, Plato, etc and sets up a comparative with each Aeschylus with the other dramatists Herodutus with Thucydides and Xenophon, etc.But, the two most powerful arguments, I think, come at the beginning and the end the first setting in relief the difference between thinking of the Eas [...]

  11. I read this at around the same time we were made to read her Mythology for freshman English class and during the period I was fulfilling high school foreign language requirements by studying Latin It was probably my first survey of ancient Greek culture and society and I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the part when she pointed out that Greek buildings and statues were originally painted brilliantly, the latter often equipped with glass eyeballs That blew my mind It still does.

  12. My current favorite book brilliantly presented, truthful, braod, and just the right amount of justified snobbery on behalf of the Greeks Changed my life and how i think about the world.

  13. I began this to enrich my trip to Greece It has enriched my understanding of the world It s relevance to today s art, literature, and politics continually made me pause to consider my previously deficient understanding I am so glad I read it at this time It has helped me gain additional perspective in many fields.

  14. So, why should this little book initially published over eighty years ago, written by a woman who died in 1963, extolling the virtues of a polis that vanished roughly 2500 years ago have any compelling interest for a reader in the second decade of the 21st century Yet it does, because Miss Hamilton, in cogent and elegant prose, makes the case for the continuing importance of classical Greece and, in particular, the Athens of the 5th century BC When I growing up, we took for granted the general p [...]

  15. Little is left of all this wealth of great art the sculptures, defaced and broken into bits, have crumbled away the buildings are fallen the paintings gone forever of the writings, all lost but a very few We have only the ruin of what was the world has had no than that for well on for two thousand years yet these few remains of the mighty structure have been a challenge and an incitement to men ever since and they are among our possessions today which we value as most precious A passage taken a [...]

  16. There is something fascinating about scholarship produced in an era different from our own What can sometimes appear to be a monolithic genre is, in fact, as susceptible to the vagaries of human opinion as anything else we humans create Take, for example, the controlled diatribe against the culture of the East with which Hamilton begins this book In order to draw out the extraordinary nature of the so called Greek Miracle, Hamilton amalgamates all the Asian cultures west of China and ascribes to [...]

  17. Edith Hamilton s The Greek Way is essentially a long opinion piece on why the ancient Greeks matter in the modern world Ms Hamilton would assert that in many ways those ancient Greeks are better than their modern counterparts To be fair she is only using the briefest of moments, Periclean Athens as her metric, but you get some heavy hitters in this flash of classical glory Socrates, Plato, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, AEschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Pindar, Aristophanes This is kind of like [...]

  18. This is a really bad book Like, really bad Well, perhaps bad isn t the right word Hopelessly dated and irrelevant might be better Hamilton author of the excellent introduction to Mythology attempts to explain the unique and superior nature of ancient Greece through a review of its culture and comparison to the uncultured east , ruled by dictators, or the culture of today Hamilton is obsessed with placing national cultures in boxes if you re western, if you re eastern , its all the same shit to h [...]

  19. I picked up this book to read with background books on Greece, not realizing that it is not really a history book, but rather a general commentary on Classical Athenian culture As such, it was a great reference, summarizing and putting into a modern context ancient philosophers,authors, politicians, and historians The chapter on Herodotus was especially interesting to me I found Mz Hamilton s writing to be easy to read and, at times, amusing, and always informative.The only negative comments I w [...]

  20. I first encountered the work of Edith Hamilton when I was a student of Latin in high school She enchanted me with her love for classical Greece much as did my Latin teacher Hamilton outlines both the mythology and cultural history of Greece from its literature to it art, architecture and beyond Her passion for the classics, she co edited what is still a standard collection of Plato s Dialogues, is evident on every page It hard for the reader not to succumb to the admirable presentation and seek [...]

  21. This book was lost on me in college and I m so glad I found a copy recently Miss Hamilton is a wonderful teacher and this is a fantastic readers companion to the Greek greats She differentiates between the tragedians so successfully that this should be required reading for all directing students I humbly disagree with her opening thesis on ancient Greek motivations and values, which are, I think, overly influenced by the two World Wars she lived through and her deep knowledge of the Bible, but w [...]

  22. This is about ancient Greece All I wanted to know and forgot about philosophers, artists and the Greek contributions still enjoyed today Interesting and uncomplicated for example the word character is Greek To us the word character indicates individual uniqueness, for the Greeks it meant individual integration to society The book has many of the philosophers long forgotten, yet brought back with vividness and ease

  23. a very interesting read offering a myriad of valuable perspectives beware, however, as the scholarship used to refer to the ancient Egyptian civilization is dated and inaccurate still, like Oedipus Aegyptus, although the information is not correct, the perspective is still a valuable one to explore.

  24. What marked the Greeks off from Egypt and India was not an inferior degree of spirituality but a superior degree of mentality Great mind and great spirit combined in them The spiritual world was not to them another world from the natural world It was the same world as that known to the mind Beauty and rationality were both manifested in it They did not see the conclusions reached by the spirit and those reached by the mind as opposed to each other Reason and feeling were not antagonistic The tru [...]

  25. Once the near hysteric praise of the Greek world and the often too easily concise overviews of nuanced territory are absorbed as background, the breadth of thought and effectiveness of example shines forth, each chapter opening the reader s eyes not only to the Greek worldview, but our contemporary situation, its relative suppression of reality and imbalance of spirit Hamilton s writing, as overheated as it is, slices with sharp clarity, and you leave the book much better equipped to see both th [...]

  26. Reading this book was such a delight I wish all historical books were as insightful and beautifully written The Greek Way is part biography and part explanation of the Greek mind, which is just what I was looking for this year I m so happy to have stumbled upon Edith Hamilton I hope to discover authors like her Her book attempted to vivid bring Ancient Greece and ancient thinking to life and for me, it did just that

  27. I absolutely learned a lot reading this book however, I would have understood some of it better had I known better my Greek history, philosophy, art, literature and poetry tragedians It was most definitely out of my comfort zone I may read again if I brush up on my Greek history.

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