A History Of Ancient Greek Literature (1906) by Murray, Gilbert [Classics]

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Post by LectorRecitator » December 22nd, 2018, 5:14 pm



∙ Title: A History Of Ancient Greek Literature
∙ Author/Editor: Murray, Gilbert (1866–1957) Professor of Greek in the University of Glasgow
∙ Publisher: D. Appleton and Company
∙ Date/Edition/Impression: 1906/© 1897


One of the best studies regarding the history of Ancient Greek literature, written by one of the most distinguished British classical scholars of the first half of the twentieth century. The author examines the course and development of Ancient Greek literature, from the Pre-classical to the Roman period. A well written and valuable study, worth recording.

"I have tried — at first unconsciously, afterwards of set purpose — to realise, as well as I could, what sort of men the various Greek authors were, what they liked and disliked, how they earned their living and spent their time. Of course it is only in the Attic period, and perhaps in the exceptional case of Pindar, that such a result can be even distantly approached, unless history is to degenerate into fiction. But the attempt is helpful even where it leads to no definite result. It saves the student from the error of conceiving 'the Greeks' as all much alike — a gallery of homogeneous figures, with the same ideals, the same standards, the same limitations. In reality it is their variety that makes them so living to us — the vast range of their interests, the suggestiveness and diversity of their achievements, together with the vivid personal energy that made the achievements possible. It was not by ' classic repose ' nor yet by 'worship of the human body,' it was not even by the mere possession of high intellectual and aesthetic gifts, that they rose so irresistibly from mere barbarism to the height of their unique civilisation : it was by infinite labour and unrest, by daring and by suffering, by loyal devotion to the things they felt to be great ; above all, by hard and serious thinking."

(From Preface)

Readability Information

405 Pages divided into 18 chapters of moderate length, in turn divided into numerous subestions, plus 3 pages of Editor's General Introduction and 7 pages of Preface. Several fragments in Ancient Greek—I can personally assist aspiring readers with their enunciation/pronunciation.
No illustrations or maps in text.
Total: 415 Pages

Lector Recitator’s Readability Rating

Not in regards to Subject Matter or Overall Length, but Structure
(i.e., Division of written material into Chapters/Sections & Subchapters/Subsections and their individual length)

∙ 1/5: Laborious
∙ 2/5: Challenging
∙ 3/5: Readable
4/5: Quite Readable ←
∙ 5/5: Exceedingly Readable




«ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ»/"the unexamined life is not worth living"

(Plato, Apology: 38a. Translated by H. N. Fowler)

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