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A Classical Education: The Stuff You Wish You'd Been Taught in School

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How many times have you wished that you'd been taught Latin at school? Or that your history stretched all the way back to Greek and Roman myths and legends? Or perhaps you wish you knew all about the great inventions and medical developments that have made our world what it is today? A Classical Education provides all of these classical facts that modern schooling leaves o How many times have you wished that you'd been taught Latin at school? Or that your history stretched all the way back to Greek and Roman myths and legends? Or perhaps you wish you knew all about the great inventions and medical developments that have made our world what it is today? A Classical Education provides all of these classical facts that modern schooling leaves out and many more. Perfect for parents who wish to teach their children and for those who would like to learn or relearn the facts themselves, A Classical Education is informative and educational, but in a completely accessible way, including: • Latin and Greek • Logic and philosophy • Natural sciences • Art and architecture • Poetry and drama • History and Classical literature Also including suggestions for further reading and entertaining tit-bits of information on the classics, A Classical Education is a must for anyone feeling let down by modern schooling.


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How many times have you wished that you'd been taught Latin at school? Or that your history stretched all the way back to Greek and Roman myths and legends? Or perhaps you wish you knew all about the great inventions and medical developments that have made our world what it is today? A Classical Education provides all of these classical facts that modern schooling leaves o How many times have you wished that you'd been taught Latin at school? Or that your history stretched all the way back to Greek and Roman myths and legends? Or perhaps you wish you knew all about the great inventions and medical developments that have made our world what it is today? A Classical Education provides all of these classical facts that modern schooling leaves out and many more. Perfect for parents who wish to teach their children and for those who would like to learn or relearn the facts themselves, A Classical Education is informative and educational, but in a completely accessible way, including: • Latin and Greek • Logic and philosophy • Natural sciences • Art and architecture • Poetry and drama • History and Classical literature Also including suggestions for further reading and entertaining tit-bits of information on the classics, A Classical Education is a must for anyone feeling let down by modern schooling.

30 review for A Classical Education: The Stuff You Wish You'd Been Taught in School

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Well... it’s interesting but it only covers the essentials of Classical Greek and Roman. There is little depth. However, don’t see that as too much of a criticism, to go into any sort of depth in the ‘essentials’ would have increased the weight of this a hundred-fold. Enjoyable but you’ll probably know a great deal already, I certainly did and my education was a long way from anything that could be considered classical.

  2. 4 out of 5

    B. Rule

    This is basically "Classical Studies for Lads." It provides a very breezy, jokey, and superficial account of classical history, mythology, philosophy and etymology of some common phrases. It is also often inaccurate in the details. It's written from a very British perspective, and I honestly had more trouble making sense of her analogies to modern references than I did the classical stuff. It's not a bad book for a neophyte, but it's a light meal for anyone with a passing knowledge of the subjec This is basically "Classical Studies for Lads." It provides a very breezy, jokey, and superficial account of classical history, mythology, philosophy and etymology of some common phrases. It is also often inaccurate in the details. It's written from a very British perspective, and I honestly had more trouble making sense of her analogies to modern references than I did the classical stuff. It's not a bad book for a neophyte, but it's a light meal for anyone with a passing knowledge of the subject.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    This book gives very basic background information on: Greek/Roman mythology and history; Where and how it has had influence on modern sciences. -The information was somewhat useful for me as I didn't really understand the different ideas until now. -This book isn't a book to rely on in the sense of authenticity of its historical facts. However it was an enjoyable read for a non-fiction. The humour was intertwined well with the text, as it had me laughing in places I didn't expect.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Harold Coutts

    achilles was a bottom, caroline

  5. 4 out of 5

    ZaraS *book reviewer

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At first I thought it would be a boring book about the pros and cons of a classical education when the reality was quite different. It's a very easy and fast read. The author had a very jovial way of getting the different aspects of what a classical education includes (for example, Greek Mythology etc). She spoke about all the different players in Greek, Roman and modern literature, history, architecture and art, to name a few. I was always found Greek Mythology, pa I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At first I thought it would be a boring book about the pros and cons of a classical education when the reality was quite different. It's a very easy and fast read. The author had a very jovial way of getting the different aspects of what a classical education includes (for example, Greek Mythology etc). She spoke about all the different players in Greek, Roman and modern literature, history, architecture and art, to name a few. I was always found Greek Mythology, particularly, very interesting. However, Caroline Taggart managed to show me just how incestuous, among other things, the gods of Greek Mythology were. I laughed at their antics as well as finding myself thinking just how weird they all were. I would definitely recommend others to read this book especially if you want a concise account of classical education that helps to demystify this area of education.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    This book starts out kind of slow. It starts out by talking about the classical languages. I won't be able to remember any of it, I read it though. The next chapter is much better going into brief detail about the Greek Pantheon. I love to learn about the Greek Gods and Goddesses and Ms. Taggart throws in a tad bit of humor within this section to keep you reading. The next chapter covers events happening in Crete and include some pretty funny asterisk (comes from the Green for little star, see I This book starts out kind of slow. It starts out by talking about the classical languages. I won't be able to remember any of it, I read it though. The next chapter is much better going into brief detail about the Greek Pantheon. I love to learn about the Greek Gods and Goddesses and Ms. Taggart throws in a tad bit of humor within this section to keep you reading. The next chapter covers events happening in Crete and include some pretty funny asterisk (comes from the Green for little star, see I am learning) comments. The next chapter is also a bit stiff going into Ancient Greek history but she keeps it light and quick in order to keep the reader interested. She covers everything Alexander the great to some of the great Greek historians. Continuing in this manor the author goes over the history of Ancient Rome, this chapter was more interesting and compelling that the one on Greece surprisingly but I always liked to learn about Cesar and such. I will leave the rest of the chapters for you to discover but each one gets better and funnier than the last. I loved this nice mix of facts and humor that Ms. Taggart created. The following chapters will take a look at some literature (my favorite), the arts, and a few other things I will leave to you. I enjoyed this brief informative jaunt through history. You probably will too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leeroy

    This is a good book. At a bit under 200 pages, with quite large text, you're obviously not going to get a full classical education per se, but what you will get is a knowledge of what constitutes a classical education. Which is a big deal. Now that you know who Socrates was, or how democracy started, or how Rome became a dictatorship, you know where to look if you want to learn more. You're no longer in the dark about these subjects, which were usually reserved for the privileged. The author writ This is a good book. At a bit under 200 pages, with quite large text, you're obviously not going to get a full classical education per se, but what you will get is a knowledge of what constitutes a classical education. Which is a big deal. Now that you know who Socrates was, or how democracy started, or how Rome became a dictatorship, you know where to look if you want to learn more. You're no longer in the dark about these subjects, which were usually reserved for the privileged. The author writes in a casual, jokey style. It's as if you were being told a great, long story by your grandpa, with his encyclopaedic knowledge, after he's had two beers. It helps to keep you enjoying the book, and I'm sure some subjects would be dull without it. Other subjects, mythological and historical stories principally, are exciting and fascinating enough in their own right, and an absolute joy to read. The author only really gets in the way twice: when she calls Plato "pompous" (are you kidding me?) and when she dedicates a third of the mere paragraph on Pythagoras to a quip about how he "probably wasn't a barrel of laughs" while neglecting to mention that he's the guy who basically invented music (nothing fun about music then is there?). But I digress... If you're interested enough to read this far, you'll like the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maciej Bliziński

    But I was taught this stuff in school! It was fun to listen about ancient Greece and Rome again. I have a feeling though, that for someone who wasn't already acquainted with Greek mythology and other ancient topics, would potentially find the rundown of ancient topics quite boring, despite the amusing writing style. So if you know nothing about ancient Greece, try reading something short in original, if not instead, then at least alongside this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Very well narrated audio version, and it was nice to be made to feel better about not knowing much about any of what the book teaches because of it having been removed from the school curriculum. But I think I will need to keep trying to find other material to engage with, because listening to the brief summaries and naming of all these Greek Gods an Godesses and Roman Emperors (and no Empresses) still felt a bit like flicking through a copy of the equivalent of Hello magazine in a foreign count Very well narrated audio version, and it was nice to be made to feel better about not knowing much about any of what the book teaches because of it having been removed from the school curriculum. But I think I will need to keep trying to find other material to engage with, because listening to the brief summaries and naming of all these Greek Gods an Godesses and Roman Emperors (and no Empresses) still felt a bit like flicking through a copy of the equivalent of Hello magazine in a foreign country. I'm sure seeds were sewn though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Whether you are digging into classical civilisations (history, politics, literature, religion etc) for the first time or using this as a refresher it is humorous, chatty, just detailed enough, and certainly factual. It's an excellent companion and will help yo know your Sophocles from your Cicero, Your Marcus Aurelius from your Euripides.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe Wilcock

    Listened to the audiobook version of this and enjoyed it a lot! I personally love the Greek mythology and this was a light touch around that and lots more! Granted not the book for a deep dive, but filled with interesting tit bits of info and anything that you find interesting you can dive into deeper in another source!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisbeth

    This funny, humorous book by Caroline Taggart is a must if you are interested in A Classical Education. Here you get the most important information on the classical world, described in an easy way and with a lot of humour. I really loved it. We get a look at the classical Gods, the emperors, the philosophers, writers, architectural features, the sciences and much more. Here you find the background to a lot of features in our present world, be it language, characterisations, architecture, mytholo This funny, humorous book by Caroline Taggart is a must if you are interested in A Classical Education. Here you get the most important information on the classical world, described in an easy way and with a lot of humour. I really loved it. We get a look at the classical Gods, the emperors, the philosophers, writers, architectural features, the sciences and much more. Here you find the background to a lot of features in our present world, be it language, characterisations, architecture, mythology and so on. It is divided into chapters covering Languages, Religion and Mythology, Crete (this is a detour!), Ancient Greek History, Roman History, Classical Literature, Architecture and Art, Maths, Science and Inventions, Philosophy and the 'Liberal Arts' and the Games. Here a few teasers. I start with Hercules. "So after gods and monsters come superheroes, and other bits and pieces of mythology that have lingered on into our culture and vocabulary. People still talk about a Herculean task, which might mean as little as doing the washing-up after a dinner party. The original twelve Labours of Hercules were rather tougher. To kill the Nemean Lion; to kill the Lernaean Hydra; to capture the Hind of Ceryneia; to capture the Erymanthian Boar; to clean out the Augean Stables; to get rid of the Stymphalian Birds; to capture the Cretan Bull; to tame the Horses of Diomedes; to capture the Girdle of Hippolyta; to capture the Oxen of Geryon; to capture the Apples of the Hesperides; and to capture Cerberus. The tasks might not sound that challenging, but when you read what it really is, I agree that we talk about a super hero when speaking about Hercules. The introduction to Alexander the Great reads as follow: "Reflecting on how little many of us accomplish in life, Tom Lehrer once said that 'when Mozart was my age he had been dead for two years.' If that idea upsets you, don't read this section." Can't talk about the Roman world without mentioning Caesar. "...Caesar, disgusted by this breach of trust, put Ptolemy's sister Cleopatra on the Egyptian throne instead. Pausing only to have an affair with her (see the play by George Bernard Shaw, in which she smuggles herself into his presence rolled in a carpet), Caesar went off to win a quick battle in Asia Minor -after which he declared, Veni, vidi, vici ('I came, I saw, I conquered') - and a few more in other outposts of the empire. He then returned to Rome to be assassinated." "One other thing before we leave Caesar: he found time to reform the calendar. (The foot note says: If you want something done, ask a busy person, they say.) On Livy, a historian living from 59 B.C. to AD 17, Ms Taggart writes, among other things: "...Personally I could never get on with him, not because I am a stickler for historical accuracy but because he had a Henry-James-like attitude to the length of sentences and paragraphs and by the time you came to the verb at the end you had lost all trace of the noun at the beginning, though I realize that this opinion may well put me in the minority and that a modern translation might have a few more full stops in it." I have to check next time I read Henry James! About the Roman way of organising their armies. "The structure of the army was brilliant, too - with the possible exception of calling a unit of eighty men a century, which was surely somebody's idea of a joke. Six centuries made a cohort and ten cohorts made a legion - which therefore consisted of 4800 men under normal circumstances. It sounds formulaic, but in fact the subdivision into small units made it very flexible: soldiers marched and went into battle in strict formation, but each century could be redeployed quickly if conditions changed. It certainly scared the hell out of the Ancient Britons, whose idea of battle formation was to paint themselves blue and run around like lunatics." She also gives us the opportunity to shine at dinner parties with a few favourite lines. From Aristotle; 'Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities'. However, as Ms Taggart says; "Perhaps best to wait till everyone is a bit pissed, though." And a last one: "So, a tough cookie, Seneca. And just in case you are still being invited to dinner parties, I rather like: 'If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.'" I like these two! At the end is this final words: The 1959 film Ben-Hur won elven Oscars, a feat that was unequalled until Titanic came along nearly forty years later. And why was the Titanic so named? Because she possessed titanic strength, an attribute of the Titans of Greek mythology, who existed even before the gods. As I said almost 200 pages ago, the classics really are everywhere. Cut." Just a few of a lot of funny and educational information on the cradle to our civilisation. It does not hurt to be repeated and reminded when we think we are on top of civilisation today. There were people, long before us, who had already thought about it and gave us the hints. I just love these kind of books and the humour and references makes it a very entertaining read. I have another one to go; Pandora's Box. Review from my blog thecontentreader.blogspot.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sean Devonport

    I listened to this as an audio book. Very entertaining!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Art

    A witty rundown on things classical (i.e. Latin, Roman Empire and ancient Greece). It could have been more complete, that would get at least another star out of me. An interesting short read featuring things many of us have already either heard or read of before, such as etymology, mythology, theology and art. Including basic facts about the most prominent historical figures from the realms of politics and various sciences.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marian Leica

    Found it valuable and felt lucky that I've actually been taught most of this stuff back in school.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Oscar Despard

    This is a humorous, well-presented overview of the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. It does not go into detailed explanations, but gives a pleasant mix of interesting stories and basic facts. It was an enjoyable read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ilka

    I picked this up as part of a Kindle deal and didn't realize how short it was until I started reading, so part of why I'm so disappointed might be that I was expecting a lot more than a book this size can offer. Having said that, I feel as if this book did little more than repeat what anyone with a good general knowledge already knows. There were a few tidbits of information that were new to me, but more than 90% were things the author mentions I already knew more about than she presents here. I I picked this up as part of a Kindle deal and didn't realize how short it was until I started reading, so part of why I'm so disappointed might be that I was expecting a lot more than a book this size can offer. Having said that, I feel as if this book did little more than repeat what anyone with a good general knowledge already knows. There were a few tidbits of information that were new to me, but more than 90% were things the author mentions I already knew more about than she presents here. I say mention, because for the most part it felt like the author was doing little more than throwing out a name and a couple of sentence description and then moved on to the next name, which left me feeling like I was speedreading a tiny dictionary. On the positive side, the book is written in a ver accesible and funny style and I managed to fly through the book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ardyth

    Stumbled on this in the children's books section at my local library...? It's a light, humorous survey of ancient Greece and Rome suitable for anyone who feels nervous or embarrassed about not having had a classical education. Unfortunately, if you have any familiarity with ancient cultures whatsoever, this book isn't going to do much for you. And I do mean any familiarity whatsoever. Heard of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle? The Parthenon? Hercules? Homer? Marcus Aurelius, Cicero, Julius Caesar? If Stumbled on this in the children's books section at my local library...? It's a light, humorous survey of ancient Greece and Rome suitable for anyone who feels nervous or embarrassed about not having had a classical education. Unfortunately, if you have any familiarity with ancient cultures whatsoever, this book isn't going to do much for you. And I do mean any familiarity whatsoever. Heard of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle? The Parthenon? Hercules? Homer? Marcus Aurelius, Cicero, Julius Caesar? If you have even a vague sense of these, and why they are famous, this book won't do a whole lot for you. It does touch on many additinap people and topics of interest, but there is too much packed into a slim volume for any of it to be memorable.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I got a kick out of this sometimes irreverent book. Ms. Taggart takes what can sometimes be a very, very dry subject and injects quite a bit of wit and humor into it. She touches on things such as the roots of words in language, the greats such as Homer and Aristotle, and then pokes a bit of fun at their logic and rhetoric. It makes for a relatively easy read and a quick source of reference. Very informative and interesting book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fadillah

    I didnt learn all the stuff about romans and greece thingy at school but i heard and read most of it from the movies and books. Reading this book definitely add up all the things that i dont really know about the classics. Be it herodotus, pompey and hercules, this book is interesting. Funny, witty and yet a readable book. 4 out 5 from me :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This was a quick read and entertained me as I prepare to go back to school. I bought this a few years ago and plan to use a few sections to cover history sections of the NLE that I don't care to spend much time on. It was engaging and gives a top-line overview of Roman and Greek history

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charley Robson

    A birthday present from my godfather, who wrote that he felt he had, occasionally, neglected to uphold his duty to see that I got a "proper classical education". The setup to this joke is, much like the book itself, a part greater than the sum of the whole. If you, like me, are anything from privately educated, to a graduate of a Humanities discipline, or a major history nerd, then it is likely that nothing in A Classical Education will be new to you - the names, the concepts, probably even a few A birthday present from my godfather, who wrote that he felt he had, occasionally, neglected to uphold his duty to see that I got a "proper classical education". The setup to this joke is, much like the book itself, a part greater than the sum of the whole. If you, like me, are anything from privately educated, to a graduate of a Humanities discipline, or a major history nerd, then it is likely that nothing in A Classical Education will be new to you - the names, the concepts, probably even a few of the terms and ideas, will be quite familiar from your school days, or from things you read yourself as a nerdy young'un. However, the book does make for a handy, snappy, easy to read little repository of the key ideas and people, with a nice factual breakdown and some occasional moments of levity to liven up the dryer bits. However, there is a particularly good turn by Taggart in her Introduction; while it's pretty standard to explain why your book exists (especially books like this which, arguably, need to work a bit harder to justify themselves than many), she does a good job of tackling the bigger question of Graeco-Romano-centricity in Western ideas of the 'Classical'. She doesn't particulary take sides on the idea, but acknowledging the reality of how narrow a viewpoint this can be, whilst also pointing out why it still exists and why it can still be useful, is a very nice touch, and one I appreciated. Overall, not a must-have book for someone who is already something of a clacissist - but for someone just beginning to explore those ideas, especially a younger someone (say, between a precocious 10 and a recalictrant 20), it might make for, if not a complete education, at least an enjoyable introductory seminar.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Parker

    This is marketed as a book that contains all of the things you wish you’d been taught in school, but only the things that constitute a “classical education”. I don’t know whether it was just the education that I had, but I found that I knew a lot of the things that were being taught. The book focuses mainly on the Greek and Roman empires, and the different things they both contributed to the world we live in today. Things like language, and mathematics, and science, and philosophy. These all mak This is marketed as a book that contains all of the things you wish you’d been taught in school, but only the things that constitute a “classical education”. I don’t know whether it was just the education that I had, but I found that I knew a lot of the things that were being taught. The book focuses mainly on the Greek and Roman empires, and the different things they both contributed to the world we live in today. Things like language, and mathematics, and science, and philosophy. These all make an appearance in these chapters. So, if you already know enough about a number of topics then you might find that this book is just retelling you what you already know. If you’re new to the subjects, then it’s quite interesting. The book is written in quite a casual, friendly tone, with the author sometimes taking us on little tangents when they occur in the topic. This helps the book to feel less like a lecture and more like a friendly guide that someone has written. The topics are clearly set out and follow on from each other in a way that is both logical and easy to follow. While it’s not the most in depth book written about the Greek and Roman empires, it’s a good introduction for anyone who has never had cause to learn about them before.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Morley

    A Classical Education somehow manages to never cover more than a cheat sheet in 193 pages. It's condensed enough to never go into detail, but still not concise enough to even highlight a few passages. Infinitely put-down-able. The author also has a horrible penchant for informing the reader that something is very bloody interesting, without ever going into detail or explaining why it might be so. It's a little unfair to call it a slog, but only a little. The feeling that you're barely scratching th A Classical Education somehow manages to never cover more than a cheat sheet in 193 pages. It's condensed enough to never go into detail, but still not concise enough to even highlight a few passages. Infinitely put-down-able. The author also has a horrible penchant for informing the reader that something is very bloody interesting, without ever going into detail or explaining why it might be so. It's a little unfair to call it a slog, but only a little. The feeling that you're barely scratching the surface is consistent and irritating, particularly when the author constantly refers to other parts of the book, sometimes several times a page, as if they include what you need to know. It's not a mark in her favour that I learnt with greater depth in the very schools she insists don't teach the subject and I absolutely hated. Nevertheless, it's not a *bad* read. I just can't find enough to recommend it to anyone that has even a passing knowledge of Ancient Greece or Rome.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Farah

    Overall, this is the book I would go to if anyone ever wanted me to recommend them a summed up book about Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman. I am a huge fan of Ancient Greek Mythology and this book is perfect for amateur learners like me. Not only Greek Mythology but everything that happened during the era historically. Whatever that confused me back then no longer bothers me so I guess this is a good sign(?) of the book not failing to impress me. Also, this book is very light, meaning that it's ba Overall, this is the book I would go to if anyone ever wanted me to recommend them a summed up book about Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman. I am a huge fan of Ancient Greek Mythology and this book is perfect for amateur learners like me. Not only Greek Mythology but everything that happened during the era historically. Whatever that confused me back then no longer bothers me so I guess this is a good sign(?) of the book not failing to impress me. Also, this book is very light, meaning that it's basically readable and easy to understand. But, some parts are messy or maybe it was me, I don't like it when facts aren't organised properly. Oh, and the humor is on point too! It gives me Rick Riordan vibes because I laughed at parts where I shouldn't, like parts where the Romans asked prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi. Fun and humorous! Great book anyways, 3 stars for this. And I wouldn't mind coming back to the book to read it again!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    I have very little knowledge of ancient history - it's embarrassing that my only education in Classics comes from films (thank you Disney's Hercules, Troy, Percy Jackson), a couple of books I had as a child and an old puzzle book my son was given on the greek myths and legends - so I read this as a kind of whistle stop tour of the key stories and events, just to flesh out a little bit the basic popular knowledge I have. It's definitely not going to enable me to chat with ancient history scholars I have very little knowledge of ancient history - it's embarrassing that my only education in Classics comes from films (thank you Disney's Hercules, Troy, Percy Jackson), a couple of books I had as a child and an old puzzle book my son was given on the greek myths and legends - so I read this as a kind of whistle stop tour of the key stories and events, just to flesh out a little bit the basic popular knowledge I have. It's definitely not going to enable me to chat with ancient history scholars but it was interesting and I certainly know more now than I did at the start. Taggart clearly knows her stuff and has a lighthearted way of writing that makes a topic some people find dry a little more digestible. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get a good grasp of the very basics of the ancient world.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book wavers between a thoughtful yet entertaining primer on classics and distracting injections of drivel. Some of footnotes can get especially tiresome, including: "*Now there's a surprise" (page 99); "*Oh no, bad idea" (page 127); "†Twenty-seven books? I should think not" (page 127). Not to mention her (ironically?) long-winded railing against Livy's Henry James-esque writing (page 107). I'm sure some will appreciate Taggart's lighthearted approach, but to me the frequency and nature of he This book wavers between a thoughtful yet entertaining primer on classics and distracting injections of drivel. Some of footnotes can get especially tiresome, including: "*Now there's a surprise" (page 99); "*Oh no, bad idea" (page 127); "†Twenty-seven books? I should think not" (page 127). Not to mention her (ironically?) long-winded railing against Livy's Henry James-esque writing (page 107). I'm sure some will appreciate Taggart's lighthearted approach, but to me the frequency and nature of her commentary felt disruptive. Finally, as others have noted, much of Taggart's humour is impenetrable if you're not British / don't live in the UK.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Dove

    This book is a really useful guide telling you all the basics you need to know about the classical world. It looks predominantly at the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations. It runs through language, mythology, history, literature and philosophy. There are mini-biographies of key Greek and Roman luminaries. In fact, particularly useful is the 'dramatis personae' at the end of the book which lists the names of all the characters mentioned, both historical and mythological. It is easy to imagine This book is a really useful guide telling you all the basics you need to know about the classical world. It looks predominantly at the ancient Greek and Roman civilisations. It runs through language, mythology, history, literature and philosophy. There are mini-biographies of key Greek and Roman luminaries. In fact, particularly useful is the 'dramatis personae' at the end of the book which lists the names of all the characters mentioned, both historical and mythological. It is easy to imagine using this to quickly look up the key points about the Hercules myth for instance. I found this an entertaining book and one that could spark further reading on the Roman and Greek worlds.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bob Cantrell

    I have read several books by Caroline Taggart, but this one was the most fun to read. Her other works are great also, but this one was just fun to read. I have a major in History and this book was just great because the author was having fun in my mind. I got a lot of information from this little book some of it was old to me but it was refreshing to read it again and laugh. Ms Taggart put me in mind of William Cuppy and Isaac Assimov in their writing about History. So if you think Classical His I have read several books by Caroline Taggart, but this one was the most fun to read. Her other works are great also, but this one was just fun to read. I have a major in History and this book was just great because the author was having fun in my mind. I got a lot of information from this little book some of it was old to me but it was refreshing to read it again and laugh. Ms Taggart put me in mind of William Cuppy and Isaac Assimov in their writing about History. So if you think Classical History is dull then grab a copy of this book and be prepared to learn and laugh as you do.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    A very simple but useful primer on classical Greece and Rome. It glosses over a lot, but it says that it does that and the information it goes is helpful. It's usually nothing that people with a deep interest in the topics wouldn't know, but there are some particularly useful facts, like the listing of column types in architecture and the more famous lawgivers in Greece, as well as a quick list of Roman emperors (leaving some out for brevity). It's got little jokes interspersed through it as wel A very simple but useful primer on classical Greece and Rome. It glosses over a lot, but it says that it does that and the information it goes is helpful. It's usually nothing that people with a deep interest in the topics wouldn't know, but there are some particularly useful facts, like the listing of column types in architecture and the more famous lawgivers in Greece, as well as a quick list of Roman emperors (leaving some out for brevity). It's got little jokes interspersed through it as well, which I found fun.

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