Wednesday 16 December 2009

Paul Cartledge's top history moments of 2009

Paul Cartledge shares his top history moments of the past year.

‘2009 was for me the year of three anniversaries, in particular, the 800th (pseudohistorical) of Cambridge University, and the 200th/150th (birth/Origin of Species) of Darwin. The trio were brought together as a unity spectacularly in Endless Forms, a Fitzwilliam Museum exhibition exploring Darwin's reception of the visual arts and Darwin's impact upon them. The exhibition catalogue, edited by the co-curators Diana Donald and Jane Munro (Yale U.P.), is a minor masterpiece fitted to survive long beyond its immediate originating environment.’

‘My ancient Greek history book of the year is The Landmark Xenophon’s Hellenika (Pantheon Books), a new translation of Xenophon's Hellenika ('Greek History') by John Marincola, with an introduction by David Thomas and edited by Bob Strassler.’

Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge. His latest book Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities was published in October by Oxford University Press.

In Alexandria the Great published in our October issue, Paul Cartledge celebrates the city that fused Roman, Greek and Egyptian culture.
In Olympic Self-Sacrifice he explores the differences between today’s interpretation of the Olympic Games and their significance in the ancient world, and in To Die For? he argues that ancient Spartan society and its fierce code of honour is something still relevant today.

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