BMCR review of Rhodes, Greek City States

Appeared in BMCR 2008.01.61 a few days ago, Jonathan Strang’s relatively brief review of the second edition of this important student primer:

P.J. Rhodes, The Greek City States: A Source Book. Second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. xiii, 339. ISBN 978-0-521-85049-0. $85.00 (hb). ISBN 978-0-521-61556-3. $29.99 (pb).

(Worldcat record)

Strang highlights the value of this tome for the novice undergraduate and praises Rhodes’ “lucid commentary”. He summarises the structure of the volume, and notes the addition of three new chapters on “Women and Children”, “Economic Life” and religion, as well as several important new texts. This is an important new edition of the 1986 sourcebook, and Strang notes that it has been thoroughly updated throughout. While noting weaknesses of the work (many of which arise from the unfortunate but inevitable need in a student text to generalize and gloss over some important variations in antiquity), the reviewer concludes:

Despite my reservations about the Hellenistic content, The Greek City States remains an excellent resource for the Greek history instructor. Indeed, it is superior in content, form and design to the comparable sourcebooks by Crawford and Whitehead, and the volumes by Fornara and Harding in the Translated Documents of Greece & Rome series. It is a welcome addition to any class concerning Greek social history of the Archaic and Classical periods.

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