Life in Ancient Athens: The Social and Public Life of a Classical Athenian from Day to Day

By T. G. Tucker | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE aims which have been chiefly borne in mind during the writing of this unpretentious volume are those of clearness and accuracy. I have sought to leave an impression true and sound, so far as it goes, and also vivid and distinct. The style adopted has therefore been the opposite of the pedantic, utilising any vivacities of method which are consistent with truth of fact.

It is perhaps a platitude to urge that there can be little lucidity among an accumulation of relatively unimportant, if erudite, detail. The experience of every teacher or listener will establish that point. One cannot see the wood for the trees. It has therefore seemed good to select from the available material -- which is sufficiently extensive -- those matters which count for most. No attempt has been made to elaborate or refine, or otherwise to emulate the dictionaries of antiquities. On the other hand, it is claimed that there are incorporated unobtrusively in the following simple chapters the results of all due study of the latest research, as well as the conclusions of many years of professional intimacy with Athenian antiquity.

Had I been aware of the existence of any book covering the same ground as the present, I should scarcely have sought publication. There are, indeed, a number of works, and some of conspicuous excellence, dealing with Greek life, or with phases of Greek life, in general. But I am aware of none which treats solely of the one most interesting and important period of the one most interesting and important community. Nor am I aware of any which has in view precisely the same, class of readers for whom this is primarily intended. The admirable little work of Professor Gulick, The Life of the

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