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January 18, 2016
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King Constantine II and his son Pavlos
Photo by Milos Bicanski/ Getty Images
February 2, 2015
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Book Categories: Royal Family, Greece, Aegean, Knossos, Trojan War, Hercules, Homer, Ancient Greece, Athens, Sparta, Peloponnesian War, Persian Wars, Thermopylae, Alexander, Macedonia, Hellenistic, Roman Empire, Byzantine, Ottoman, Balkan Royalty, Fiction, Children's Books, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Greece DVDs
Kings of the Hellenes: The Greek Kings 1863-1974 by John Van Der Kiste. Covers the Greek royal family from 1863 to 1974, and shows the benefits and disadvantages of the dynasty's close ties to the other royal houses of Europe.
Greece and the English: British Diplomacy and the Kings of Greece by Panagiotis Dimitrakis. Sheds light on notable members of Greek royal family in the 20th century and their involvement in controversies and secret diplomacy.
Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickers. Born deaf, Princess Alice (a German princess who married Prince Andrew of Greece) led a dramatic, often tragic life, and ended her days as a nun. She was the mother of Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip.
No Ordinary Crown by Stelio Hourmouzios. A biography of King Paul (Pavlos), father of last king Constantine II. Paul reigned from 1947 until 1964.
A Measure of Understanding by Frederica, Queen of the Hellenes. Memoir written by King Paul's wife, who was born a German princess.
Books About Prince Philip of Greece (husband of Elizabeth II)
A Concise History of Greece by Richard Clogg. Illustrated introduction to the history of modern Greece, from the first stirrings of the national movement in the late 18th century to the present day.
The Penguin History of Greece by A. R. Burn. Sweeps readers along from the age of Mycenae to the dark decades in the shadow of Rome.
The Classical World: An Epic History From Homer to Hadrian by Robin Lane Fox. Greece and Rome once dominated the world. From the Peloponnesian War through the creation of Athenian democracy, from Alexander the Great to the Roman Empire, this book introduces readers to extraordinary heroes and horrific villains, great thinkers and blood-thirsty tyrants.
The Aegean Bronze Age by Oliver Dickinson. A scholarly, accessible introduction to the prehistoric civilizations of Greece.
Minoans: Life in Bronze Age Crete by Rodney Castleden. Discusses the Minoan empire and the Mycenean conquest of Crete.
The Mycenaean World by John Chadwick. Interprets written documents to reconstruct a vivid picture of life in this remote period.
The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.C. by Robert Drews. The Bronze Age came to a close with the destruction of key cities throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, ending the Levantine, Hittite, Trojan, and Mycenaean kingdoms. This book proposes a military explanation.
Knossos - A Complete Guide to the Palace of Minos by Anna Michailidou. Includes an historical outline, myth and tradition, history of the excavations, and more.
Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism by Cathy Gere. In 1900, Arthur Evans began to excavate the palace of Knossos on Crete, bringing ancient Greek legends to life. His reconstruction project fired the imaginations of intellectuals and artists, with long-term effects on Western culture.
The Oxford History of Greece & the Hellenistic World edited by John Boardman, Jasper Green, and Oswyn Murray. The Greek world from the 8th century BC emergence of the Greek city-states to the establishment of the Greek monarchies some five centuries later.
The Ancient Greeks by M. I. Finley. Learn about the tyrants and lawgivers of archaic Greece, and the achievements and decline of the city-states.
Ancient Greece: A Concise History by Peter Green. Discusses intellectual and political developments from the beginnings of Minoan culture to the death of Alexander.
The Birth of Greece by Pierre Leveque, translated by Anthony Zielonka. Greece from 2000 BC to the age of Alexander the Great.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece by Robert Morkot. This well-illustrated volume traces the growth of Greece from city-states to loosely knit alliances that waged huge conflicts. (Review © Amazon.com)
The Archaeology of Ancient Greece by James Whitley. A synthesis of research on the material culture of Greece in the Archaic and Classical periods. From Cambridge University Press.
The Royal Palace Institution in the First Millennium BC: Regional Development and Cultural Interchange Between East and West by Inge Nielsen. The first millennium BC saw two great powers: the Achaemenid (Persian) and Hellenistic empires. The papers in this volume examine how their powerful new kings created palatial institutions with old monarchic traditions. The Hellenistic papers address palaces in Macedonia, Caucasian Iberia and Albania, and Syria; and the royal Macedonian gardens.
Piety and Politics by Dale Launderville. The dynamics of royal authority in Homeric Greece, Biblical Israel, and old Babylonian Mesopotamia.
Crooked Kings of Ancient Greece by Daniel Ogden. Monarchic rulers in archaic Greece were often conceptualized as evil and malformed. Their twisted limbs represented their ability to overthrow their communities.
Athens: A History - From Ancient Ideal to Modern City by Robin Waterfield. Chronicles the rise and fall of Athens, from ancient days to the 19th century.
Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History From 478 BC by Anton Powell. Presents a wide selection of ancient source material along with clear analysis and narrative.
The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives by Plutarch. Includes Plutarch's profile of the legendary Athenean prince Theseus (the other people profiled in this book were not royal).
Leonidas and the Kings of Sparta: Mightiest Warriors, Fairest Kingdom by Alfred S. Bradford. Describes the origins of the dual kingship in Sparta and the kings' roles in war, religion, social life, and policy.
Sparta's Kings by John Carr. In ancient Greece, Sparta was unique in having a dual kingship. This is a chronological account, from the founding Herakleidai clan to the Roman conquest in the middle of the 2nd century BC.
Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC by Paul Cartledge. Explores both the city-state of Sparta and the territory of Lakonia it unified and exploited, from the apogee of Mycenaean culture to Sparta's defeat at the battle of Mantinea in 362 BC.
Sparta by Michael Whitby. Introduction to Spartan history and society.
On Sparta by Plutarch, edited by Richard J.A. Talbert. Includes Plutarch's writings on the 3rd century Spartan kings Agis IV and Cleomenes III, along with quotations from other Spartans, including kings.
The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, From Utopia to Crisis and Collapse by Paul Cartledge. A tie-in book to the 2003 PBS television series of the same name.
Spartan Women by Sarah B. Pomeroy. Includes a chapter on elite women, especially royal women, about whom most is known. The legendary Helen of Troy was born a Spartan princess.
King Agis of Sparta and His Campaign in Arkadia in 418 B.C. by William J. Woodhouse.
History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. Written 400 years before the birth of Christ, this is a detailed contemporary account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta, which came to a head in 431 BC, plunging the Greek world into 27 years of war.
A History of My Times by Xenophon. Covers the last years of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Xeneophon, who personally knew many of the people he wrote about, vividly portrays people, politics, and battles.
The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict, 431-404 BC by Donald Kagan. A sweeping new narrative of this epic contest that captures all its drama, action, and tragedy.
Thermopylae: The Battle for the West by Ernle Bradford. About the three-day battle for the pass at Thermopylae (the Hot Gates) during Persian emperor Xerxes's massive invasion of Greece. The bloody stand made there by King Leonidas and his small Spartan army in 480 B.C. has been hailed ever since as an outstanding example of courage.
Alexander the Great
Lysimachus: A Study in Early Hellenistic Kingship by Helen S. Lund. Among Alexander the Great's successors, Lysimachus is the forgotten man; when he is recalled it is usually as a brutal oppressor of the Greeks. This book analyses his skills as warrior and diplomat and examines the factors which motivated him. (This review © Amazon.com.)
The Hellenistic Monarchies: Selected Papers by Christian Habicht.
The Hellenistic Age From the Battle of Ipsos to the Death of Kleopatra VII edited by Stanley M. Burstein. Translations of important, lesser-known historical documents, including royal letters, along with brief commentaries and bibliographic notes. Includes chapters on the Seleucid Kingdom, Baktria and India, Macedon, Pergamon, and Ptolemaic Egypt.
Daily Life in the Hellenistic Age: From Alexander to Cleopatra by James Allan Evans. The Hellenistic world stretched from Iraq to Sicily. The dominant culture was Greek. This book explores marriage customs; festivals, sports, and spectacles; food and drink; education; science, technology; and more.
The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire by G. G. Aperghis. The Seleukid empire, successor of the empire of Alexander the Great, endured for over 200 years and extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the borders of India. This study reveals how the rulers exploited their lands and managed their finances.
War in the Hellenistic World: A Social and Cultural History by Angelos Chaniotis. Looks at the connections between war and religion, the ideology of Hellenistic monarchy, the rule of elites, and technological change.
Hellenistic Constructs: Essays in Culture, History, and Historiography edited by Paul Cartledge. Twelve essays emphasizing the cultural interaction of Greek and non-Greek societies in the Hellenistic period.
The Hellenistic Settlements in Europe, the Islands, and Asia Minor by Getzel M. Cohen. This compendium provides historical narratives, detailed references, citations, and commentaries on all the cities founded or refounded in Europe, The Islands, and Asia Minor during the Hellenistic period.
Hellenistic Civilization by Francois Chamoux. Examines the often violent political history of the period, with a systematic analysis of Hellenistic kingdoms. Also looks at the coming of Rome and the challenge this presented to the Hellenistic monarchies.
Hellenistic History and Culture edited by Peter Green. Essays include "The Macedonian Imprint on the Hellenistic World" and "The Ptolemies and the Ideology of Kingship."
The King Must Die by Mary Renault. Novel based on the legend of Theseus.
The Queen of Sparta: A Novel of Ancient Greece by T. S. Chaudhry. The Persians are poised to conquer all of Greece. The only one standing in their way is Gorgo, Queen of Sparta.
Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield. Epic heroic novel that tells the story of Xeones, the only survivor of 300 Spartan warriors ordered to delay the million-strong invading army of King Xerxes of Persia.
Leonidas: Hero of Thermopylae by Ian Macgregor Morris. Children's biography of King Leonidas of Sparta, who fought to the death with 300 of his men at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC against a much larger Persian army.
These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.
In Search of History: The Greek Gods. This sweeping look at the legendary gods of ancient Greece includes footage of some of the most beautiful artwork ever created.
Gods and Goddesses. A new look at Greek mythology suggests that some of these ancient tales may have roots in actual events.
Empires - The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization. Lavish PBS documentary that tells the story of Athenian democracy from its first stirrings in 500 B.C. through to the cataclysmic wars that virtually destroyed the empire. (Review © Amazon.com)
The Spartans. This PBS documentary explains Sparta's culture, history, and downfall.
The 300 Spartans. This 1961 movie about the Battle of Thermopalye stars Richard Egan as King Leonidas of Sparta. (Review © Amazon.com)
The First Olympics. Three full-length programs capture the raw competition and Bacchanalian excess of the original Olympic Games.
The Real Olympics. PBS documentary compares the ancient and modern games.
The Greek Royal Family