From the epic poems of Homer to the glittering art and architecture of Greece's Golden Age, to the influential Roman systems of law and leadership, the classical Greek world established the foundations of our culture as well as many of its most enduring achievements.Now, in this vivid volume, readers can embrace the spirit of the classical world, from the eighth to the first centuries B.C., a period unparalleled in history for its brilliance in literature, philosophy, and the visual arts. This work also treats the Hellenization of the Middle East by the monarchies established in the area conquered by Alexander the Great. The editors, all celebrated classicists, intersperse chapters on political and social history with sections on literature, philosophy, and the arts, and reinforce the historical framework with maps and historical charts. Moreover, the contributors--thirty of the world's leading scholars--present the latest in modern scholarship through masterpieces of wit, brevity, and style. Together with hundreds of excellent illustrations, these entries provide both a provocative and entertaining window into our classical heritage.