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The Hemlock Cup : Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life by Bettany Hughes
  

The Hemlock Cup : Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

Biography / Autobiography   

RRP £25.00

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 18 November 2010.

Bettany Hughes has painstakingly pieced together Socrates' life, following in his footsteps across Greece and Asia Minor, and examining the new archaeological discoveries that shed light on his world. In The Hemlock Cup she reveals the human heart of the man, and relates a story that is as relevant now as it has ever been.

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Synopsis

The Hemlock Cup : Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life by Bettany Hughes

We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did. His aphorism 'The unexamined life is not worth living' may have originated twenty-five centuries ago, but it is a founding principle of modern life. Socrates lived and contributed to a city that nurtured key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought - yet, as he wrote nothing in his lifetime, he himself is an enigmatic figure. The Hemlock Cup gives Socrates the biography he deserves, setting him in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean that was his home, and dealing with him as he himself dealt with the world. Socrates was a soldier, a lover, a man of the people. He philosophised neither in grand educational establishments nor the courts of kings but in the squares and public arenas of Golden Age Athens. He lived through an age of extraordinary materialism, in which a democratic culture turned to the glorification of its own city; when war was declared under the banner of democracy; and, when tolerance turned into intimidation on streets once populated by the likes of Euripides, Sophocles and Pericles. For seventy years he was a vigorous citizen of one of the greatest capitals on earth, but then his beloved Athens turned on him, condemning him to death by poison. Socrates' pursuit of personal liberty is a vibrant story that Athens did not want us to hear, but which must be told.


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Reviews

The Hemlock Cup is another vibrant and atmospheric work from this well-known promoter of the ancient world -- Michael Scott BBC History Magazine In The Hemlock Cup Bettany Hughes does a very good job of recreating the material world in which Socrates lived ... she is up to date on recent archaeological discoveries ... she writes frankly of the nastiness of the world in which Socrates grew up and lived -- Mary Beard Sunday Times enormous energy and enthusiasm are infectious. She writes up a storm... Readers will be drawn by Hughes
beguiling prose

... The Hemlock Cup is, moreover, beautifully produced -- Paul Cartledge The Independent 20101108 Bettany Hughes
terrifically readable life of the philosopher, The Hemlock Cup, is more than just a life

... The Hemlock Cup makes a vivid and persuasive case for the study of Socrates -- Bettany Hughes The Independent 20101108 Classics lovers led by the television history star Bettany Hughes are launching a GBP2.5m website and campaign today to restore the teaching of Latin and Greek to all Britain's state schools within 10 years -- Sian Griffiths The Sunday Times 20101122


About the Author

Bettany Hughes is a historian, author and broadcaster who has devoted much of the last twenty years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her first book, Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore was published to great critical acclaim and has now been translated into ten languages. Bettany has made a number of factual films for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, Discovery, The History Channel and ABC for both the British and International markets including The Spartans, When The Moors Ruled in Europe, Athens:The Truth of Democracy, The Women of the Bible and Helen of Troy. These have now been seen by over 100 million worldwide.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th October 2010

Author

Bettany Hughes

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Author's Website

www.bettanyhughes.co.uk/

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Publisher

Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of CCV

Format

Hardback
528 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography

Biography: historical, political & military
Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500

ISBN

9780224071789

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