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The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece ~ SAT, DEC 7, 7PM

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Why did Greece reach such heights in the classical period? And how, after "the Greek miracle" had endured for centuries, did the Macedonians defeat the Greeks, seemingly bringing an end to their glory? Josiah Ober offers a major new history of classical Greece and an unprecedented account of its rise and fall. Presented by Josiah Ober, Ph.D., Saturday, December 7, 2019, 7:00PM.

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Lord Byron described Greece as great, fallen, and immortal, a characterization more apt than he knew. Through most of its long history, Greece was poor. But in the classical era, Greece was densely populated and highly urbanized. Many surprisingly healthy Greeks lived in remarkably big houses and worked for high wages at specialized occupations. Middle-class spending drove sustained economic growth and classical wealth produced a stunning cultural efflorescence lasting hundreds of years.

Why did Greece reach such heights in the classical period—and why only then? And how, after "the Greek miracle" had endured for centuries, did the Macedonians defeat the Greeks, seemingly bringing an end to their glory? Drawing on a massive body of newly available data and employing novel approaches to evidence, Josiah Ober offers a major new history of classical Greece and an unprecedented account of its rise and fall.

 Presented by Josiah Ober, Ph.D. Saturday, December 7, 2019, 7:00PM.

Josiah Ober, Mitsotakis Professor in the School of Humanities and Science at Stanford, works on historical institutionalism and political theory, focusing on the political thought and practice of the ancient Greek world and its contemporary relevance. He is the author of a number of books, including Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens (1989), Political Dissent in Democratic Athens (2008), and Democracy and Knowledge (2008). His book on The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece documents and explains the remarkable Greek efflorescence of ca. 800-300 BCE, the Macedonian conquest of the late fourth century, and the persistence of economic flourishing into the Hellenistic era.