The Parthenon by Mary Beard

“The Parthenon by Mary Beard

I’ve never yet been disappointed by a Mary Beard book, and this book is no exception.

Beard takes us through not just the history of the Parthenon, its construction, use throughout the years, but also touches on the myths and stories associated with the building. Why is it famous? What have others said about in the past? and of course gets into the largest controversy in the past 250 years, the Elgin Marbles, which rightly ought to be called the Parthenon Marbles.

It was interesting reading about the times when the Parthenon was used as a church and as a mosque because the Byzantine time period has been glossed over when the new myth of the Greek state as being a continuation of ancient Greece was invented. I understand why it was done, but it’s not good to forget your history.

This book has lots of illustrations, diagrams, and photos in it as well. I made a point to buy a paper copy of this book so I could enjoy these to the fullest.

As with all of Beard’s books, she has a lovely Further Reading section at the back of the book which explains the sources she has used, and suggests other sources for those interested in learning more.

The cover of the edition I read was awful though. Beard looks like she’s grimacing and not at all happy. I’m not sure if she chose that picture, or the publisher chose for her. Either way, it is the only detraction from a stellar book.

Rating: ★★★★★ Book #71 in my #ReadingChallenge2021 #MaryBeard #Parthenon #AncientGreece #History”,

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