Ancient Greece was the cradle of western civilization; its influence reverberates today in almost every sphere of life, from philosophy and politics to literature and art. This volume explores in almost 400 stunning colour photographs the best of its architecture, paintings, sculptures and brilliantly sophisticated pottery and metalwork. This superb overview of the extraordinary riches of Greek art encompasses every era, from the abstract purity of the Cycladic figurines and the perfection of the Classical period to the 'baroque' of the Hellenistic era. The accessible and wide-ranging text begins in the Bronze Age with Minoan Crete, and proceeds through the glories of 5th-century Athens and the birth of democracy, to the feats of Alexander the Great and ultimately to Greece's conquest by Rome. Further sections examine other essential aspects of Greek culture, including architecture, religion, theatre, sport and warfare. Completing the volume is a spectacular itinerary that takes in the most beautiful cities of ancient Greece and its colonies, including Asia Minor and southern Italy. Descriptions are brought to life and cities restored to their former glory in specially commissioned colour reconstructions, including several fold-outs. With numerous diagrams, site plans, maps and a glossary, Greece: Splendours of an Ancient Civilization is a panoramic study of one of the most important periods in human history.