The Greek View of Life

Read by Martin Geeson

(4.4 stars; 42 reviews)

“With the Greek civilisation beauty perished from the world. Never again has it been possible for man to believe that harmony is in fact the truth of all existence.”

This elegantly-written work provides a splendid introduction to the Greeks of the classic period: how they thought, wrote, and organised their lives and loves. Although it dates from the 1890s, there is very little about it that has dated. To its author’s credit, the subject of “Greek love” is dealt with in a sane and factual context - despite the judicial assassination of Oscar Wilde going on in the background.

A Cambridge don much admired by his students (including E. M. Forster), Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson belonged to the Apostles, a secret society with a strong ethic of male friendship. Alfred Tennyson and his beloved Arthur Hallam were early members. Dickinson is chiefly remembered as a historian and pacifist who played a significant part in the founding of the League of Nations. Inevitably, given his interests and intellectual background, he became a close associate of the Bloomsbury Group.

The Greek View of Life is no dry academic tome. It is a popularizing work in the best sense: accessibly written and illustrated with apt quotations given in sturdy translations, never in the original Greek. It is a joy to read.
(Introduction by Martin Geeson) (10 hr 55 min)


01 - Chapter I: The Greek View of Religion. Section 1 - Introductory 4:33 Read by Martin Geeson
02 - I.2 Greek Religion an Interpretation of Nature 15:42 Read by Martin Geeson
03 - I.3 Greek Religion an Interpretation of the Human Passions 4:11 Read by Martin Geeson
04 - I.4 Greek Religion the Foundation of Society 8:32 Read by Martin Geeson
05 - I.5 Religious Festivals 14:59 Read by Martin Geeson
06 - I.6 The Greek Conception of the Relation of Man to the Gods 7:45 Read by Martin Geeson
07 - I.7 Divination, Omens, Oracles 7:04 Read by Martin Geeson
08 - I.8 Sacrifice and Atonement 7:51 Read by Martin Geeson
09 - I.9 Guilt and Punishment 9:26 Read by Martin Geeson
10 - I.10 Mysticism 13:00 Read by Martin Geeson
11 - I.11 The Greek View of Death and a Future Life 19:37 Read by Martin Geeson
12 - I.12 Critical and Sceptical Opinion in Greece 13:22 Read by Martin Geeson
13 - I.13 Ethical Criticism 13:12 Read by Martin Geeson
14 - I.14 Transition to Monotheism 8:45 Read by Martin Geeson
15 - I.15 Metaphysical Criticism 15:03 Read by Martin Geeson
16 - I.16 Metaphysical Reconstruction - Plato 9:50 Read by Martin Geeson
17 - I.17 Summary 10:28 Read by Martin Geeson
18 - Chapter II: The Greek View of the State. Section 1 - The Greek State a 'C… 4:26 Read by Martin Geeson
19 - II.2 The Relation of the State to the Citizen 9:26 Read by Martin Geeson
20 - II.3 The Greek View of Law 5:24 Read by Martin Geeson
21 - II.4 Artisans and Slaves 16:08 Read by Martin Geeson
22 - II.5 The Greek State Primarily Military, not Industrial 8:24 Read by Martin Geeson
23 - II.6 Forms of Government in the Greek State 4:37 Read by Martin Geeson
24 - II.7 Faction and Anarchy 13:52 Read by Martin Geeson
25 - II.8 Property and the Communistic Ideal 22:39 Read by Martin Geeson
26 - II.9 Sparta 21:28 Read by Martin Geeson
27 - II.10 Athens 37:43 Read by Martin Geeson
28 - II.11 Sceptical Criticism of the Basis of the State 14:41 Read by Martin Geeson
29 - II.12 Summary 10:19 Read by Martin Geeson
30 - Chapter III: The Greek View of the Individual. Section 1 - The Greek View… 5:17 Read by Martin Geeson
31 - III.2 Appreciation of External Goods 6:17 Read by Martin Geeson
32 - III.3 Appreciation of Physical Qualities 4:36 Read by Martin Geeson
33 - III.4 Greek Athletics 8:16 Read by Martin Geeson
34 - III.5 Greek Ethics - Identification of the Aesthetic and Ethical Points o… 21:50 Read by Martin Geeson
35 - III.6 The Greek View of Pleasure 6:25 Read by Martin Geeson
36 - III.7 Illustrations - Ischomachus; Socrates 26:46 Read by Martin Geeson
37 - III.8 The Greek View of Woman 27:04 Read by Martin Geeson
38 - III.9 Protests against the Common View of Woman 8:26 Read by Martin Geeson
39 - III.10a Friendship (1) 14:07 Read by Martin Geeson
40 - III.10b Friendship (2) 15:11 Read by Martin Geeson
41 - III.10c Friendship (3) 16:50 Read by Martin Geeson
42 - III.11 Summary 8:55 Read by Martin Geeson
43 - Chapter IV: The Greek View of Art. Section 1 - Greek Art an Expression of… 9:14 Read by Martin Geeson
44 - IV.2 Identification of the Aesthetic and Ethical Points of View 11:35 Read by Martin Geeson
45 - IV.3 Sculpture and Painting 12:44 Read by Martin Geeson
46 - IV.4 Music and the Dance 19:59 Read by Martin Geeson
47 - IV.5 Poetry 9:26 Read by Martin Geeson
48 - IV.6a Tragedy (1) 18:11 Read by Martin Geeson
49 - IV.6b Tragedy (2) 23:31 Read by Martin Geeson
50 - IV.7 Comedy 6:21 Read by Martin Geeson
51 - IV.8 Summary 3:01 Read by Martin Geeson
52 - Chapter V: Conclusion 19:24 Read by Martin Geeson



(5 stars)

I love Martin Geeson. All of his readings are impeccable. Thank you, Martin!


(4 stars)

Well read, and I gave this book four stars because obviously the author did his research. However, I did find it somewhat wordy and boring at times. I believe the author put his own views on morality in the book, and since most of it was hearsay more than 2,000 years after the fact, I'm not so sure the picture is completely accurate. There was little mention of the poor population and struggles, but mostly focus on the Elite Class, which the author does acknowledge. I did skim a bit when a chapter became repetitive or boring and I felt like I was getting the point already. I think the summaries we're good, and definitely would recommend Reading part 3 of Friendships, as the essay within it was amazing. Also, was interesting concept of balancing the physical aspects of self with the social, etc. After reading about the early history of China, India, Buddhism, Etc, I don't think the Greeks we're all that advanced, and unfortunately as throughout history a lot of their focus was on War.

(5 stars)

Clear well paced delivery. Excellent use of emphasis to enhance comprehension of the text.

Foundational Understandings of Civilization, spirituality and how they where re…

(5 stars)

I didn’t really know what to expect with this audiobook but within 5 minutes I was hooked! The narrator brought this book to life in a way that did justice to the subject matter. The pace, format, characterizations and the richness of this book absolutely changed my understanding and appreciation for the legacy that the Greek civilization has left behind. Just amazing. The concepts of citizenship and individuality, the reconciliation between nature and man in the origin to Greek mythology, this book is just as esoteric and philosophical as much as it is a review of a bygone culture. Will definitely listen to this one again. I highly recommend it.


(5 stars)

Greeks laid the foundation for the western imperialism and Heternormativity that was the root cause of George Floyd's death. Sure they may have been notorious pansexuals, but the Greeks Did not have a sufficient number of dildo parties to not be considered homophobes. Rather than sneaking into troy with a horse they should have snuck inside a giant phallus. Coincidentally not only were they homophobes, the were also notorious phalogocentric oppressors of womxn and nonbinaries. They were also raycyst. No LatinX person's were amongst the Greek ranks. They opposed undocumented immigrants and kicked the Persians out. But their most egregious intolerable sin is being white.

Is this for real?

(2 stars)

I can't believe what I'm hearing. What a thespian. This kind of voice might be appropriate for reading bedtime stories to children under the age of 3, but not for an adult non-fiction book about ancient Greek culture. This guy sounds like Neil Patrick Harris playing the villain from A Series of Unfortunate Events, only hammier. I gave it an extra star for the laugh I got, but it's ultimately unlistenable.

Excellent Content, but Difficult to Remember

(4 stars)

Listening to this book was time well spent. I learned about the ways ancient Greeks thought. For some reason, though, I found it difficult to remember what the reader said. His voice just did not remain in my mind.

(4 stars)

The text is a decent overview of Ancient Greece, perhaps a little outdated, but not by much. This book is worth checking out for the narrator's performance though. It definitely heightens the experience.