REVIEWS by Willard Manus
GREEKS/ THE INCREDIBLE VOYAGE OF ULYSSES
With the publication of THE ANCIENT GREEKS and THE INCREDIBLE VOYAGE OF
ULYSSES, the Getty Museum continues its love affair with ancient Greece's
history, literature and artifacts.
THE ANCIENT GREEKS--THEIR LIVES AND THEIR WORLD is aimed at young readers.
Written by Alexandra Villing, curator of Greek antiquities at the British
Museum, the book's timeline spans 3200 BC to 30 BC, when Greece was divided
into numerous kingdoms. With its 180 color illustrations and fourteen
chapters dealing with such subjects as "Kings and Tyrants,"
"Democrats and Citizens," "Writers, Thinkers and Doctors,"
the book deals with Greek history in a knowing but light-hearted way.
Here, for example, is Villing's description of what parties (symposia)
were like in the old days. "Symposia were meant to be civilized gatherings--but
sometimes the drinking got a bit out of hand." She then quotes the
writer, Eubolos: "The first bowl is to health, the second to love
and pleasure, the third to sleep. When this is drunk wise men go home.
The fourth bowl is to violence, fifth to shouting, the six to drunken
rudeness, the seventh to black eyes, the eighth to getting into trouble
with the law."
THE INCREDIBLE VOYAGE OF ULYSSES by Bimba Landman, an Italian author of
art books for young children, retells Homer's epic tale in fifty brief
pages packed with her colorful, quirky illustrations. The uncredited English
translation is less than felicitous, but the author's artwork should tickle
the fancy of many a kid between 9 and 12.
Getty Publications, hdbnd., $17.95 and $19.95, respectively.