For all its importance to Greek history and myth, Thebes – Seven-gated Thebes whose patron god was Dionysus, birthplace of Herakles, the city of Oedipus and Antigone – tends to get bit parts in the broader story of ancient Greece. Until now. Paul Cartledge, Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University, has devoted a whole book to what he calls the ‘forgotten city’ of ancient Greece. I think you’re likely to find it fascinating for the fresh insights that a shift in perspective can bring, seeing the world not from ‘violet-crowned’ Athens – as Theban poet Pindar put it – but from ‘the dancing floor of Ares’, Thebes.

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