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Download Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter Audiobook, by Thomas Cahill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,259 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Cahill Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Hinges of History Series Release Date: July 2003 ISBN: 9780736699549
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In Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, his fourth volume to explore “the hinges of history,” Thomas Cahill escorts the reader on another entertaining—and historically unassailable—journey through the landmarks of art and bloodshed that defined Greek culture nearly three millennia ago.

In the city-states of Athens and Sparta and throughout the Greek islands, honors could be won in making love and war, and lives were rife with contradictions. By developing the alphabet, the Greeks empowered the reader, demystified experience, and opened the way for civil discussion and experimentation—yet they kept slaves. The glorious verses of the Iliad recount a conflict in which rage and outrage spur men to action and suggest that their “bellicose society of gleaming metals and rattling weapons” is not so very distant from more recent campaigns of “shock and awe.” And, centuries before Zorba, Greece was a land where music, dance, and freely flowing wine were essential to the high life. Granting equal time to the sacred and the profane, Cahill rivets our attention to the legacies of an ancient and enduring worldview.

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jennie | 1/26/2014

    " To me? This book seemed poorly organized, unnecessarily wordy, slightly arrogant, and frankly, dull. This book really didn't do much to convince the reader how, in fact, the Greeks actually do matter. Even though I know that already. I picked it up expecting to be motivated into more reading about the region and it's history. Guess I'll try again later with a different book as my starting point. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 1/24/2014

    " I think I am just plain in love with this author. Historical facts that reads with the enjoyment of a novel. I can't wait for the next book of the seriesx of the "Hinges of History" to come out. I have made my husband and pastor fans of his work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauri | 1/20/2014

    " I have enjoyed all of the books in this series as to why certain groups matter to civilization as a whole. Cahill is funny and accessible. I learned an enormous amount about ancient Greeks - names that I had some idea about but really no much knowledge at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dad | 1/14/2014

    " Nice summary of the Hellenistic world and its relation to modern Western civilization. Very readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dante | 1/10/2014

    " Another decent entry by Cahill. But we have so many tidbits of ancient Greek history already ingrained in our brains that it's hard to make room for much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizzy | 1/7/2014

    " I am currently reading this one and so far am impressd. if you enjoy early greek literature and would like a different take on it from your college lit class then its a good one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Lott | 1/2/2014

    " Good format and I enjoyed background on the Greeks "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Callister | 12/29/2013

    " I loved it, particularly the impact and interpretation of Homer's work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gail | 12/27/2013

    " Another of the Hinges of History series, this is a better book than "How the Irish..." However, it's still lightweight and somewhat overwrought in its enthusiasms. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jann | 12/12/2013

    " The more I read these books, the more I like them. I just bought all the series that's available, so I'm upgrading the other books I've already read to five stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danette | 12/2/2013

    " Love all of Cahill's Hinges of History books. However, my fave so far is Mysteries of the Middle Ages. Bet it's Cahill's fave too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 11/16/2013

    " This was the first of his Hinges of History series that I read. He is a wonderful author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 11/14/2013

    " totally awesome book about a totally awesome ancient civilization "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 11/9/2013

    " This was a good overview of ancient Greek history but it's more of a starting point than an end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Punk | 11/2/2013

    " Non-Fiction. Gave up on page 36 when it was Homer as far as the eye could see. I wanted a history of the Greeks, not a rehashing of the Iliad and the Odyssey. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Asma | 10/5/2013

    " this is a book about ancient history and events that happened in creeks. while reading i was picturing the events but there are times a reach some parts of the book that it gets so confusing, to the point i got bored reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wale | 1/29/2013

    " Though the least favourite of mine in the series, I learned quite a few things from this book. I suspect I'll have to refer back to it some time in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peg Lotvin | 1/27/2013

    " Another of the Thomas Cahill's Hinges of History series. This one follows the history of the Greeks from earliest times showing how early proto-Greeks became the Greeks of our history books and how the civilization they build affects how we think and feel today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celia | 12/8/2012

    " Nothing that I didn't already know before, actually - I lived in Greece for three years, but this book is a splendid introduction for anyone just getting started on rediscovering the classics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ike | 11/15/2012

    " Yet again another enjoyable book on history by Thomas Cahill. I recommend this book and his entire "The Hinges of History" series to anyone who enjoys history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 6/8/2012

    " Well Written. Great detail on the myths and history of ancient Greece. Not as well written as How the Irish Saved Civilization...but worth the read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 5/2/2012

    " I question some of the scholarship in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana Hill | 3/29/2012

    " Since I have been to Greece ,it was even more interesting. I thoroughly love listening to non fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 3/15/2012

    " Fourth book in the Hinges of Hostory series. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 12/9/2011

    " More proof that Cahill has been going downhill after the Irish. This book grossed out my Greek mythology fan of a daughter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Steger | 11/17/2011

    " An lively, entertaining introduction to the Greeks, from the Homeric epics to the birth of Christianity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 10/26/2011

    " Very interesting information, presented in a non-interesting way. His comment about Aristotle being boring in presentation is ironic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Genie | 4/8/2011

    " I like Thomas Cahill's writing style. If I were to read this book again, I would pick up a lot more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 3/28/2011

    " Underdelivers and focuses too much on the People magazine qualities of ancient greece --skims over series developments in its breathless and energetic and punchy prose. But gain in lively writing not worth the cost in content; one is left vaguely entertained, but no better off. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 J. | 2/3/2011

    "

    I finished the first chapter and a half of this book and realised the target audience is not "people with a classical studies degree who are not interested in reading interpretations of Archaic Greece that use dated references to US politics."

    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lily | 1/18/2011

    " Disappointed me. Gave up on it. Fell into Twain's admonishment -- "Don't read good books. There isn't time for that. Read only the best." It just didn't seem like the best use of time -- that better choices were available. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/7/2011

    " Cahill's books are incredibly dense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dad | 8/23/2010

    " Nice summary of the Hellenistic world and its relation to modern Western civilization. Very readable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerri | 6/24/2010

    " The only reasons this doesn't get 5 stars is that it's the abriged version and I didn't realize that (my fault), and that I found it hard to listen to Olympia Dukakasis' narration this time. Last time it didn't bother me, so I'm going to count both these reasons as my fault. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 6/20/2010

    " Amazing! I had forgotten how good it was until I re-read it! Thomas Cahill is, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant historians of our time. "

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About the Author
Author Thomas CahillTHOMAS CAHILL is the author of the best-selling books, How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland 's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels, and Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus.  These books comprise the first three volumes of a prospective seven-volume series entitled "The Hinges of History," in which Cahill recounts formative moments in Western civilization. In "The Hinges of History," Thomas Cahill endeavors to retell the story of the Western World through little-known stories of the great gift-givers, people who contributed immensely to Western, culture and the evolution of Western sensibility, thus revealing how we have become the people we are and why we think and feel the way we do today.
About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is also an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.