Cover image for Climbing Olympus : what you can learn from Greek myth and wisdom
Climbing Olympus : what you can learn from Greek myth and wisdom
Bertman, Stephen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, [2003]

Physical Description:
230 pages ; 21 cm
Prologue: Alien wisdom -- Introduction: The eight pillars of Greek wisdom -- The first pillar: Humanism -- The second pillar: The pursuit of excellence -- The third pillar: The practice of moderation -- The fourth pillar: Self-knowledge -- The fifth pillar: Rationalism -- The sixth pillar: Restless curiosity -- The seventh pillar: The love of freedom -- The eighth pillar: Individualism -- Obstacles along the way -- Climbing other mountains -- Epilogue: Reaching the summit.
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
BL785 .B475 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This inspirational book identifies the core tenets of Greek wisdom and renders them readable and workable for modern man and woman. These guiding principles are illustrated with vivid examples drawn from the rich heritage of Greek history and mythology, including tales of heroes and heroines, adventure and exploration, and self-discovery and personal triumph.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The ancient Greeks believed in eight ideological pillars: humanism, the pursuit of excellence, the practice of moderation, self-knowledge, rationalism, restless curiosity, love of freedom and individualism. In this volume, classicist Bertman illustrates the importance of each pillar with simply told tales from ancient Greece and Greek mythology and demonstrates how these pillars can apply to life today. Following a brief recounting of the legend of Atlantis's disappearance (and the greed and hubris of its people that led to it), for example, Bertman suggests that "the same universal law applies to all: exceed your proper limits, reject moderation, and you will be taught your proper size." The story of Achilles teaches us why self-knowledge is important, why we need "to courageously probe our human strengths and weaknesses and to find within ourselves the means of our cure, freely admitting our own ignorance even as we seek illumination." Though the author occasionally resorts to truisms, and must stretch too far to find a link between some myth lessons and real life, he provides an engaging review of major mythological figures and a valuable reminder that the pillars of ancient Greece remain relevant to contemporary realities. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prologue: Alien Wisdomp. 1
Introduction: The Eight Pillars of Greek Wisdomp. 7
Chapter 1 The First Pillar--Humanismp. 15
Chapter 2 The Second Pillar--The Pursuit of Excellencep. 25
Chapter 3 The Third Pillar--The Practice of Moderationp. 41
Chapter 4 The Fourth Pillar--Self-Knowledgep. 79
Chapter 5 The Fifth Pillar--Rationalismp. 95
Chapter 6 The Sixth Pillar--Restless Curiosityp. 119
Chapter 7 The Seventh Pillar--The Love of Freedomp. 133
Chapter 8 The Eighth Pillar--Individualismp. 153
Chapter 9 Obstacles along the Wayp. 171
Chapter 10 Climbing Other Mountainsp. 185
Epilogue: Reaching the Summitp. 207
Major Gods of Greecep. 211
Major Events in Ancient Greek Historyp. 212
Glossary of Ancient Namesp. 213
Further Readingp. 225
About the Authorp. 231