By Jerry Toner
Profile (2015) p/b 152pp £8.99 (ISBN 9781781254202)
OUP has been publishing ‘Very Short Introductions to…’ for over twenty years, and Profile is now trying its luck in the same field with its ‘Ideas in Profile’ series, subtitled ‘Small Introductions to Big Topics’, of which the book under review is the fourth.
Compared with OUP’s productions, this new series is slightly larger in format, but in the same hard-ish paper-back and with the same fold-out front and back covers; the paper is not quite as good, with the result that some of the b/w pictures are of poor quality. There are two maps, one of the Hellenistic World, one of the Roman Empire (none of Greece/Athens), reading lists for each chapter, and an index.
If the series sets out to be unconventional, it certainly succeeds in this case. There is, for example, no introductory trot through the…
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