Beard, Mary, and John Henderson. Classics. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 29 illustrations, 4 maps, timelines and bibliography.
The goal of this book is an overview of the various topics and fields addressed in Classical Studies. The Temple of Apollo of Bassae is used as an entree to this field, first with a visit to the temple frieze preserved in the British Museum and then with a visit to the archaeological site at Bassae. The history of the site, and, especially its description by the ancient Greek traveler Pausanias, its “discovery” by Charles Cockerell in the early 19th century, and scholarly attempts to “reconstruct” the temple, are major topics of discussion. Other topics include philology (commentaries and apparatus critici), paleography, the social history of ancient Greece (especially slavery), Greek myths and religion, and modern conceptions and recreations of Greek culture.