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.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.