(Various titles)
Ekdotike Athenon
These guides, part of an extensive series from Ekodotike Athenon, represent a good compromise between scholarship and popular interest.

These guides combine a large number of pictures in a 100 slick-paper pages with a serious text describing the site or region and its history. Other guides in this series cover places like Mystras, and museums such as the the Herakleion Museum. Some include a regional map.

They are often available in several languages. Price was 3,000-5,000 drachmas back in the mid-90s. I've been unable to determine if new editions have come out.   Recommended.

The Athenian Agora: A short Guide
American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1983
200 Drachma, in 1986
These are genuine academic pamphlets. There is a whole series on the Athenian Agora, and I've seen similar items for other sites. The text can be dry and sometimes difficult to read, but they provide detailed study of art, buildings, and other issues about an ancient site.   Recommended.
The Tomb of Agamemnon
Cathy Gere
Harvard University Press, 2006
$20, 198 pages
ISBN 0-674-02170-3
Part of the Wonders of the World Series of small format books on famous sites.

“The Mask of Agamemnon is the Mona Lisa of prehistory.” That is her beginning to an impressionistic essay about the site of Mycenae. So this is not a site guide, however, it is great background reading before you visit the site.

She describes the history of the site.  But, she also describes the modern history of the site's recovery and how views of Mycenae have changed over time. And so her title, "Tomb of Agamemnon" is intentionally chosen. Of course, there is no tomb of Agamemnon, or so we now understand. But that was what launched a thousand fantasies including the reputation of the funeral mask mislabeled the "mask of Agamemnon."

So a good chunk of the book is about 19th and 20th centuries views of and uses of Mycenae. We get discussions of Schliemann (and his swastika adorned house in Athens), reactions of various other philhellenies, but also some Greek perspective. While this is not a picture book, it does reproduce some of the other grave masks found and provide a side profile shot of the Agamemnon mask - both things seldom seen. Nice bibliography.

Popular guides to specific locations
American producers; Greek publishing

This is a vast and diverse category. Included here all sorts of guides produced in Greece and in the United States - put typically from specialty publishers (though there are exceptions). Generally you can't find these in a commercial bookstore and have to go to a Greek specialty supplier or get them on location.

These guides are not pure advertisements like I discuss on another page. But they do tend in the direction of promotion. However, they will cover details of a island or locale. These are often good sources for photos of the area. Big ticket guides have to sacrifice to keep the page count down, and they often skimp on photos.

Last modified 9/24/08; posted 3/13/2000; original content © 2008, 2000 John P. Nordin