Most of Alexander the Great's thirteen year reign as king of Macedon was spent in hard campaigning which conquered half the known world, during which he never besieged a city he did not take. Alexander's sieges were no less vital, and certainly more numerous, than his famous battles in securing his vast empire and yet there is no book concentrating purely on his many epic sieges and his mastery of siegecraft. Perhaps the most famous example is Tyre, which had previously successfully withstood a 13-year siege by the Babylonians and which used to be an island before Alexander got there. The artificial isthmus he built to reach it still connects it to the mainland. More obscure, but just as instructive of the conqueror's character, is his last siege at the city of the Mallians, where shamed his reluctant soldiers into action by storming the battlements with just three companions and was severely wounded for his efforts. Stephen English narrates the sustained drama of each of Alexander's sieges, analyzing tactics and technical aspects, such as the innovative and astoundingly ambitious siege engines used. This volume will neatly compliment his first book, The Army of Alexander the Great, and his proposed third, The Field Campaigns of Alexander the Great, to form a very strong three-volume set.
The book reveals that much of the organized violence witnessed today - such as counter-terrorism, urban fighting, insurgencies, pre-emptive war, and ethnic cleansing - has ample precedent in the classical era. The book examines the preemption and unilaterlism used to install democracy during Epaminondas's great invasion of the Peloponnesus in 369 BC, as well as the counterinsurgency and terrorism that characterized Rome's battles with insurgents such as Spartacus, Mithridates, and the Cilician pirates.
Author: David O'Connor
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Website: Ancient World Websites
Abydos is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic sites in southern Egypt. As both the burial place of the first pharaohs and a cult centre for the god Osiris, it was of immense importance to the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years, from nearly 3000 bc until the early centuries AD, and continues to yield spectacular discoveries. However, no full analysis of the site has been written in the last 30 years. In this book David OConnor, the worlds greatest authority on Abydos, provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive account of the sites extraordinary history, as well as telling the story of his own excavations there. This beautifully illustrated and authoritative new book in the New Aspects of Antiquity series fills a significant gap in the literature on ancient Egypt and will be of interest both to students and to anyone who ever has wondered about the origins of one of the greatest civilizations in world history.
The war between Caesar and Pompey was one of the defining moments in Roman history. The clash between these great generals gripped the attention of their contemporaries and it has fascinated historians ever since. These powerful men were among the dominant personalities of their age, and their struggle for supremacy divided Rome. In this original and perceptive study Nic Fields explores the complex, often brutal world of Roman politics and the lethal rivalry of Caesar and Pompey that grew out of it. He reconsiders them as individuals and politicians and, above all, as soldiers. His highly readable account of this contest for power gives a vivid insight into the rise and fall of two of the greatest warlords of the ancient world.
A military biography of Mithridates VI `the Great' of Pontus, Rome's most persistent enemy. The Mithridiatic wars stretched over half a century and two continents, and have a fascinating cast of pirates, rebels, turncoats and poisoners (though an unfortunate lack of heroes with untarnished motives). There are pitched battles, epic sieges, double-crosses and world-class political conniving, assassinations and general treachery. Through it all, the story is built about the dominant character of Mithridates, connoisseur of poisons, arch-schemer and strategist; resilient in defeat, savage and vindictive in victory. Almost by definition, this book will break new ground, in that nothing has been written on Mithridates for the general public for almost half a century, though scholarly journals have been adding a steady trickle of new evidence, which is drawn upon here. Few enough leaders went to war with Rome and lived long to tell the tale, but in the first half of the first century BC, Mithridates did so three times. At the high point of his career his armies swept the Romans out of Asia Minor and Greece, reversing a century of Roman expansion in the region. Even once fortune had turned against him he would not submit. Upto the day he died, a fugitive drive to suicide by the treachery of his own son, he was still planning an overland invasion of Roman itself.
The headings of Mary Beard’s notes give a taste of this astonishing book: Bad Breath, Intestinal Parasites, Performing Monkeys, One-way Streets, Kosher Food, Water Shortages. The Temple of Isis serves to bring in multiculturalism. The House of the Menander tells how a house worked. At the Suburban Baths we go from communal bathing to hygiene to erotica. 154 writing tablets from the House of Caecilius Jucundus detail the accounts of its owner. A fast-food joint on the Via dell’ Abbondanza introduces food and drink and diets and street life. These are just a few of the strands that make up an extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain’s leading classicist.
In the middle of the sixth century, the world's smallest organism collided with the world's mightiest empire. With the death of twenty-five million people, the Roman Empire, under her last great emperor, Justinian, was decimated. Before Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that carries bubonic plague, was finished, both the Roman and Persian empires were easy pickings for the armies of Muhammad on their conquering march out of Arabia. In its wake, the plague - history's first pandemic - marked the transition from the age of Mediterranean empires to the age of European nation-states - from antiquity to the medieval world. "Justinian's Flea" is the story of that collision, a narrative history that weaves together evolutionary microbiology, architecture, military history, geography, rat and flea ecology, jurisprudence, theology, epidemiology, and the economics of the silk trade.The climax of "Justinian's Flea" - the summer of 542, when Constantinople witnessed the death of 5,000 of its citizens every day - is revealed through the experiences of the remarkable individuals whose lives are a window onto a remarkable age: Justinian himself, of course, but also his general Belisarius, the greatest soldier between Caesar and Saladin, whose conquests marked the end of imperial rule in Italy and Africa; his architect, Anthemius, the mathematician-engineer who built Constantinople's Hagia Sophia (and whose brother, Alexander, was the great physician of the plague years); Tribonian, the jurist who created the Justinianic Code, the source of Europe's tradition of Civil Law; and, finally, his empress Theodora, the one-time prostitute who became co-ruler of the empire, the most politically powerful woman in European history until Elizabeth I.
Hagith Sivan offers an unconventional study of one corner of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, weaving around the theme of conflict strands of distinct histories, and of peoples and places, highlighting Palestine's polyethnicity, and cultural, topographical, architectural, and religious diversity. During the period 300-650 CE the fortunes of the 'east' and the 'west' were intimately linked. Thousands of westerners in the guise of pilgrims, pious monks, soldiers, and civilians flocked to what became a Christian holy land. This is the era that witnessed the transformation of Jerusalem from a sleepy Roman town built on the ruins of spectacular Herodian Jerusalem into an international centre of Christianity and ultimately into a centre of Islamic worship. It was also a period of unparalleled prosperity for the frontier zones, and a time when religious experts were actively engaged in guiding their communities while contesting each other's rights to the Bible and its interpretation.
The Romans regarded her as "fatale monstrum", a female Saddam Hussein. Pascal said the shape of her nose changed the history of the world. Shakespeare and Tiepolo (and Elizabeth Taylor) portrayed her as an icon of tragic beauty. But who was Cleopatra, really? She was the last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty of Ptolemies who had ruled Egypt for three centuries. Highly educated (she was the only one of the Ptolemies to read and speak ancient Egyptian as well as the court Greek) and very clever (her famous liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony were as much to do with politics as the heart), she steered her kingdom through impossibly taxing internal problems and against greedy Roman imperialism. Stripping away our preconceptions, many of them as old as her Roman enemies, Joyce Tyldesley uses all her skills as an Egyptologist to give us a rich picture of a country and its Egyptian queen in this magnificent biography.
At Zama, in what is now Tunisia in 202 BC, the armies of two empires clashed. The Romans under Scipio Africanus won a bloody, decisive victory over Hannibal's Carthaginians. Scipio's victory signalled a shift in the balance of power in the ancient world. Brian Todd Carey's compelling reconstruction of the battle, and of the gruelling war that led up to it, gives a fascinating insight into the Carthaginian and Roman methods of waging war. And it offers a critical assessment of the contrasting qualities and leadership styles of Hannibal and Scipio, the two most celebrated commanders of their age.
In the second half of the third millennium BC the Indo-European tribe known as the Hittites migrated and settled in Central Anatolia, at that time a land of small city-states whose rulers lived in fortresses. These fortifications enabled the Hittites to transform themselves into a Bronze Age super-power, defeating the Egyptians at Kadesh in c.1274 BC. Konstantin Nossov examines the fortifications constructed by the Hittites in their efforts to sustain and then halt the decline of their once flourishing empire. Providing an in-depth anatomy of the fortresses, focusing on the major sites of the principal city Hattusha as well as sites at Alacahöyük and Karatepe with full-colour reconstructions, this is an intriguing glimpse into the history of an empire which at its height rivalled the Egyptians and Assyrians. It concludes with an examination of these sites as they survive today, information that will appeal both to history enthusiasts and tourists visiting the area.
An authoritative re-telling of one of the greatest tales of heroism of all time and a decisive moment for the history of the world, Leonidas and the 300 Spartans' fight to the death against overwhelming Persian forces preserved the future of Greece and the golden age of classical civilization. Nic Fields vividly describes the battle for the pass of Thermopylae as the combined Greek forces held off the army of Xerxes, buying time for a retreat which would save Greece. Lavishly illustrated and with full-colour artwork, detailed maps and dramatic battle scenes, this is an in-depth analysis of one of the most famous acts of resolute defence in the face of overwhelming odds.
'We authorise followers of this law to assume the title of orthodox Christians; but as for the others since, in our judgement, they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious names of heretics.' - Emperor Theodosius.In AD 381, Theodosius, emperor of the eastern Roman empire, issued a decree in which all his subjects were required to subscribe to a belief in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This edict defined Christian orthodoxy and brought to an end a lively and wide-ranging debate about the nature of the Godhead; all other interpretations were now declared heretical. Moreover, for the first time in a thousand years of Greco-Roman civilization free thought was unambiguously suppressed. Not since the attempt of the pharaoh Akhenaten to impose his god Aten on his Egyptian subjects in the fourteenth century BC had there been such a widesweeping programme of religious coercion.Yet surprisingly this political revolution, intended to bring inner cohesion to an empire under threat from the outside, has been airbrushed from the historical record.
Pompeii is the best known and probably the most important archaeological site in the world. The drama of its destruction has been handed down to us by Roman writers, its paintings and mosaics have astonished visitors since their discovery in the 18th century, and its houses and public buildings to this day present a vivid picture of life, disaster and death in a Roman town. Yet, until now, there has been no up-to-date, authoritatative and comprehensive account for the general reader of its rise, fall and splendour. "The Complete Pompeii" fills that gap. With its lavish illustrations, numerous box features and reams of information, this book is the ultimate resource and inspirational guide to this magnificent ancient site, visited by millions each year.
An unprecedented look inside archaeology today, "Discovery!" reveals the exciting, significant and astonishing finds from around the world in the last fifteen years that have changed the way we see our past. Spanning a timescale of two million years of history, this book covers everything from the latest fossil discoveries to wrecks of early submarines and ironclads from the American Civil War. Truly international in scope and totally authoritative, "Discovery!" is illustrated throughout with amazing photographs, sometimes taken at the very moment of discovery.
Boudica, or Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, led a famous revolt against Roman rule in Britain in AD 60, sacking London, Colchester and St Albans and throwing the province into chaos. Although then defeated by the governor, Suetonius Paulinus, her rebellion sent a shock wave across the empire. Who was this woman who defied Rome? Boudica: Iron Age Warrior Queen is an account of what we know about the real woman, from classical literature, written for the consumption of readers in Rome, and from the archaeological evidence. It also traces her extraordinary posthumous career as the earliest famous woman in British history. Since the Renaissance she has been seen as harridan, patriot, freedom fighter and feminist, written about in plays and novels, painted and sculpted, and recruited to many causes. She remains a tragic, yet inspirational, figure of unending interest.
It is Britain, AD 60. Three Roman towns are in ashes and thousands lie dead. With her new allies, the Trinovantes and the Catuvellauni, Boudica and the Iceni march defiantly towards their enemy. They seek one last pivotal victory to drive the Romans from their land forever. Not far away the Roman governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus awaits them. His ground chosen, his strategy decided, his small force awaits the great native army. If his strategy is sound they will prevail, if not they will be massacred, losing the province forever. Is it really revenge Boudica wants for the vile humiliations the Romans heaped on her? Or is she playing for much higher stakes? And Paulinus, can he defeat the odds to win the day? To answer these questions, this book will re examine events from a fresh, tactical perspective and produce a clearer picture of a revolt crushed on a newly suggested battle site, offering a new interpretation of a battle that decided 2000 years of Britain's cultural heritage.
Deep beneath the sands of Egypt's fabled Valley of the Kings lie the unidentified remains of one of ancient history's greatest - and least known - rulers, Queen Hatshepsut. More powerful than Cleopatra or Nefertiti, Queen Hatshepsut not only died mysteriously, but every sign of her existence was systematically erased. Now for the first time ever, top archaeologists use cuttingedge forensic techniques to unravel the mystery of Hatshepsut's life and death, unearthing her fascinating story that has remained buried for 3,000 years.
The best books on Religious and Social History in the Ancient World
Cultural and philosophical changes that occurred in late antiquity are essential to our understanding of the world today, but few us know much about that period. Historian Robin Lane Fox recommends the best books to read to get a good sense of late antiquity.
The Story of the Ancient World
From the creation of the world through the fall of the Persian empire at the hands of Alexander the Great in 331 BC, The Story of the Ancient World retells as an engaging narrative the history of mankind’s beginning, the rise of the nations, and the story of the great ancient civilizations of the Sumerians, the Hebrews, the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Persians.
Old Testament history is taken as authoritative, and the history of the other great ancient civilizations is also told, woven in and out of the Old Testament story at the proper places in the narrative.
As the story of the entire ancient world was never completely told in a single volume of Guerber’s histories, Christine Miller has taken Guerber’s The Story of the Chosen People and has included chapters relating the history of the Sumerians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians, and has woven them all together into a single, seamless narrative, carefully preserving Guerber’s own style. An extensive bibliography of sources is included.
As with the other Guerber histories published by Nothing New Press, The Story of the Ancient World is illustrated throughout with famous paintings of its historical subjects, and photographs of the places it describes. Not only are maps present in the beginning of the book, but throughout the text as well, which greatly aid in making the narrative more clear. And as with the other Guerber histories, the pronunciation of personal and place names are carefully marked in the text upon their first occurrence. A complete timeline of the events and persons mentioned in the text, a comprehensive Recommended Reading list keyed to the chapters, and a thorough bibliography and index rounds out the book.
100 Must-Read Books about Ancient History
Rome. Athens. Memphis and Thebes. Ramses II. Nefertiti. Julius Caesar. Cleopatra. Aristotle. Sappho. Cyrus the Great. Democracy. Oligarchy. Republic and Empire.
Societies and people long gone and still they tickle our imagination.
Ancient history as a scholarly endeavor came into existence during the time of the European empires. The imperialists of Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany looked to the distant past for validation and wrote their history accordingly, resulting in a research field dominated by white men focusing on Rome and Greece.
But things are beginning to change. Books about ancient history and Classical studies are becoming more inclusive. The ancient histories of Persia, India, present-day Iraq and Sudan and their influences on Rome and Greece are being acknowledged. The white dominance among Classicists is being challenged. Inter-disciplinary research projects bring together the disciplines of history and archaeology.
This list of 100 must-read books about Ancient History reflects these changes. Prepare for your TBR list to explode.
The blurbs for books about ancient history are taken, whole or in part, from amazon.com.
1. Richard Alston, Soldier and Society in Roman Egypt. A Social History. Soldier and Society in Roman Egypt provides a complete reassessment of the impact of the Roman army on local societies, and convincingly challenges the orthodox picture. The soldiers are seen not as an isolated elite living in fear of the local populations, but as relatively well-integrated into local communities. The unsuspected scale of the army&rsquos involvement in these communities offers a new insight into both Roman rule in Egypt and Roman imperialism more generally.
2. Jan Assman, The Mind of Egypt. History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs. The Mind of Egypt presents an unprecedented account of the mainsprings of Egyptian civilization-the ideals, values, mentalities, belief systems, and aspirations. Drawing on a range of literary, iconographic, and archaeological sources, renowned historian Jan Assmann reconstructs a world of unparalleled complexity, a culture that, long before others, possessed an extraordinary degree of awareness and self-reflection. Widely acclaimed for his cross-disciplinary approach, Assmann has produced a tantalizing study of an ancient civilization, even as he has opened new directions in historical investigation.
3. Zainab Bahrani, Mesopotamia. Ancient Art and Architecture. This book is the first in ten years to present a comprehensive survey of art and architecture in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey), from 8000 B.C.E. to the arrival of Islam in 636 C.E. The book is richly illustrated with c. 400 full-color photographs, maps, and time charts that guide readers through the chronology and geography of this part of the ancient Near East.
4. Anthony A. Barrett, Agrippina. Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire. Agrippina the Younger attained a level of power in first-century Rome unprecedented for a woman. According to ancient sources, she achieved her success by plotting against her brother, the emperor Caligula, murdering her husband, the emperor Claudius, and controlling her son, the emperor Nero, by sleeping with him. Modern scholars tend to accept this verdict. But in his dynamic biography―the first on Agrippina in English―Anthony Barrett paints a startling new picture of this influential woman.
5. Elizabeth Bartman, Portraits of Livia. Imaging the Imperial Woman in Augustan Rome. Driven by the novelty of her role as empress, Livia Drusilla, wife of Augustus, invented a visual language of female rank and status that was to have a profound impact on Roman art. Richly illustrated and including descriptive catalogue entries of more than 110 surviving portraits, as well as the epigraphic testimony for scores of images now lost, Bartman&rsquos study presents unparalleled documentation of Livia&rsquos image during more than sixty years of her public life in Rome.
6. Mary Beard, SPQR. A History of Ancient Rome. In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries. With its nuanced attention to class, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, SPQR will shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
7. Martin Bernal, Black Athena. The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, vol. 1. In Black Athena, Martin Bernal challenges Eurocentric attitudes by proposing a Revised Ancient Model, which suggests that classical civilization in fact had deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures.
8. Martin Bernal, Black Athena. The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization vol. 2. Volume 2 is concerned with the archaeological and documentary evidence for contacts between Egypt and the Levant on the one hand and the Aegean on the other, during the Bronze Age from c. 3400 B.C. to c. 1100 B.C. These approaches are supplemented by information from later Greek myths, legends, religious cults, and language.
9. Martin Bernal, Black Athena. The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization vol. 3. In the third and final volume of the series, Bernal shows how nearly 40 percent of the Greek vocabulary has been plausibly derived from two Afroasiatic languages&mdashAncient Egyptian and West Semitic. This evidence, according to Bernal, greatly strengthens the hypothesis that in Greece an Indo-European&ndashspeaking population was culturally dominated by Ancient Egyptian and West Semitic speakers.
10. David Bindman & Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Image of the Black in Western Art, Vol. 1. From the Pharaohs to the Fall of the Roman Empire. This volume offers a comprehensive look at the fascinating and controversial subject of the representation of black people in the ancient world. Classic essays by distinguished scholars guide the reader through enormous changes in the field in the wake of the &ldquoBlack Athena&rdquo story.
11. Susan Blundell, Women in Ancient Greece. To read the history of ancient Greece as it has been written for centuries is to enter a thoroughly male world. This book, a comprehensive history of women in the Archaic and Classical Ages, completes our picture of ancient Greek society.
12. Keith Bradley & Paul Cartledge (eds.), The Cambridge World History of Slavery. Vol. 1. The Ancient Mediterranean World. Volume 1 in the new Cambridge World History of Slavery series surveys the history of slavery in the ancient Mediterranean world. In twenty-two chapters, leading scholars explore the centrality of slavery in ancient Mediterranean life using a wide range of textual and material evidence. Non-specialist readers in particular will find the volume an accessible account of the early history of this crucial phenomenon.
13. Pierre Briant (Jane Marie Todd, transl.), Darius in the Shadow of Alexander. The first book ever devoted to the historical memory of Darius III, ruler of the Persian Empire and archenemy of Alexander the Great, who, despite ruling over an empire that stretched from the Mediterranean to India, remains an obscure figure.
14. Andrea Carandini (eds.), The Atlas of Ancient Rome. The Atlas of Ancient Rome provides a comprehensive archaeological survey of the city of Rome from prehistory to the early medieval period. Lavishly illustrated throughout with full-color maps, drawings, photos, and 3D reconstructions, this magnificent two-volume slip-cased edition features the latest discoveries and scholarship, with new descriptions of more than 500 monuments.
15. Jennifer Y. Chi & Sebastian Heath (eds.), Edge of Empires. Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos. Strategically located high above the Euphrates River between Syria and Mesopotamia, the city of Dura-Europos was founded around 300 B.C.E. Edge of Empires vividly illustrates the international and pluralistic character of Dura-Europos, highlighting objects that demonstrate the coexistence of multiple religions such as polytheistic cults, Judaism, and Christianity the great variety of languages spoken by its population and its role as an international military garrison. The book also includes a map of the region and a detailed site plan of Dura-Europos.
16. Eric H. Cline, 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed. In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the &ldquoSea Peoples&rdquo invaded Egypt. The pharaoh&rsquos army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, Eric Cline draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.
17. Paul Collins, Mountains and Lowlands. Ancient Iran and Mesopotamia. Mountains and Lowlands is an engaging exploration of the history of ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and Iran from 6000 B.C. to A.D. 650. Ancient Mesopotamia and Iran are usually treated separately or as part of a much broader &lsquoAncient Near East&rsquo. However, the developments that lie at the root of our own world&mdashfarming, cities, writing, organized religion, warfare&mdashwere forged in the tensions and relations between the inhabitants of lowland Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) and the highlands of Iran.
18. Harriet Crawford, Ur. The City of the Moon God. This account of Ur&rsquos past looks at both the ancient city and its evolution over centuries, as well as its archaeological interpretation in more recent times. The volume also describes the part played by Ur in the Gulf War and discusses the problems raised for archaeologists in the war&rsquos aftermath.
19. Miguel Angel Corzo & Mahasti Afshar (eds.), Art and Eternity. The Nefertari Wall Paintings Conservation Project 1986&ndash1992. This is the final report on the conservation of the wall paintings in the tomb of Queen Nefertari, consort ruler of Ramses II, in the Valley of Queens, Egypt. This highly successful collaborative venture brought together scientists and conservators from all over the world to address the problems facing one of the most beautiful monuments of Ancient Egypt. The painstaking process that saved this cultural treasure in situ is documented here by those most intimately involved in its rescue. Other articles deal with the archaeology of the Valley, the iconography of the tomb, the original techniques and materials used by the artists, photographic documentation of the wall paintings, and literary sources for their study.
20. John Curtis & Nigel Tallis (eds.), Forgotten Empire. The World of Ancient Persia. Encompassing a rich diversity of different peoples and cultures, Persia&rsquos Achaeminid Empire flourished between 550 and 331 B.C. The empire originated with Cyrus the Great (559-530 B.C.) and expanded under his successors, who ruled from the royal capitals of Susa and Persepolis, until at its peak it stretched from the Indus Valley to Greece and from the Caspian Sea to Egypt. Forgotten Empire opens a window onto the wealth and splendor of Persian society&mdashits rich palaces, exquisite craftsmanship, and sophisticated learning.
21. Catherine Chin & Moulie Vidas (eds.), Late Ancient Knowing. Explorations in Intellectual History. In this collection of essays, scholars from a range of disciplines explore the activity of knowing in late antiquity by focusing on thirteen major concepts from the intellectual, social, political, and cultural history of the period. The result is a richly imagined description of how people of this time understood and navigated their world, from travel through the countryside and encounters with demons to philosophical medicine and the etiquette of imperial courts.
22. Vesta Sarkosh Curtis & E. Errington, From Persepolis to the Punjab. Exploring Ancient Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The phrase &lsquofrom Persepolis to the Punjab&rsquo refers to the vast Iranian empires of the Achaemenids (550-331 B.C.), Parthians (238 B.C.-A.D. 224) and the Sasanians (A.D. 224-651), which extended eastwards through Afghanistan to the north-western borderlands of the Indian subcontinent. The interest of 19th-century European powers in this region has been called &lsquothe Great Game&rsquo and its effects are explored in this book.
23. V.S. Curtis & S. Stewart (eds.), The Sasanian Era. Seizing power from the previous dynasty&mdashthe Parthians&mdashthe Sasanians ruled Iran and most of the ancient Near East from 224 until 642 C.E. They are particularly fascinating because of their adherence to Zoroastrianism, an ancient dualistic Iranian religion named after the prophet Zarathustra (or, in Greek, Zoroaster). The volume in question arguably comprises the most complete and comprehensive treatment of the Sasanian civilization yet to be published in English.
24. V.S. Curtis & S. Stewart (eds.), The Age of the Parthians. The Parthians are a fascinating but little-known ancient civilization. This imperial eastern superpower, which lasted for 400 years and stretched from the Hindu Kush to Mesopotamia, withstood the might of Rome for centuries. The Parthians were nomadic horse-warriors who left few written records, concentrating rather on a rich oral and storytelling tradition. In this book, distinguished scholars examine&mdashfrom a variety of perspectives&mdashthe origins of the Parthians, their history, religion and culture, as well as perceptions of their empire through the lens of both imperial Rome and China.
25. V.S. Curtis & S. Stewart (eds.), Birth of the Persian Empire. This book explores the formation of the first Persian Empire under the Achaemenid Persians in the period beginning just before the middle of the 6th century up to the collapse of the Persian Empire following the conquest by Alexander the Great in the late 4th century B.C. Eminent scholars offer a critical approach to some of the traditional interpretations and guide the reader towards a better understanding of the formation of the Persian Empire.
26. James Davidson, The Greeks and Greek Love. For nearly two thousand years, historians have treated the subject of homosexuality in ancient Greece with apology, embarrassment, or outright denial. Now classics scholar James Davidson offers a brilliant, unblushing exploration of the passion that permeated Greek civilization. Using homosexuality as a lens, Davidson sheds new light on every aspect of Greek culture, from politics and religion to art and war. With stunning erudition and irresistible wit&ndashand without moral judgment&ndashDavidson has written the first major examination of homosexuality in ancient Greece since the dawn of the modern gay rights movement.
27. Touraj Darayee, Sasanian Persia. The Rise and Fall of an Empire. Of profound importance in late antiquity, the Sasanian Empire is almost completely unknown today, except as a counterpoint to the Roman Empire. In this brilliant and highly readable new history Touraj Daryaee fills a huge gap in our knowledge of world history. He examines the Sasanians&rsquo complex and colorful narrative and demonstrates their unique significance, not only for the development of Iranian civilization but also for Roman and Islamic history.
28. Beate Dignas, Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity. Neighbours and Rivals. The foundation of the Sasanian Empire in Persia in A.D. 224 established a formidable new power on the Roman Empire&rsquos eastern frontier, and relations over the next four centuries proved turbulent. This book provides a chronological narrative of their relationship, supported by a substantial collection of translated sources illustrating structural patterns. Special attention is given to the situation of Arabia and Armenia, to economic aspects, the protection of the frontiers, the religious life in both empires, and the channels of communication between East and West.
29. Nathalie Dohrmann & Annette Yoshiko Reed (eds.), Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire. The Poetics of Power in Late Antiquity. In histories of ancient Jews and Judaism, the Roman Empire looms large. For all the attention to the Jewish Revolt and other conflicts, however, there has been less concern for situating Jews within Roman imperial contexts just as Jews are frequently dismissed as atypical by scholars of Roman history, so Rome remains invisible in many studies of rabbinic and other Jewish sources written under Roman rule. Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire brings Jewish perspectives to bear on long-standing debates concerning Romanization, Christianization, and late antiquity, focusing on the third to sixth centuries C.E.
30. David N. Edwards, The Nubian Past. An Archaeology of the Sudan. This cutting-edge synthesis of the archaeology of Nubia and Sudan from prehistory to the nineteenth century A.D. is the first major work on this area for over three decades. Drawing on results of the latest research and developing new interpretive frameworks, the area which has produced the most spectacular archaeology in sub-Saharan Africa is examined here by an author with extensive experience in this field.
31. Catharine Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome. For the Romans, the manner of a person&rsquos death was the most telling indication of their true character. Death in the Roman world was largely understood and often literally viewed as a spectacle. Death revealed the true patriot, the genuine philosopher, even the great artist&mdashand certainly the faithful Christian. Catharine Edwards draws on the many and richly varied accounts of death in the writings of Roman historians, poets and philosophers, including Cicero, Lucretius, Virgil, Seneca, Petronius, Tacitus, Tertullian, and Augustine, to investigate the complex significance of dying in the Roman world.
32. Neil Faulkner, Rome. Empire of the Eagles. The Roman Empire is widely admired as a model of civilization. In this compelling new study Neil Faulkner argues that in fact, it was nothing more than a ruthless system of robbery and violence. War was used to enrich the state, the imperial ruling classes, and favored client groups. In the process millions of people were killed or enslaved. Within the empire the landowning elite creamed off the wealth of the countryside to pay taxes to the state and fund the towns and villas where they lived. The masses of people&mdashslaves, serfs and poor peasants&mdashwere victims of a grand exploitation that made the empire possible. This system, riddled with tension and latent conflict, contained the seeds of its own eventual collapse.
33. Irving Finkel (ed.), The Cyrus Cylinder. The King of Persia&rsquos Proclamation from Ancient Babylon. Some historical artifacts are destined forever to alter how the ancient world is perceived. The unearthing in today&rsquos Iraq (in 1879) of a clay cylinder-shaped decree from Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia, stands in the same tradition of game-changing discoveries from antiquity as Hammurabi&rsquos famous law code or the intact tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun. This important volume is the first to discuss the Cylinder and its remarkable history.
34. N.R.E. Fisher, Slavery in Classical Greece. This is an authoritative and clearly written account of the main issues involved in the study of Greek slavery from Homeric times to the fourth century B.C. It provides valuable insights into the fundamental place of slavery in the economies and social life of classical Greece, and includes penetrating analyses of the widely-held ancient ideological justifications of slavery. Throughout, the author shows how political and economic systems, ideas of national identity, work and gender, and indeed the fundamental nature of Greek civilization itself, were all profoundly affected by the fact that many of the Greek city-states were slave societies.
35. Marjorie Fisher, Peter Lacovara, Sue D&rsquoAuria, Salima Ikram, Chester Higgins, Jr. (eds.), Zahi Hawass (foreword), Ancient Nubia. African Kingdoms on the Nile. For most of the modern world, ancient Nubia seems an unknown and enigmatic land. Only a handful of archaeologists have studied its history or unearthed the Nubian cities, temples, and cemeteries that once dotted the landscape of southern Egypt and northern Sudan. This book attempts to document some of what has recently been discovered about ancient Nubia, with its remarkable history, architecture, and culture, and thereby to give us a picture of this rich, but unfamiliar, African legacy.
36. Benjamin R. Foster & Karen Foster, Civilizations of Ancient Iraq. In Civilizations of Ancient Iraq, Benjamin and Karen Foster tell the fascinating story of ancient Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements ten thousand years ago to the Arab conquest in the seventh century. Ancient Iraq was home to remarkable achievements&mdashthe world&rsquos earliest cities and empires, writing and literature, science and mathematics, monumental art, and innumerable other innovations. Civilizations of Ancient Iraq is an essential guide to understanding Mesopotamia&rsquos central role in the development of human culture.
37. Adrian Goldsworthy, The Fall of Carthage. The Punic Wars 265&ndash146 B.C. The Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome were among the greatest conflicts of the ancient world, ending in Carthage&rsquos destruction at the hands of Rome in 146 B.C.E. Thanks to one of the finest historians of our time, this sweeping saga comes to life anew for modern audiences. The cast of endlessly fascinating characters includes the generals Hannibal and Scipio, as well as treacherous chieftains, beautiful princesses, scheming politicians, and tough professional warriors.
38. Adrian Goldsworthy, Antony and Cleopatra. A masterfully told&mdashand deeply human&mdashstory of love, politics, and ambition, Adrian Goldsworthy&rsquos Antony and Cleopatra delivers a compelling reassessment of a major episode in ancient history. In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of the ancient world, Goldsworthy goes beyond myth and romance to create a nuanced and historically acute portrayal of his subjects, set against the political backdrop of their time. A history of lives lived intensely at a time when the world was changing profoundly, the book takes readers on a journey that crosses cultures and boundaries from ancient Greece and ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire.
39. Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem. The Clash of Ancient Civilizations. A magisterial history of the titanic struggle between the Roman and Jewish worlds that led to the destruction of Jerusalem.
40. Lester L. Grabbe, Ancient Israel. What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? In Ancient Israel Lester L. Grabbe sets out to summarize what we know through a survey of sources and how we know it by a discussion of methodology and by evaluating the evidence. Grabbe focuses on original sources, including inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology. He examines the problems involved in historical methodology and deals with the major issues surrounding the use of the biblical text when writing a history of this period. Grabbe&rsquos clarity of style makes this book eminently accessible not only to students of biblical studies and ancient history but also to the interested lay reader.
41. Peter Green, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age. The book begins with the personality and achievements of Alexander the Great, and continues with the military and political violence of the successor-kingdoms that fought over his inheritance. This era saw many important developments&mdasha shift from the oral to the written a move from the public to the private and a new individualist ethos a huge growth in slavery a growing gap between rich and poor a growing taste for luxury.
42. Ogden Goelet & Raymond Faulkner, The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Written and illustrated some 3,300 years ago, The Egyptian Book of the Dead is an artistic rendering of the mysteries of life and death. For the first time since its creation, this ancient papyrus is now available in full color with an integrated English translation directly below each image.
43. Judith P. Hallet & Marilyn B. Skinner (eds.), Roman Sexualities. This collection of essays seeks to establish Roman constructions of sexuality and gender difference as a distinct area of research, complementing work already done on Greece to give a fuller picture of ancient sexuality. By applying feminist critical tools to forms of public discourse, including literature, history, law, medicine, and political oratory, the essays explore the hierarchy of power reflected so strongly in most Roman sexual relations.
44. Judith Harris, Pompeii Awakened. A Story of Rediscovery. On that fateful day in A.D. 79 the city of Pompeii was lost, and in time its location, its inhabitants, and even its name were buried and forgotten. Not until 1755 did it emerge from its layer of volcanic rock, and the impact of that discovery was immediate and far-reaching. Judith Harris has delved into ancient diaries and descended deep underground to assess the latest excavations. As the sleeping city re-awakens in her hands, Pompeii casts its spell once more, bewitching those who seek to unearth its buried secrets.
45. Zahi Hawass, Mountains of the Pharaohs. The Untold Story of the Pyramid Builders. The great pyramids of Giza have intrigued humanity for thousands of years. Recent cutting-edge research has uncovered information about how and why they were built. In Mountains of the Pharaohs, Zahi Hawass, a world-renowned archaeologist, weaves the latest archaeological data and an enthralling family history into a spellbinding narrative.
46. Zahi Hawass, Silent Images. Women in Pharaonic Egypt. Our endless fascination with ancient Egypt owes much to the beauty of the tomb paintings, statuary, temple reliefs, and other magnificent artworks that are the legacy of this remarkable culture. But despite the multitude of objects and texts that have survived, questions abound, particularly about the true role of women in Egyptian society. This wonderfully illustrated, brilliantly researched book draws on unpublished material from author Zahi Hawass&rsquo own excavations as well as new analyzes of older evidence to penetrate the silent images and paint an astonishing picture of women&rsquos lives.
47. Richard Hingley & Christina Unwin, Boudica. Iron Age Warrior Queen. Boudica, or Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, led a famous revolt against Roman rule in Britain in 60 C.E., throwing the province into chaos and sending a shock wave across the empire. Boudica. Iron Age Warrior Queen is an account of what we know about the real woman, from classical literature, written for the consumption of readers in Rome, and from the archaeological evidence. It also traces her extraordinary posthumous career as the earliest famous woman in British history.
48. Tom Holland, Rubicon. In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland&rsquos enthralling account tells the story of Caesar&rsquos generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, Rubicon is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.
49. Keith Hopkins & Mary Beard, The Colosseum. In The Colosseum we learn the details of how the arena was built and at what cost we are introduced to the emperors who sometimes fought in gladiatorial games staged there and we take measure of the audience who reveled in, or opposed, these games. The authors also trace the strange afterlife of the monument&mdashas fortress, shrine of martyrs, church, and glue factory. Why are we so fascinated with this arena of death?
51. Salima Ikram, Ancient Egypt. An Introduction. Beginning with a geographical overview that explains the development of Egyptian belief systems as well as its subsequent political development, this book examines methodology, the history of the discipline of Egyptology, religion, social organization, urban and rural life, and death. It also includes a section on how people of all ranks lived. Lavishly illustrated with many unusual photographs of rarely seen sites that are seldom illustrated.
52. Salima Ikram, Death and Burial in Ancient Egypt. Death, burial, and the afterlife were as important to the ancient Egyptians as how they lived. This well-illustrated book explores all aspects of death in ancient Egypt, including beliefs of the afterlife, mummification, the protection of the body, tombs and their construction and decoration, funerary goods, and the funeral itself. It also addresses the relationship between the living and the dead, and the magico-religious interaction of these two in ancient Egyptian culture.
53. Sandra R. Joshel, Slavery in the Roman World. Rome was a slave society. Slavery fundamentally shaped Roman society and culture. In this book, Sandra Joshel offers a comprehensive overview of Roman slavery. Using a variety of sources, including literature, law, and material culture, she examines the legal condition of Roman slaves, traces the stages of the sale of slaves, analyzes the relations between slaves and slaveholders, and details the social and family lives of slaves. Richly illustrated with images of slaves, captives, and the material conditions of slaves, this book also considers food, clothing, and housing of slaves, thereby locating slaves in their physical surroundings&mdashthe cook in the kitchen, the maid in her owner&rsquos bedroom, the smith in a workshop, and the farm laborer in a vineyard.
54. Homa Katouzian, The Persians. Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran. This authoritative and comprehensive history of Iran covers the entire history of the area from the ancient Persian Empire to today&rsquos Iranian state. Writing from an Iranian rather than a European perspective, Katouzian integrates the significant cultural and literary history of Iran with its political and social history. A magisterial history, this book also serves as an excellent background to the role of Iran in the contemporary world.
55. David Kessler, The Falashas. A Short History of the Ethiopian Jews. Drawing on tradition and legend to reinforce his argument, Kessler traces the source of the Ethiopian Jewish community to the Jewish settlements which existed in ancient Egypt (particularly at Elephantine on the Nile) and in the ancient Meroitic Kingdom, in present day Sudan known in the Bible as Cush. The story told in this book is remarkable, heroic and stimulating and makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the history of the horn of Africa.
56. Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon. Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization. In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements seven thousand years ago to the eclipse of Babylon in the sixth century B.C.E. At the heart of this book is the story of Babylon, which rose to prominence under the Amorite king Hammuramibi from about 1800 B.C.E. Even as Babylon&rsquos fortunes waxed and waned, it never lost its allure as the ancient world&rsquos greatest city.
57. Paul Kriwaczek, In Search of Zarathustra. Across Iran and Central Asia to Find the World&rsquos First Prophet. Long before the first Hebrew temple, before the birth of Christ or the mission of Muhammad, there lived in Persia a prophet to whom we owe the ideas of a single god, the cosmic struggle between good and evil, and the Apocalypse. His name was Zarathustra, and his teachings eventually held sway from the Indus to the Nile and spread as far as Britain. Following Zarathustra&rsquos elusive trail back through time and across the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish worlds, Paul Kriwaczek uncovers his legacy at a wedding ceremony in present-day Central Asia, in the Cathar heresy of medieval France, and among the mystery cults of the Roman empire. He explores pre-Muslim Iran and Central Asia, ultimately bringing us face to face with the prophet himself, a teacher whose radical humility shocked and challenged his age, and whose teachings have had an enduring effect on Western thought. The result is a tour de force of travel and historical inquiry by an adventurer in the classic tradition.
58. Gwendolyn Leick, Mesopotamia. The Invention of the City. Situated in an area roughly corresponding to present-day Iraq, Mesopotamia is one of the great, ancient civilizations, though it is still relatively unknown. Yet, over 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, the very first cities were created. This is the first book to reveal how life was lived in ten Mesopotamian cities: from Eridu, the Mesopotamian Eden, to that potent symbol of decadence, Babylon, the first true metropolis&mdashmulticultural, multi-ethnic, the last center of a dying civilization.
59. Leonard H. Lesko & Barbara S. Lesko, Pharaoh&rsquos Workers. The Village of Deir el Medina. Pharaoh&rsquos Workers focuses on the archaeological site at Deir el Medina on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor. The workers who prepared the royal tombs lived there in what has been called &ldquothe earliest known artists&rsquo colony&rdquo and left a rich store of artifacts and documents through which we can glimpse not only their working conditions and domestic activities, but also their religious beliefs and private thoughts.
60. Adrienne Mayor, The Amazons. Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World. Amazons―fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world―were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China. Driven by a detective&rsquos curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men.
61. Amihai Mazar, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible vol 1. 10,000&ndash586 B.C.E. Every year thousands of enthusiasts, amateur and professional, spend the summer months digging in the sands of Israel hoping to find items that in some way relate to the places and events depicted in the Bible. This work looks at the history and archaeology of the Bible lands.
62. Eric Meyers & Mark A. Chancey, Alexander to Constantine. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible vol. 3. Drawing on the most recent, groundbreaking archaeological research, Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancey re-narrate the history of ancient Palestine in this richly illustrated and expertly integrated book. Spanning from the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C.E until the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century C.E., they synthesize archaeological evidence with ancient literary sources (including the Bible) to offer a sustained overview of the tumultuous intellectual and religious changes that impacted world history during the Greco-Roman period.
63. Marvin W. Meyer & Richard Smith (eds.), Ancient Christian Magic. Coptic Texts of Ritual Power. This thought-provoking collection of magical texts from ancient Egypt shows the exotic rituals, esoteric healing practices, and incantatory and supernatural dimensions that flowered in early Christianity. By placing these rarely seen texts in their historical context and discussing their significance, the authors explore the place of healing, prayer, miracles, and magic in the early Christian experience, and expand our understanding of Christianity and Gnosticism as a vital folk religion.
64. Marc Van De Mieroop, A History of the Ancient Near East, c. 3000&ndash323 BC. Incorporating the latest scholarly research, the third edition of A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000&ndash323 BC presents a comprehensive overview of the multicultural civilizations of the ancient Near East.
65. V.M. Masson, A.H. Dani & Janos Harmatta (eds.), History of Civilizations in Central Asia, Vol. 1. First volume in a two-volume attempt to present a comprehensive picture of the history of civilizations in central Asia.
66. William Naphy, Born to Be Gay. The History of Homosexuality. There has long been an assumption in the West that views on sex and sexuality are basically similar worldwide. This has never been the case. Many ancient cultures actively promoted same-sex relationships as an integral part of adolescence or even worship. Born to be Gay takes a radical look at the history of homosexuality, from Bacchanalian orgies to Gay Pride.
67. Amos Nur, Apocalypse. Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God. Apocalypse brings the latest scientific evidence to bear on biblical accounts, mythology, and the archaeological record to explore how ancient and modern earthquakes have shaped history&mdashand, for some civilizations, seemingly heralded the end of the world. As Nur shows, recognizing earthquake damage in the shifted foundations and toppled arches of historic ruins is vital today because the scientific record of world earthquake risks is still incomplete. Apocalypse explains where and why ancient earthquakes struck&mdashand could strike again.
68. David Orrells, Gurminder K. Bhambra, & Tessa Roynon (ed.), African Athena. New Agendas. The appearance of Martin Bernal&rsquos Black Athena. The Afro-Asian Roots of Classical Civilization in 1987 sparked intense debate and controversy in Africa, Europe, and North America. African Athena examines the history of intellectuals and literary writers who contested the white, dominant Euro-American constructions of the classical past and its influence on the present.
69. Ida Östenberg, Staging the World. Spoils, Captives, and Representations in the Roman Triumphal Procession. Staging the World is an illustrated study of the Roman triumphal procession in its capacity as spectacle and performance. Ida Östenberg analyzes how Rome presented and perceived the defeated on parade, aiming to show what stories the Roman triumph told about the defeated and what ideas it transmitted about Rome itself.
70. Sarah Pomeroy, Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. Women in Classical Antiquity. &ldquoThe first general treatment of women in the ancient world to reflect the critical insights of modern feminism. Though much debated, its position as the basic textbook on women&rsquos history in Greece and Rome has hardly been challenged.&rdquo&ndashMary Beard, Times Literary Supplement.
71. Bezalel Porten, Archives from Elephantine. The Life of an Ancient Jewish Military Colony. By translating and interpreting 175 papyri written mainly in Aramaic, Bezalel Porten provides an insight into the everyday life of the Jewish military garrison on the island of Elephantine, located on the border of Egypt and Nubia in the fifth century B.C.E.
72. Parvaneh Pourshariati, Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire. The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran. Decline and Fall of the Sasanians proposes a convincing contemporary answer to an ages-old mystery and conundrum&mdashwhy, in the seventh century C.E., did the seemingly powerful and secure Sasanian empire of Persia succumb so quickly and disastrously to the all-conquering Arab armies of Islam? Professor Pourshariati explains the fall in terms of an earlier deep-seated corrosion and decline, and as a result of the empire&rsquos own internal weaknesses.
73. Karen Radner, Ancient Assyria. A Very Short Introduction. Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. In this Very Short Introduction, Karen Radner sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium B.C. to the end of the 7th century B.C. Since the archaeological rediscovery of Assyria in the mid-19th century, its cities have been excavated extensively in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Israel, with further sites in Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan providing important information. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most geographically vast, socially diverse, multicultural, and multi-ethnic states of the early first millennium B.C. Using archaeological records, Radner provides insights into the lives of the inhabitants of the kingdom, highlighting the diversity of human experiences in the Assyrian Empire.
74. John Ray, The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt. This book tells the story of the Rosetta Stone, from its discovery by Napoleon&rsquos expedition to Egypt to its current&mdashand controversial&mdashstatus as the single most visited object on display in the British Museum. Concluding with a chapter on the political and cultural controversy surrounding the Stone, the book also includes an appendix with a full translation of the Stone&rsquos text.
75. Donald B. Redford, City of the Ram-Man. The Story of Ancient Mendes. In this richly illustrated book, renowned archaeologist Donald Redford draws on the latest discoveries&mdashincluding many of his own&mdashto tell the story of the ancient Egyptian city of Mendes, home of the mysterious cult of the &ldquofornicating ram who mounts the beauties.&rdquo Excavation by Redford and his colleagues over the past two decades has cast a flood of light on this strange center of worship and political power located in the Nile Delta. A sweeping chronological account filled with photographs, drawings, and informative sidebars, City of the Ram-Man is a unique account of a long-lost monument of Egyptian history, religion, and culture.
76. John Romer, Ancient Lives. The Story of the Pharaoh&rsquos Tomb-Makers. John Romer, one of the best-known historians working today, and a world-renowned expert on the ancient world, presents a brilliant account of the lives of the stonemasons, scribes, and painters who created some of Egypt&rsquos finest treasures.
77. Annette Yoshiko Reed & Ra&rsquoanan S. Boustan (eds.), Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions. The concept of heaven occupied a special place in the Late Antique imagination, not only in Judaism and Christianity, but also in the Greco-Roman religious, philosophical, scientific, and &ldquomagical&rdquo traditions. Drawing upon the expertise of scholars of Classics, Ancient History, Jewish Studies, and Patristics, this volume explores the different functions of heavenly imagery in different texts and traditions in order to map the patterns of unity and diversity within the religious landscape of Late Antiquity.
78. Annette Yoshiko Reed, Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity. In the Book of the Watchers, an Enochic apocalypse from the third century B.C.E., the &ldquosons of God&rdquo of Gen 6:1-4 are accused of corrupting humankind through their teachings of metalworking, cosmetology, magic, and divination. By tracing the transformations of this motif in Second Temple, Rabbinic, and early medieval Judaism as well as early, late antique, and Byzantine Christianity, this book sheds light on the history of interpretation of Genesis, the changing status of Enochic literature, and the place of parabiblical texts and traditions in the interchange between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages.
79. Annette Yoshiko Reed & Adam H. Becker (eds.), The Ways that Never Parted. Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Traditional scholarship on the history of Jewish/Christian relations has been largely based on the assumption that Judaism and Christianity were shaped by a definitive &lsquoParting of the Ways&rsquo. According to this model, the two religions institutionalized their differences by the second century and, thereafter, developed in relative isolation from one another, interacting mainly through polemical conflict and mutual misperception. By moving beyond traditional assumptions about the essential differences between Judaism and Christianity, this volume attempts to open the way for a more nuanced understanding of the history of these two religions and the constantly changing yet always meaningful relationship between them.
80. Ivan van Sertima (ed.), Black Women in Antiquity. Anthology that discusses the role and impact of black African women as rulers and wielders of great power in North Africa and the Mediterranean during Antiquity.
81. Matthew Simonton, Classical Greek Oligarchy. A Political History. Classical Greek Oligarchy thoroughly reassesses an important but neglected form of ancient Greek government, the &ldquorule of the few.&rdquo Matthew Simonton challenges scholarly orthodoxy by showing that oligarchy was not the default mode of politics from time immemorial, but instead emerged alongside, and in reaction to, democracy. Classical Greek Oligarchy represents a major new development in the study of ancient politics. It fills a longstanding gap in our knowledge of nondemocratic government while greatly improving our understanding of forms of power that continue to affect us today.
82. William Kelley Simpson (author), Robert K. Ritner & Vincent A. Tobin (translators), The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies and Poetry. The latest edition of this highly praised anthology of ancient Egyptian literature offers fresh translations of all the texts as well as some twenty-five new entries, including writings from the late literature of the Demotic period at the end of classical Egyptian history. The book also includes an extensive bibliography.
83. Giulia Sissa (George Staunton, transl.), Sex and Sensuality in the Ancient World. In this fascinating book Giulia Sissa looks at sensuality and sexual desire in the Greek, Roman, and early Christian worlds, demonstrating how modern concepts of sexuality have emerged from the practices and theories of ancient times. Countering the assumptions of many other scholars, Sissa emphasizes the centrality of heterosexual desire and passion in the classical period, arguing that the importance of homosexuality has been overemphasized. Incisive and often provocative, this is a striking new analysis of sexual attitudes in the classical and post-classical world.
84. Frank Snowden, Before Color Prejudice. The Ancient View of Blacks. In this richly illustrated account of black-white contacts from the Pharaohs to the Caesars, Frank Snowden demonstrates that the ancients did not discriminate against blacks because of their color. This book sheds light on the reasons for the absence in Antiquity of virulent color prejudice and for the difference in attitudes of whites toward blacks in ancient and modern societies.
85. Frank Snowden, Blacks in Antiquity. Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience. The Africans who came to ancient Greece and Italy participated in an important chapter of classical history. Although evidence indicated that the alien dark- and black-skinned people were of varied tribal and geographic origins, the Greeks and Romans classified many of them as Ethiopians. Presenting an exceptionally comprehensive historical description of the first major encounter of Europeans with dark and black Africans, Mr. Snowden found that the black man in a predominantly white society was neither romanticized nor scorned&ndashthat the Ethiopian in classical antiquity was considered by pagan and Christian without prejudice.
86. Ephraim Stern, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible vol. 2: The Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Periods (732&ndash332 B.C.E.). Ephraim Stern offers a dramatic look at how archaeological research contributes to our understanding of the connections between history and the stories recounted in the Bible. Stern writes about various artifacts unearthed in recent years and relates them to the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian periods in the Bible. Accompanied by photographs and illustrations of rare ancient relics ranging from household pottery to beautifully crafted jewelry and sculpture.
87. Richard Stoneman, Xerxes. A Persian Life. Xerxes, Great King of the Persian Empire from 486&ndash465 B.C., has gone down in history as an angry tyrant full of insane ambition. The stand of Leonidas and the 300 against his army at Thermopylae is a byword for courage, while the failure of Xerxes&rsquo expedition has overshadowed all the other achievements of his twenty-two-year reign. Stoneman draws on the latest research in Achaemenid studies and archaeology to present the ruler from the Persian perspective. This illuminating volume does not whitewash Xerxes&rsquo failings but sets against them such triumphs as the architectural splendor of Persepolis and a consideration of Xerxes&rsquo religious commitments. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of a man who ruled a vast and multicultural empire which the Greek communities of the West saw as the antithesis of their own values.
88. William Sanders Scarborough (Michele Ronnick, ed.), The Works of William Sanders Scarborough. Black Classicist and Race Leader. The first professional classicist of African American descent, William Sanders Scarborough rose from slavery to become president of Wilberforce University in Ohio. Excelling at Latin and Greek, he crossed the color line both socially and intellectually with his entry into a field of study commonly seen as elitist and dominated by white men. Although unknown to classicists today, Scarborough had a distinguished career in the field and held membership in many learned societies and had an active publication record. His life as an engaged intellectual, public citizen, and concerned educator was admired and emulated by W. E. B. Du Bois.
89. Jacqueline Fabre-Serris & Alison Keith (eds.), Women and War in Antiquity. The martial virtues―courage, loyalty, cunning, and strength―were central to male identity in the ancient world, and antique literature is replete with depictions of men cultivating and exercising these virtues on the battlefield. In Women and War in Antiquity, sixteen scholars reexamine classical sources to uncover the complex but hitherto unexplored relationship between women and war in ancient Greece and Rome. They reveal that women played a much more active role in battle than previously assumed, embodying martial virtues in both real and mythological combat.
90. Romila Thapor, The Penguin History of Early India. From the Origins to AD 1300. The Penguin History Of Early India From The Origins to AD 1300 gives its readers an exhaustive idea about the history of India, from the time of its formation, through its gradual coalition, to its structure in A.D. 1300. The account is not a chronological narration of the events that took place to form India, but the narration of the story of India. Romila Thapar&rsquos version of the history of India is composed of many stories of the different parts of India which gradually came together to form one great country. Diverse subjects such as religion, art, erotica, language, society are analyzed in conjunction with each other.
91. Dominique Valbelle & Charles Bonnet, The Nubian Pharaohs. Black Kings on the Nile. Beautifully illustrated with over 170 color photographs, The Nubian Pharaohs illuminates the epic history of this little-known historical era, when the pharaohs of Egypt came from Sudan.
92. Moulie Vidas, Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud. Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud offers a new perspective on perhaps the most important religious text of the Jewish tradition. It is widely recognized that the creators of the Talmud innovatively interpreted and changed the older traditions on which they drew. Focusing on the Babylonian Talmud, produced in the rabbinic academies of late ancient Mesopotamia, Vidas analyzes key passages to show how the Talmud&rsquos creators contrasted their own voice with that of their predecessors. He also examines Zoroastrian, Christian, and mystical Jewish sources to reconstruct the debates and wide-ranging conversations that shaped the Talmud&rsquos literary and intellectual character.
93. Phiroze Vasunia, The Gift of the Nile. Hellenizing Egypt from Aeschylus to Alexander. The Egyptians mesmerized the ancient Greeks for scores of years. The Greek literature and art of the classical period are especially thick with representations of Egypt and Egyptians. Yet despite numerous firsthand contacts with Egypt, Greek writers constructed their own Egypt, one that differed in significant ways from actual Egyptian history, society, and culture. Informed by recent work on orientalism and colonialism, this book unravels the significance of these misrepresentations of Egypt in the Greek cultural imagination in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. In addition, this provocative and original work shows how Greek writers made possible literary Europe&rsquos most persistent and adaptable obsession: the barbarian.
94. Phiroze Vasunia, G. Boys-Stones & B. Graziosi (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies. The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies is a unique collection of some seventy articles, which together explore the ways in which ancient Greece has been, is, and might be studied. It is intended to inform its readers, but also, importantly, to inspire them, and to enable them to pursue their own research by introducing the primary resources and exploring the latest agenda for their study. The emphasis is on the breadth and potential of Hellenic Studies as a flourishing and exciting intellectual arena, and also upon its relevance to the way we think about ourselves today.
95. Matt Waters, Ancient Persia. A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550 to 330 BCE. The Achaemenid Persian Empire, at its greatest territorial extent under Darius I (r. 522-486 B.C.E.), held sway over territory stretching from the Indus River Valley to southeastern Europe and from the western Himalayas to northeast Africa. In this book, Matt Waters gives a detailed historical overview of the Achaemenid period while considering the manifold interpretive problems historians face in constructing and understanding its history. This book offers a Persian perspective even when relying on Greek textual sources and archaeological evidence.
96. John Williams & Shaun Hill, Food in the Ancient World. In Food in the Ancient World, a respected classicist and a practicing world-class chef explore a millennium of eating and drinking. The book focuses on ancient Greece and Rome, but also looks at Persian, Egyptian, Celtic and other cultures. It embraces people from all walks of life, from impoverished citizens subsisting on cereals, chickpeas and even locusts, to the meat-eating elites whose demands drove advances in gastronomy. Extending from Syria to Spain, and from the steppes of Russia to the deserts of North Africa, this evocative account gives readers a taste of the ancient world.
97. Peter Wiseman, The Myths of Rome. This major re-evaluation of Roman history and its afterlife in western culture through the mediums of myth and art triumphantly redresses the popular perception of classical myth as a predominantly Greek invention and builds a cohesive narrative from the mass of mythical and historical tales that cluster around the nexus of Rome.
98. Ian Worthington, Alexander the Great. Man and God. Alexander the Great conquered territories on a superhuman scale and established an empire that stretched from Greece to India. He spread Greek culture and education throughout his empire, and was worshiped as a living god by many of his subjects. But how great is a leader responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people? A ruler who prefers constant warring to administering the peace? A man who believed he was a god, who murdered his friends, and recklessly put his soldiers&rsquo lives at risk? Ian Worthington delves into Alexander&rsquos successes and failures, his paranoia, the murders he engineered, his megalomania, and his constant drinking. It presents a king corrupted by power and who, for his own personal ends, sacrificed the empire his father had fought to establish.
99. Reza Zarghamee, Discovering Cyrus. The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World. Discovering Cyrus is a remarkable feat of portraiture. In his vast sweep, Reza Zarghamee draws on sources of every kind, always weighing evidence carefully where contradictions arise. The result is a living, breathing Cyrus standing atop a distant world, stretching from the Aegean Sea to the Hindu Kush, that played a key role in shaping our own.
100. Zhang Guang-Da, B.A. Litvinsky & R. Shabani Samghabadi, History of Civilizations in Central Asia vol. 3. The Crossroads of Civilization, A.D. 250&ndash750. The third volume in a series that chronicles the ancient history of Central Asia.
What are your favorite books about ancient history? Itch that historical scratch with our other must-read recommendations for:
The Celtic Psalter is described as Scotland’s Book of Kells. The pocket-sized book of Psalms is housed at the University of Edinburgh, where it went on public display in 2009 for the first time.
The book is thought to be have been created in the 11th century AD, making it Scotland’s oldest surviving book.
You can view pages of the Celtic Psalter on the University of Edinburgh website here.
Estimated age: 938 years old.
Bronze Age Edit
Early Bronze Age: 3rd millennium BC (approximate dates shown). The earliest written literature dates from about 2600 BC (classical Sumerian).  The earliest literary author known by name is Enheduanna, a Sumerian priestess and public figure dating to ca. 24th century BC.  Certain literary texts are difficult to date, such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which was recorded in the Papyrus of Ani around 1240 BC, but other versions of the book probably date from about the 18th century BC.
- 2600 Sumerian texts from Abu Salabikh, including the Instructions of Shuruppak and the Kesh temple hymn
- 2600 Egyptian The Life of Metjen, from Saqqara
- 2500 Egyptian Diary of Merer (Oldest papyrus)
- 2400 Egyptian Pyramid Texts, including the Cannibal Hymn
- 2400 Sumerian Code of Urukagina
- 2400 Egyptian Palermo stone
- 2350 Egyptian The Maxims of Ptahhotep
- 2270 Sumerian Enheduanna's Hymns
- 2250 Egyptian Autobiography of Weni
- 2250-2000 Earliest Sumerian stories in the Epic of Gilgamesh
- 2200 Egyptian Autobiography of Harkhuf
- 2100 Sumerian Curse of Agade
- 2100 Sumerian Debate between Bird and Fish
- 2050 Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu
- 2000 Egyptian Coffin Texts
- 2000 Sumerian Lament for Ur
- 2000 Sumerian Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta
Middle Bronze Age: ca. 2000 to 1600 BC (approximate dates shown)
- 2000-1900 Egyptian Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor
- 1950 Akkadian Laws of Eshnunna
- 1900 Akkadian Legend of Etana
- 1900 Sumerian Code of Lipit-Ishtar
- 1859-1840 Egyptian The Eloquent Peasant
- 1859-1840 Egyptian Story of Sinuhe (in Hieratic) 
- 1859-1840 Egyptian Dispute between a man and his Ba
- 1859-1813 Egyptian Loyalist Teaching
- 1850 Akkadian Kultepe texts
- 1800 Akkadian Enûma Eliš
- 1780 Akkadian Mari letters, including the Epic of Zimri-Lim
- 1754 Akkadian Code of Hammurabi stele
- 1750 Hittite Anitta text
- 1700 Akkadian Atra-Hasis epic
- 1700 Egyptian Westcar Papyrus
- 1700 Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh
- 1650 Egyptian Ipuwer Papyrus
- 1600 Akkadian Eridu Genesis
Late Bronze Age: ca. 1600 to 1200 BC (approximate dates shown)
- 1600 Hittite Code of the Nesilim
- 1500 Akkadian Poor Man of Nippur
- 1500 Vedic Sanskrit Rigveda
- 1500 Hittite military oath
- 1500-1200 UgariticLegend of Keret
- 1550 Egyptian Book of the Dead
- 1500 Akkadian Dynasty of Dunnum
- 1400 Akkadian Marriage of Nergal and Ereshkigal
- 1400 Akkadian Autobiography of Kurigalzu
- 1400 Akkadian Amarna letters
- 1330 Egyptian Great Hymn to the Aten
- 1240 Egyptian Papyrus of Ani, Book of the Dead
- 1200-900 Akkadian version and younger stories in the Epic of Gilgamesh
- 1200 Akkadian Tukulti-Ninurta Epic
- 1200 Egyptian Tale of Two Brothers
Iron Age Edit
Iron Age texts predating Classical Antiquity: 12th to 8th centuries BCE
Week 6: Ancient Greeks (Homer, Pythagoras, Socrates, Archimedes)
The Trojan Horse by Emily Little: A lovely step into reading book that your child can read to you. A lively account, yet shortened sentences and vocabulary makes it accessible to a younger reader.
The Spartan Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins: A simple, wholesome story, with wonderful writing, of twin siblings that live in ancient Greece. Greek mythology is referenced. Ages 9 and under.
The Trojan War by Olivia E. Coolidge: An exciting and readable version of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, a thrilling saga of heroism and magical adventure.
The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum: This classic Homer rendition of The Iliad and The Odyssey is appropriate for 10 and up, or with discretion, for younger children. Does have some nudity, but is a lovely narrative of the classic stories.
Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick: This biography of Archimedes in Ancient Greece, shows his work in physics, astronomy, and mathematics. This book shows how exciting Archimedes found truth and ideas, and in exploring those ideas, allows the reader to experience some of the excitement for himself. Also includes information on daily life in Greece and anecdotal stories about Archimedes. A fun and interesting book.
The Children’s Plutarch: Tales of the Greeks by F. J. Gould: Twenty-one stories of the ancient Greeks adapted for the younger reader from the biographies of Plutarch. Great introduction to the characters that figured prominently in the history of ancient Greece. Includes black and white illustrations by Walter Crane. Ages 9 and up.
Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago by Julia Darrow Cowles: Engaging account of the life of children in ancient Sparta — where young boys train to be Spartan soldiers through rigorous physical and mental exercises. In addition to wrestling, running, and throwing the discus, we watch them foraging for their food, gathering reeds for their bedding, singing patriotic songs, and eating at mess with their elders. Emphasis is on the true nobility and rugged simplicity of the Spartan character. Ages 8 – 10.
Our Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago by Julia Darrow Cowles: Portrayal of the civic and home life of children in Athens, when the art and architecture of ancient Greece were at their height. Through the eyes of Duris, son of the architect Phorion, and Hiero, son of the sculptor Hermippos, we experience the Greek culture of the times as we accompany them on their journey from home to market-place, wonder at the Acropolis, visit schools and studios, observe festivals, and participate in the Olympic games. Ages 8 – 10.
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Top Rated Best World History Books Of All Time
Reading through historical history books may be a fascinating hobby that takes up a few hours since you enlighten yourself in the depths of history. A number of the very great world history books have been introduced here daily to quickly locate and navigate through a few of the trendiest and most inspirational publications from history.
Here is a list of the best books on history that Pennbook recommended reading:
The Roman Empire and the Silk Routes by Raoul McLaughlin
Learn more about the complicated web of trade routes created by the Roman Empire to link to other excellent civilizations. In the Ancient Persians into the Han Dynasty, Roman merchants crossed paths with allies and competitions alike and dispersed their culture far and wide consequently. Here is the first publication to tackle these topics in one thorough study.
1759 by Frank McLynn
As soon as we consider years that have significantly influenced our modern world, we frequently find 1776 or 1492. However, 1759 also needs to be on this record -a year that marks a series of critical successes for England. Frank McLynn recounts this 12-month interval in his publication, showing how the nation’s victory in the battle set the platform for the rise of the British Empire. Thanks, in part, to the events of 1759, English is currently a universal language.
SPQR by Mary Beard
Mary Beard is a renowned professor of classics at Cambridge University, but her job does not possess the stuffy or instructional tone you may expect. SPQR the best Roman history books is a prime example: it is a wise and complicated history of Ancient Rome-Beard never “dumbs down” her topic -but it is also a very readable and relatively succinct one (considering she is covering tens of thousands of years). You will understand and have a fantastic time while doing this.
Guns, Germs and Steel By Jared Diamond
In Guns, Germs and Steel By Jared Diamond, Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book tells the story of humankind, focusing on the way historical cultures and also their relative heights of electricity were. Diamond asserts that societies to master food production were also the first to develop sharp weapons and ways of travel.
Therefore, the form of the colonial and modern world, he states, could be traced back to geographical factors that affected early human diets. He expands upon the concept in Guns, Germs and Steel, drawing from his extensive understanding of mathematics, anthropology, medicine, and much more to disclose eye-opening insights into human history.
Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning
Ordinary Men is one of the very disturbing history novels ever written. Browning concentrates on the German Reserve Police Battalion 101, a Nazi paramilitary force that dedicated significant atrocities during the Holocaust. Their crimes were outstanding, but the guys, Browning asserts, weren’t. Browning ties theories about human behavior and authority in a bid to reveal why historical evils don’t automatically need historically wicked foot soldiers.
The War that Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan
The conflicts and causes of WW1 were involved and, in certain respects, odd. They were keeping track of these as an armchair historian is demanding. But however much you may or may not recall from the final world history course, you will probably find MacMillan’s critically acclaimed account of the road to World War I’m intriguing and enlightening.
MacMillan reveals the way the star-studded cast of ancient leaders failed to protect against the spiral to war, which ended Europe’s turn-of-the-century span of peace-that, at the moment, was its most tranquil age because of the collapse of the Roman Empire.
The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie
For approximately a century, the Incan Empire dominated the majority of South America’s western shore. In a comparatively brief period, the Empire fell to invading Europeans. MacQuarrie’s vibrant account tells the story of the Incan Empire’s collapse in the hands of the Spanish, headed by conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
When MacQuarrie’s story reaches its ending, she proceeds with an intriguing look at scholars’ efforts to comprehend and research the Incan culture. The 1960s discovery of the ruins of Vilcabamba-that was the actual seat of Incan energy, despite scholars’ confused and decades-long belief that Machu Picchu was the Middle ages of the Incan universe.
The Mediterranean And The Mediterranean World In The Age Of Philip II, Vol. 1 by Fernand Braudel
From the 1500s, countless gold and silver poured into Spanish coffers in the brand new world. Yet a century afterward, Spain was broken.
What happened? Fernand Braudel has woven together a fascinating excursion around the Mediterranean of the 1500s. Explaining the growth of the Ottoman Empire, how Egyptians made brewed beverages, why Algiers became the capital of piracy, the way the banking system generated the very first transcontinental roads, plus even more.
This book immerses the reader into a brand new world filled with rich information and unexpected connections.
The History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day
This history book does just the name states it requires the reader a trip from the start, all of the ways through the depths of time to the modern world.
Over six million decades old has been covered in this publication. That’s remarkable to consider, and clients have described this novel as one of the very persuasive and intriguing history books that now exists. It may be a bit higher than several other comparable history books. However, this publication has a unique feature, which, for some reason, other history books don’t appear to have.
World History: From the Ancient World to the Infomation Age
World History: From the Ancient World to the Infomation Age textbook features essential events that shaped the world into what it’s become now. The transition from a new technology into the contemporary age technologies is a crucial topic in this publication. This transition and how it led to modern society are an integral element to consider when studying this book.
The book is very reasonably priced and has received excellent reviews from more or less every single client that has purchased it. For all these reasons, it’s earned a place in the top two with this countdown of the ideal world history novels.
The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It
The twentieth century is generally viewed as “the century of total war.” Still, since the historian David Bell asserts this landmark work, the happening started much earlier, at the time of Napoleon. Bell prevents us from attempts of “extermination” from the blood-soaked areas of western France to savage street fighting in destroyed Spanish towns into major European battlefields where thousands died in one moment. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction, along with our contemporary attitudes toward warfare were born.
The Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI by Lauren Johnson (2019)
Many telephone Henry VI as the worst British king, and it’s hard to blame them. He dropped the Hundred Years’ War France and, through financial mismanagement and lousy direction, ushered into a civil war that finally tore apart the ruling classes and the Crown itself and contributed to the notorious War of the Roses. Despite his failures, Henry VI was also in charge of the founding of Eton College, King’s College, Cambridge, and All Souls College, Oxford. Interesting times.
Caesar and Christ by Will Durant (1944)
Roman culture arguably represents the greatest (and the smallest ) of individual accomplishments. Will Durant is famous for his multi-volume Story of Civilization novels of which he investigates all facets of the best empire. From its government to its own culture, its wars, its leaders, and the way faith finally became a dominating factor in the kingdom’s impending meltdown. Most significant, Durant’s writing style is easy-to-read and keeps the reader engaged during the Romans’ rise and fall.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869) (1869)
Sure, it is a book. However, as historical fiction movies, this novel ranks among the very best historical chronicle of Russia during the time of Napoleon’s invasion. Told from the perspectives of five-star families-Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, the Rostovs, the Kuragins, and the Drubetskoys, the book paints a stark picture of life in Russia and France throughout the mid-19th century since France invaded, the Tsarist society reeled and Napoleon dominated.
Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert (1991 1989)
“The WW2 was one of the most destructive conflicts in human history over forty-six million soldiers and civilians perished, most in cases of prolonged and dreadful cruelty.” These are the first words in Gilbert’s mammoth book relating to this vast confrontation, a publication that never leaves the subject of passing throughout its 928 pages.
However, this world history book can’t be read without Gilbert’s masterpiece on Winston Churchill as a companion. Both histories will remind one of the reasons why nations shouldn’t go to war and also the significance of excellent direction for when they perform.
Truman by David McCullough (1992)
The atomic bomb dropping was an important event in human history since the reconstruction happened immediately following the most massive battle in human history. In this narrative, historian David McCullough explains how Harry Truman, a haberdasher from Kansas City, becomes the 33rd President. He used his office to lead to the challenging transition into the atomic age while browsing the communist danger and launching America into the best economic growth experienced by any country.
McCullough’s book teaches how a mild-mannered hat salesperson could demonstrate exceptional leadership and a way that does not necessarily require great communication abilities (he did not possess them) or a bombastic personality (he did not have that ). It merely requires common sense, something that he did have.
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
Much more than Peter Frankopan the silk road natural history, this book is a revelatory new history of the planet, promising to destabilize ideas of where we all come from and where we’re headed. In the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic increase, the vast area extending eastward from the Balkans throughout the steppe and South Asia was thrust into the worldwide spotlight in the last few decades. Frankopan teaches us to comprehend what’s at stake for those cities and countries built on those complex trade paths we have first to understand their astonishing pasts.
Frankopan realigns our comprehension of earth, pointing us. It had been on the Silk Roads that East and West first struck each other through trade routes and conquest, resulting in the spread of ideas, religions, and cultures. The rise and fall of empires into the range of Buddhism, the arrival of Christianity and Islam up into the foreign wars of the twentieth century.
This book shows how the West’s destiny has always been inextricably linked to the Middle East. Also accessible: The Silk Roads, a timely exploration of these striking and profound changes our planet is experiencing right now-as seen from the rising powers of the Middle Eastern.
History! By DK
Completely change your perspective of history with this revolutionary visual encyclopedia of those events of this past. From the disciplined armies of ancient Rome and the lifestyles of most ferocious samurai warriors to WW2 and now are eco-friendly creations, historical events have been visualized in unbelievable detail, providing a fascinating introduction into the world through the years.
This new publication in the Knowledge Encyclopedia series will inspire young readers with its vivid depictions of background and its own authoritative and comprehensive advice about a massive selection of subjects. Highly complete CGI images bring topics to life, allowing readers to peer inside historical structures, marvel at fancy outfits, and eventually become hauled to history’s conflicts. Journey through history by our oldest ancestors right up into the world we are living in now.
World War II by DK
World War II: The Definitive Visual History is a detailed, authoritative yet accessible guide to the people, politics, events, and lasting ramifications of WW2. Possibly the most complicated, frightening, and damaging development in global history, the WW2 saw the peaks of human guts and the thickness of social degradation.
World War II presents a complete Summary of the war, including the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, fascism, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and the D-Day landings. This publication also looks at the enduring consequences of WW2 during succeeding years.
Expanded having an all-new guide to the battlefield and ministry websites and repackaged to honor the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the war, WW2: The Definitive Visual History covers vital military figures, decisive conflicts, political profiles, and plans, in addition to features on everyday life on the Home Front as ordinary citizens, did their best to help the war effort. Gallery spreads feature collections of uniforms, weapons, and other gear. Maps, timelines, and side panels provide an inviting variety of entry points to the massive wealth of data.
A World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum
Encompasses the Whole Assortment of the photographic medium, in your camera lucida to up-to-date pc technologies, and out of Europe and the Americas to the Far East. The text explores all aspects of photography – decorative, documentary, technical, and commercial – while setting it into historical context. It comprises three specialized sections with detailed information regarding equipment and processes. This edition also upgrades significant new global work in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Lessons of History by Will Durant, Ariel Durant
A brief survey of the culture and culture of humankind, The Lessons of History, is the effect of a lifetime of study by Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Will and Ariel Durant. With their available compendium of doctrine and social progress, the Durants take us on a trip through history, researching the possibilities and constraints of humankind as time passes.
Juxtaposing the fantastic lifestyles, thoughts, and achievements with cycles of warfare and conquest, the Durants show the towering topics of background and provide significance to your own.
Ancient HistoryThe Birth of Civilization in the Near East
by Henri Frankfort - Doubleday & Company, Inc. , 1956
A full description of the birth of civilization in the Near East would require a work many times the size of the present book. We have concentrated on the social and political innovations in which the great change became manifest.
(3581 views) Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World
by Jan N. Bremmer - De Gruyter Open , 2014
This book explores ancient mystery cults and their influence on emerging Christianity. The author discusses the famous Eleusian Mysteries as well as lesser-known Greek and Roman mysteries, offering an in-depth analysis of this fascinating phenomenon.
(4862 views) The Ancient Cities of the New World
by Désiré Charnay - Chapman & Hall , 1887
I recount the history of a civilisation which has long passed away, which is hardly known. My explorations led me to the uplands of Mexico, the first establishments of the civilising race, and enabled me to trace the Toltecs step by step .
- Wikipedia , 2014
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world. Contents: Ionian Revolt First and Second Persian invasion of Greece Wars of the Delian League Combatants etc.
(5163 views) From Rome to Byzantium
by Tom Green - Lulu.com , 2009
Provides a detailed overview of trading activity in the Roman and Byzantine Mediterranean, grounded in recent archaeological research. It is argued that free trade played a significant role in the nature of trading in Classical and Late Antiquity.
(7520 views) The Story of Alexander's Empire
by John Pentland Mahaffy - Putnam , 1887
The story of the conquests of Alexander has been told many times, but the history of the portions of the great Empire that he founded, how they lost their independence, and finally were absorbed into the dominions of Rome, is less well known.
(7040 views) Athens: Its Rise and Fall
by Edward Bulwer-Lytton - G. Routledge , 1837
Since it is the letters, yet more than the arms or the institutions of Athens, which have rendered her illustrious, it is my object to combine an elaborate view of her literature with a complete and impartial account of her political transactions.
(7568 views) A Manual of Ancient History
by A. H. L. Heeren - D. A. Talboys , 1833
The work combines the convenience of the Manuals with the synchronistic method of instruction as the geography, chronology, and biography of the countries and states of the ancient world are brought at once under the eye of the reader.
(9196 views) The Cambridge Ancient History
by J. B. Bury - Cambridge University Press , 1928
Designed as the first part of a continuous history of European peoples. Starting with the remote and dim beginnings, the Ancient History will go down to the victory of Constantine the Great, the point at which the Medieval takes up the story.
(9675 views) History of Greece for Beginners
by J. B. Bury - MacMillan , 1905
Contents: Beginnings of Greece and the heroic age Expansion of Greece Growth of Sparta Union of Attica and the foundation of the Athenian democracy Advance of Persia to the Aegean Persian and Punic invasions Foundation of the Athenian empire.
(9584 views) An Ancient History for Beginners
by George Willis Botsford - The MacMillan Company , 1913
This book presents Ancient History as a unit, comprising three closely related parts, the Orient, Greece, and Rome. It is adapted to beginning classes in the high school, it is for those who need a brief and elementary treatment of ancient times.
(10623 views) Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans
A brilliant social history of the ancient world by one of the greatest biographers of all time. In his most famous and influential work, Plutarch reveals the character and personality of his subjects and how they led ultimately to tragedy or victory.
(12148 views) Homer and His Age
by Andrew Lang
The aim of 'Homer and His Age' is to prove that the Homeric Epics as wholes and apart from passages gravely suspected in antiquity present a perfectly harmonious picture of the entire life and civilization of one single age.
(10351 views) Alexander the Great
by Jacob Abbott - Harper & Brothers , 1902
Alexander the Great created one of the largest empires in ancient history. The cultural impact of his conquests lasted for centuries. Alexander is is remembered for his tactical ability and for spreading Greek civilization into the East.
(12060 views) The History of the Peloponnesian War
This is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between Sparta and Athens. It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history.
(11314 views) The History
by Herodotus - J. M. Dent , 1910
Combining his interests and curiosity about the customs and workings of humankind, the 'Father of History' gives us an unforgettable account of the great clash between Greece and the Persian Empire. A matchless study of persons, places, and events.
(11599 views) The Revolutions of Wisdom
by G. E. R. Lloyd - University of California Press , 1989
Lloyd's masterly book offers a fascinating and persuasive picture of ancient Greek scientists at work, a complex analysis involving a wide range of issues. Lloyd handles the labyrinthine and often problematic evidence with delicacy and skill.
(13095 views) Religion in Hellenistic Athens
by Jon D. Mikalson - University of California Press , 1998
Drawing from epigraphical, historical, literary, and archaeological sources, Mikalson traces the religious cults and beliefs of Athenians from the battle of Chaeroneia in 338 B.C. to the devastation of Athens by Sulla in 86 B.C.
(9416 views) The Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography
by Samuel Butler - Richard Clay & Sons , 1907
The original author of the present Atlas is Samuel Butler, in his way a famous geographer. The work was at a later date twice revised, and its maps were re-drawn. It has now been again revised and enlarged to suit the special needs of this series.
(14945 views) Hellenistic History and Culture
by Peter Green - University of California Press , 1996
History, like Herakleitos' river, never stands still. This collection of essays shares a collective sense of discovery and a sparking of new ideas -- it is a welcome beginning to the reexploration of a fascinatingly complex age.
(10528 views) Hegemony to Empire
by Robert Morstein Kallet-Marx - University of California Press , 1996
In one of the most important contributions to the study of Roman imperialism to appear in recent years, Robert Kallet-Marx argues for a less simplistic, more fluid understanding of the evolution of Roman power in the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor.
(10011 views) Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles
by C. W. Fornara, L. J. Samons - University of California Press , 1991
This book covers the history of the Alcmeonid family of Cleisthenes and Pericles, the nature and development of Athenian democracy, the growth of Athenian empire, and the burgeoning antagonism between Athens and Sparta.
(12862 views) Myths of Babylonia and Assyria
by Donald A. Mackenzie - The Gresham Publishing Company , 1914
The book deals with the myths and legends of Babylonia and Assyria. They reflect the civilization in which they developed. A historical narrative is provided, beginning with the early Sumerian age and ending with the periods of the Grecian Empire.
(13869 views) The Ancient East
by D. G. Hogarth - H. Holt , 1915
The area we shall survey in 1000 B.C. and re-survey at intervals, contains Western Asia bounded eastwards by a line drawn from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea. This area is marked off by seas on three sides and by desert on the fourth side.
(15506 views) A Handbook of Greek Constitutional History
by A.H.J. Greenidge - MacMillan , 1914
Lucid and highly readable overview of a difficult and little understood aspect of Greek history: its public law, not just how it was structured but how it behaved in action. Perfect for university students and amateur historians.
(14062 views) The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria
by Theophilus G. Pinches - Archard Constable and Co. , 1906
The religion of the Babylonians and Assyrians was the polytheistic faith professed by the peoples inhabiting the Tigris and Euphrates valleys from the dawn of history until the Christian era began, the period covered is about 5000 years.
(14526 views) Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America
by Herbert J. Spinden , 1917
Written by an expert on the topic and provides a concise history of the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America. Any interested in early anthropology works will relish this survey, essential to a beginning study of the region and its history.