The book tells a very interesting history of Alexandria. The range of subjects covered as well as the time period spanned makes it good for someone looking for an introduction into to the Hellenistic world. Unfortunately, the descriptions given of many episodes in the history of science are somewhat reductive. For example, the authors speak of the world's first "university" in Alexandria. There was no such thing. Universities are institution with medieval origins, and saying that there was a university in ancient world is a simplification of what a university is, and what was going on in Alexandria. There are many similar examples where the authors project episodes and events into a modern context and thereby simplify many of the complexities of history. For example, the steam engine as developed in 18th century Europe was a very different machine that what Hero invented, and reducing it to a single element to find the commonality between collapses the intervening innovations into a triviality. The worst example of this, to finish off, is the authors' use of the word "science" in an unproblematic way to describe activities in the ancient world. Using the word gives the impression that these activities separated by 2000 years are somehow the same, when in fact there are many differences between the two. Explaining what these differences are would have served the listeners better than to constantly talk about "science" in the ancient world. "Philosophy" would have been a much better word to use. Finally, there are sometime serious errors of fact. The most glaring is the authors' claim that people thought the earth was flat from after antiquity to the time of Columbus. This is simply not true, and basic fact checking would have caught such massive errors.
This books shows all about Alexandria. Really interesting and good narration. I started it and wanted to know all about in the end. Worthwhile to know more about ancient history
I am a Real Estate broker in Texas who is so occupied by all that I do, I no longer have time to actually read books... so I cover allot more territory in the literary world by listening... especially since I stole my daughter's ipod nano!
I would say it was intriguing, captivating and brief. I only say brief, not because the book was too short, but that it took many subjects of history and made tied them to Alexandria. Each these subjects it touches on are volumes in there own right.
I can not think of one like it exactly, however, Roma flows well and does a good job in emerging the reader into ancient history while giving one plausible explanation to the facts behind the myths.
I believe so. He does quite well and the english accent helps allot and seems to fit within this subject matter.
Each of the declines of the library and museum were very interesting.
I am a 48 year old Texan, who is very well educated in American History, as it was my minor at Texas Christian University. And I have always struggled with world history as a whole and more specifically, ancient world history. I am a year and date fellow, who attaches all events to the spinal column of a time line. That is why world history has always been a weak area for me. It is not taught in Schools the way I need it taught. This book does a good job of laying out a timeline that will be a starting point for me to build that spinal cord backbone and discover more of world history. I strongly recommend this book. I am also a right wing, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin loving conservative and I did not find any left wing socialist marxist attitude from the author, which might be a contaminant of other researchers who try and throw a modern leftist agenda into the mix of history. This book was about what it needs to be... history, plain and simple.
A very comprehensive history.
Ptolemy. Didn't realize how much of an influence he was.
Engaging voice, Makes the story flow.
The decline of the city
Excellent listen. This audiobook made the history very entertaining. I had a hard time not listening to the whole thing at once!
I bought this cheap during one of Audible's sales, and then it just sat while I chose everything else I had to listen to first. Then I started listening and couldn't stop. This book incorporates much of the history of the classical world and how it all affected the truly worldly city of Alexandria. Anyone who enjoys classical history will enjoy this book.
Theoretical evolutionary biologist
If Greece was about democracy, Rome about war, then Alexandria was all about intellect and science. This is a mind blowing account of one of biggest cultural and intellectual centers the world had ever seen. It claimed to house a library that had every book printed till then in it. The place of the first museum, library and university.
Yet, this book is simply not just about listing what was great about Alexandria. It weaves a fascinating tale of how it came into existence, its political struggles, the lives of the like of Aristotle, Archimedes and Eratosthenes etc. and its eventual tragic destruction.
Its been a long time where a book left me in awe and amazement and wishing to be present at that time. Its a beautiful narrative and should be a part of everyone's library.
Non fiction- science, history,biography,80% classics 10% other fiction 5% misfits 5%
I wish that I could have given this 5 stars.the reason I cant is due to the lack of flow in the writing.. It is still an outstanding book regardless, and deals with an incredible period in time and a particularly fascinating,, rarely visited place. They seem to have packed an enormous amount of info into this comparatively small book. I had to read it twice to gleam a good handle on the info, but the subject mater is so worth it that Ill probably read it again in time. So the bottom line is that its not the best written book you'll find but it is highly informative and contains facinating subject matter.
I really enjoyed the book, very good and complete, excellent narration, highly recomended, this is a must read for anyone that loves history, Egypt or if you want to have a very good time.
If you think Rome, Athens or Judea were the center of the Ancient World--Think Again. The book describes the rise of Alexandria as the first Planned City to attract knowledge workers, traders and world leaders. A 10 Century saga that covers all aspects of life, the influence of the Ptolemy Dynasty to Cleopatra, the great thinkers from Euclid, the Great Library, the Lighthouse just for starters. A must read for history buffs et al
I enjoyed this book immensely. Written and read the way history should be; like a story. This book offers a very broad and scholarly view of Alexandria without becoming boring or seeming like just a download of information. An excellent journey through the formation and pivotal role of Alexandria in the ancient world.