Long sources of mystery, imagination, and inspiration, the myths and history of the ancient Mediterranean have given rise to artistic, religious, cultural, and intellectual traditions that span the centuries. In this unique and comprehensive introduction to the region's three major civilizations, Egypt, Greece, and Rome draws a fascinating picture of the deep links between the cultures across the Mediterranean and explores the ways in which these civilizations continue to be influential to this day.
Beginning with the emergence of the earliest Egyptian civilization around 3500 BC, Charles Freeman follows the history of the Mediterranean over a span of four millennia to AD 600, beyond the fall of the Roman empire in the west to the emergence of the Byzantine empire in the east. In addition to the three great civilizations, the peoples of the Ancient Near East and other lesser-known cultures such as the Etruscans, Celts, Persians, and Phoenicians are explored. The author examines the art, architecture, philosophy, literature, and religious practices of each culture, set against its social, political, and economic background. More than an overview of the primary political or military events, Egypt, Greece, and Rome pays particular attention to the actual lives of both the everyday person and the aristocracy: Here is history brought to life. Especially striking are the readable and stimulating profiles of key individuals throughout the ancient world, covering persons from Homer to Horace, the Pharaoh Akhenaten to the emperor Augustus, Alexander the Great to Julius Caesar, Jesus to Justinian, and Aristotle to Augustine.
Generously illustrated in both color and black-and-white, and drawing on the most up-to-date scholarship, Egypt, Greece, and Rome is a superb introduction for anyone seeking a better understanding of the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean and their legacy to the West.
©2004 Charles Freeman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This book was well written and performed. I'm a very slow reader and I'm a much more audio oriented person anyway as opposed to visual.
But, unfortunately, there aren't a ton of widely available academic audio books in the way of history, or that many academic texts in general in an audio format anyway.
So, when I find books like this that are available as an audiobook I'm always really excited!
This book was read and produced well and the author did a very, very good job covering and illustrating his subjects!
The scholarship was solid and open ended and approached the material from several angles. I also appreciated his bent towards leaning towards the populares.
Overall, I'm really glad I read this and that it was available!
The panoramic subject is treated monumentally and was all I could wish.
My favorite characters are those whose names we will never know but who did all the work of the societies that provide the book's subject matter.
Several from the Library of Congress talking book program. Robert Blumenfeld, who has done some work for Audible, comes to mind. Meskimen would be better if he would pronounce foreign proper names, in which this book abounds, with greater consistency, i.e., any consistency at all. Audible needs to adopt and enforce more specific pronunciation guidelines, such as the Library of Congress program has.
How fiction-skewed these questions are! If this were a movie, it would have to be longer than the longest boring school film you ever sat through.
Audible should devise separate questionnaires for its fiction and nonfiction offerings.
A nice synoptic overview. It is read in a thoughtful and unpretentious manner, too.
While I like his reading style, the pronunciation is pretty abysmal.
That's an idiotic idea.
This review form is silly
The audiobook covers a large spectrum of topics from the beginning of modern civilization. The book is very thorough, but tangible enough to listen to for hours on end.
I appreciated the author's approach during his chapters on Greece and early Rome.
I have not listened to this reader before, but he did quite well. His pronunciation of specific greek words was often amiss, but I was able to catch on through out the entire book.
Thorough history of ancient world, slanted religious take.
I felt the latter Roman history became too rushed and convoluted with author's religious take on history. The author's bias against movements of faith seems evident through the whole book, which is unfortunate. This begins with the first Ancient Near-East settlements and goes through the end of the Byzantine Empire. It is difficult to understand the ancient history approach to their own beliefs due to this overarching theme.
Teach art history at a local college.
I would only recommend this book to someone who already has a good understanding of the histories of Egypt, Greece and Rome.
The writing of history has always been contentious at best. We all wear our own glasses. I read this as an antidote to Susan Bauer's history, and it seemed a reasonable correction at the beginning. While the author cited the translators he consulted sometimes, that did not seem to be applied with consistency.
I'm an art historian in my mid-60's, and have always continued learning in many ways. I deplore the reader's idiosyncratic and beleagured pronunciation of unfamiliar names and places.I began wincing every time he said "Pliny" or "Galla Placidia".
We read histories for many, varied reasons. The civilizations treated in this history are remote in time and place, and seem on the surface not to matter too much these days. Alexander did not inspire me to go out and conquer the world. But I see his place in that one.
It would be instructive if your readers had speech coaching before attempting the unfamiliar. The readers you have had from Britain seem way more educated.
"Ambitious yet highly accessible history "
This is an ambitious yet accessible and entertaining history of the classical worlds for the general reader. It will make you want to read and learn even more about the great civilisations of antiquity.
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