The ancient Near East is known as the "cradle of civilization" - and for good reason. Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia were home to an extraordinarily rich and successful culture. Indeed, it was a time and place of earth-shaking changes for humankind: The beginnings of writing and law, kingship and bureaucracy, diplomacy and state-sponsored warfare, mathematics and literature. This Very Short Introduction offers a fascinating account of this momentous time in human history
"Good for a Textbook"
When scholars study the history of the ancient Near East, several wars that had extremely brutal consequences (at least by modern standards) often stand out. Forced removal of entire populations, sieges that decimated entire cities, and wanton destruction of property were all tactics used by the various peoples of the ancient Near East against each other, but the Assyrians were the first people to make war a science.
"A nice but brief summary. "
Mankind has been on the planet for millions of years, but civilization and life in cities has only come about in the last five millennia. Through history civilizations rose and fell, dependent on nature, and they popped up independently in a handful of different places around the world. Each of those civilizations created a unique and distinctive vision of life which forms a vital counterpoint to the problems of modern society.
In 323 BCE, Alexander the Great was on top of the world. Never a man to sit on his hands or rest upon his laurels, Alexander began planning his future campaigns, which may have included attempts to subdue the Arabian Peninsula or make another incursion into India. But fate had other plans for the young Macedonian king. One night, while feasting with his admiral Nearchus, he drank too much and took to bed with a fever.
The belief in prophets is as old as religion itself. Throughout several millennia, cultures across the world have attributed special significance (and sometimes great power) to those who they believe speak to their gods, from the Ancient Greeks to followers of Zoroastrianism. The tradition of prophets is especially prevalent in Judaism and Christianity, with prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah being among the most famous historical figures in the Bible.
By the seventh century BCE, Thrace was experiencing the migration of Cimmerians and Scythians. The result was that the northern Black Sea Scythians developed first on the territory of Byzantium, and trade and industrial colonization stretched from the Golden Horn to the Sea of Azov and the lower Don region. In addition, the Sarmatians and Getae on the lower Don were also involved in a profitable trade with this area.
The ancient Egyptians originated in East Africa. Evidence for this can be found in the ancient religious texts of the Egyptians, which describe the people and places in the afterlife. These places coincide with real people and places in East Africa. These real people of East Africa, the Nubians, were considered, in some contexts, demigods by the Egyptians. The ancient Egyptian afterlife paradise was called the Tuat. It was imagined to be a place of lakes and mountains like East Africa.
To untangle the modern Middle East conflict and the 2,000 years behind it, this book is divided into 25 concise chapters. Each one is devoted to a major theme in Middle East history, such as the beginning of Islam, the Crusades, Genghis Khan, and the beginning of Israel in 1948. They can be read in a few minutes, giving you a fast overview of the issues and help you to understand Middle East current events.
"Interesting, but of course it's quite brief"
This volume examines the period from Rome’s earliest involvement in the eastern Mediterranean to the creation of the first stage of Roman dominance over all the Greek states from the Adriatic Sea to Syria by the 180s BC. Applying modern political theory to ancient Mediterranean history, it takes a Realist approach to its analysis of the development of Roman involvement in the Greek Mediterranean and employs unipolarity theory to examine the earliest era of Roman geopolitical dominance over the Greek states.
"Worst Audible Book I've listened to"
In an audiobook eagerly awaited by her growing retinue of fans, she brings listeners inside the world's oldest Christian faith, illuminating Eastern Orthodoxy in a manner similar to Kathleen Norris's exploration of Benedictine spirituality. An ex-hippie and former social radical, the author often writes humorously about her unusual road from Woodstock to the altar of an Orthodox church, where she is the pastor's wife.
Despite the turmoil of Arab nationalism and fundamentalism, Middle Eastern wars, and oil crises, the history of the Arab world has been little known and poorly understood in the West. One reason may be that, for more than half a century, there has been no up-to-date single volume work that chronicles the story of Arab civilization - until now.
"Daunting quantity of information!"