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.
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"
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.