Book picks similar to
Byzantium: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Sarris
The Oxford History of the Roman World
John Boardman - 1986
This authoritative and compelling work tells the story of the rise of Rome from its origins as a cluster of villages to the foundation of the Roman Empire by Augustus, to its consolidation in the first two centuries CE. It also discusses aspects of the later Empire and its influence on Western civilization, not least of which was the adoption of Christianity. Packed with fascinating detail and written by acknowledged experts in Roman history, the book expertly interweaves chapters on social and political history, the Emperors, art and architecture, and the works of leading Roman poets, historians, and philosophers. Reinforcing the book's historical framework are maps, diagrams, a useful chronology, and a full bibliography. Taken as a whole, this rich work offers an indispensable resource on the history of one of the world's greatest empires.
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome
Alberto Angela - 2007
A crowd of onlookers gathered around a slave driver. The wondrous plenty of banquets where flamingos are roasted whole and wine flows like rivers. The silence of the baths and the boisterous taverns . . . Many books have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but none has been able to bring its readers so near to daily life in the Imperial capital. This extraordinary voyage of exploration, guided by Alberto Angela with the charm of a born story- teller, lasts twenty- four hours, beginning at dawn on an ordinary day in the year 115 A.D., with Imperial Rome at the height of its power. The reader wakes in a rich patrician home and discovers frescoes, opulent furnishings and richly appointed boudoirs. Strolling though the splendors of the Roman Forum, one overhears both erudite opinions from learned orators and local ribaldry floating out from the public latrines. One meets the intense gazes of Roman matriarchs strolling the streets, looks on as a banquet is prepared, and is afforded a peek into the sexual habits and fetishes of Roman patricians and plebs. For all those who have ever dreamed of traveling back in time, Alberto Angela's narrative style will come as a welcome change to dry historical tomes. Rich in atmosphere and historical information, A Day in Ancient Rome is a voyage into a world both distant to us in time and surprisingly near in its habits, mores, and passions.
People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory
Brian M. Fagan - 1974
This internationally renowned text provides the only truly global account of human prehistory from the earliest times through the earliest civilizations. Written in an accessible way for beginning students, People of the Earth shows how today's diverse humanity developed biologically and culturally over millions of years against a background of constant climatic change.
Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction
Paul Anthony Cartledge - 2009
Cartledge highlights the role of such renowned cities as Athens (birthplace of democracy) and Sparta, but he also examines Argos, Thebes, Syracuse in Sicily, and Alexandria in Egypt, as well as lesser known locales such as Miletus (home of the West's first intellectual, Thales) and Massalia (Marseilles today), where the Greeks introduced the wine grape to the French. The author uses these cities to illuminate major themes, from economics, religion, and social relations, to gender and sexuality, slavery and freedom, and politics.
The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction
Amanda H. Podany - 2013
The earth-shaking changes that marked this era include such fundamental inventions as the wheel and the plow and intellectual feats such as the inventions of astronomy, law, and diplomacy.#374
By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia
Barry Cunliffe - 2015
Set on a huge continental stage, from Europe to China, it is a tale covering over 10,000 years, from the origins of farming around 9000 BC to the expansion of the Mongols in the thirteenth century AD. An unashamedly big history, it charts the development of European, Near Eastern, and Chinese civilizations and the growing links between them by way of the Indian Ocean, the silk Roads, and the great steppe corridor (which crucially allowed horse riders to travel from Mongolia to the Great Hungarian Plain within a year). Along the way, it is also the story of the rise and fall of empires, the development of maritime trade, and the shattering impact of predatory nomads on their urbanneighbours. Above all, as this immense historical panorama unfolds, we begin to see in clearer focus those basic underlying factors - the acquisitive nature of humanity, the differing environments in which people live, and the dislocating effect of even slight climatic variation - which have driven change throughout the ages, and which help us better understand our world today.
Rome: An Empire's Story
Greg Woolf - 2012
The personalities and events of Roman history have become part of the West's cultural lexicon, and Woolf provides brilliant retellings of each of these, from the war with Carthage to Octavian's victory over Cleopatra, from the height of territorial expansion under the emperors Trajan and Hadrian to the founding of Constantinople and the barbarian invasions which resulted in Rome's ultimate collapse. Throughout, Woolf carefully considers the conditions that made Rome's success possible and so durable, covering topics as diverse as ecology, slavery, and religion. Woolf also compares Rome to other ancient empires and to its many later imitators, bringing into vivid relief the Empire's most distinctive and enduring features.As Woolf demonstrates, nobody ever planned to create a state that would last more than a millennium and a half, yet Rome was able, in the end, to survive barbarian migrations, economic collapse and even the conflicts between a series of world religions that had grown up within its borders, in the process generating an image and a myth of empire that is apparently indestructible. Based on new research and compellingly told, this sweeping account promises to eclipse all previously published histories of the empire.
The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction
Davíd Carrasco - 2011
Readers meet a people highly skilled in sculpture, astronomy, city planning, poetry, and philosophy, who were also profoundly committed to cosmic regeneration through the thrust of the ceremonial knife and through warfare. David Carrasco looks beyond Spanish accounts that have colored much of the Western narrative to let Aztec voices speak about their origin stories, the cosmic significance of their capital city, their methods of child rearing, and the contributions women made to daily life and the empire. Carrasco discusses the arrival of the Spaniards, contrasts Aztec mythical traditions about the origins of their city with actual urban life in Mesoamerica, and outlines the rise of the Aztec empire. He also explores Aztec religion, which provided both justification for and alternatives to warfare, sacrifice, and imperialism, and he sheds light on Aztec poetry, philosophy, painting, and especially monumental sculpture and architecture. He concludes by looking at how the Aztecs have been portrayed in Western thought, art, film, and literature as well as in Latino culture and arts.
A Brief History of the Romans
Mary T. Boatwright - 2006
Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola, and Richard J.A. Talbert. This shorter version lucidly unfolds Rome's remarkable evolution through monarchy, republic, and then an empire that, at its height, stretched from Scotland to Iraq and the Nile Valley. Concise narrative integrates the political, military, social, and cultural landmarks of over 1,500 years--from the early struggles against Etruscans, Samnites, and Gauls to the sack of Rome by Alaric and his Visigoths. The book gives readers a basic yet engaging introduction to Roman history and society. It is an ideal text for courses on Ancient civilization, Roman civilization, or Roman history. FEATURES* Fourteen boxes featuring excerpts from writings by Romans themselves* Extensive variety of photos and illustrations, all with detailed captions; twenty-four custom-drawn maps of the city of Rome, Italy, the Mediterranean, and the wider Roman world* Narrative enlivened by such fascinating individuals as Hannibal, Mithridates, Pompey, Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, Livia, Nero, Trajan, Shapur, and Constantine* Selective, up-to-date recommendations for further reading; timeline of key events; glossary of Latin terms
History of the Ancient Near East
Marc Van De Mieroop - 2003
Beginning c.3000 BC with the advent of the first writing system, Van De Mieroop traces the emergence and development of some of the greatest states and powers, stunning cities and major empires, including the Babylonian and Hittite kingdoms, the Assyrian and Persian Empires and the conquests of Alexander the Great. Van De Mieroop's revisions for the 2nd edition aim to make the text even more accessible, and include the very latest research. "This text deserves a place on the shelves of ancient historians and archaeologists, and it will certainly have pride of place in reading lists for courses in Mesopotamian history" - Norman Yoffee.
History's Greatest Lies: The Startling Truths Behind World Events our History Books Got Wrong
William Weir - 2009
The revelations shock and amaze by exposing veiled motivations and convenient inaccuracies in well-documented actions by established leaders that often have a continuing effect on the world.Each of the fifteen chapters points out a myth that is held as a common truth in history and summarizes what we think we know. Then the author shreds the tale to academic ribbons using the latest findings on each subject. Each true story sets the record straight, reveals timeless ulterior motives, introduces important personalities who successfully (and suspiciously) avoided responsibility in common history texts, and notes underlining issues that have continued relevance in the modern age. For instance, did Nero really fiddle as Rome burned? Did Paul Revere actually alert the militia that the British were coming? Did the Catholic Church imprison Galileo because his teachings conflicted with the Bible? Weir takes on all these myths and tells the reader what really happened.