An Introduction to the Ancient World: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Introduction to the Ancient World

3rd Edition

By Lukas de Blois, R.J. van der Spek

Routledge

488 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780815372417
pub: 2019-06-03
SAVE ~$6.74
Available for pre-order
$44.95
$38.21
x
Hardback: 9781138504561
pub: 2019-06-03
SAVE ~$22.50
Available for pre-order
$150.00
$127.50
x


FREE Standard Shipping!

Description

An Introduction to the Ancient World offers a thorough survey of the history of the ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome. Covering on the social, political, economic, and cultural processes that have influenced later western and near-eastern civilizations, this volume considers subjects such as the administrative structures, economies, and religions of the ancient Near East, Athenian democracy, the development of classical Greek literature, the interaction of cultures in the Hellenistic world, the political and administrative system of the Roman republic and empire, and the coming of Christianity, all within the broad outline of political history.

This third edition is thoroughly updated and some chapters are completely rewritten to cover recent historical research. Changes include:

  • more attention to economic structures and developments, and to the history of the Later Roman Empire (third to sixth centuries AD)
  • incorporation of the results of recent archaeological and historical research, and recently published studies of ancient literature
  • "boxes" that support the main text, on topics including economic and political systems, religion and terminology
  • redrawn maps and new, higher quality images
  • the inclusion of useful websites in the bibliography

An Introduction to the Ancient World provides an easily readable, user-friendly, integrated overview for students of ancient history, classics and archaeology. Lavishly illustrated, clearly and concisely written, and well-organized, this fully updated and revised edition will remain a key resource for students beginning to investigate the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean.

Reviews

"An Introduction to the Ancient World is an engaging and useful introductory text for students who are encountering the ancient Mediterranean and Near East for the first time. It is an excellent mix of erudition, concision, and clarity that even advanced students and professionals will find valuable and suitable to their needs. Few introductory ancient history texts compare with An Introduction to the Ancient World, and none surpass it. Having used it as a textbook in both my Western Civilization and World Civilizations courses, it gives students a coherent overview that committee-produced, expensive textbooks lack."

- Edward Dandrow, University of Central Florida, USA

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of boxes

Preface to the Third Edition

Chronology

Introduction

PART I: THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST

 

1 THE ORIGINS OF THE CIVILISATIONS OF EGYPT AND MESOPOTAMIA

 

2 THE THIRD MILLENNIUM

The Early Bronze Age

Egypt, the Old Kingdom (c. 2600 – c. 2150)

Mesopotamia, Sumer and Akkad

Epilogue

 

3 THE SECOND MILLENNIUM

The Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000 - c. 1600)

Egypt, the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 – c. 1800) and

the Second Intermediate Period (c. 1800 – c. 1550)

Mesopotamia, the Old Assyrian

and Old Babylonian periods

Northern Mesopotamia, the Old Assyrian empire (c. 2000 – c. 1750)

Southern Mesopotamia, the Old Babylonian empire (c. 1800 – c. 1600)

The Late Bronze Age (c. 1600 – c. 1200)

The ‘concert of powers’ (c. 1600 – c. 1200)

Egypt, the New Kingdom (c. 1550– c. 1100)

Babylonia and Assyria

Mitanni

The Hittite empire

Crete and Mycenae

International relations

 

4 THE FIRST MILLENNIUM

The Early Iron Age (c. 1200 - c. 750 BC)

Disruption and recovery

Egypt, the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1100–715 BC)

Syria and the Phoenicians

Israel

The empires of the Levant (c. 750 BC-AD 651)

The Neo-Assyrian empire

The Neo-Babylonian empire

The Persian or Achaemenid empire

The Hellenistic kingdoms

The Parthian or Arsacid empire

The Neo-Persian or Sasanid empire

The Roman empire

The Arabs

 

5 RELIGION

Polytheism

Henotheism and monotheism

6 ECONOMY AND SOCIETY

Agricultural economy, land tenure

‘Redistribution economy’

Means of payment

Trade

Social organisation

 

7 GOVERNMENT

Kingship

The administrative machinery

The army

 

PART II: GREECE

 

8 THE EARLY IRON AGE (c. 1200 – c. 750 BC): ‘THE DARK AGES’

Disruption and recovery

 

9 THE ARCHAIC PERIOD, c. 750 – c. 500 BC

Introduction

Demographic and economic changes

The polis

Colonisation

Social changes

Military changes

Cultural changes

The alphabet

Literature

The visual arts

Architecture

Religion

Philosophy

Political changes

Tyranny

Sparta

Athens

 

10 THE CLASSICAL PERIOD, c. 500 – c. 330 BC

The Persian Wars

Sparta and Athens after 479 BC

The Delian League (477–404 BC)

Athenian leaders in the fifth century

Athens’ state income

The Great Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC)

The years between 404 and 336 BC

The Second Athenian League (377–355)

Social and military changes

The rise of Macedonia

Philip II (359–336): the end of the Classical period in Greek history

The Athenian population in the fifth and fourth centuries BC

The metics

The slaves

Women in Athens and Sparta

Further development of the Athenian democracy

The Council of the Areopagus in 462/1

Pericles

The democracy and the fleet

Old and new politicians

The stability of the Athenian democracy

Criticism of the Athenian democracy

Athens as the centre of Greek culture in the Classical period

Attic drama

Philosophy

Historical writing

The Greeks in the Western Mediterranean

The economy of the Greek city-states

 

11 THE HELLENISTIC WORLD, c. 330 – c. 30 BC

Introduction

Alexander the Great

From Alexander to the Roman conquest

Macedonia: the Antigonid kingdom

Athens and Sparta

Leagues of states in Greece

Asia: the Seleucid kingdom

Egypt: the Ptolemaic kingdom

The government and the cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms

Economy and society

Greece

The Near East

Cultural aspects

General

Greek religion

Near Eastern religions

Philosophy

Science

The Jews in the Hellenistic era

The impact of Hellenistic culture in the Parthian kingdom and the Roman empire

Conclusion

 

PART III: ROME

 

12 EARLY ROMAN HISTORY (753–265 BC)

The western Mediterranean

The Etruscans

Carthage

The origins of Rome

State and society in early Rome

A note on Roman names

The army and the Comitia Centuriata

The early republic (509–265 BC)

State and society

Roman expansion in Italy (509–265 BC)

Colonisation

Municipia

The military character of Roman society

The struggle of the orders (c. 500–287 BC)

History of the struggle of the orders

The institutions of the Roman republic at the end of the struggle of the orders

The magistrates

The Senate

Nobiles, senators and equites

Social composition of the Roman population

The popular assemblies

An oligarchic government

A new type of client

Some demographic data

 

13 FURTHER EXPANSION AND NEW SOCIAL TENSIONS, 264–133 BC

Roman expansion between 264 and 121 BC

The Punic Wars

Wars in Spain, the Po valley and the Hellenistic East

Two forms of Roman expansion

The administration of a province

Disadvantages of Roman control

New social tensions

The consequences of Rome’s expansion

Slavery in Italy and Sicily

Slave revolts

Piracy

Some demographic data

The city of Rome

Inadequate organisation

A change in mentality

Greek influences

Literature and other forms of amusement

 

14 THE CENTURY OF THE CIVIL WARS, 133–30 BC

Serious problems and discontent

The Gracchi

Tiberius Gracchus

Gaius Gracchus

Political consequences of the Gracchan reforms

Marius’ military reforms

The Social War (91–88 BC) and the First Civil War (88 – 82 BC)

Citizenship for the Italian allies

The popular assemblies

The First Civil War (88–82 BC)

The years 79–49 BC

Spartacus’ slave revolt (73–71 BC)

Pompey, Crassus and Caesar

The first Triumvirate

Chaos in Rome

The Second Civil War (49–45 BC) and its aftermath (44–30 BC)

The flourishing of cultural life during the civil wars

 

15 THE EARLY IMPERIAL AGE, 27 BC–AD 193

Augustus

Augustus’ constitutional position and the real basis of his power

The settlement of 27 BC: different types of provinces

The settlements of 23 and 19 BC

Changes in the administration

The Senate and the popular assemblies

The higher orders: senators and knights

The decuriones

The city of Rome

The army

Ideal and religious aspects of emperorship

Latin literature in the Augustan era

Augustus’ conquests

The early imperial age after Augustus (ad 14–193)

Wars and rebellions

Emperorship and the problem of the emperor’s succession

Developments in administration after Augustus

The spread of Roman citizenship

Changes in the higher orders

Roman law

The western and eastern provinces

The western provinces

The eastern half of the empire

Agriculture, trade and crafts

The lower classes

Trade

Work and status

Women in the Roman empire

Religion

Roman gods and religious practices

The introduction of foreign gods

The Christians

 

16 THE CRISIS OF THE THIRD CENTURY AD AND LATE ANTIQUITY

Growing pressures on the northern and eastern frontiers

The Germans

The Sasanid empire

Internal instability in the Roman empire

Military problems

Structural defects

The Severi (193–235)

Septimius Severus (193–211)

Roman citizenship for all free inhabitants of the empire

The soldier emperors (235–284)

Diocletian (ruled 284–305)

Further expansion of bureaucracy

The Senate and the equestrian order

Emperorship and the emperor’s succession

The persecutions of the Christians

Constantine the Great (ruled 306–337)

Constantine’s conversion to Christianity

Constantinople

The army

Increased fiscal burdens and the monetary system

The Roman empire after Constantine

East and West

The Christian empire

The end of the Roman empire in the west

 

17 EPILOGUE 

Appendices

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Lukas de Blois is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History of the Radboud University, The Netherlands. He published books and articles on the history of the Roman Empire in the third century AD, the history of the Late Roman Republic, ancient historiography (Sallust, Tacitus, Cassius Dio), Plutarch’s biographies, and Greek Sicily in the fourth century BC. His most recent contribution is Image and Reality of Roman Imperial Power in the Third Century AD (Routledge, 2018).

Robartus J. (Bert) van der Spek is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Mediterranean and West Asian History at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He specializes in the history of the ancient Near East in the context of Mediterranean history. He published on Hellenistic Babylonia and economic history. He edited two volumes in the Routledge Explorations of Economic History on market performance (no. 68) and the history of monetary policy (no. 80) from ancient Mesopotamia to the modern world.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS002000
HISTORY / Ancient / General