History - Studying the past to gather knowledge for the future.
Review: From Publishers Weekly
Bauer (author of the four-volume The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child) guides readers on a fast-paced yet thorough tour of the ancient worlds of Sumer, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Mesopotamia and Rome. Drawing on epics, legal texts, private letters and court histories, she introduces individuals who lived through the famines, plagues, floods, wars and empire building of the ancient world: the marvelous array of characters includes Gilgamesh, Sumer's first epic hero; Yü, the founder of the Xia dynasty in China; and Tiglath-Pileser III, who restored the Assyrian empire's fortunes. Because Bauer covers so much time and territory, she focuses on the Western cultures with which she seems most comfortable; the chapters on Asia and India are the least developed. In addition, some of her assertions—for instance, that the biblical book of Joshua is the clearest guide we possess to the establishment of an Israelite kingdom in Canaan—contradict general scholarly opinion or are simply wrong. However, Bauer's elegant prose and her command of much of the material makes this a wonderful starting point for the study of the ancient world. 80 maps. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2007
"Blackwell has rendered an excellent service to the study of the Ancient Near East by undergraduates – and, indeed, to those of the general public with anything more than superficial interest in the subject ... Chavalas provides a solid textual basis for a better understanding of this area."
"Mark W. Chavalas has gathered an excellent ensemble of scholars and doctoral candidates to edit and translate representative historical texts from the major cultures of the ancient Near East into English ... Students and non-specialists who are embarking on the study of the ancient Near East would do well to consult The Ancient Near East for a quick reference to Near Eastern historical documents."
"An invaluable reference for most academic and large public libraries."
"An extremely full selection of texts of historical import and an invaluable resource for college and university teaching. The extensive commentaries make it accessible for anyone interested in investigating the manner in which the peoples of the ancient Near East represented their past."
"Chavalas has assembled a sterling cast of translators. The historical introductions bristle with insights and the book gives us 'history from above' in the best sense."
"Mark Chavalas has gathered an impressive international group of scholars, who offer a judicious sampling of texts from Mesopotamia and related ancient Near Eastern cultures. The texts are carefully translated and liberally provided with illuminating introductions and commentary. In all, a volume that should become a prized resource for students and scholars alike."
"A welcome and affordable anthology in English and the editor and the contributors deserve our thanks for their efforts. It is extremely readable, the translations are admirably put into context and by and large excellent."
"This much-needed, well-done primary sourcebook … is a must for anyone teaching the history of the ancient Near East."
This book presents new translations of Mesopotamian and ancient Near Eastern historiographic texts, providing the reader with the primary sources for the history of the ancient Near East.