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Ancient Worlds Across the Middle East the Mediterranean and the Nile Delta awe inspiring monstrous ruins are scattered across the landscape Here Richard Miles recreates these extraordinary cities ranging from the Euphrates to the Roman Empire to understand the roots of human civilization

10 thoughts on “Ancient Worlds

  1. Matthew Griffiths Matthew Griffiths says:

    a good introduction to early history of European civilizations starting from the ancient cities of the Ira region through to the roman empire charting the complex interplay between different societies and cultures arguably doing a great job to show much each branch of the tree of civilisation owes to all others for a basic read on ancient history and the origins of some of the central ideas of western civilisation this isnt a bad starting point at all

  2. Ray Ray says:

    A frantic gallop through early history painted on a vast canvas bringing together complex historic themes and threads and presenting these in a way that I found enjoyable and utterly compelling I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in ancient history

  3. Iset Iset says:

    I viewed Miles’ series on which this is based when it aired several years ago and reading the book I get the same impression as one might expect The story beats are the same – bevel rimmed bowls Assyrian love of war Athenian democratic imposed empire etc If you’ve seen the series this is simply a slightly extended version of that It’s a whirlwind tour of Mediterranean and Near Eastern big players in ancient times Such a wide scope obviously means it glosses over a lot and Miles pretty much just hits up a few key talking points But that is the purpose of the book – it isn’t for professionals or anyone looking for in depth information The book is designed for the general public as evidenced by the smooth accessible writing style and its whistle stop tour is intended simply to hook the reader into hopefully sparking a passion I would recommend this to new hobbyists or school students about to embark on further study7 out of 10

  4. Andrew Andrew says:

    uite a canvas for 340 pages so unsurprisingly a bit unevenThe coverage of early Mesopotamian civilisations is uite descriptive and a little patchy Nevertheless it sets out the uestion of why civilisations began to spontaneously form and what their common properties might beThe Bronze age civilisations are covered fully and compellingly with interesting discussions on Egypt and the collapses caused by the Sea People and rigidity of theocraciesHowever the discussion of Egypt mirrors the approach taken with Greece and especially with Rome This is definitely not a chronological perspective so the focus is strongly on the power structures of the Athenian democracy and Alexander's imperial striding in the eastThe last third of the book implicitly ties together these ideas of civilisation by considering the relative stabilities of Roman power in the various phases of its dominanceOverall this is a very interesting book and thought provoking book at least for a reader with a curiosity and some passing knowledge of the classical civilisations It is certainly neither a bluffers introduction nor a text in academic depthI have not yet been able to see the documentary series it accompanied but it seems to be the book of the film than the story of ideas which was subseuently filmed

  5. Kristian Kristian says:

    Absolutely fascinating In as little as 350 pages Richard Miles succeeds in bringing ancient civilizations to life From the banks of the Tiber in Rome to the Akropolis in Athene to the hanging gardens of Babylon the history and civic structure of ancient cultures are briefly but thoroughly explained Amazing job of Miles and I look forward to read his also fabulous I guess account of Rome's worst enemy Carthage 5

  6. Jackson Jackson says:

    An unbelievably good high level overview of history from the beginnings of civilisation to the end of the Roman empire with insights into political developments and the paradox of civilisation which are still applicable today

  7. Deepspice9 Deepspice9 says:

    Great global overview of the Ancient civilizations Though unavoidably he has to skip a lot of details and nuances the book is very informative yet reads very pleasantly Great as a starting point to learn about the ancients

  8. Steve. g Steve. g says:

    page 53'In the twelfth century bc the Bronze Age cities of the Near East the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean suffered a series of disasters on an almost unimaginable scale In Anatolia the mighty Hittite Empire and in Greece the Mycenaean kingdoms were toppled Many of the cities of Syria and the Levant were reduced to rubble Smaller settlements in remote locations simply disappeared The causes of the great Bronze Age collapse and the story of the new worlds that grew up in its wake will be the subject of this chapter It is a sobering reminder of the fragility of civilisation but also of its tenacity For in the new age of iron that followed this ancient Dark Age civilisation would re emerge tempered in the flames of conflict tougher and resilient than ever before'Terrific easy fascinating read Recommend

  9. Carlton Carlton says:

    An enjoyable and very readable introduction to the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia Egypt Greece and RomeI have read individual books in the past about all these civilisations and came to this wanting information about MesopotamiaThis book presents a persuasive argument about how civilisations have built on previous attempts and how this process works So as well as coming away with a greater knowledge of Mesopotamia I also now far better understand why each of these civilisations came into existence and why they failedBy necessity in a book of this nature much has to be omitted but you are free to go and read about what interests you in greater detail What it does is try to give you an overarching framework into which to fit the various ancient worlds and it does a very good job at this

  10. Ross Ross says:

    A whistle stop tour of ancient civilisations ranging from Babylon to Rome It skims over a lot of things and looks at how the civilisations have influenced our modern civilisation But it's good with some great insightsIt also highlights the transience of cities and states and reminds us that while we believe we live in a stable world shifting borders and populations are the only constant in human history

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