The Ancient World: Readings in Social and Cultural History / Edition 4

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This collection of scholarly readings focuses on the social and cultural history of the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome, and is designed to encourage readers to examine issues pertaining to a broad range of themes by analyzing selections from history.

Covering a wide variety of social and cultural concerns–ranging from marriage, family, war, and religion, to political culture, slavery and entertainment–the selected readings are arranged by subject within a general chronological framework, providing a broad overview of life in the Ancient World. This volume is the companion reader to Nagle's The Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History, 6/e.

A must-have collection of readings for anyone interested in ancient culture, history, and civilization.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205691876
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/11/2009
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,309,177
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

D. Brendan Nagle, University of Southern California

Stanley M. Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Temples and Priests
1.1 Flood Stories
1.1.1 The Flood in The Epic of Gilgamesh
1.1.2 The Flood in Genesis
1.2 Divinity and its Limitations
1.3 The Gods in Their Temples: A Sacred Marriage Drama
1.4 Sacred Prostitution
1.5 Covenant and Consequences
1.5.1 Hear O Israel! The Shema
1.5.2 The Covenant as a Marriage Contract: Hosea
1.6 The Call of the Prophet
1.7 Prophets and Palaces: Jeremiah Confronts the King
1.8 “I Will be With Him in Trouble”: Personal Religion and Piety
1.9 Empire, Exile, and Monotheism
1.9.1 The Great Hymn to the Aten
1.9.2 Yahweh: The Lord of History
1.10 Tombs and Immortality
1.10.1 Book Writing: A New Form of Immortality
1.10.2 Caught in the Act: Ancient Egyptian Tomb Robbers

Chapter 2 Palaces and Kings
2.1 Loyalty to the King: The Egyptian Theory of Government
2.2 But if Pharaoh Fails . . . ?
2.3 Women in Power
2.3.1 Ku Baba
2.3.2 Zakutu, Wife of Sennacherib
2.3.3 Jezebel
2.3.4 Athaliah
2.4 A Critique of Kingship: The Negative View of Samuel
2.5 War and Warfare
2.5.1 Sumerian Intercity Wars: Umma versus Lagash
2.5.2 Sargon of Akkad: The Idea of Empire
2.5.3 Egyptian Imperialism and Terror
2.5.4 Assyrian Use of Terror
2.5.5 The Fall of Jerusalem
2.5.6 The Horrors of Siege
2.5.7 POWs and MIAs
2.6 “A Palace of Cedar, Cypress, Juniper . . . and Tamarisk”: Builders As Well As Destroyers
2.7 An Imperial Coup D’Etat: The Behistun Inscription of Darius I
2.8 “That the Strong Might Not Oppress the Weak, and That They Should Give Justice to Orphans and Widows”
2.8.1 Hammurapi’s Justice
2.8.2 “To Fill the Vast Land with a Plenitude of Food and Lasting Happiness: The Characteristics of a Perfect Kingship”
2.8.3 The Justice of the Pharaoh
2.8.4 “They Carry the Sheaves, but Still Go Hungry; They Tread the Winepresses, yet Suffer Thirst”
2.8.5 A Model Persian Governor: Cyrus the Younger (ca. 400 B.C.)

Chapter 3 Daily Life
3.1 Marriage and Property
3.2 Marriage and Children
3.3 Laws Regarding Sex
3.4 Disputes, Litigation, Punishment
3.4.1 Runaway Slaves
3.4.2 Crime and Punishment
3.4.3 Conducting Business
3.4.4 Negligence
3.4.5 Debt
3.5 Papyrus Lansing: A Bureaucrat’s View of Life
3.6 “Wash and Perfume Yourself and Put on Your Best Clothes”

Chapter 4 The Origin and Spread of the Polis System
4.1 A Greek Definition of the Polis
4.2 Greek Life in the Eighth Century B.C. 1: “The Shield of Achilles”
4.3 Greek Life in the Eighth Century B.C. 2: Hesiod’s Works and Days
4.4 Colonization and the Expansion of the Polis System: The Case of Cyrene
4.4.1 Herodotus’ Account
4.4.2 Oath of the Colonists
4.5 Greeks and Non-Greeks in the Greek Colonies: The Foundation of Lampsacus
4.6 Greeks and Scythians in the Black Sea: Coexistence and Interaction

Chapter 5 Warfare and the Polis
5.1 The Aristocratic Warrior
5.1.1 The Warrior Ideal
5.1.2 The Warrior and Society: The Drinking Song of Hybrias
5.2 The Hoplite Revolution and the Citizen Soldier
5.2.1 The Reality of Battle
5.2.2 A Good Citizen: Tellus of Athens
5.2.3 Only Farmers Can Be Good Citizens
5.3 The Hoplite Polis: Sparta
5.4 Heroic Athletics: The Chariot Race at Patroclus’ Funeral Games
5.5 An Athletic Dynasty: The Diagorids of Rhodes
5.6 Athletics and the Polis: A Philosophical Critique

Chapter 6 The Crisis of the Archaic Polis
6.1 Aspects of Aristocratic Life at its Peak
6.1.1 A Fine Symposium: Xenophanes
6.1.2 The Life of an Aristocrat: Alcaeus
6.1.3 When You Are “Repulsive to Boys and a Laughingstock to Women”: Mimnermus on Old Age
6.1.4 A Woman’s View of Aristocratic Life: Sappho’s “To Anactoria”
6.2 The Crisis of the Aristocracy 1: The Laments of Theognis
6.3 Portrait of a Vulgar Upstart: Anacreon
6.4 The Crisis of the Aristocracy 2: Corinth
6.5 The Crisis of the Aristocracy 3: Athens

Chapter 7 Husbands, Wives, and Slaves: The Domestic Foundations of the Polis
7.1 The Education of a Wife
7.2 The Short Sad Life of a God Woman: The Epitaph of Sokratea of Paros
7.3 If Only We Could Reproduce Without Women . . .!
7.4 Slaves: The Best and Most Necessary of Possessions
7.5 “We Have Mistresses for Our Pleasure”: Sex and Slavery in the Oikos
7.6 Freedom and Its Problems: The Life of Neaera
7.7 How to Become a Slave: Be in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
7.8 The Slave Trade: A Eunuch’s Revenge

Chapter 8 Empire and Democracy: The Classical Polis
8.1 The Golden Age: A Greek View
8.2 The Persian Empire and the Greek WorldView
8.2.1 Greeks Are Newcomers Compared to the Egyptians
8.2.2 All Customs Are Relative
8.3 The Athenian Empire: Origins and Structure
8.4 Imperial Democracy: A Critical View
8.5 Athens and Her Subjects: The Case of Erythrae
8.6 Imperial Democracy: A Favorable View–Pericles’ Funeral Oration (Selections)
8.7 The Plague at Athens (430—429 B.C.)
8.8 War and Politics: The Case of Corcyra
8.9 “War is a Hard Master”: The Melian Dialogue
8.10 Religion in the Classical Polis: The Affair of the Herms
8.11 The Demos Must Be Pure: Athenian Law on Teachers and Their Students
8.12 Defeat and Hard Times: Athens after the Peloponnesian War

Chapter 9 The Fourth Century: Century of Crisis and Innovation

9.1 Death of a Gadfly: The Apology of Socrates
9.2 Social Upheaval in Greece in the Fourth Century B.C.
9.2.1 Isocrates, Panegyricus (ca. 380 B.C.)
9.2.2 Political Revolution in Argos
9.3 Plato and the Turn to Monarchy
9.3.1 The Philosopher King as Savior of Greece

9.3.2 The Training of a Philosopher: The Allegory of the Cave
9.4 The Achievements of Philip II: Alexander the Great's Speech at Opis (324 B.C.)

9.5 New Philosophies and New Views of the Individual: Epicureanism and Stoicism

9.5.1 Epicurus’ Principal Doctrines (selections)

9.5.2 Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus

Chapter 10 The Hellenistic Age
10.1 Alexander The Great: Two Contrasting Views
10.1.1 An Idealistic View
10.1.2 A Jaundiced View of Alexander’s Conquests and Their Results
10.2 Alexandria and the Colonial World of Hellenistic Egypt
10.2.1 A Hellenistic Metropolis: Alexandria in Egypt
10.2.2 Middle-Class Life in Hellenistic Alexandria
10.2.3 “Take Particular Care That No Fraud Occur”: The Ideal of Honest and Efficient Administration
10.2.4 Administrative Oppression in Ptolemaic Egypt: The Amnesty of 118 B.C.
10.3 Culture Contact, Culture Clash: Religion and Society in the Hellenistic World
10.3.1 The Origin of Sarapis
10.3.2 The Praises of Isis, Mistress of the Universe and Creator of Civilization
10.3.3 How Sarapis Came to Delos: The Family of Apollonios, Priest of Sarapis
10.3.4 Culture Clash: Jewish Resistance to Hellenism and the Origins of Hanukkah
10.4 Jewish Life in the Diaspora: The Synagogue
10.4.1 The Synagogue of Alexandria
10.4.2 Moses Ordains the Sabbath Ritual
10.5 “Ptolemy is a Good Paymaster”: Opportunities and Social Roles in the Hellenistic Period
10.5.1 An Athenian Boy Makes Good: The Life of Kallias, Ptolemaic Governor of Halicarnassus (Athens, 270—269 B.C.)
10.5.2 The Dangerous Life of a Soldier of Fortune
10.5.3 Recommendation for a Government Job (Egypt, 255 B.C.)
10.5.4 A Woman in Politics: Phyle, Wife of Thessalos (Priene, First Century B.C.)
10.5.5 A Woman Philosopher: The Life of Hipparchia
10.5.6 A Professional Woman: Phanostrate, Midwife and Doctor (Athens, Fourth Century B.C.)
10.5.7 A Professional Woman: The Theban Harpist Polygnota, Daughter of Socrates (Delphi, 86 B.C.)
10.5.8 The Romance of Prince Antiochus and Queen Stratonice
10.5.9 The Marriage Contract of Heracleides and Demetria (311 B.C.)

Chapter 11 Political Culture of the Roman Republic
11.1 Order and Liberty: The Monarchy and the Republic
11.2 The Importance of Concord: Secession and Concession
11.3 Values That Made Rome Great
11.3.1 “All Things Went Well When We Obeyed the Gods, but Badly When We Disobeyed Them”: The Speech of Camillus
11.3.2 The Glory of Rome Before All Else: Mucius Scaevola
11.3.3 “The Laws of War and Peace”: The Schoolmaster of Falerii
11.3.4 Fame, Family, and Self-Promotion: The Roman Funeral
11.3.5 Money-Making, Religion, Bribery
11.4 Getting Elected: Techniques for the Candidate

Chapter 12 War and Warfare
12.1 The Enemy: A Roman View
12.1.1 Celtic Ferocity
12.1.2 The Samnite Enemy
12.2 Roman Ferocity: “Decius . . . Summoning and Dragging to Himself the Army Devoted Along With Him”
12.3 Steadiness of the Romans: How They Coped With Defeat
12.4 The Complexities of War: Foreign and Domestic Issues
12.5 The Sack of Carthage
12.6 The Triumphal Parade of Aemilius Paullus
12.7 War as Personal Vengeance

Chapter 13 Society and Culture in the Republic
13.1 “Secret Rites Performed at Night”: The Bacchanalian Conspiracy
13.2 Patricians and Plebeians: Patrons and Clients
13.3 Patria Potestas and Materna Auctoritas: The Power of Fathers and Mothers Over Their Children
13.4 Marriage: Legalities and Realities
13.5 The Rape of Chiomara
13.6 “A Wife Without a Dowry is Under Her Husband’s Thumb”
13.7 “Sell Worn-Out Oxen . . . Old and Sick Slaves”
13.8 Economics of Farming

Chapter 14 The Roman Revolution
14.1 “Greed, Unlimited and Unrestrained, Corrupted and Destroyed Everything”
14.2 Social and Economic Conditions: The Gracchi
14.3 Politicians and Generals Out of Control
14.4 Social and Cultural Changes
14.4.1 “The Beginnings of Foreign Luxury”
14.4.2 “He Mocked all Greek Culture and Learning”
14.4.3 In Defense of Public Service
14.4.4 Cicero on the Decadence of the Roman Elite
14.5 Women of the Late Republic: Standing up to the Triumvirs
14.6 The Augustan Settlement
14.7 The Reforms of Augustus
14.8 Reaction to Augustus’ Moral Reforms

Chapter 15 The Roman Peace
15.1 “They Make a Desert and Call it Peace”: A View of Rome from the Provinces
15.2 Foreigners in the Roman Army
15.3 The Alternative: “If the Romans Are Driven Out What Else Can There be Except Wars Among All These Nations?”
15.4 A Roman View of Foreign Competition
15.5 “Nations by the Thousands . . . Serve the Masters of the Entire World”: What Held the Roman Empire together
15.6 Making it at Rome
15.6.1 The Career of an Emperor: Septimius Severus
15.6.2 A Celt Makes Good
15.6.3 Making It in the Ranks
15.7 Provincial Administration: Hands-On Style
15.8 Getting Along Together: The Role of Citizenship
15.9 The Role of Law

Chapter 16 Society and Culture in the Roman Empire
16.1 Obligations of the Rich
16.2 Imperial Obligations
16.3 Religions and Moralities
16.3.1 Civic Religion
16.3.2 The Ideology of Paganism
16.3.3 The Divine Emperor
16.3.4 Rural Religions and Superstitions
16.3.5 A Holy Man Stops a Plague at Ephesus
16.3.6 Jesus of Nazareth
16.3.7 Paul of Tarsus
16.4 Christian Practice
16.5 Pliny’s Encounter With Christianity
16.6 Rabbinic Judaism
16.7 Judaism of the Diaspora
16.7.1 Prologue to the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach
16.7.2 “The Mishnah Is the Holy One’s Mystery”
16.8 Divination, Astrology, Magic
16.8.1 “Will Her Lover Outlive Her?”
16.8.2 “Thumbs Down Indicates Approval”
16.9 Moral Behavior
16.9.1 Moral Relativism
16.9.2 Moral Dogmatism

Chapter 17 Daily Life in the Roman Empire
17.1 Peasant Life
17.2 City Life
17.2.1 How the Urban Lower Classes Coped
17.2.2 Upper Classes: Technology and the Good Life
17.2.3 Leisure: Gymnasia, the Baths, the Circus, the Arena
17.3 Daily Life as Seen Through the Law Codes
17.3.1 “If, While Several Persons Are Playing Ball . . .”
17.3.2 Bequests
17.3.3 “Wolves Carried Away Some Hogs . . .”
17.4 Family Life
17.4.1 An Affectionate Paterfamilias
17.4.2 A Satirist’s View of Marriage
17.4.3 A Moralist’s View of Marriage
17.4.4 An Affectionate Marriage
17.4.5 An Epitaph for a Wife
17.4.6 Friendship Among Wives: A Birthday Invitation
17.4.7 Epitaphs for Children
17.4.8 Christian Marriage: Paul’s View
17.4.9 Abortion and Infanticide

Chapter 18 The Transformed Empire
18.1 “Now Declining Into Old Age”: A Review of Roman History from a Late-Empire Viewpoint
18.2 New Founders of Rome: Diocletian and Constantine
18.3 Constantine and Christianity
18.4 The Majesty of Emperors: Desires and Realities
18.4.1 The Entry of Constantius into Rome: A.D. 357
18.4.2 The Emperor, the Truth, and Corruption
18.4.3 The Emperor and the Barbarians
18.5 Christianity, Rome, and Classical Culture
18.5.1 A Different Vision
18.5.2 Organization and Ideology
18.5.3 The Pagan Response
18.5.4 When the Shoe Was on the Other Foot
18.6 The Hellenization and Romanization of Christianity
18.6.1 Faith and Syllogisms
18.6.2 Justin Martyr: “Christianity Is the True Philosophy”
18.6.3 Monasticism
18.7 The Fall of Rome

Chapter 19 Late Antiquity: The World of the Abrahamic Religions
19.1 The Conversion of a Barbarian King
19.2 Byzantine Grandeur: The Church of Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia
19.3 The Splendor of the Byzantine Court
19.4 Augustine’s Two Cities: The City of God and the City of Man
19.5 “There are Two Powers by Which This World is Ruled”
19.6 The Quran: The Sacred Scriptures of Islam
19.6.1 The Five Pillars of Islam
9.6.2 Abraham: The First Muslim
19.6.3 The People of the Book
19.6.4 Jihad: The Sixth Pillar of Islam
19.6.5 Islamic Eschatology: The Mahdi, the Antichrist, and the Second Coming of Jesus

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