Pan's Travail: Environmental Problems of the Ancient Greeks and Romans

Pan's Travail: Environmental Problems of the Ancient Greeks and Romans

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by J. Donald Hughes
     
 

"Many people express surprise," writes J. Donald Hughes, "when they are told that environmental problems existed in the ancient world; they are used to thinking of the environment as an exclusively modern concern. But an examination of the evidence shows that the Greeks and Romans not only suffered from some of the same predicaments that plague the present scene, but… See more details below

Overview

"Many people express surprise," writes J. Donald Hughes, "when they are told that environmental problems existed in the ancient world; they are used to thinking of the environment as an exclusively modern concern. But an examination of the evidence shows that the Greeks and Romans not only suffered from some of the same predicaments that plague the present scene, but in many cases they were aware of them and commented on them." In Pan's Travail Hughes examines the environmental history of the classical period and argues that the decline of ancient civilizations resulted in part from exploitation of the natural world. Focusing on Greece and Rome, as well as on areas subject to their influences, Hughes offers a detailed look at the impact of humans and their technologies on the ecology of the Mediterranean basin. He explores the complex relationships of human culture and the environment with topics that include deforestation and overgrazing, soil erosion, depletion of wildlife and natural resources, pollution, and urban problems such as water supply and sewage disposal. He also compares the ancient world's environmental problems to those of other eras and discusses attitudes toward nature expressed in Greek and Latin literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Hughes (history, U. of Denver) examines the environmental history of the classical period and argues that the decline of ancient civilizations resulted in part from exploitation of the natural world. Focusing on Greece and Rome, as well as on areas subject to their influences, he offers a detailed look at the impact of humans and their technologies on the ecology of the Mediterranean basin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
A significant contribution to understanding the relationship between Classical Civilization in the Mediterranean Basin and its contemporary natural environment during the period from 800 B.C. to 600 A.D... Worthwhile and thought-provoking reading.

Sciences
This backward glance at glorious civilizations—now vanished, in part, because they neglected the long-term limits of their growth—should serve as an object lesson to those who argue that goodwill and technical ingenuity alone can sustain societies indefinitely.

Greece and Rome
A book on green issues is something new and Pan's Travails, moreover, is a compelling recital of man's mistreatment of the Mediterranean environment.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801846557
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1993
Series:
Ancient Society and History Ser.
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

What People are saying about this

Donald Engels
Inclusive, accessible, and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the ancient environment.

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