The Encyclopedia of Ancient History


Awarded Honorable Mention for the 2013 Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference publications given by the The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association

Unmatched in scholarship and diversity, The Encyclopedia of Ancient History is the definitive reference work for the study of the ancient world, available both in print ...

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Awarded Honorable Mention for the 2013 Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference publications given by the The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association

Unmatched in scholarship and diversity, The Encyclopedia of Ancient History is the definitive reference work for the study of the ancient world, available both in print and online.

This ambitious 13-volume reference work, presented in A-Z format:

  • Includes over 5000 entries ranging from 250-5000 words
  • Is written and edited by an internationally diverse team of editors and contributors
  • Provides clear, concise, definitions and explanations of the key people, places, and events in ancient history
  • Spans the late Bronze Age through the seventh century CE
  • Covers the entire ancient Mediterranean world including the Near East and Egypt
  • Is extensively illustrated with hundreds of photographs, figures, and maps

In addition, the online version available at offers:

  • Regular revisions and new entries
  • 24/7 access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship in the study of the ancient world
  • An easy-to-use interface, intuitive navigation, and powerful searching and browsing capabilities
  • Full text HTML content or downloadable PDFs
  • Reference linking and options to export to reference managers
  • Content sharing through Facebook, Twitter, CiteULike and other social networking sites
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers.” (Choice, 1 October 2013)

“The Encyclopediaof Ancient History is truly a monumental achievement that supplants any and all predecessors. Make no mistake about it; this is an academic work written with an academic audience in mind, placing it outside the collections of most public libraries and high-school media centers. But for any college-level collection supporting ancient-history programs, this excellent set is a must-have.” (Booklist, 22 March 2013)

"The Encyclopedia of Ancient History is a welcome addition to our reference collection for Classics in Oxford. The online version is especially useful due to its searching and browsing capabilities, and I think the entire resource will benefit students of Ancient History and related subjects at all levels. As a librarian, I look forward to introducing our readers to The Encyclopedia of Ancient History and will include it in my list of essential reference works for new students in the future." - Charlotte Goodall, Oxford University Bodleian Library

"Written by an international team of well-respected scholars, The Encyclopedia of Ancient History takes the inclusion of all Mediterranean cultures seriously and devotes full attention to often disregarded areas and topic of ancient history. It is heartening to see that the regions of Egypt and the Ancient Near East are given complete coverage as well as periods like the Late Bronze Age and late Antiquity." - Marc Van De Mieroop, Columbia University

"A distinguished range of international experts has contributed to Wiley-Blackwell's expansive new Encyclopedia of Ancient History. The modern undergraduate now has access, in libraries and at computers, to a dictionary of antiquity written in a straightforward and relaxed style that avoids the obscurantist over-compression of some of its rivals." - Daniel Ogden, University of Exeter

Library Journal
This extensive, alphabetically organized compilation edited by Bagnall (ancient history; director, Inst. for the Study of the Ancient World, New York Univ.), Kai Brodersen (chair, ancient history, Univ. of Mannheim, Germany; president-elect, Univ. of Erfurt, Germany), Craige B. Champion (ancient history & classics, Syracuse Univ.), Andrew Erskine (chair, classics, Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland), and Sabine R. Huebner (ancient history, Freie Universität, Berlin) presents succinct yet informative entries by a wide range of contributors. The historical period covered stretches from the late Bronze Age through the seventh century C.E., and the area covered is the expansive Mediterranean world. The well-written entries each contain several paragraphs on a topic, person, idea, or other notable element of ancient history. The entries include "see also" terms as well as references and pertinent suggested readings. Photographs, maps, and illustrations appear throughout, further enhancing a number of entries. For example, in the entry for Babylon-Fustat (a settlement that was situated at the Nile river delta where it meets the Nile valley), a "plan of old Cairo showing the Roman fortress of Babylon and the central area of Fustat" is provided. Also, various diagrams of a "chiton," or tunic, accompany that entry; these portray the masculine and feminine versions of the garment, and another illustration shows how the feminine version was belted. VERDICT This set is comprehensive, well edited, and visually appealing. It would be of use to high school and college students looking to gain more information on topics pertinent to this era as well as others curious to know more about ancient history. The references and suggested readings provide a good starting point for further study, creating additional value for readers.—Annette Haldeman, Dept. of Legislative Svcs., Maryland General Assembly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405179355
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/3/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 7768
  • Product dimensions: 11.35 (w) x 12.50 (h) x 15.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger S. Bagnall is Professor of Ancient History and Director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. Before joining the NYU faculty in 2007, he was Jay Professor of Greek and Latin and Professor of History at Columbia University, where he had taught for 33 years. During that time he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Chair of the Department of Classics. He specializes in the social and economic history of Hellenistic, Roman and Late Antique Egypt. Among his best-known works are Egypt in Late Antiquity (1993), The Demography of Roman Egypt (1994; with Bruce Frier), and Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History (1995).

Kai Brodersen is chair of Ancient History at the University of Mannheim and president-elect of the University of Erfurt in Germany. He has worked on Greek and Roman historiography and geography, inscriptions, oracles and wonder-texts, on economic history, and on the reception of the classical world.

Craige B. Champion received his graduate training in Classics and Ancient History at Princeton University. He is Associate Professor of Ancient History and Classics in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and former Chair of the History Department at Syracuse University. He has published widely on ancient Greek and Roman history and historiography. He is the author of Cultural Politics in Polybius’s Histories (2004) and editor of Roman Imperialism: Readings and Sources (Blackwell, 2004).

Andrew Erskine studied for his undergraduate degree and doctorate at New College Oxford. He has subsequently worked in the universities of Birmingham, Swansea, and University College Dublin. In 1997-98 he held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Munich. He held the chair of Classics at the National University of Ireland Galway until his arrival at the University of Edinburgh in January 2005. He is currently head of Classics.

Sabine R. Huebner is Privatdozentin of Ancient History at Freie Universität Berlin. She has published on the social and religious history of the Roman and later Roman East, on brother-sister marriage in Roman Egypt, old age in Classical Greece, Greek epigraphy, and papyrology. Her work include a monograph, Der Klerus in der Gesellschaft des spätantiken Kleinasiens (2005), a co-edited volume, Growing up Fatherless in Antiquity (2008), and a forthcoming study on Intergenerational Equity and Family Strategies in the Hellenistic and Roman East (2009).

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Table of Contents

Thematic list of entries.

List of contributors.


List of abbreviations.


Entries in alphabetical order.


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