ISBN-10:
039305974X
ISBN-13:
9780393059748
Pub. Date:
03/17/2007
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome

by Susan Wise Bauer

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Overview

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome

A lively and engaging narrative history showing the common threads in the cultures that gave birth to our own.
This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history.Dozens of maps provide a clear geography of great events, while timelines give the reader an ongoing sense of the passage of years and cultural interconnection. This old-fashioned narrative history employs the methods of “history from beneath”—literature, epic traditions, private letters and accounts—to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled. The result is an engrossing tapestry of human behavior from which we may draw conclusions about the direction of world events and the causes behind them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393059748
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/17/2007
Series: Story of the World: History for the Classical Child Series
Pages: 896
Sales rank: 29,674
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Susan Wise Bauer is a writer, educator, and historian. Her previous books include the Writing With Ease, Writing With Skill, and Story of the World series from Well-Trained Mind Press, as well as The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, Rethinking School, The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory, and the History of the World series, all from W. W. W. Norton. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, as well as an M.A. in seventeenth-century literature and a Master of Divinity in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature. For fifteen years, she taught literature and composition at the College of William and Mary.

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History of the Ancient World 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This really is a world history of ancient cultures--it ranges from Mesopotamia all the way east to the Chinese coast and all the way west to the British Isles. Bauer uses original sources as well as plenty of myths and legends to illuminate the bare-bones facts of history, fulfilling her promise to give us a glimpse not only of what ancient peoples did, but what they thought and feared. As an avid reader, I've read plenty of history, and I've delved deep into some areas. The wonderful quality of THIS book is that it allows me to link my knowledge of my favorite historical eras with my much sketchier and sometimes nonexistent knowledge of others. There's plenty to think about here, and plenty to disagree with--Bauer doesn't just give facts. She tells an interpretive story that centers around why and how some men--and much less frequently, women--are able to gain power over others. But agree or disagree, you'll find yourself constantly going back to her framework as you plug in other pieces of historical knowledge.
APB More than 1 year ago
With so much knowledge and with an exhaustive research, Susan Bauer wrote an interesting historical account of the Ancient Wold interrelating cultures and civilizations under specific themes allowing a comparative analysis and establishing a broad view of these societies. With anecdotes of historical figures, the book is easy to read so it is not just for the history student or for a library consultation. Well written the author included easy charts at the end of each chapter to facilitate the chronological frame.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book engaged me from the first page to the last. It is organized in small, readily digested chapters. Though the subject is sweeping in scope, it is covered in sufficient detail. One thing different about this is book is that the author does not adhere to the general hero worship of the so called great men/women of history, many of whom were despotic murderers. She portrays in a just the facts manner. I have read and reread this book several times and consider it an indespensible addition to my library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Looking forward to the next volume in the series. Enjoyed the humor, which was not overdone. Still thinking about it days later, and I miss reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, highly readable survey of ancient history. It's too bad most history textbooks are not as well done. If you are looking for one book to provide general knowledge of the period that provided the foundation for Western Civilization. It's fun too. Find out what Bugs Bunny knew about ancient kings.
Neutiquam_Erro on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Bauer bites off a very large mouthful but manages to digest it in a way that is both readable and entertaining. With "The History of the Ancient World" she delivers on her promise to deal with history based on written sources, leaving the dusty archaeological details to others. This approach can be a little disconcerting if you are used to reading dry academic histories. Particularly in the study of the ancient middle east, the usual academic history of Egypt, Sumeria and the Assyrians tends to be heavy on pottery shards and light on plot. Having just read Trevor Bryce's Kingdom of the Hittites, in which an entire civilization is reconstructed from partial inscriptions, archaeological sites and guess work - a difficult task indeed - I was at first disturbed by Bauer's smooth flowing, light touch. She dwells almost exclusively on the story and avoided inconvenient archaeological facts and scholarly debates. At times the history seemed to be more an interpretation of mythology or a retelling of the grand story of human civilization, rather than an objective investigation of historical truth. But, of course, this seems to be what was intended here. In spite of the excellent use of maps (possibly the simplest and yet most comprehensive example I have ever seen - no place name mentioned in the text is left off of a map found nearby), and the extensive cited works section, this book is all about drama.The play's the thing, and not the facts. And this is what makes this book so good. Once you realize you are being told a story, you stop worrying and let Bauer sweep you away. From the ancient glory of Sumeria, through the incestuous Dynasties of Egypt (did you know Ramses II had his mummy's nose packed with peppercorns), the brutal Assyrians, the mysteries of the Phoenicians, Alexander the Great, and the rise of a small town named Rome, it is all told with verve, biting wit and an eye for the picaresque detail.While this is definitely not an academic work, its vast scope and the way it follows a narrative through time make it an exciting and interesting read - something you will enjoy as someone new to this time period, or as an scholar who wants something that ties together all that academic material you have tried to digest over the years. Of course, experts will quibble about this detail or that. There are probably large swathes of material here that would be contested by serious historians. But I would suggest relaxing, sitting back, putting up your feet and enjoying this book as the rich, old, flowing tale that it is. You can always ferret out the details later.
drneutron on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I love the format of this book - short chapters focusing on a particular event or short period for a particular region interleaved with chapters on other regions. The parallel development really gives a sense of the organic nature of the development of human civilization. Each chapter is ended with a timeline relating the events discussed in the chapter to other chapters. These really help keep the reader from losing the forest for the trees.Bauer's style makes these stories come alive, and adds a sense of reality often missing in histories that focus on big events or trends. I'm looking forward to reading the other volumes in the series.
billiecat on LibraryThing 6 days ago
In the run-up to the Iraq War, I read several articles discussing the historical treasures at risk if the war went forward. Reading these, I realized that for a reasonably well-educated person I had very little understanding of ancient history. Since then I have, in addition to re-reading the college textbook I obviously had not paid enough attention to, read a number of popular histories about ancient subjects. This is one of them.Bauer's book covers a lot of ground in fair but not overwhelming detail. It does a good job of giving the reader a basic outline of history, with the important dates and touchstones, as well as illuminating the vast amount of information that is simply unknown and lost. For this, it gets an easy three and a half stars.It fails to get four or five stars, however, for two reasons. First, the book totally ignores as outside its scope artistic and social developments such as the flowering of Greek culture or the art of Egypt. Anyone who is interested can certainly get works that fill this gap, of course, but it seems that this is a subject that should have had more treatment.Second, the book suffers from a serious editing problem. In addition to sloppy grammar errors that were missed and the odd misspelling, occasional factual errors snuck through the editing process. At one point, Bauer states that the king of Assyria was "the undisputed king of Babylon" immediately after stating that Babylon was in rebellion. Obviously she meant Assyria, but just as obviously the reader shouldn't have to figure that out. Subsequent editions of this book will undoubtedly sort most of that out, so if you are looking at buying the second edition or later, this caution may no longer apply.All in all, a valuable book for the casual reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
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GViewHistory More than 1 year ago
Susan Wise Bauer brings the ancient world to life through story, narrative, fable, and straight talk. I only have one criticism, its a little too long and detailed for the time I have to set aside for reading. Other than that, it is an enlightening look at what the ancient world was and was not. If you are a teacher of ancient history, it is a phenomenal book for conversation starters, juxtaposing poor textbook writing with the narrative of an accomplished historical writer, and for attention grabbers. If you are simply looking to flesh out your historical knowledge on the Ancient World, I would look for another book.
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