The Ancient World: Readings in Social and Cultural History (2nd Edition)

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9780130912503: The Ancient World: Readings in Social and Cultural History (2nd Edition)

This collection of primary sources focusing on the social and cultural history of the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome is designed to encourage readers to analyze issues pertaining to a broad range of themes through the analysis of relevant ancient literary and non-literary texts. Covering a wide variety of social and cultural concerns—ranging from marriage and family, war and warfare and religion to political culture, slavery and entertainment—the texts are arranged thematically within a general chronological framework to provide a broad overview of life in the Ancient World. The extensive readings capture the details of temples and priests, palaces and kings, daily life, the origin and spread of the polis system, warfare and the polis, the crisis of the archaic polis, husbands, wives, and slaves, the classical polis, the Hellenistic age, political culture of the Roman republic, war and warfare, society and culture in the republic, Roman revolution, the Roman peace, society and culture in the Roman Empire, daily life in the Roman Empire, and the transformation of the empire. For historians and others interested in the cultural and social aspects of the Ancient World.

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From the Back Cover:

With its rich collection of texts dealing with social and cultural history from Egypt, the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome, The Ancient World is the ideal complement to any textbook in Ancient History. The readings are organized thematically and each is provided with an informative introduction that aims to place the individual document in its proper historical context.

The new edition has been thoroughly revised and many new texts added. Among the new readings are selections from the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, Persian Royal Inscriptions, Hesiod's Works and Days, a Roman pamphlet on how to get elected, the recently discovered Vindolanda Tablets from a fort in Roman Britain, and documents relating to peasant life, marriage, abortion and sacred prostitution.

The Ancient World organizes its reading around the following themes:

  • Temples and Priests
  • Palace and Kings
  • Daily Life in Egypt and the Ancient Near East
  • The Origin and Spread of the Polis System
  • Warfare and the Polis
  • Husbands, Wives, and Slaves: The Domestic Foundations of the
  • Polis
  • Empire and Democracy: The Classical Polis
  • The Hellenistic Age
  • The Political Culture of the Roman Republic
  • War and Warfare in the Roman Republic
  • Society and Culture in the Roman Republic
  • The Roman Revolution
  • The Roman Peace
  • Society and Culture in the Roman Empire
  • Daily Life in the Roman Empire
  • The Transformed Empire

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Our aim in this reader is to provide students in ancient history and civilization courses with a selection of texts illustrating the social and cultural life of the peoples of Western Asia and the Mediterranean in antiquity.

At times we were overwhelmed by the richness of available material, but more often time and chance had already limited our selection to a handful of texts. In making choices we had the assistance of a large number of colleagues and friends, who helped us at various stages in the preparation of the textbook. Our thanks go to Steve Chrissanthos, John K. Evans, Kate Porteus, Lee Reams, Paul Rittman, Brigette Russell, Dave Smith, Joe Styles, and Carol Thomas, all of whom either contributed suggestions, read parts of the manuscript, or both. We are especially grateful to JoAnn Scurlock and Richard E. Averbeck for generously supplying us with their translations of Assyrian and Sumerian inscriptions. Our daughters, Eliza and Miriam, did a careful job of editing the text, for which we are grateful. Prentice Hall's reviewers made many helpful suggestions: Winthrop Lindsay Adams, University of Utah; Allen Horstman, Albion College; and P .C. Finney, University of Missouri.

Our reader is a joint, not parallel, product. Our interests dictated that Egypt and Greece should fall to Stanley Burstein, while D. Brendan Nagle was responsible for Mesopotamia, Israel, Rome, and the overall structure of the work. Unless otherwise noted, the translations are our own.

D. Brendan Nagle
Stanley M. Burstein

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