The Ancient World: A Guide to History's Great Civilizations from Mesopotamia to the Incas

The Ancient World: A Guide to History's Great Civilizations from Mesopotamia to the Incas


By (author) John Haywood

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  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 216mm x 278mm x 24mm | 1,139g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1849164894
  • ISBN 13: 9781849164894
  • Illustrations note: 150 images
  • Sales rank: 465,758

Product description

The great civilizations of the distant past never cease to impress us with their spectacular achievements. Ideas, writings, and works of art speak to us across tracts of time with an amazing freshness of imagination and workmanship. This book presents a vivid, multi-faceted portrait of these achievements, set within their historical context and embracing a global coverage, which includes ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, China and Pre-Columbian America. The Ancient World is the most accessible guide yet produced to the spiritual, cultural, technological, and artistic innovation that was a hallmark of these complex and fascinating societies. Organized chronologically, the text places special emphasis on the evidence still remaining. Detailed coverage is given to symbols, sacred texts, religious ceremonies, gods and goddesses, visions of the cosmos, and sacred sites - from the temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings to the sweeping majesty of the Great Wall of China. Sample entries include: Sumer and Akkad - the first civilizations along the Indus Valley of Mesopotamia; Egypt - from the pre-dynastic 'Scorpion King' to the Old Kingdom Pyramid Age to the glories of the New Kingdom; Minoan/Mycenean civilization - the first city states; the legend of Atlantis; Roman Republic - rise of Rome; wars with Carthage; golden age of the Republic; Parthian Empire - the Hellenistic counterweight to Roman expansion in the East; Qin Dynasty - unification of China and beginning of Imperial China; Mahajanapadas - the 'Great Kingdoms' of India; Inca Empire, Machu Picchu, El Dorado.

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Author information

Dr John Haywood is a Cambridge-educated expert on the history of Dark Age Europe. His authorial credits include The Cassell Atlas of World History, The Penguin Atlas of the Vikings and The Great Migrations (Quercus, 2008).

Table of contents

Map of Empires. Introduction. Sumer, 3500-2004 BC. Ancient Egypt, 3100-1070 BC. Ancient India, 2600-185 BC. Minoans and Mycenaeans, 2000-1200 BC. Ancient China, 1766-208 BC. Persian Empire, 700-329 BC. Classical Greece, 800-338 BC. Roman Republic, 509-27 BC. The Maya, 600 BC-AD 1697. The Inca, AD 1000-1533. Index. Acknowledgements.