The internationally renowned Assyriologist and linguist I. M. Diakonoff has gathered the work of Soviet historians in this survey of the earliest history of the ancient Near East, Central Asia, India, and China. Diakonoff and his colleagues, nearly all working within the general Marxist historiographic tradition, offer a comprehensive, accessible synthesis of historical knowledge from the beginnings of agriculture through the advent of the Iron Age and the Greek colonization in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea areas. Besides discussing features of Soviet historical scholarship of the ancient world, the essays treat the history of early Mesopotamia and the course of Pharaonic Egyptian civilization and developments in ancient India and China from the Bronze Age into the first millennium B.C. Additional chapters are concerned with the early history of Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, the Hittite civilization, the Creto-Mycenaean world, Homeric Greece, and the Phoenician and Greek colonization. This volume offers a unified perspective on early antiquity, focusing on the economic and social relations of production.
Of immense value to specialists, the book will also appeal to general readers. I. M. Diakonoff is a senior research scholar of ancient history at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Leningrad Academy of Sciences. Philip L. Kohl is professor of anthropology at Wellesley College.show more