History of the Ancient Near East

History of the Ancient Near East : c.3000-323 BC

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This book presents a clear, concise history of the extraordinarily multicultural civilizations of the ancient Near East. Beginning with the emergence of writing around 3000 bc, the narrative ranges from the origins of the first cities in Mesopotamia, through the growth of the Babylonian and Hittite kingdoms, to the Assyrian and Persian empires. It ends with the transformation of the ancient Near East by the conquests of Alexander the Great. Incorporating the most recent discoveries and scholarship, the book provides both an account of political and military events and a survey of the cultures and societies of the ancient Near East. The straightforward, accessible text is accompanied by plentiful maps and illustrations, and contains a selection of Near Eastern texts in translation. Each chapter includes a key research question or text, such as the use of the Bible as a historical source, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Assyrian royal annals. It is essential reading for anyone interested in this crucial period in world history.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 172.7 x 245.9 x 25.4mm | 603.29g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 17
  • 0631225528
  • 9780631225522
  • 1,986,681

Review quote

"This extremely readable account will provide an historical and political framework for the student and the general reader who wish to get to grips with this vast and significant area of human history. Assuming no prior knowledge of the region, it moves swiftly to a detailed engagement with the material. Its two special strengths are the strong forward thrust of the historical narrative, and the emphasis on the range of sources available for the reconstruction of that narrative." Jeremy Black, University of Oxford "This text deserves a place on the shelves of ancient historians and archaeologists, and it will certainly have pride of place in reading lists for courses in Mesopotamian history." Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan "An excellent introduction for general readers and students at all levels. Highly recommended." R.P. Wright, New York University "Marc Van De Mieroop's introduction to the history of Iraq and the Asiatic Near East is suited to first-year undergraduates in ancient history, the archaeology of Western Asia and ancient Near Eastern studies generally, and to all others who need an up-to-date summary of what happened before the Greeks." Times Higher Education Supplement "At a time when authors have created sweeping positivist histories and dubious claims built on questionable connections ... the book demonstrates the potential for responsible and critical historical analysis. Van De Mieroop's aim, of 'inviting [readers] to explore further', is more than amply met by this book." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research "The treatment of the subject is based on sound philological competence, an up-to-date knowledge of sources and of related debates, in the framework of a very advanced historiographic approach... I do not know of any other handbook of similar size that can compete with Van de Mieroop's book in philological competence, in historiographic method, and in expository clearness." Mario Liverani, in Orientalia "As a textbook on Mesopotamian history, particularly the period from c.3000 BC to 612 BC, this book has no English-language equivalent ... This should be standard reading, therefore, for all students and scholars in the field." Bryn Mawr Classical Reviewshow more

About Prof Marc Van De Mieroop

Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor in the Departments of History and Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University, New York. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Ancient Mesopotamian City (1997) and Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History (1999).show more

Table of contents

List of Illustrations. List of Charts. List of Maps. List of Boxes. List of Documents. Acknowledgements. Author's Notes. Preface. 1. Introductory Concerns: What is the Ancient Near East? The Sources. Geography. Prehistoric Developments. Part I: City-States: 2. Origins: The Uruk Phenomenon. The Origins of Cities. The Development of Writing and Administration. The 'Uruk Expansion'. Uruk's Aftermath. 3. Competing City-States: the Early Dynastic Period. The Written Sources and Their Historical Uses. Political Developments in South Mesopotamia. The Wider Near East. Early Dynastic Society. Scribal Culture. 4. Political Centralization in the Late Third Millennium. The kings of Akkad. The Third Dynasty of Ur. 5. The Near East in the Early Second Millennium. Nomads and Sedentary People. Babylonia. Assyria and the East. Mari and the West. 6. The Growth of Territorial States in the Early Second Millennium. Shamshi-Adad and the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia. Hammurabi's Babylon. The Old Hittite Kingdom. The 'Dark Ages'. Part II: Territorial States: 7. The Club of the Great Powers. The Political System. Political Interactions: Diplomacy and Trade. Regional Competition: Warfare. Shared Ideologies and Social Organizations. 8. The Western States of the Late Second Millennium. Mittani. The Hittite New Kingdom. Syria-Palestine. 9. Kassites, Assyrians, and Elamites. Babylonia. Assyria. The Middle Elamite Kingdom. 10. The Collapse of the Regional System and its Aftermath. The Events. Interpretation. The Aftermath. Part III: Empires: 11. The Near East at the Start of the First Millennium. The Eastern States. The West. 12. The Rise of Assyria. Patterns of Assyrian Imperialism. The Historical Record. Ninth Century Expansion. Internal Assyrian Decline. 13. Assyria's World Domination. The Creation of an Imperial Structure. The Defeat of the Great Rivals. The Administration and Ideology of the Empire. Assyrian Culture. Assyria's Fall. 14. The Medes and the Babylonians. The Medes and the Anatolian States. The Neo-Babylonian Dynasty. 15. The Persian Empire. The Rise of Persia and its Expansion. Political Developments. Organization of the Empire. Alexander of Macedon. King Lists. Guide to Further Reading. Index.show more