Ancient History, General
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Zenobia: between Reality and Legend
Zenobia
between Reality and Legend
Hardcover      ISBN: 1908531274

Yasmine Zahran first encountered Zenobia, the third-century Arab Syrian Palyrene queen who led the revolt against the Romans, in 1973 when she was working as a young archaeologist in the Levant. So began a lifetime's preoccupation with the woman who ruled over the Egypt she conquered and quashed all Roman rule in her wake.

Although she was eventually defeated by the Emperor Aurelian in AD 274, Zenobia's life is a story of remarkable drama and achievement. It ended in a tragic suicide--a fact that debunks the fallacy that she was paraded through Rome in golden chains for a triumphant Aurelian. In this book Yasmine Zarhan explores the blurred line between the woman and the myth, and brings her world and time vividly and thrillingly to life through first-person narrative.

Zenobia is a history told with the verve of a novel, and the informed hand of a writer and scholar at her peak.

This edition is introduced by Professor Sabry Hafez, Professor of Comparative Literature at Qatar University.

Democracy and Classical Greece: Revised Edition
Democracy and Classical Greece
Revised Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0674196074

The art of classical Greece, and its political and philosophical ideas, have had a profound influence on Western civilization. It was in the fifth and fourth centuries BC that this Greek culture--material, political and intellectual--reached its zenith. At the same time, the Greek states were at their most powerful and quarrelsome. J. K. Davies traces the flowering of this extraordinary society, drawing on a wealth of documentary material: houses and graves, extant sculpture and vases, as well as the writings of historians, orators, biographers, dramatists, and philosophers.

The Terracotta Warriors: The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army
The Terracotta Warriors
The Secret Codes of the Emperor's Army
Hardcover      ISBN: 159143033x

Explains esoteric secrets of the sacred solar science encoded in the massive army of terracotta warriors that guards the tomb of Chinese emperor Ch'in Shi Huangdi

- Decodes the farewell message of the first emperor of China concealed more than 2,000 years ago in the 8,000 terracotta warriors that guard his tomb

- Shows the spiritual principles of this sacred solar science and its remarkable insights into heaven, hell, and the immortality of the soul

- Latest book by the bestselling author of The Tutankhamun Prophecies and The Lost Tomb of Viracocha

When the first emperor of unified China, Ch'in Shi Huangdi, felt his death approaching, he decreed that he be entombed within a pyramid and that his tomb be protected by an immortal army of terracotta soldiers. In 1974 archaeologists discovered the first of more than 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors, each weighing half a ton, buried circa 220 B.C.E. near this emperor's pyramid tomb. Maurice Cotterell shows how Shi Huangdi--like the pharaoh Tutankhamun, the Mayan lord Pacal, and Viracocha in Peru--was a keeper of the sacred solar science of the ancients, a science that included a sophisticated understanding of the effect of the sun on earthly affairs, fertility rates, and personality. The keepers of this science taught that the soul was immortal and was destined to transform into star energy or be reborn on Earth, depending on an individual's spiritual progress in his or her lifetime. Using his unique understanding of how and why ancient civilizations encoded this extraordinary knowledge, Cotterell decodes the emperor's farewell message concealed in the terracotta warriors--a message that reveals the true purpose of life and the imperishable nature of the soul.
The Hellenistic World: Revised Edition
The Hellenistic World
Revised Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0674387260

The vast empire that Alexander the Great left at his death in 323 BC has few parallels. For the next three hundred years the Greeks controlled a complex of monarchies and city-states that stretched from the Adriatic Sea to India. F. W. Walbank's lucid and authoritative history of that Hellenistic world examines political events, describes the different social systems and mores of the people under Greek rule, traces important developments in literature and science, and discusses the new religious movements.

A City of Images: Iconography and Society in Ancient Greece
A City of Images
Iconography and Society in Ancient Greece
Hardcover      ISBN: 0691035911

This handsome and lavishly illustrated volume invites the reader to explore the exotic and distant world of Greek culture--not primarily the conventional literary idea of that culture but the range of experiences presented in its iconography. Between the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., Athenian artisans flooded the Mediterranean world with remarkable decorated vases depicting a large variety of images. Using the resources of social and religious anthropology, the authors exploit the richness of this material to re-create the intellectual and emotional milieu of the inhabitant of a Greek city-state.


Surprises multiply in this innovative work, translated into English for the first time. The Greeks incorporated the ambiguous and problematical aspects of human existence into their representational repertory, and many images are disconcerting in their brutality, their violence, and their strangeness. Paradoxically it is through pursuing this strangeness in its multiple contexts that we come the closest to ancient Greek civilization.


The book presents the great cultural themes of the time: the hunt, war, erotic love, and the festival. The earlier chapters lead to the discussion of the most disquieting figure in the Greek universe--Dionysus, god of sacred wine, magic masks, and animal metamorphoses. Many reproductions in the work are in private collections and have been rarely seen by the public.



AND SOCIETY IN INCIENT GREECE.

History of Private Life: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium
History of Private Life
From Pagan Rome to Byzantium
Hardcover      ISBN: 0674399757

First of the widely celebrated and sumptuously illustrated series, this book reveals in intimate detail what life was really like in the ancient world. Behind the vast panorama of the pagan Roman empire, the reader discovers the intimate daily lives of citizens and slaves--from concepts of manhood and sexuality to marriage and the family, the roles of women, chastity and contraception, techniques of childbirth, homosexuality, religion, the meaning of virtue, and the separation of private and public spaces. The emergence of Christianity in the West and the triumph of Christian morality with its emphasis on abstinence, celibacy, and austerity is startlingly contrasted with the profane and undisciplined private life of the Byzantine Empire. Using illuminating motifs, the authors weave a rich, colorful fabric ornamented with the results of new research and the broad interpretations that only masters of the subject can provide."

Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History
Noah's Flood
The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0684810522

For thousands of years, the legend of a great flood has endured in the biblical story of Noah and in such Middle Eastern myths as the epic of Gilgamesh. Few believed that such a catastrophic deluge had actually occurred. But now two distinguished geophysicists have discovered an event that changed history, a sensational flood 7,600 years ago in what is today the Black Sea.

Ancient clay tablets excavated from the ruins of biblical Nineveh more than a hundred years ago revealed a much older version of the same flood legend. Archaeologists searched the length and breadth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia for evidence of such a flood, to no avail. Then, as earth scientists made new discoveries about the history of rapid climate change, they learned that the Mediterranean had once been a desert and that five million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean burst through the Strait of Gibraltar and refilled the Mediterranean basin. William Ryan and Walter Pitman posed the scientific question "Could some more recent, similar catastrophe have been the source of Noah's Flood?"

The end of the Cold War enabled Ryan and Pitman to team up with oceanographers from Bulgaria and Russia, as well as Turkey, to explore the Black Sea. Using sound waves and coring devices to probe the sea floor, they discovered clear evidence that this inland body of water had once been a vast freshwater lake lying hundreds of feet below the level of the world's rising oceans. Sophisticated dating techniques confirmed that 7,600 years ago the mounting seas had burst through the narrow Bosporus valley, and the salt water of the Mediterranean had poured into the lake with unimaginable force, racing overbeaches and up rivers, destroying or chasing all life before it. The margins of the lake, which had been a unique oasis, a Garden of Eden for an advanced culture in a vast region of semidesert, became a sea of death. The people fled, never to return.

The authors explore the exciting archaeological, genetic, and linguistic evidence suggesting that the flood rapidly created a human diaspora that spread as far as Western Europe, Central Asia, China, Egypt, and the Persian Gulf. They suggest that the Black Sea People could well have been the mysterious proto-Sumerians, who developed the first great civilization in Mesopotamia, the source of our own.

Could the people who fled the Black Sea Flood and their descendants have preserved for thousands of years the stories that became the myths we know today? Ryan and Pitman show how illiterate storytellers in our own century still recited tales thousands of lines in length that had been transmitted down through the ages with remarkable fidelity. So, they argue, the mythology of the Great Flood is an oral narrative, preserving the memory of a traumatic event -- the great divide in human history.

"Noah's Flood" is solidly grounded in contemporary science. It is an astonishing story that sheds new light on our roots and gives fresh meaning to ancient myths.

Apostle Or Bones That Shine Like Fire: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve
Apostle Or Bones That Shine Like Fire
Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve
Hardcover      ISBN: 0375424660
A profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity that explores the mysterious and often paradoxical lives and legacies of the Twelve Apostles--a book both for those of the faith and for others who seek to understand Christianity from the outside in.

"Expertly researched and fascinating... Bissell is a wonderfully sure guide to these mysterious men.... This is a serious book about the origins of Christianity that is also very funny. How often can you say that?" --The Independent

Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren't), but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia.

Ultimately, Bissell finds that the story of the apostles is the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus's ministry, its countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world's largest religion, Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the supposed tombs of the Twelve Apostles. He travels from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan, vividly capturing the rich diversity of Christianity's worldwide reach. Along the way, he engages with a host of characters--priests, paupers, a Vatican archaeologist, a Palestinian taxi driver, a Russian monk--posing sharp questions that range from the religious to the philosophical to the political.

Written with warmth, empathy, and rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep, lifelong relationship with Christianity. The result is an unusual, erudite, and at times hilarious book--a religious, intellectual, and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.
Greece and the Hellenistic World
Greece and the Hellenistic World
Paperback      ISBN: 0192821652

From the epic poems of Homer to the glittering art and architecture of Greece's Golden Age to the influential Roman systems of law and leadership, the classical world has established the foundations of our culture, as well as many of its enduring achievements. Astonishingly in-depth in its coverage of the entire 1000-year history of the classical world and richly illustrated, The Oxford History of the Classical World offers the general reader the definitive companion to the Graeco-Roman world, its history, and its achievements.
The first volume, Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World, covers the period from the eighth to first centuries B.C., a period unparalleled in history for its brilliance in literature, philosophy, and the visual arts. It also treats the Hellenization of the Middle East by the monarchies established in the area conquered by Alexander the Great.
The second volume, Classical Rome, covers early Rome and Italy, the expansion of the Roman republic, the foundation of the Roman Empire by Augustus, its consolidation in the first two centuries A.D., and the later Empire and its influence on Western civilization.
The editors--three eminent classicists, John Boardman, Jasper Griffin, and Oswyn Murray--intersperse chapters on political and social history with chapters on literature, philosophy, and the arts, and reinforce the historical framework with maps and chronological charts. The two volumes also contain bibliographies and a full index, as well as color plates, black and white illustrations, and maps integrated into the text.
The contributors--thirty of the world's leading scholars--present the latest in modern scholarship through masterpieces of wit, brevity, and style. While concentrating on the aspects essential to understanding each period, they also focus on those elements of the classical world that remain of lasting importance and interest to readers today. Together, these volumes provide both a provocative and entertaining window into our past.

The Triumph of the Sea Gods: The War Against the Goddess Hidden in Homer's Tales
The Triumph of the Sea Gods
The War Against the Goddess Hidden in Homer's Tales
Paperback      ISBN: 159477143x

An investigation of the geographical incongruities in Homer's epics locates Troy on the coast of Iberia, in a conflict that changed history

- Cites the rise in sea level in 1200 B.C. as leading to the invasion and victory of the Atlantean sea people over the goddess-worshipping Trojans who ruled the coasts

- Identifies Troia (Troy) as part of a tri-city area that later became Lisbon, Portugal

In The Triumph of the Sea Gods, Steven Sora argues compellingly that Homer's tales do not describe adventures in the Mediterranean, but are adaptations of Celtic myths that chronicle an Atlantic coastal war that took place off the Iberian Peninsula around 1200 B.C. It was a war between the pro-goddess Celtic culture that presided over what is now Portugal and the patriarchal culture of the sea-faring Atlanteans. The invasion of the Atlantean sea peoples brought destruction to the entire region stretching from Western Europe's Atlantic border to Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. This was a turning point not only politically but also spiritually. The goddess became demonized, as seen in myths such as Pandora's Box in which woman was seen as the source of evil, not the origin of life, and Homer's tale of the epic Greek and Trojan war, which was triggered by the abduction of a woman.

The actual historical struggle described in Homer's stories, Sora explains, occurred during what was the last in a series of rises in sea level that inundated various land masses (Atlantis) and permitted sea passage to areas previously accessible only by land. The "Sea Gods" (Atlanteans) attacked the tri-city region of Troia (Troy), near present-day Lisbon, which, shortly thereafter, fell victim to a devastating series of seaquakes and tsunamis. The war and the subsequent destructive weather broke the power of this seaboard civilization, leading to a wholesale invasion by the sea peoples and the rapid decline of the region's goddess-worshipping culture that had reigned there since Neolithic times. Sora shows how Homer's tales allow the modern world to glimpse this ancient conflict, which has been obscured for centuries.