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See below for a selection of the latest books from Ancient history: to c 500 CE category. Presented with a red border are the Ancient history: to c 500 CE books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Ancient history: to c 500 CE books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Who were the ancient Phoenicians-and did they actually exist? The Phoenicians traveled the Mediterranean long before the Greeks and Romans, trading, establishing settlements, and refining the art of navigation. But who these legendary sailors really were has long remained a mystery. In Search of the Phoenicians makes the startling claim that the Phoenicians never actually existed as such. Taking readers from the ancient world to today, this book argues that the notion of these sailors as a coherent people with a shared identity, history, and culture is a product of modern nationalist ideologies-and a notion very much at odds with the ancient sources.
Bloodline: Celtic Kings in Roman Britain is Miles Russell's latest publication. This detailed and comprehensive book offers fresh research and analysis of the British provincial kings during the Roman occupation. The author's extensive knowledge and expertise in this field provides a high level of academic authority. Building on the discoveries made in Roman Sussex, this book develops the theme that southern Britain was not so much conquered by Rome, as liberated. Looking at new archaeological evidence, new readings of the primary historical sources and a new examination of the writings of 'British' sources (such as Geoffrey of Monmouth), Bloodline: Celtic Kings in Roman Britain provides a wholly alternative theory as to the creation of Roman Britain, its treaties, invasion and assimilation into empire, and the role of friendly client kings from the time of Julius Caesar (55-54 BC) to the reign of the emperor Hadrian
Greek culture matters because its unique pluralistic debate shaped modern discourses. This ground-breaking book explains this feature by retelling the history of ancient literary culture through the lenses of canon, space and scale. It proceeds from the invention of the performative author in the archaic symposium through the polis of letters enabled by Athenian democracy and into the Hellenistic era, where one's space mattered and culture became bifurcated between Athens and Alexandria. This duality was reconfigured into an eclectic variety consumed by Roman patrons and predicated on scale, with about a thousand authors active at any given moment. As patronage dried up in the third century CE, scale collapsed and literary culture was reduced to the teaching of a narrower field of authors, paving the way for the Middle Ages. The result is a new history of ancient culture which is sociological, quantitative, and all-encompassing, cutting through eras and genres.
Since 2006 investigations have been carried out in the Quesna necropolis by the team of the EES Minufiyeh Archaeological Survey. The publication Quesna I concerns the first element of work that has now been completed, the investigations in the Ptolemaic-Roman cemetery (2007-2013). It opens with a description of the whole site, including brief detail on all areas of investigation carried out and still ongoing, before proceeding to the main catalogue which includes information on each of the burials that has been excavated and analysed.
The New Politics of Olympos explores the dynamics of praise, power, and persuasion in Kallimachos' hymns, detailing how they simultaneously substantiate and interrogate the radically new phenomenon of Hellenistic kingship taking shape during Kallimachos' lifetime. Long before the Ptolemies invested vast treasure in establishing Alexandria as the center of Hellenic culture and learning, tyrants such as Peisistratos and Hieron recognized the value of poetry in advancing their political agendas. Plato, too, saw the vast power inherent in poetry, and famously advocated either censoring it (Republic) or harnessing it (Laws) for the good of the political community. As Xenophon notes in his Hieron and Pindar demonstrates in his politically charged epinikian hymns, wielding poetry's power entails a complex negotiation between the poet, the audience, and political leaders. Kallimachos' poetic medium for engaging in this dynamic, the hymn, had for centuries served as an unparalleled vehicle for negotiating with the super-powerful. The New Politics of Olympos offers the first in-depth analysis of Kallimachos' only fully extant poetry book, the Hymns, by examining its contemporary political setting, engagement with a tradition of political thought stretching back to Homer, and portrayal of the poet as an image-maker for the king. In addition to investigating the political dynamics in the individual hymns, this book details how the poet's six hymns, once juxtaposed within a single bookroll, constitute a macro-narrative on the prerogatives of Ptolemaic kingship. Throughout the collection Kallimachos refigures the infamously factious divine family as a paradigm of stability and good governance in concert with the self-fashioning of the Ptolemaic dynasty. At the same time, the poet defines the characteristics and behaviors worthy of praise, effectively shaping contemporary political ethics. Thus, for a Ptolemaic reader, this poetry book may have served as an education in and inducement to good kingship.
Roman Egypt is a critical area of interdisciplinary research, which has steadily expanded since the 1970s and continues to grow. Egypt played a pivotal role in the Roman empire, not only in terms of political, economic, and military strategies, but also as part of an intricate cultural discourse involving themes that resonate today - east and west, old world and new, acculturation and shifting identities, patterns of language use and religious belief, and the management of agriculture and trade. Roman Egypt was a literal and figurative crossroads shaped by the movement of people, goods, and ideas, and framed by permeable boundaries of self and space. This handbook is unique in drawing together many different strands of research on Roman Egypt, in order to suggest both the state of knowledge in the field and the possibilities for collaborative, synthetic, and interpretive research. Arranged in seven thematic sections, each of which includes essays from a variety of disciplinary vantage points and multiple sources of information, it offers new perspectives from both established and younger scholars, featuring individual essay topics, themes, and intellectual juxtapositions.
Why does the discourse of immorality and corruption form such a ubiquitous presence in the written sources of the fourth century Roman Empire? Most modern scholars have viewed such language either as a direct description of the workings of a central government rapidly expanding in size and scope; or else as a reflection of the anxieties of traditional elites over their loss of influence in an increasingly bureaucratic society. Tim W Watson argues, by contrast, that such rhetoric served as an important means of integration, assimilation and social control in an era of unprecedented social mobility. Examining the writings from the period of four figures with diverse religious backgrounds - Quintus Aurelius Symmachus; Libanius; Gregory of Nazianzus; and Ambrose of Milan - the author shows how their emphasis on virtuous conduct over criteria such as wealth and birth created a space for 'new men' in the hierarchies of church and state: but on their terms. It was this focus on virtue and vice that helped established discourses adapt to the fluid worlds of Western Christendom and the Byzantine Empire.
Cleopatra is one of the greatest romantic figures in history, the queen of Egypt whose beauty and allure is legendary. We think we know her story, but our image of her is largely gleaned from the film starring Elizabeth Taylor or from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Shakespeare himself was inspired by Plutarch, who was only sixteen years old when Cleopatra died. So her story was never based purely on fact. In the middle of the first century BC, Cleopatra caught the attention of Rome by captivating the two most powerful Romans of the day, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. She outlived both and attempted to suborn a third, her mortal enemy, Octavius Caesar, the first of the Roman Emperors. Having failed to do so she destroyed herself. We can tell that Cleopatra was highly intelligent and politically astute and that she wielded great power. But Roman histories heaped opprobrium upon her. Cleopatra's detractors claimed that she used her feminine wiles to entrap Caesar and Antony. She came to symbolise the danger of female influence to the safety of Rome - and indeed to the male-dominated world. Plutarch observed that Cleopatra's actual beauty was apparently not in itself so remarkable. It was the impact of her presence that was irresistible. Cleopatra: Fact and Fiction sheds fascinating light on the woman behind the image. The fact that Cleopatra's legend still burns bright today is proof of Shakespeare's description of her as a lady of infinite variety whom custom cannot stale.