Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
This book presents the first biography written in English of the famous Babylonian lawgiver, King Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792 to 1750 BC. It presents a well-rounded view of this ancient Mesopotamian king's accomplishments, by drawing on the extensive writings of his time, including those by Hammurabi himself. Numerous letters and reports by ambassadors to his court and others are presented in translation. In this book the author traces Hammurabi's career as a diplomat and conqueror, describing how he dealt with powerful rivals and extended his kingdom to create the large state of Babylon. He explores the administration of the kingdom and looks at the legacies of Hammurabi's rule, especially his legal code, the earliest complete body of legal instructions in world history. The book demonstrates how Hammurabi's conquests irrevocably changed the political organization of the Middle East and show that Hammurabi was long remembered by the ancient Mesopotamians as one of the greatest kings of the past.
Richardson supplies a new translation and transcription (which incorporates the most important manuscript variants) of the most famous of all ancient Mesopotamian texts. He also provides a complete lexical analysis of every word that is used in it. The edition covers the prologue and epilogue as well as the laws themselves. Students of the Bible, ancient Near Eastern law, and general Semitics are now provided with an indispensable reference tool in a convenient form. The detailed information in the glossary, where the full context of every quotation is given, will also be a tremendous help to those who want to learn or revisit Akkadian.
Ancient Mesopotamia, the fertile crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now western Iraq and eastern Syria, is considered to be the cradle of civilization home of the Babylonian and Assyrian empires, as well as the great Code of Hammurabi. The Code was only part of rich juridical culture from 2200 1600 BCE that saw the invention of writing and the development of its relationship to law, among other remarkable firsts. Though ancient history offers inexhaustible riches, Dominique Charpin focuses here on the legal systems of Old Babylonian Mesopotamia and offers considerable insight into how writing and the law evolved together to forge the principles of authority, precedent, and documentation that dominate us to this day. As legal codes throughout the region evolved through advances in cuneiform writing, kings and governments were able to stabilize their control over distant realms and impose a common language which gave rise to complex social systems overseen by magistrates, judges, and scribes that eventually became the vast empires of history books.
Gwendolyn Leick's approachable survey introduces the Babylonians, the people, the culture, and the reality behind the popular myth of Babylon. Spanning some 1800 years in the history of the Babylonians, from the time of Hammurabi, famous for his Law-Code, to the time when Alexander's heirs ruled the Near East, Leick examines how archaeological discoveries and cuneiform tablets recovered from Babylonian cities allow us an impression of the Babylonian people and their society, their intellectual and spiritual preoccupations. Exploring the lives of kings and merchants, women and slaves, and the social, historical, geographical, and cultural context in which their extraordinary civilization flourished for so many centuries, The Babylonians has provided scholars and students with a dazzling new insight into this fascinating world.
This engaging and informative introduction to the Babylonians were important not only because of their many historical contacts with ancient Israel but because they and their predecessors, the Sumerians, established the philosophical and social infrastructure for most of Western Asia for nearly two millennia. Beginning and advanced students as well as biblical scholars and interested non-specialists will read this introduction to the history and culture of the Babylonians with interest and profit.
New translations of fifty transliterated texts for research and classroom use This collection of sixth-century B.C.E. Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, often dramatic, view of ancient courtroom encounters shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life. In addition to the legal texts, Holtz provides an introduction to Neo-Babylonian social history, archival records, and legal materials. This is an essential resource for scholars interested in the history of law. Features Fifty new English translations Transliterations for use in advanced Akkadian courses Background essays perfect for courses dealing with ancient Near Eastern history and law Explanatory essays preceding each text and its translation
Counters the emphasis in traditional scholarship on the rule of godly and despotic male leaders and challenges the conventional view that early states were uniformly constituted bureaucratic and regional entities. Instead, by illuminating the role of slaves and soldiers, priests and priestesses, peasants and prostitutes, merchants and craftsmen, Yoffee depicts an evolutionary process centered on the concerns of everyday life. Drawing on evidence from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Mesoamerica, the author explores the variety of trajectories followed by ancient states, from birth to collapse, and explores the social processes that shape any account of the human past.
Transforming Literature into Scripture examines how the early textual traditions of ancient Israel - stories, laws, and rituals - were transformed into sacred writings. By comparing evidence from two key collections from antiquity - the royal library at Nineveh and the biblical manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls - the book traces the stabilization of textual traditions in the ancient Near East towards fixed literary prototypes.
Key documents from all-important world cultures are included, from the ancient Near East and ancient Egypt to the Greek and Roman Empires, medieval Islam, Renaissance Europe, and modern Africa and Asia. Constitutions, speeches, letters, acts, treaties, and legal cases are all covered. Among the documents included in the set are iconic legal and constitutional documents such as the Code of Hammurabi,
Intended for readers seeking insight into the day-to-day life of some of the world's most ancient peoples, Life and Thought in the Ancient Near East presents brief, fascinating explorations of key aspects of the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Iran. With vignettes on agriculture, architecture, crafts, and industries, literature, religion, topography, and history, Orlin has created something refreshingly unique: a modern guidebook to an ancient world. The book also reaches out to students of the Ancient Near Eastern World with essays on decipherments, comparative cultural developments between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and language and literature. In addition to general readers, the book will be useful in the classroom as a text supplementing a more conventional introduction to Near Eastern Studies. 'Well-written and accessible, Life and Thought in the Ancient Near East deftly connects the past with present experience by drawing out the differences between, for instance, modern churches and ancient temples, and frequently employing biblical references.
Mesopotamian religion was one of the earliest religious systems to develop with—and in turn influence—a high civilization. Followed by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, Mesopotamian religion and mythology reflected the complexities of these societies and has been preserved in remnants of their cultural, economic, and political institutions. This absorbing volume provides a glimpse of the cradle of civilization by examining Mesopotamian religious and mythological beliefs as well as some of the many gods and goddesses at the core of their stories and also looks at epics—such as that of Gilgamesh—and other aspects of Mesopotamian life.
A major contribution towards the different perspectives and issues central to understanding ancient India This book engages with some of the most important issues, debates, and methodologies in the writing of ancient Indian history. Thematically structured, the first section discusses religious and regional processes through a meticulous analysis of inscriptions and material remains. The second—based extensively on archival sources—connect ancient and modern India through a discussion of the beginnings of Indian archaeology and the discovery, interpretation, and reinvention of ancient sites in colonial and post-colonial times. The third underlines the importance of reconstructing the intellectual landscape of ancient India through a sensitive, yet, critical historicization of political ideas in texts and inscriptions. The final section makes a strong case for situating ancient India within a broader, Asian, frame.
In What the Buddha Thought, Richard Gombrich argues that the Buddha was one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of all time. Intended to serve as an introduction to the Buddha's thought, and hence even to Buddhism itself, the book also has larger aims: it argues that we can know far more about the Buddha than it is fashionable among scholars to admit and that his thought has a greater coherence than is usually recognized. It contains a lot of new material. Interpreters both ancient and modern have taken little account of the historical context of the Buddha's teachings; but by relating them to early brahminical texts, and also to ancient Jainism, Gombrich gives a much richer picture of the Buddha's meaning, especially when his satire and irony are appreciated. Incidentally, since many of the Buddha's allusions can only be traced in the Pali versions of surviving texts, the book establishes the importance of the Pali Canon as evidence. The book contains a lot of new material. The author stresses the Buddha's capacity for abstraction: though he made extensive use of metaphor, he did not found his arguments upon it, as earlier thinkers had done. He ethicized and radically reinterpreted older ideas of karma (human action) and rebirth. Similarly, building on older texts, he argued for the fundamental importance of love and compassion and analyzed fire as a process that could stand as a model for every component of conscious experience. Morally, the Buddha's theory of karma provided a principle of individuation and asserted each individual's responsibility for his own destiny.
For 1,400 years, two colossal Buddhas overlooked the Bamiyan Valley on the Silk Road in Afghanistan. The Buddhas embodied the intersection of East and West, and their destruction by the Taliban in 2001 provoked international outrage. Morgan excavates the layers of meaning these vanished wonders hold for a fractured Afghanistan.
Since its founding by Jacques Waardenburg in 1971, Religion and Reason has been a leading forum for contributions on theories, theoretical issues, and agendas related to the phenomenon and the study of religion. Topics include (among others) category formation, comparison, ethnophilosophy, hermeneutics, methodology, myth, phenomenology, philosophy of science, scientific atheism, structuralism, and theories of religion. From time to time the series publishes volumes that map the state of the art and the history of the discipline.
In this provocative and scholarly book, Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd propounds a view of Gautama Buddha as India's first social revolutionary. Buddha did his best to give the principles of tribal democracy and egalitarianism a sanctuary in his own sangha. In so doing, he foreshadowed modern India's experiment with parliamentary democracy. Critical of the caste system, Buddha inducted low caste members into the sangha and made them his trusted advisers. He gave women an honored place in the sangha. Dissent was indeed permitted, and even Buddha was not above the law. Pre-dating Socrates and Plato by some years, Buddha also foreshadowed key elements of their philosophy.
In this slim, enlightening volume, internationally recognized Buddhist teacher Martine Batchelor presents the basic tenets and teachings of the Buddha through a selection of essential texts from the Pali canon, the earliest Buddhist scriptures. Viewed by scholars as to the actual substance of the historical teachings (and possibly even the words) of the Buddha, these texts are essential to an understanding of the Buddhist faith, and Batchelor illuminates them with her lucid analysis and interpretations. Both accessible to nonpractitioners and helpful to scholars, The Spirit of the Buddha touches upon key themes, including dharma, compassion, meditation, and peace, among others, creating a panoramic view of one of the world's most widely practiced faiths that are deeply rooted in its most vital texts.
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Includes information on Amenhotep II. The life story and times of Amenhotep III, the richest, most powerful ruler in the world 4300 years ago, and one of the most artistically productive in the history of the world. This book plucks Amenhotep III, who ruled for 38 years and called himself "dazzling" from the shadows of his son, Akhenaten, and grandson Tutankhamen, and follows his life from conception to Afterlife. The prince's multi-faceted education and possible early career are outlined. As king, his many wives, especially the great queen Tiy, and international relations, including trade-in West Asian princesses, gold, and horses, are documented. Royal and courtly lifestyles, including palaces, villas, furnishings, and fashions, are described, as well as major monuments, military activity, and weaponry. A historical and geographic introduction sets the stage.
Taking key events from the Achaemenid Persian, Athenian, Macedonian, and Roman ‘empires’, the 17 essays collected here analyze the way events and the accounts of those events interact. Subjects include: how Greek historians assign nearly divine honors to the Persian King; the role of the tomb cult of Cyrus the Founder in historical narratives of conquest and empire from Herodotus to the Alexander historians; warfare and financial innovation in the age of Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great; the murders of Philip II, his last and seventh wife Kleopatra, and her guardian, Attalos; Alexander the Great’s combat use of eagle symbolism and divination; Plutarch’s juxtaposition of character in the Alexander-Caesar pairing as a commentary on political legitimacy and military prowess, and Roman Imperial historians using historical examples of the good and bad rule to make meaningful challenges to current Roman authority.
Darius III ruled over the Persian Empire and was the most powerful king of his time, yet he remains obscure. In the first book devoted to the historical memory of Darius III, Pierre Briant describes a man depicted in ancient sources as a decadent Oriental who lacked Western masculine virtues and was in every way the opposite of Alexander the Great.
The Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 BCE) was a vast and complex sociopolitical structure that encompassed much of modern-day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and included two dozen distinct peoples who spoke different languages, worshipped different deities, lived in different environments and had widely differing social customs. This book offers a radical new approach to understanding the Achaemenid Persian Empire and imperialism more generally.
For 200 years, from the second half of the sixth century to the decades before 330 BC, the Persian dynasty of the Achaemenids ruled an enormous empire stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to Afghanistan and India. The Great Kings Darius I and Xerxes I even tried to conquer Greece and the northern Black Sea territories. Although they failed, parts of Thrace did become part of their dominion for a short period. The question always rises as to why the Great Kings were interested in the western and northern Pontic zones. In contrast to some of the other satrapies, such as Egypt, Phoenicia and Syria, the Black Sea had no prosperous cities or provinces to offer. One possible answer might be the desire to conquer every part of the known world. After 479 BC, it seems that the Great Kings acknowledged the fact that the coast and the Caucasus formed the natural borders of their Empire. The satraps, on the other hand, could not avoid becoming involved in the affairs of the Black Sea region in order to safeguard the frontiers they had established. They had to incorporate the Greeks, as accepted inhabitants of their province, into the Persian administrative system. Possibly they achieved this by granting them the monopoly in sea trade and using the Anatolian Greeks as the main active bearers and transmitters of Persian customs and culture.
How did the Greek view of Persia and Persians change so radically in the archaic and classical Greek sources that they turned from noble warriors into peacock-loving cross-dressers with murderous mothers? This book looks at the development of a range of responses to the Achaemenids and their Empire. Through a study of ancient texts and material evidence from the archaic and classical periods, Janett Morgan investigates the historical, political, and social factors that inspired and manipulated different identities for Persia and the Persians within Greece.
Rolf Strootman brings together various aspects of court culture in the Macedonian empires of the post-Achaemenid Near East. During the Hellenistic Period (c. 330-30 BCE), Alexander the Great and his successors reshaped their Persian and Greco-Macedonian legacies to create a new kind of rulership that was neither ‘western nor ‘eastern and would profoundly influence the later development of court culture and monarchy in both the Roman West and Iranian East. Drawing on the socio-political models of Norbert Elias and Charles Tilly, After the Achaemenids shows how the Hellenistic dynastic courts were instrumental in the integration of local elites in the empires, and the (re)distribution of power, wealth, and status. It analyses the competition among courtiers for royal favor and the, not always successful, attempts of the Hellenistic rulers to use these struggles to their own advantage. It demonstrates the interrelationships of the three competing ‘Hellenistic' empires of the Seleucids, Antigonids, and Ptolemies casts new light on the phenomenon of Hellenistic Kingship by approaching it from the angle of the court and covers topics such as palace architecture, royal women, court ceremonial, and coronation ritual.
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this classic work is based largely on the edicts of Asoka, whose policies are analyzed against the background of Mauryan civilization during the third and fourth centuries B.C. The present edition has been thoroughly revised with a new afterword and archaeological site map. From publisher's description.
In the third century BCE Ashoka ruled in South Asia and Afghanistan, and came to be seen as the ideal Buddhist king. Disentangling the threads of Ashoka's life from the knot of legend that surrounds it, Nayanjot Lahiri presents a vivid biography of an emperor whose legacy extends far beyond the bounds of his lifetime and dominion.
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Ashoka the Great as he was later known-- holds a special place in the history of India. Through his third century BCE quest to govern the Indian subcontinent by moral force alone, Ashoka transformed Buddhism from a minor sect into a major world religion. His bold experiment ended in tragedy, and in the tumult that followed the historical record was cleansed so effectively that his name was largely forgotten for almost two thousand years. Yet, a few mysterious stone monuments and inscriptions miraculously survived the purge. In Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor, historian Charles Allen tells the incredible story of how a few enterprising archaeologists deciphered the mysterious lettering on keystones and recovered India's ancient past. Drawing from rich sources, Allen crafts a clearer picture of this enigmatic figure than ever before.
An English translation of the Ashokavadana text, the Sanskrit version of the legend of King Asoka, first written in the second century A.D. Emperor of India during the third century B.C. and one of the most important rulers in the history of Buddhism, Asoka has hitherto been studied in the West primarily from his edicts and rock inscriptions in many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Through an extensive critical essay and a fluid translation, John Strong examines the importance of the Asoka of the legends for our overall understanding of Buddhism. Originally published in 1984.
This volume provides a new analysis of the Greek traditions with regard to Xerxes' expedition, offering novel views on the naval factors influencing Persian policies, on Persian naval strength, on the operations culminating in the battle of Salamis, and on the battle itself.
Xerxes, Great King of the Persian Empire from 486–465 B.C., has gone down in history as an angry tyrant full of insane ambition. The stand of Leonidas and the 300 against his army at Thermopylae is a byword for courage, while the failure of Xerxes' expedition has overshadowed all the other achievements of his twenty-two-year reign.
Explores Achaemenid kingship and argues for the centrality of the royal court in elite Persian society The first Persian Empire (559-331 BCE) was the biggest land empire the world had seen, and seated at the heart of its vast dominions, in the south of modern-day Iran, was the person of the Great King. Hidden behind the walls of his vast palace, and surrounded by the complex rituals of court ceremonial, the Persian monarch was undisputed master of his realm, a god-like figure of awe, majesty, and mystery.Yet the court of the Great King was no simple platform for meaningless theatrical display; at court, presentation mattered: nobles vied for position and prestige, and the royal family attempted to keep a tight grip on dynastic power - in spite of succession struggles, murders, and usurpations, for the court was also the centre of political decision-making and the source of cultural expression. Key features: Draws on rich Iranian and Classical sources Examines key issues such as royal ideology, court structure, ceremony and ritual, royal migrations, gender, hierarchy, architecture and space and cultural achievements Accesses the rarefied but dangerous world of Persian palace life Includes guides to further reading and web resources to encourage research
The academy has not been kind to Malachi. Indeed, some of the most influential and seminal studies on the book denigrate its style, message, and overall artistry. This negative assessment proves extensive in the history of scholarship. Furthermore, the studies demonstrating a more positive assessment of Malachi do so without offering serious challenges to these long-standing denigrations. Complicating the matter is the observation that critical study has proffered numerous suggestions for what Malachi contains while failing to provide a viable model of what Malachi actually is. A Message from the Great King presents serious challenges to the guild's prior assessments and conclusions about the book.
Darius I, King of Persia, claims to have accomplished many deeds in the early years of his reign, but was one of them the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem? The editor who added the date to the books of Haggai and Zechariah thought so and the author of Ezra 1-6 then relied on his dates when writing his account of the rebuilding process. The genealogical information contained in the book of Nehemiah, however, suggests otherwise; it indicates that Zerubbabel and Nehemiah were either contemporaries, or a generation apart in age, not some 65 years apart. Thus, either Zerubbabel and the temple rebuilding needs to be moved to the reign of Artaxerxes I, or Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the city walls need to be moved to the reign of Darius I. In this groundbreaking volume, the argument is made that the temple was built during the reign of Artaxerxes I. The editor of Haggai and Zechariah mistakenly set the event under Darius I because he was influenced by both a desire to show the fulfillment of inherited prophecy and by Darius' widely circulated autobiography of his rise to power. In light of the settlement patterns in Yehud during the Persian period, it is proposed that Artaxerxes I instituted a master plan to incorporate Yehud into the Persian road, postal, and military systems. The rebuilding of the temple was a minor part of the larger plan that provided soldiers stationed in the fortress in Jerusalem and civilians living in the new provincial seat with a place to worship their native god while also providing a place to store taxes and monies collected on behalf of the Persian administration.
Thirty years after Xerxes invaded Greece, the Achaemenid Persian Empire ended its long war with Athens. For the next four decades, the Persians tolerated Athenian control of their former tributaries, the Ionian Greek cities of western Anatolia. But during the Peloponnesian War, Persia reclaimed Ionia and funded a Spartan fleet to overthrow Athenian power. It took eight long years for Persia to triumph, and Sparta then turned on its benefactors, prompting Persia to transfer aid to Athens in the Corinthian War. The peace of 386 reiterated imperial control of Ionia and compelled both Sparta and Athens to endorse a Persian promise of autonomy for Greeks outside Asia. In Persian Interventions, John O. Hyland challenges earlier studies that assume Persia played Athens against Sparta in a defensive balancing act. He argues instead for a new interpretation of Persian imperialism, one involving long-term efforts to extend diplomatic and economic patronage over Greek clients beyond the northwestern frontier. Achaemenid kings, he asserts, were less interested in Ionia for its own sake than in the accumulation of influence over Athens, Sparta, or both, which allowed them to advertise Persia's claim to universal power while limiting the necessity of direct military commitment. The slow pace of intervention resulted from logistical constraints and occasional diplomatic blunders, rather than long-term plans to balance and undermine dangerous allies. Persian Interventions examines this critical period in unprecedented depth, providing valuable new insights for the study of Achaemenid Persia and classical Greece. Its conclusions will interest not only specialists in both fields but also students of ancient and modern comparative historical imperialism.
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Cyrus born in 576Bc built the Achaemenid Empire of Persians based around efficiency and wealth as well as the best-organized military on earth. Beyond this, he used all his power to create a state that based its administrative actions around upholding Cyrus's beliefs to which were based around his own vision of what the world should look like. Instituting Multiculturalism, freedom of movement, equality, and the abolition of slavery as apart of a new concept he created to which we refer to today as 'Human Rights'. Cyrus on the battlefield was a military genius, destroying three of the most powerful empires of the near east and absorbing them into his own.
'If you inquire into the origins of the novel long enough, 'writes James Tatum in the preface to this work,'... you will come to the fourth century before our era and Xenophon's Education of Cyrus, or the Cyropaedia. 'The Cyrus in question is Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian empire celebrated in the Book of Ezra as the liberator of Israel, and the Cyropaedia, written to instruct future rulers by his example, became not only an inspiration to poets and novelists but a profoundly influential political work. With Alexander as its earliest student and Elizabeth I of England as one of its later pupils, it was the founding text for the tradition of mirrors for princes' in the West, including Machiavelli's Prince. Xenophon's masterpiece has been overlooked in recent years: Tatum's goal is to make it fully meaningful for the twentieth-century reader. To accomplish this aim, he uses reception study, philological and historical criticism, and intertextual and structural analysis of the narrative.
Syria has long been one of the most trouble-prone and politically volatile regions of the Near and Middle Eastern world. This book looks back beyond the troubles of the present to tell the 3000-year story of what happened many centuries before. Trevor Bryce reveals the peoples, cities, and kingdoms that arose, flourished, declined, and disappeared in the lands that now constitute Syria, from the time of it's earliest written records in the third millennium BC until the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 3-4th century AD. Across the centuries, from the Bronze Age to the Rome Era, we encounter a vast array of characters and civilizations, enlivening, enriching, and besmirching the annals of Syrian history: Hittite and Assyrian Great Kings; Egyptian pharaohs; Amorite robber-barons; the biblically notorious Nebuchadnezzar; Persia's Cyrus the Great and Macedon's Alexander the Great; the rulers of the Seleucid empire; and an assortment of Rome's most distinguished and most infamous emperors.
Trenchant, sophisticated, and cynical, Han Feizi has been read in every age and is still of interest today when people are more than ever concerned with the nature and use of power. Han Feizi (280? -233 B.C.), a prince of Han, was a representative of the Fa-chia, or Legalist, school of philosophy and produced the final and most readable exposition of its theories. His handbook for the ruler deals with the problems of strengthening and preserving the state, the way of the ruler, the use of power, and punishment and favor. Ironically, the ruler most influenced by Han Feizi, the king of Qin, eventually sent Han Feizi to prison, where he later committed suicide.
In ancient China, the preparation of food and the offering up of food as a religious sacrifice were intimately connected with models of sagehood and ideas of self-cultivation and morality. Drawing on received and newly excavated written sources, Roel Sterckx's book explores how this vibrant culture influenced the ways in which the early Chinese explained the workings of the human senses and the role of sensory experience in communicating with the spirit world. The book, which begins with a survey of dietary culture from the Zhou to the Han, offers intriguing insights into the ritual preparation of food - some butchers and cooks were highly regarded and would rise to positions of influence as a result of their culinary skills - and the sacrificial ceremony itself. As a major contribution to the study of early China and to the development of philosophical thought, the book will be essential reading for students of the period, and for anyone interested in ritual and religion in the ancient world.
Relations between Inner Asian nomads and Chinese are a continuous theme throughout Chinese history. By investigating the formation of nomadic cultures, by analyzing the evolution of patterns of interaction along China's frontiers, and by exploring how this interaction was recorded in historiography, this looks at the origins of the cultural and political tensions between these two civilizations through the first millennium BC. The main purpose of the book is to analyze ethnic, cultural, and political frontiers between nomads and Chinese in the historical contexts that led to their formation, and to look at cultural perceptions of others as a function of the same historical process.
The thousands of ritual bronze vessels discovered by China's archaeologists serve as the major documentary source for the Western Zhou dynasty (1045-771 B.C.). These vessels contain long inscriptions full of detail on subjects as diverse as the military history of the period, the bureaucratic structure of the royal court, and lawsuits among the gentry. Moreover, being cast in bronze, the inscriptions preserve exactly the contemporary script and language. Shaughnessy has written a meticulous and detailed work on the historiography and interpretation of these objects. By demonstrating how the inscriptions are read and interpreted, Shaughnessy makes accessible in English some of the most important evidence about life in ancient China.
Explores the religious, political, and cultural significance attributed to music in early China. In early China, conceptions of music became important culturally and politically. This fascinating book examines a wide range of texts and discourse on music during this period (ca. 500–100 BCE) in light of the rise of religious, proto-scientific beliefs on the intrinsic harmony of the cosmos.
David N. Keightley's seminal essays on the origins of Chinese society are brought together in one volume. These Bones Shall Rise Again brings together in one volume many of David N. Keightley's seminal essays on the origins of early Chinese civilization. Written over a period of three decades and accessible to the non-specialist, these essays provide a wealth of information and insights on the Shang dynasty, traditionally dated 1766–1122 or 1056 BCE. Of all the eras of Chinese history, the Shang has been a particularly elusive one, long considered more myth than reality.
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Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and -- after his murder -- three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.
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Fabled for her sexual allure and cunning intelligence, Cleopatra VII of Egypt has fascinated generations of admirers and detractors since her tumultuous life ended in suicide in 30 B.C. The last of the Ptolemaic monarchs who had ruled Egypt for three centuries, Cleopatra created her own mythology. She became an icon in her own life and a legend after her death.
This lavishly illustrated catalog coincides with a major international exhibition celebrating images of Cleopatra. It explores how she was depicted during her own era, in works ranging from coins to life-size sculpture. Exciting new discoveries are featured--including seven Egyptian-style statues believed to represent Cleopatra, and two portraits probably commissioned while she was living in Rome with Julius Caesar. The book also examines interpretations of Cleopatra from the Renaissance to modern times, as seen in paintings, ceramics, jewelry, plays, operas, and film. In addition, recent archaeological finds from Alexandria (Cleopatra's capital) and from Rome illustrate aspects of life in Cleopatra's day.
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Explores the lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra--women who ruled with real power. What was so special about ancient Egypt that provided women this kind of access to the highest political office? What was it about these women that allowed them to transcend patriarchal obstacles? What did Egypt gain from its liberal reliance on female leadership, and could today's world learn from its example?
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Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? Classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty. From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 CE -- nearly a thousand years later -- when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of "The Senate and People of Rome") examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation. Opening the book in 63 BCE with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this "terrorist conspiracy," which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome's subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us to famous and familiar characters -- Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others -- while expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome's glorious conquests.
Few personalities from classical antiquity are more famous--yet more poorly understood--than Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt. In this major biography, Duane Roller reveals that Cleopatra was in fact a learned and visionary leader whose overarching goal was always the preservation of her dynasty and kingdom. Roller's authoritative account is the first to be based solely on primary materials from the Greco-Roman period: literary sources, Egyptian documents (Cleopatra's own writings), and representations in art and coinage produced while she was alive. His compelling portrait of the queen illuminates her prowess as a royal administrator who managed a large and diverse kingdom extending from Asia Minor to the interior of Egypt, as a naval commander who led her own fleet in battle, and as a scholar and supporter of the arts. Even her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius--the source of her reputation as a supreme seductress who drove men to their doom--were carefully crafted state policies: she chose these partners to insure the procreation of successors who would be worthy of her distinguished dynasty. That Cleopatra ultimately lost to her Roman opponents, Roller contends, in no way diminishes her abilities.
This book, originally published in 1914, is a unique telling of the life of Cleopatra. The author, a well-learned historian of his time, offers a truer glimpse of the queen if we can rid ourselves of the influence of anyone period and ignore that aspect of morality that has developed in us by contact with the age in which we live. Good and evil are relative qualities defined largely by public opinion, and it must always be remembered that certain things considered good and evil today may have the acceptance and denunciation of yesterday and tomorrow. The author does not presume to offer an apology for the much-maligned Queen, but he describes the events of her troubled life fairly. The actions of Cleopatra will, without any particular advocacy, assume a character that is no uglier than that of every other actor in the strange drama surrounding her life.
From Latin love, poetry's dominating and enslaving beloveds, to modern popular culture's infamous Cleopatras and Messalina, representations of the Roman mistress (or the mistress of Romans) have brought into question both ancient and modern genders and political systems. The Roman Mistress explores representations of transgressive women in Latin love poetry and British television drama, in Roman historiography and nineteenth-century Italian anthropology, on classical coinage and college websites, as a poetic metaphor,s and in the Hollywood star system. In a highly accessible style, the book makes an important and original contribution simultaneously to feminist scholarship on antiquity, the classical tradition, and cultural studies.
Egypt was the last of the Macedonian Successor states to be swallowed up by Roman expansion. The Ptolemaic rulers had allied themselves to Rome while their rivals went down fighting. However, Cleopatra's famous love affair with Marc Antony ensured she was on the wrong side of the Roman civil war between him and Octavian (later to become Caesar Augustus). After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the naval battle of Actium, Octavian swiftly brought Egypt under direct Roman control, though it took several campaigns to fully subjugate the whole country. These campaigns have previously been largely neglected. Judaea was a constant source of trouble for the Romans, as it had been for the Seleucids, the previous overlords of the region. The Romans at first were content to rule through client kings like the infamous Herod but were increasingly sucked in to direct military involvement to suppress religiously-inspired revolts.
Information about women is scattered throughout the fragmented mosaic of ancient history: the vivid poetry of Sappho survived antiquity on remnants of damaged papyrus; the inscription on a beautiful fourth century B.C.E. grave praises the virtues of Mnesarete, an Athenian woman who died young; a great number of Roman wives were found guilty of poisoning their husbands, but was it accidental food poisoning, or disease, or something more sinister. Apart from the legends of Cleopatra, Dido, and Lucretia, and images of graceful maidens dancing on urns, the evidence about the lives of women of the classical world--visual, archaeological, and written--has remained uncollected and uninterpreted. Now, the lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched Women in the Classical World lifts the curtain on the women of ancient Greece and Rome, exploring the lives of slaves and prostitutes, Athenian housewives, and Rome's imperial family. The first book on classical women to give equal weight to written texts and artistic representations, it brings together a great wealth of materials--poetry, vase painting, legislation, medical treatises, architecture, religious and funerary art, women's ornaments, historical epics, political speeches, even ancient coins--to present women in the historical and cultural context of their time. Written by leading experts in the fields of ancient history and art history, women's studies, and Greek and Roman literature, the book's chronological arrangement allows the changing roles of women to unfold over a thousand-year period, beginning in the eighth century B.C.E. Both the art and the literature highlight women's creativity, sexuality and coming of age, marriage and childrearing, religious and public roles, and other themes. Fascinating chapters report on the wild behavior of Spartan and Etruscan women and the mythical Amazons; the changing views of the female body presented in male-authored gynecological treatises; the new woman represented by the love poetry of the late Republic and Augustan Age; and the traces of upper- and lower-class life in Pompeii, miraculously preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. Provocative and surprising, Women in the Classical World is a masterly foray into the past, and a definitive statement on the lives of women in ancient Greece and Rome.