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A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000 - 323 BC (Anglais) Broché – 1 décembre 2006

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66 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Comprehensive Look at the Entire Region 19 septembre 2008
Par George Wood - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Unlike many other books, this volume covers the history of the entire Near East, from Iran to Anatolia, and not just Mesopotamia or the Hittites. This gives it an unusual breadth, as parts of the entire region influence each other. And in ranging from the dawn of historic cultures around the year 3000 BC up to Alexander the Great, it includes all of the independent ancient civilizations that subsequently disappeared.

This book is very much like a textbook. It is more difficult than popular history, but certainly not an academic treatise. Importantly, there are many maps, and extensive lists of kings of the various states.

Egypt only comes into the story when involved with the peoples of the Near East. Interestingly, the periods of Egyptian history known as the Intermediate periods, when the central power fell apart and conditions seemed more chaotic, correspond very closely to what are described as Dark Ages in the Near East. This book does not pursue those parallels, but they are interesting.
42 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Solid textbook 7 mars 2009
Par J. B. Marques - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This work is certainly a very solid, readable and up-to-date textbook, as mentioned in the editorial reviews above. The author is a leading specialist on the field and provides us with a history of the Near East that includes very recent discoveries and approaches - an obvious must when it comes to a textbook (I haven't seen the first edition for a comparison, though).

The maps are numerous and clear, there are many illustrations and boxes with precious information on particulars (such as, for instance, "the use of pottery in archaeological research", "the eponym dating system", and a critical assessment on the use of the Bible and Herodotus as sources), and also many useful and interesting primary sources. There is a king list at the end, presented in a clear layout, and a helpful guide on further reading, mostly in English (well, it's a textbook - though many works in French and German are mandatory for the subject).

I rated this book with four stars because, although being a superb textbook, it almost completely lacks discussion on previous theories and approaches on Near Eastern Studies. In my opinion, no book for university level, even a textbook for first-year students, should miss some treatment of previous interpretations and views, which in some ways are still influential, and to which current approaches are inevitably a response - e.g., "Oriental Studies" as a XIXth-century construction, see Saïd; or even a criticism on Wittfogel's "hydraulic hypothesis", still present in some popular works.
68 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Excellent Survey of Ancient Mesopotamian History 23 janvier 2007
Par John O. Freed - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This volume is a good introduction to the history of the Ancient Near East. The author surveys the history of Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria, Persia and the Hittite Empire in a highly readable style. Quotes from numerous important texts are included in each chapter and the author does a good job of not only telling us what happened, but also why it happened.

The book is well illustrated with black and white photos and numerous, highly useful, maps. At the end of the book is an excellent bibliography that will point the interested reader to other good articles and books on the topic.

This book was published in 2004 and incorporates the latest scholarship in the field. The author has done a great job of making ancient history come alive!
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Very good history of a very long time frame 22 janvier 2010
Par Listo - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is a very solid presentation of almost 3,000 years of history in 360 pages. Don't expect anything authoritative-- the author says that early on. So much of the information historians have to work with is archaeological, which means our field of knowledge and understanding of this period is subject to change. Furthermore, the incredible length of time covered means somethings have to be left out in order to make a coherent and readable book. Very nice maps and graphics. Clearly written for the most part. The sheer number of names, of people or groups, can be hard to keep straight at times, but again that's more a reflection of the history the author deals with than the writing itself. You can tell the author's frustration with some of the archaeological work that's been done-- too much focus on palaces and forts and not enough on the vast majority of the people. It would be nice to have a history that showcased these varied societies and their economic structures and social organization. For all we know, our history of the period over-emphasizes the role of militarism and kings and under-emphasizes the role of peasants in maintaining the cultural patterns that changed only very gradually over the 3,000 year time frame.
I definitely recommend this book. It seems to be the latest scholarship, well written, and thoughtfully educates the reader on the issues facing the study of the period. It is important, afterall, to know how we know things. A great companion back good would be Wolfram Von Soden's The Ancient Orient: An Introduction to the Study of the Ancient Near East, which has a thematic rather than chronological lay-out.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a good broad view of a complex area of ancient history 27 décembre 2012
Par doc peterson - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Van De Mieroop does an exemplary job of showing the cultural and political interrealationships of Mesopotamia. The history of the region is complex: there isn't as clear a political narrative as say, Egypt during the same time period, its decentralized organization creating a sort of "ebb and flow" of various groups. What Van De Mieroop does (and does well) is to show the social and economic interrelationships between peoples and the common cultural heritage of the Fertile Crescent. For example, the circular and reciprocal trade of luxury goods between Egypt (gold), Anatolia (bronze) and the Levant (timber) among the elite highlights not only the economic interrelationships between these different regions, but also underscores the common values, attitudes and political connections between states.

Van De Mieroop is at his strongest discussing the Babylonians and Assyrians - his sections on their political and economic ascention is among the best I've read. I was less enthused in his treatment of the Hittites and the lesser states in the Levant (the Elamites and Phoenicians for example.) That said, the book is a great general text on Mesopotamia between 3000 BCE and Alexander the Great.
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