Ancient History Books

  • ARYXN
    Mary Beard
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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    Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome. SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.
  • AGMDK
    Mary Beard
    (1)
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
    'This marvellous book won the Wolfson History Prize and is a model of subtle but accessible writing about the past' Judith Rice, Guardian 'Classicist Mary Beard has had a great time rooting about that ghostly place and she has brought it quite splendidly back to life' Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Telegraph 'To the vast field of Pompeiana she brings the human touch - this absorbing, inquisitive and affectionate account of Pompeii is a model of its kind. Beard has caught the quick of what was and, in our lives today, remains the same' Ross Leckie, The Times 'Very readable and excellently researched - Beard's clear-sighted and accessible style makes this a compelling look into history' Alexander Larman, Observer 'If you want to know what really happened in the last days of the petrified city, Beard's meticulous reconstruction will fill you in, scraping away many of your preconceptions as it goes, while her evocative writing will transport you back' Guardian (Best Holiday Books)
  • AJGNE
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
    Mary Beard is one of the world's best-known classicists - a brilliant academic, with a rare gift for communicating with a wide audience both though her books and TV presenting. In a series of sparkling essays, she explores our rich classical heritage - from Greek drama to Roman jokes, introducing some larger-than-life characters of classical history, such as Alexander the Great, Nero and Boudicca. She invites you into the places where Greeks and Romans lived and died, from the palace at Knossos to Cleopatra's Alexandria - and reveals the often hidden world of slaves. She brings back to life some of the greatest writers of antiquity - including Thucydides, Cicero and Tacitus - and takes a fresh look at both scholarly controversies and popular interpretations of the ancient world, from The Golden Bough to Asterix. The fruit of over thirty years in the world of classical scholarship, Confronting the Classics captures the world of antiquity and its modern significance with wit, verve and scholarly expertise.
  • AAAKN
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    In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks, and "Eine kurze Weltgeschichte fur junge Leser" was published in Vienna to immediate success, and is now available in twenty-five languages across the world. In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the stone age to the atomic bomb. In between emerges a colourful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, and the spread and limitations of science. This is a text dominated not by dates and facts, but by the sweep of mankind's experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity's achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.The product of a generous and humane sensibility, this timeless account makes intelligible the full span of human history.
  • ARGZI
    • £7.99
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    They gave us democracy, philosophy, poetry, rational science, the joke. They built the Parthenon and the Library of Alexandria. They wrote the timeless myths of Odysseus and Oedipus, and the histories of Leonidas' three hundred Spartans and Alexander the Great. But who were the ancient Greeks? And what was it that enabled them to achieve so much? Here, Edith Hall gives us a revelatory way of viewing this geographically scattered people, visiting different communities at various key moments during twenty centuries of ancient history. Identifying ten unique traits central to the widespread ancient Greeks, Hall unveils a civilization of incomparable richness and a people of astounding complexity - and explains how they made us who we are today. "A thoroughly readable and illuminating account of this fascinating people...This excellent book makes us admire and like the ancient Greeks equally." (Independent). "A worthy and lively introduction to one of the two groups of ancient peoples who really formed the western world." (Sunday Times). "Throughout, Hall exemplifies her subjects' spirit of inquiry, their originality and their open-mindedness." (Daily Telegraph). "A book that is both erudite and splendidly entertaining." (Financial Times).
  • ATHVR
    • £32.00
    • RRP £40.00
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    Beneath the waters of Abukir Bay, at the edge of the Nile Delta, lie the submerged remains of the ancient Egyptian cities Naukratis and Thonis-Heracleion, which sank over 1,000 years ago but were dramatically rediscovered in the 20th century and brought to the surface by marine archaeologists in the 1990s. These pioneering underwater excavations continue today, and have yielded a wealth of ancient artefacts, to be exhibited in Britain for the first time in 2016. Through these spectacular finds, this book tells the story of how two iconic ancient civilizations, Egypt and Greece, interacted in the late first millennium bc. From the foundation of Naukratis and Thonis-Heracleion as trading posts to the conquest of Alexander the Great, through the ensuing centuries of Ptolemaic rule to the ultimate dominance of the Roman Empire on the world stage, Greeks and Egyptians lived alongside one another in these lively cities, sharing their politics, religious ideas, languages, scripts and customs. Greek kings adopted the regalia of the pharaoh; ordinary Greek citizens worshipped in Hellenic sanctuaries next to Egyptian temples; and their ancient gods and mythologies became ever more closely intertwined. This book showcases a spectacular collection of artefacts, coupled with a retelling of the history by world-renowned experts in the subject (including the sites' long-term excavator), bringing the reader face-to-face with this vibrant ancient society. Accompanies the most sensational exhibition of ancient Egyptian and Greek discoveries to be held in the UK for decades, opening at the British Museum.
  • AYSMQ
    • £24.39
    • RRP £30.49
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    This book narrates the history of the different peoples who have lived in the three major regions of Viet Nam over the past 3,000 years. It brings to life their relationships with these regions' landscapes, water resources, and climatic conditions, their changing cultures and religious traditions, and their interactions with their neighbors in China and Southeast Asia. Key themes include the dramatic impact of changing weather patterns from ancient to medieval and modern times, the central importance of riverine and maritime communications, ecological and economic transformations, and linguistic and literary changes. The country's long experience of regional diversity, multi-ethnic populations, and a multi-religious heritage that ranges from local spirit cults to the influences of Buddhism, Confucianism and Catholicism, makes for a vividly pluralistic narrative. The arcs of Vietnamese history include the rise and fall of different political formations, from chiefdoms to Chinese provinces, from independent kingdoms to divided regions, civil wars, French colonies, and modern republics. In the twentieth century anticolonial nationalism, the worldwide depression, Japanese occupation, a French attempt at reconquest, the traumatic American-Vietnamese war, and the 1975 communist victory all set the scene for the making of contemporary Viet Nam. Rapid economic growth in recent decades has transformed this one-party state into a global trading nation. Yet its rich history still casts a long shadow. Along with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Viet Nam is now involved in a tense territorial standoff in the South China Sea, as a rival of China and a <"partner>" of the United States. If its independence and future geographical unity seem assured, Viet Nam's regional security and prospects for democracy remain clouded.
  • AWGXD
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    The words Pax Augusta - or Pax Romana - evoke a period of uninterrupted peace across the vast Roman Empire. Lindsay Powell exposes this as a fallacy. Almost every year between 31 BC and AD 14 the Roman Army was in action somewhere, either fighting enemies beyond the frontier in punitive raids or for outright conquest; or suppressing banditry or rebellions within the borders. Remarkably over the same period Augustus succeeded in nearly doubling the size of the Empire. How did this second-rate field commander, known to become physically ill before and during battle, achieve such extraordinary success? Did he, in fact, have a grand strategy? Powell reveals Augustus as a brilliant strategist and manager of war. As commander-in-chief (imperator) he made changes to the political and military institutions to keep the empire together, and to hold on to power himself. His genius was to build a team of loyal but semi-autonomous deputies (legati) to ensure internal security and to fight his wars for him, while claiming their achievements as his own. The book profiles more than 90 of these men, the military units under their command, and the campaigns they fought. The book is lavishly illustrated with 23 maps, 42 colour plates, 13 black and white figures and 5 order of battle schematics. With a forward by Karl Galinsky, this book breaks new ground in explaining the extraordinary achievement of Caesar Augustus.
  • BMHEG
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    The ancient world that Alexander the Great transformed in his lifetime was transformed once more by his death. The imperial dynasties of his successors incorporated and reorganized the fallen Persian empire, creating a new land empire stretching from the shores of the Mediterranean to as far east as Bactria. In old Greece a fragile balance of power was continually disturbed by wars. Then, from the late third century, the military and diplomatic power of Rome successively defeated and dismantled every one of the post-Alexandrian political structures. The Hellenistic period (c. 323-30 BC) was then one of fragmentation, violent antagonism between large states, and struggles by small polities to retain an illusion of independence. Yet it was also a period of growth, prosperity, and intellectual achievement. A vast network spread of trade, influence and cultural contact, from Italy to Afghanistan and from Russia to Ethiopia, enriching and enlivening centres of wealth, power and intellectual ferment. From Alexander the Great's early days building an empire, via wars with Rome, rampaging pirates, Cleopatra's death and the Jewish diaspora, right up to the death of Hadrian, Chaniotis examines the social structures, economic trends, political upheaval and technological progress of an era that spans five centuries and where, perhaps, modernity began.
  • BUJNM
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    Ancient Dynasties is a unique study of the ruling families of the ancient world known to the Greeks and Romans. The book is in two parts. The first offers analysis and discussion of various features of the ruling dynasties (including the leading families of republican Rome). It examines patterns, similarities and contrasts, categorizes types of dynasty and explores common themes such as how they were founded and maintained, the role of women and the various reasons for their decline. The second part is a catalogue of all the dynasties (over 150 of them) known to have existed between approximately 1000 BC and AD 750 from the Atlantic Ocean to Baktria (roughly modern Afghanistan). It gives genealogical tables and tells where and when they held power. Thoroughly researched and with geanological tables to support the lucid text, the whole forms a valuable study and invaluable reference to the families that wielded power in the Classical world.
  • BRLOT
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    Greece was the scene of some of the most evocative and decisive battles in the ancient world. This volume brings together the ancient evidence and modern scholarship on twenty battlefields throughout Greece. It is a handy resource for visitors of every level of experience, from the member of a guided tour to the veteran military historian. The introductory chapter outlines some of the most pressing and interesting issues in the study of Ancient Greek battles and battlefields and offers a crash course on ancient warfare. Twenty lively chapters explore battlefields selected for both their historical importance and their inspiring sites. In addition to accessible overviews of each battle, this book provides all the information needed for an intellectually and aesthetically rewarding visit, including transport and travel details, museum overviews, and further reading.
  • BTXYZ
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    Imagine the planet, as if from an immense distance of time and space, as a galactic observer might see it-with the kind of objectivity that we, who are enmeshed in our history, can't attain. The Oxford Illustrated History of the World encompasses the whole span of human history. It brings together some of the world's leading historians, under the expert guidance of Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, to tell the 200,000-year story of our world, from the emergence of homo sapiens through to the twenty-first century: the environmental convulsions; the interplay of ideas (good and bad); the cultural phases and exchanges; the collisions and collaborations in politics; the successions of states and empires; the unlocking of energy; the evolutions of economies; the contacts, conflicts, and contagions that have all contributed to making the world we now inhabit.
  • BWIMF
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    In 264 BC, a Roman army was poised to cross from southern Italy into Sicily. They couldn't know that this crossing would be Rome's first step on its journey from local republic to vast and powerful empire. At the beginning of the three dramatic centuries that make up this book's narrative, Rome had no emperor and limited global influence; by the book's end, Hadrian was set to pass into history as one of the greatest emperors, whose territories stretched from England to Turkey. In David Potter's masterful history of this period, we trace the process of cultural, political and civic transformation which led to the creation of a monarchy and the acquisition of territory, via wars with Hannibal, the destruction of Carthage, Augustan Empire-building and Hadrian's famous wall, all of which contributed to the most successful multi-cultural state in the history of Europe. This is a lively, scholarly approach to an essential era.
  • AWQYH
    • £23.96
    • RRP £29.95
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    A unique 'backstory' of Alexander and his successors: the biased historians, deceits, wars, generals, and the tale of the literature that preserved them. 'Babylon, mid-June 323 BCE, the gateway of the gods; prostrated in the Summer Palace of Nebuchadrezzar II on the east bank of the Euphrates, wracked by fever and having barely survived another night, King Alexander III, the rule of Macedonia for 12 years and 7 months, had his senior officers congregate at his bedside. Abandoned by Fortune and the healing god Asclepius, he finally acknowledged he was dying. Some 2,340 years on, five barely intact accounts survive to tell a hardly coherent story. At times in close accord, though more often contradictory, they conclude with a melee of death-scene rehashes, all of them suspicious: the first portrayed Alexander dying silent and intestate; he was Homeric and vocal in the second; the third detailed his Last Will and Testament though it is attached to the stuff of romance. Which account do we trust?' In Search Of The Lost Testament Of Alexander The Great is the result of a 'decade of contemplations on Alexander' presented as a rich thematic narrative Grant describes as the 'backstory behind the history' of the great Macedonian and his generals. Taking an uncompromising investigative perspective, Grant delves into the challenges faced by Alexander's unique tale: the forgeries and biased historians, the influences of rhetoric, romance, philosophy and religion on what was written and how. Alexander's own mercurial personality is vividly dissected and the careers and the wars of his successors are presented with a unique eye. But the book never loses sight of central aim: to unravel the mystery behind Alexander's 'unconvincingly reported' intestate death. And out of Grant's research emerges one unavoidable verdict: after 2,340 years, the Last Will and Testament of Alexander III of Macedonia needs to be extracted from 'romance' and reinstated to its rightful place in mainstream history: Babylon in June 323 BCE. Although the result a decade of academic research, In Search Of The Lost Testament Of Alexander The Great is written in an entertaining and engaging style that opens the subject to both scholars and the casual reader of history looking to learn more about the Macedonian king and the men who 'made' his story. It concludes with a wholly new interpretation of the death of Alexander the Great and the mechanism behind the wars of succession that followed.
  • BSAHK
    • £23.96
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    This illustrated introduction offers a fresh approach to the history of the Islamic world from its origins to the present day. Told in six chapters, arranged both chronologically and thematically, and richly enhanced with outstanding images, it provides an illuminating insight into the material culture produced from West Africa to Southeast Asia through art and artefacts, people and places. From pre-Islamic works that provided a foundation for the arts of Islam to masterpieces produced under the great empires and objects that continue to be made today, this expansive survey traces the development of civilizations at the forefront of philosophical and scientific ideas, artistic and literary developments, and technological innovations, exploring a wealth of cultural treasures along the way. Texts are accompanied by a wide variety of objects, including architectural decoration, ceramics, jewellery, metalwork, calligraphy, textiles, musical instruments, coins, illustrated manuscripts, and modern and contemporary art, all of which shed new light on the Islamic world both past and present. This book will inspire and inform anyone interested in one of the most influential and diverse cultures of the world.
  • APHZP
    • £24.89
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    By the sixth century of the common era the Roman Empire already had many hundreds of years of accumulated ceremonial embedded in its government, and practical science embodied in its army. The transition from Republic to Imperium and the more hierarchical structure that entailed, and the absorption of Christianity into state processes, had pushed the development of court ceremonial apace, and particularly driven its embodiment and display in ever more opulent regalia. The regalia embraced not only garments of distinctive form and decoration, but also both dress and non-dress accessories. It was crucial in displaying rank and function on an everyday basis, yet was also varied considerably for special occasions. Military dress largely reflected forms current amongst ordinary men, but with an emphasis on functionality, eschewing the excesses of fashion. Detailed literary and artistic sources, archaeology and insights derived from reconstruction and practical experience has gone into creating an incredibly lavish picture of the clothing of the longest-enduring political entity in history.
  • BUJXR
    • £19.89
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    In the year AD 9, three Roman legions were crushed by the German warlord Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This event is well-known, but there was another uprising that Rome faced shortly before, which lasted from AD 6 to 9, and was just as intense. This rebellion occurred in the western Balkans (an area roughly corresponding to modern Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro and parts of Serbia and Albania) and it tested the Roman Empire to its limits. For three years, fifteen legions fought in the narrow valleys and forest-covered crags of the Dinaric Mountains in a ruthless war of attrition against an equally ruthless and determined foe, and yet this conflict is largely unknown today. The Great Illyrian Revolt is believed to be the first book ever devoted to this forgotten war of the Roman Empire. Within its pages, we examine the history and culture of the mysterious Illyrian people, the story of how Rome became involved in this volatile region, and what the Roman army had to face during those harrowing three years in the Balkans.
  • AWVHW
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    Of the thousands of commanders who served in history's armies, why is it that only a few are remembered as great leaders of men in battle? What combination of personal and circumstantial influences conspire to produce great commanders? What makes a great leader great? Richard A Gabriel analyses the biographies of ten great generals who lived between 1481 BC and AD 632 in an attempt to identify the characteristics of intellect, psychology, personality, and experience that allowed them to tread the path to greatness. Professor Richard Gabriel has selected the ten whom he believes to be the greatest of them all. Those included, and more so those omitted, will surprise many readers. Conspicuous by their absence, for example, are Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun. Richard Gabriel, himself a retired soldier and professor at the Canadian Defence College, uses his selected exemplars to distil the timeless essence of military leadership.
  • AKNZF
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    Marcus Agrippa personified the term 'right-hand man'. As Emperor Augustus' deputy, he waged wars, pacified provinces, beautified Rome, and played a crucial role in laying the foundations of the Pax Romana for the next two hundred years - but he served always in the knowledge he would never rule in his own name. Why he did so, and never grasped power exclusively for himself, has perplexed historians for centuries. In his teens he formed a life-long friendship with Julius Caesar's great nephew, Caius Octavius, which would change world history. Following Caesar's assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC, Agrippa was instrumental in asserting his friend's rights as the dictator's heir. He established a reputation as a bold admiral, defeating Sextus Pompeius at Mylae and Naulochus (36 BC), culminating in the epoch-making Battle of Actium (31 BC), which eliminated Marcus Antonius and Queen Cleopatra as rivals. He proved his genius for military command on land by ending bloody rebellions in the Cimmerian Bosporus, Gaul, Hispania and Illyricum. In Gaul Agrippa established the vital road network that helped turn Julius Caesar's conquests into viable provinces. As a diplomat, he befriended Herod the Great of Judaea and stabilised the East. As minister of works he overhauled Rome's drains and aqueducts, transformed public bathing in the city, created public parks with great artworks and built the original Pantheon. Agrippa became co-ruler of the Roman Empire with Augustus and married his daughter Julia. His three sons were adopted by his friend as potential heirs to the throne. Agrippa's unexpected death in 12 BC left Augustus bereft, but his bloodline lived on in the imperial family, through Agrippina the Elder to his grandson Caligula and great grandson Nero. MARCUS AGRIPPA is lucidly written by the author of the acclaimed biographies Eager for Glory and Germanicus. Illustrated with colour plates, figures and high quality maps, Lindsay Powell presents a penetrating new assessment of the life and achievements of the multifaceted man who put service to friend and country before himself.
  • ARZFB
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    From the moment its last king was expelled (traditionally in 753) the Roman republic had to fight for its very survival. Centuries of almost continuous warfare saw Rome's armies evolve in response to a wide variety of threats which were met with mixed fortunes though always with ultimate success. As defence of the homeland turned to territorial expansion, Roman forces also had to adapt to sustained campaigns in varied terrain and climates, not to mention the changes in the Roman republic itself. Michael Sage traces the development of the republic's army from its foundation (having first set the context of their regal antecedents), down to the time of its most famous leader, Julius Caesar. The transition from clan-based forces, through the 'Servian' levy and the development of the manipular and cohortal legion is examined along with the associated weapons, tactics and operational capabilities. We see how the legions shaped up against the challenges of successive enemies from the Celts and Samnites, the Carthaginians and the hitherto-dominant Hellenistic armies based on the Macedonian-style pike phalanx.
  • BMANH
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    The last century of the Roman Republic saw the consensus of the ruling elite shattered by a series of high-profile politicians who proposed political or social reform programmes, many of which culminated in acts of bloodshed on the streets of Rome itself. This began in 133 BC with the military recruitment reforms of Tiberius Gracchus, which saw him and his supporters lynched by a mob of angry Senators. He was followed by a series of radical politicians, each with their'own agenda that challenged the status quo of the Senatorial elite. Each met a violent response from elements of the ruling order, leading to murder and even battles on the streets of Rome. These bloody political clashes paralyzed the Roman state, eventually leading to its collapse. Covering the period 133 - 70 BC, this volume' analyses each of the key reformers, what they were trying to achieve and how they met their end, narrating the long decline of the Roman Republic into anarchy and civil war.
  • BPJCP
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    The capture of a king in the course of a battle was a relatively rare event. This, the climactic event of the Black Prince's first campaign as commander, came at the end of nearly of a year of campaigning across the southwest of France. The battle of Poitiers in 1356 is less well known than more famous clashes such as Agincourt, however, Poitiers was no less dramatic, and equally important in terms of the course of the Hundred Years War. The capture of King Jean brought France to the brink of total defeat, and led to one of the most devastating and destructive periods in French history. It is not exaggeration to say that the battle of Poitiers changed the course of history for both France and England. In the summer of 1356 the Prince and his army drove northward towards the Loire, attacking once again deep into French territory. This time he met real opposition: the full French army led by King Jean and many of the leading nobility of France, some of them veterans of the defeat at Crecy ten years before. Outnumbered, the Prince fell back, but in September he turned near the city of Poitiers to make a stand. The battle that followed was a tense encounter. The French had learned much from the disastrous defeat at Crecy, and took time to organise and prepare before attacking. Their advance was deliberate and well planned. Yet the result was the same. Once again, English and Welsh archers wrought mayhem among the French ranks. The French formations disintegrated, and a violent counter-attack by English men-at-arms caused it to dissolve entirely. King Jean and his eldest son made a final stand with some of their followers, but in the end they were forced to surrender and were taken back to England as prisoners. The core of the book is a day-by-description of the campaign of July-September 1356, climaxing with a detailed description of the Battle of Poitiers itself. The detailed account and analysis of the battle and the campaigns that led up to it has a strong focus on the people involved in the campaign: ordinary men-at-arms and non-combatants as well as princes and nobles.
  • AQWUT
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    How new is atheism? In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean to recover the stories of those who first refused the divinities. Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively free-thinking voices of antiquity. Tim Whitmarsh brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief. Battling the Gods is the first book on the origins of the secular values at the heart of the modern state. Authoritative and bold, provocative and humane, it reveals how atheism and doubt, far from being modern phenomena, have intrigued the human imagination for thousands of years.
  • AUXFH
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    Imperial Triumph presents the history of Rome at the height of its imperial power. Beginning with the reign of Hadrian in Rome and ending with the death of Julian the Apostate on campaign in Persia, it offers an intimate account of the twists and often deadly turns of imperial politics in which successive emperors rose and fell with sometimes bewildering rapidity. Yet, despite this volatility, the Romans were able to see off successive attacks by Parthians, Germans, Persians and Goths and to extend and entrench their position as masters of Europe and the Mediterranean. Imperial Triumph shows how they managed to do it. Michael Kulikowski describes the empire's cultural integration in the second century, the political crises of the third when Rome's Mediterranean world became subject to the larger forces of Eurasian history, and the remaking of Roman imperial institutions in the fourth century under Constantine and his son Constantius II. The Constantinian revolution, Professor Kulikowski argues, was the pivot on which imperial fortunes turned - the beginning of the parting of ways between the eastern and western empires. This sweeping account of one of the world's greatest empires is incisive, readable and authoritative.