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Our extensive books on ancient history cover some of the most fascinating areas including ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. These ancient history books are a must for any history buff's home library.

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Ancient History Books

Our extensive books on ancient history cover some of the most fascinating areas including ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. These ancient history books are a must for any history buff's home library.

  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

    Yuval Noah Harari

    Product Code: BZHKK
    Paperback
    Sapiens showed us where we came from. Homo Deus looked to the future. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century explores the present. How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today's most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?
    • £6.99
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  • Greek Myths and Mazes

    Jan Bajtlik

    Product Code: BZJSS
    Hardback
    A fascinating collection of labyrinths and puzzles set in Ancient Greece. Find your way out of a maze on each page in this stunningly intricate book from the creators of Maps. Discover the legendary labyrinths of Ancient Greece, as well as the myths and stories that have captured readers for thousands of years, in this beautifully illustrated collection of puzzles and facts. From an Ancient Greek theatre, to the Trojan horse and the Minotaur, the book is packed full of history and mythology, and will astound readers of all ages.
    • £13.59
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  • Atlas of Empires

    Peter Davidson

    Product Code: BMQKY
    Paperback
    Featuring 60 beautiful and detailed maps, Atlas of Empires tells the story of how and why the great empires of history came into being, operated, and ultimately declined, and discusses the future of the empire in today's globalized world. Atlas of Empires tells the story of how and why the great empires of history came into being, operated and ultimately declined, and discusses the future of the empire in today's globalized world. Featuring 60 beautiful and detailed maps of the empires' territories at different stages of their existence and organized thematically to reflect the different driving forces behind empires throughout history (such as faith, nomadic culture, nationhood and capitalism), each section discusses the rise and fall of the empires that existed in a region: their government and society, wealth and technology, war and military force, and religious beliefs. From the earliest empires of the Sumerians and the Pharaohs to the modern empires of the USSR and the European Union, this is a story that reveals how empires are created and organized, how later empires resolve the problems of governance faced by earlier empires, and how the political and cultural legacies of ancient empires are still felt today.
    • £11.99
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  • Caligula

    Suetonius

    Product Code: AZTVZ
    Paperback
    'Because of his baldness and hairiness, he announced it was a capital offence for anyone either to look down on him as he passed or to mention goats in any context.' The biography of the brutal, crazed and incestuous Roman Emperor Caligula, who tried to appoint his own horse consul. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c.70-130 CE). Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars is also available in Penguin Classics.
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  • A Short History of Europe

    Simon Jenkins

    Product Code: BXVNE
    Paperback
    The first short narrative history of the continent, from the author of the bestselling A Short History of England Europe is an astonishingly successful place. In this dazzling new history, bestselling author Simon Jenkins grippingly tells the story of its evolution from warring peoples to peace, wealth and freedom - a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Dark Ages, the Reformation and the French Revolution, to the Second World War and up to the present day. Jenkins takes in leaders from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso. He brings together the transformative forces and dominant eras into one chronological tale - all with his usual insight, colour and authority. Despite the importance of Europe's politics, economy and culture, there has not been - until now - a concise book to tell this story. Covering the key events, themes and individuals, Jenkins' portrait of the continent could not be more timely - or masterful. 'Full of stand-out facts ... absolutely fascinating' - Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 2, on 'A Short History of England' 'Masterly, perhaps a masterpiece' - Independent, Books of the Year on England's Thousand Best Churches 'Jenkins is, like all good guides, more than simply informative: he can be courteous and rude, nostalgic and funny, elegant, convincing and relaxed' - Adam Nicolson on 'England's Thousand Best Houses', Evening Standard 'Full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought' - Michael Wood on 'A Short History of England', New Statesman 'Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book' - Max Hastings on 'England's Thousand Best Houses', Sunday Telegraph
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  • Treasures of Ancient Egypt

    Nigel Fletcher-Jones

    Product Code: BXZHV
    Hardback
    Four thousand years before the birth of Christ, ancient Egypt was the cradle of modern civilization. Powerful pharaohs built great cities on the fertile banks of the Nile, and employed thousands of labourers to create lavish tombs and temples such as Thebes and the pyramids of the Giza plateau. Today the exceptional beauty and scale of ancient Egypt's antiquities is legendary and draws millions of visitors to Egypt's museums and monuments each year. Treasures of Ancient Egypt is a celebration of these wonders, from Tutankhamun's tomb to the pyramids, from ancient papyrus scrolls covered with hieroglyphs to golden amulets in the form of ankhs and scarabs. Featuring 160 colour photographs, Treasures of Ancient Egypt tells the stories of the pyramids, the Sphinx, the Valley of the Kings, and the artefacts that have been found there. From necklaces to mummies, from wall paintings to statues, this is a fascinating, highly colourful exploration of a mighty ancient civilization.
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  • The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean

    Dr Raoul McLaughlin

    Product Code: BOHDI
    Paperback
    The ancient evidence suggests that international commerce supplied Roman government with up to a third of the revenues that sustained their empire. In ancient times large fleets of Roman merchant ships set sail from Egypt on voyages across the Indian Ocean. They sailed from Roman ports on the Red Sea to distant kingdoms on the east coast of Africa and the seaboard off southern Arabia. Many continued their voyages across the ocean to trade with the rich kingdoms of ancient India. Freighters from the Roman Empire left with bullion and returned with cargo holds filled with valuable trade goods, including exotic African products, Arabian incense and eastern spices. This book examines Roman commerce with Indian kingdoms from the Indus region to the Tamil lands. It investigates contacts between the Roman Empire and powerful African kingdoms, including the Nilotic regime that ruled Meroe and the rising Axumite Realm. Further chapters explore Roman dealings with the Arab kingdoms of south Arabia, including the Saba-Himyarites and the Hadramaut Regime, which sent caravans along the incense trail to the ancient rock-carved city of Petra. The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean is the first book to bring these subjects together in a single comprehensive study that reveals Romes impact on the ancient world and explains how international trade funded the Legions that maintained imperial rule. It offers a new international perspective on the Roman Empire and its legacy for modern society.
    • £12.39
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  • The Secret History,

    Procopius

    Product Code: BJYHJ
    Paperback
    A trusted member of the Byzantine establishment, Procopius was the Empire's official chronicler, and his History of the Wars of Justinian proclaimed the strength and wisdom of the Emperor's reign. Yet all the while the dutiful scribe was working on a very different - and dangerous - history to be published only once its author was safely in his grave. The Secret History portrays the 'great lawgiver' Justinian as a rampant king of corruption and tyranny, the Empress Theodora as a sorceress and whore, and the brilliant general Belisarius as the pliable dupe of his scheming wife Antonina. Magnificently hyperbolic and highly opinionated, The Secret History is a work of explosive energy, depicting holy Byzantium as a hell of murder and misrule.
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  • Terry Jones' Barbarians

    Terry Jones

    Product Code: BJRHV
    Paperback
    Terry Jones' Barbarians takes a completely fresh approach to Roman history. Not only does it offer us the chance to see the Romans from a non-Roman perspective, it also reveals that most of those written off by the Romans as uncivilized, savage and barbaric were in fact organized, motivated and intelligent groups of people, with no intentions of overthrowing Rome and plundering its Empire. This original and fascinating study does away with the propaganda and opens our eyes to who really established the civilized world. Delving deep into history, Terry Jones and Alan Ereira uncover the impressive cultural and technological achievements of the Celts, Goths, Persians and Vandals. In this paperback edition, Terry and Alan travel through 700 years of history on three continents, bringing wit, irreverence, passion and scholarship to transform our view of the legacy of the Roman Empire and the creation of the modern world.
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  • Hannibal

    Livy

    Product Code: ARDZT
    Paperback
    'We have nothing left in the world but what we can win with our swords.' The remarkable account of Hannibal crossing the Alps with his elephants and winning the Battle of the Trebbia. It is one of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
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  • The Golden Thread

    Kassia St Clair

    Product Code: CAWYX
    Paperback
    ** A RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK ** 'Fascinating . . . The history of the world through the eye of a needle . . . I recommend this book to anyone' THE SPECTATOR 'A charming, absorbing and history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits . . . I devoured this quietly feminist book' SUNDAY TIMES 'Joyful and beautiful' NATURE 'Will make you rethink your relationship with fabric' ELLE DECORATION All textiles begin with a twist. From colourful 30,000-year old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to what the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun's mummy actually meant; from the Silk Roads to the woollen sails that helped the Vikings reach America 700 years before Columbus; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, our continuing reinvention of cloth tells fascinating stories of human ingenuity. When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Fabric has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places, and this book shows you how -- and why. With a cast that includes Chinese empresses, Richard the Lionheart and Bing Crosby, Kassia St Clair takes us on the run with escaped slaves, climbing the slopes of Everest and moonwalking with astronauts. Running like a bright line through history, The Golden Thread offers an unforgettable adventure through our past, present and future.
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  • The Genius of: The Maya

    Izzi Howell

    Product Code: BYINT
    Hardback
    Which genius ideas and inventions began with the Maya? What did they develop that we use to this day? In this book, aimed at readers aged nine and over, find out how the Maya built their cities to suit the landscape and population, traded their resources and developed a complex system of writing. Discover their brilliant developments in farming, astronomy and cloth-making and how they have influenced the way we live today. The 'Genius Of' series explores the major discoveries, inventions, influence and legacies of key periods in history.
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  • Ancient Syria

    Trevor Bryce (Honourary Resear

    Product Code: BXITZ
    Paperback
    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. All swept across the plains of Syria at some point in her long history. All contributed, in one way or another, to Syria's special, distinctive character, as they imposed themselves upon it, fought one another within it, or pillaged their way through it. But this is not just a history of invasion and oppression. Syria had great rulers of her own, native-born Syrian luminaries, sometimes appearing as local champions who sought to liberate their lands from foreign despots, sometimes as cunning, self-seeking manipulators of squabbles between their overlords. They culminate with Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, whose life provides a fitting grand finale to the first three millennia of Syria's recorded history. The conclusion looks forward to the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD: in many ways the opening chapter in the equally complex and often troubled history of modern Syria.
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  • Ten Caesars

    Barry Strauss

    Product Code: BUPZA
    Hardback
    Bestselling classical historian Barry Strauss tells the story of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine. Barry Strauss's Ten Caesars is the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople. During these centuries Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. The empire reached from modern-day Britain to Iraq, and gradually emperors came not from the old families of the first century but from men born in the provinces, some of whom had never even seen Rome. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. In the imperial era Roman women-mothers, wives, mistresses-had substantial influence over the emperors, and Strauss also profiles the most important among them, from Livia, Augustus's wife, to Helena, Constantine's mother. But even women in the imperial family faced limits and the emperors often forced them to marry or divorce for purely political reasons. Rome's legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Strauss examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business-the government of an empire-by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost. Ten Caesars is essential history as well as fascinating biography.
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  • Wolves of Rome

    Valerio Massimo Manfredi

    Product Code: BUJLY
    Paperback
    From the international bestselling Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Wolves of Rome is a historical thriller about two brothers and the betrayal of Teutoburg Forest that devastated the Roman Empire. This is a must read for fans of Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and Conn Iggulden. Bound by Blood. Divided by an Empire. Deep in a dark, foreboding forest, the Roman Empire will face its bloodiest test. 3 BC. Two wild Germanic brothers, Armin and Wulf, are held hostage in Rome to keep their father from rebelling against the Empire. As the years pass, they are moulded into ideal soldiers: brave, disciplined, ruthless. Attributes that are to be tested when a conspiracy arises, threatening their emperor and the Empire's future . . . As serving Roman soldiers, the brothers are separated at opposite ends of the Empire, each proving their bloody might on the battlefield. But Armin begins to realize that no matter how far he travels and how many lives he takes, he has an inescapable bond to his father, mother and the tribes of Germania. His goal: to unite them all under one banner. Wulf, though, remains loyal to Rome and it soon becomes clear that both he and the might of the Roman Empire are the only obstacles standing between Armin and his dream of freedom for the Germanic people . . .
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  • The Historical Atlas of the Celtic World

    John Haywood

    Product Code: BHZKN
    Paperback
    In a series of 54 stunning full-colour maps covering 3,000 years and spanning the whole of Europe, this book, newly available in paperback, comprehensively charts the dramatic history of the Celts from their origins in the Bronze Age to their present-day diaspora. Taking into account the latest research and academic controversies over the historical identity of the Celts, the atlas deals separately with the Continental Celts (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Anatolia), the Atlantic Celts (Britain and Ireland) and the modern Celts and the current state of Celtic culture.
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  • The Parthenon

    Mary Beard

    Product Code: BFXXV
    Paperback
    The ruined silhouette of the Parthenon on its hill above Athens is one of the world's most famous images. Its 'looted' Elgin Marbles are a global cause celebre. But what actually are they? In a revised and updated edition, Mary Beard, award winning writer, reviewer and leading Cambridge classicist, tells the history and explains the significance of the Parthenon, the temple of the virgin goddess Athena, the divine patroness of ancient Athens.
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  • Dangerous Days in Ancient Egypt

    Terry Deary

    Product Code: AWNZY
    Paperback
    Think that Ancient Egypt is just a load of old obelisks? Don't bet your afterlife on it. Ancient Egypt should be deader than most of our yesterdays. After all it was at its height 5,000 years ago. Yet we still marvel at its mummies and ponder over its pyramids. It's easy to forget these people once lived and laughed, loved and breathed ...though not for very long. These were dangerous days for princes and peasants alike. In Ancient Egypt - a world of wars and woes, poverty and plagues - life was short. Forty was a good age to reach. A pharaoh who was eaten by a hippo ended up as dead as a ditch-digger stung by a scorpion. Unwrap the bandages and you'll find that the Egyptians' bizarre adventures in life were every bit as fascinating as the monuments they left to their deaths.
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  • Treasures of Roman Lincolnshire

    Antony Lee

    Product Code: AVKYE
    Paperback
    The county of Lincolnshire has a rich and varied Roman heritage. From the major Colonia at Lincoln, featuring some of the most significant remains to be seen anywhere in Britain, to sweeping agricultural landscapes filled with vibrant rural settlements, nationally important ceramic and salt industries and intriguing finds assemblages from both professional and amateur archaeology, Lincolnshire encompasses all that Romano-British archaeology has to offer. Lincolnshire's complex and fascinating archaeological record is constantly evolving our understanding of life in the county in the Roman period. This book explores that heritage through small finds and monuments, using individual objects and physical remains to uncover life in Roman Lincolnshire, from soldiers, priests and politicians to slaves, farmers, craftsmen, women and children, whether born locally or from the far reaches of the Roman world. Each object and site provides a window into wider issues such as cultural identity and the impact of Rome on everyday people in the countryside, combining to form an overview of life in Lincolnshire almost 2,000 years ago, as told through its most fascinating physical remains.
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  • Roman Britain

    Ordnance Survey

    Product Code: ARAZO
    Other
    The OS Historical Map series comprises of Ancient Britain and Roman Britain. The Roman Britain Map provides the ideal overview of nearly 400 yearsof history, during which Britain was a part of the Roman Empire. This map covers the whole of Great Britain and is printed back to back as North and South sheets. It includes a list of key dates, events and archaeological evidence. The OS Historical Map of Roman Britain provides the means to appreciate and visit the rich and extensive archaeological remains from this period.
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  • The Romans

    Jem Duducu

    Product Code: AQIUK
    Paperback
    The Roman Empire is one of the most famous civilisations in history, and with good cause. Over a period spanning nearly 1,000 years, the Romans came, saw and conquered land after land. This book looks at Roman history from the foundation to collapse of the empire, covering famous Romans, famous events and some of the more bizarre moments of ancient history. Among the historic figures featured are Julius Caesar, Spartacus and Nero. The great tales of these giants of history are told through facts about battles, uncontrolled decadence and the power-plays between emperors. However, there are also some more unexpected stories. The Romans, for example, couldn't decide on the foundation story of Rome. The tale of Romulus and Remus was used for centuries, but a completely contradictory story appeared in the first century AD claiming the Romans were actually refugees from Troy. Jem Duducu condenses the colossal story of the Romans into 100 accessible facts in this fun introduction to the Roman Empire.
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  • Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves

    Sarah B. Pomeroy

    Product Code: APHCD
    Paperback
    For centuries, half of the ancient world remained invisible. Until Sarah Pomeroy's enlightening history, the women of antiquity remained unknown to us. What did daily life hold for women in ancient Greece and Rome? How many women read the great histories of Herodotus and Thucydides? Did Socrates' wife, Xanthippe, debate with her husband on issues of beauty and truth? Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves is a foundational work of feminism, reconstructing the lives of these lost women of antiquity in order that we might better understand the roots of our own classically influenced society today.
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  • A Little History of the World

    EH Gombrich

    Product Code: AAAKN
    Paperback
    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.
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  • Pindar, Song, and Space

    Richard Neer (University of Ch

    Product Code: CBPPP
    Hardback
    In this volume, Richard Neer and Leslie Kurke develop a new, integrated approach to classical Greece: a "lyric archaeology" that combines literary and art-historical analysis with archaeological and epigraphic materials. At the heart of the book is the great poet Pindar of Thebes, best known for his magnificent odes in honor of victors at the Olympic Games and other competitions. Unlike the quintessentially personal genre of modern lyric, these poems were destined for public performance by choruses of dancing men. Neer and Kurke go further to show that they were also site-specific: as the dancers moved through the space of a city or a sanctuary, their song would refer to local monuments and landmarks. Part of Pindar's brief, they argue, was to weave words and bodies into elaborate tapestries of myth and geography and, in so doing, to re-imagine the very fabric of the city-state. Pindar's poems, in short, were tools for making sense of space. Recent scholarship has tended to isolate poetry, art, and archaeology. But Neer and Kurke show that these distinctions are artificial. Poems, statues, bronzes, tombs, boundary stones, roadways, beacons, and buildings worked together as a "suite" of technologies for organizing landscapes, cityscapes, and territories. Studying these technologies in tandem reveals the procedures and criteria by which the Greeks understood relations of nearness and distance, "here" and "there"-and how these ways of inhabiting space were essentially political. Rooted in close readings of individual poems, buildings, and works of art, Pindar, Song, and Space ranges from Athens to Libya, Sicily to Rhodes, to provide a revelatory new understanding of the world the Greeks built-and a new model for studying the ancient world.
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Some of the most interesting eras of history are the ones we know the least about but in our range of fascinating ancient history books you can learn what historians and scientists have discover about the world’s oldest civilisations.

Get to grips with the Greeks

Grab one of our books on ancient history to uncover the stories of the ancient Greeks, find out all about the wars, mythology, key individuals of the period and more in our range. Plus, you can learn the ideas of the best Greek philosophers in our books on ancient Greece.

Revisit the Romans

Familiarise yourself with the amazing history of the Roman Empire and discover how the Romans have influenced the world in our fascinating history books.

Understand the stories of all ancient civilisations

Dive into the stories and history of the oldest and most interesting ancient civilisations in our extensive range of ancient history books. Discover the cities have been lost to the ocean or disappeared in ash in these compelling history books.