By the fifteenth century Europe was a driving world force, but the origins of its success have until now remained obscured in prehistory. In this book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity.
To an extraordinary extent we continue to live in the shadow of the classical world. At every level from languages to calendars to political systems, we are the descendants of a 'classical Europe', using frames of reference created by ancient Mediterranean cultures. As this consistently fresh and surprising new book makes clear, however, this was no less true for the inhabitants of those classical civilizations themselves, whose myths, history, and buildings were an elaborate engagement with an already old and revered past filled with great leaders and writers, emigrations and battles. Indeed, much of the reason we know so much about the classical past is the obsessive importance it held for so many generations of Greeks and Romans, who interpreted and reinterpreted their changing casts of heroes and villains. Figures such as Alexander the Great and Augustus Caesar loom large in our imaginations today, but they were themselves fascinated by what had preceded them. The Birth of Classical Europe is therefore both an authoritative history, and also a fascinating attempt to show how our own changing values and interests have shaped our feelings about an era which is by some measures very remote but by others startlingly close.
This book provides the first comprehensive history of Afro-Eurasia during the first millennium BCE and the beginning of the first millennium CE. The history of these 1300 plus years can be summed up in one word: connectivity. The growth in connectivity during this period was marked by increasing political, economic, and cultural interaction throughout the region, and the replacement of the numerous political and cultural entities by a handful of great empires at the end of the period. In the process, local cultural traditions were replaced by great traditions rooted in lingua francas and spread by formalized educational systems. This process began with the collapse of the Bronze Age empires in the east and west, widespread population movements, and almost chronic warfare throughout Afro-Eurasia, while the cavalry revolution transformed the nomads of the central Asian steppes into founders of tribal confederations assembled by charismatic leaders and covering huge territories. At the same time, new artistic and intellectual movements appeared, including the teachings of Socrates, Confucius, the Buddha, and Laozi. Increased literacy also allowed people from a wide range of social classes such as the Greek soldier Xenophon, the Indian Buddhist emperor Ashoka, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, and elite women such as the poetess Sappho, the Christian martyr Perpetua, and the scholar Ban Zhao to create literary works. When the period ended in 300 CE, conditions had changed dramatically. Temperate Afro-Eurasia from the Atlantic to the Pacific was dominated by a handful of empires--Rome, Sassanid Persia, and Jin Empire-that ruled more than half the world's population, while an extensive network of trade routes bound them to Southeast and Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and made possible the spread of new book based religions including Christianity, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism, thereby setting the stage for the next millennium of Afro-Eurasian history.
The Untold Story of Drusus the Elder, Conqueror of Germania
Author: Lindsay Powell
Publisher: Grub Street Publishers
“The first biography of an important personality from the beginnings of Rome’s empire” (Graham Sumner, coauthor of Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier). Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus (Drusus the Elder) was the first conqueror of Germania (the Netherlands and Germany) and one of ancient Rome’s most beloved military heroes. Yet there has never been a full volume dedicated to his remarkable story, achievements, and legacy. Eager for Glory brings this heroic figure back to life for a modern audience. Drusus was a stepson of Augustus through his marriage to Livia. As a military commander he led daring campaigns by sea and land that pushed the northern frontiers of Rome’s empire to the Elbe River. He oversaw one of the largest developments of military infrastructure of the age. He married Marc Antony’s daughter, Antonia, and fathered Germanicus, Rome’s most popular general, and the future emperor Claudius. He was grandfather of Caligula. He died when he was only twenty-nine and was revered in death. Drawing on ancient texts, evidence from inscriptions and coins, the latest findings in archaeology, as well as astronomy and medical science, Lindsay Powell has produced a long overdue and definitive account of this great Roman.
The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General
Author: Lindsay Powell
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Category: Biography & Autobiography
“The story of a Roman Emperor that might have been” (Fighting Times). Germanicus was regarded by many Romans as a hero in the mold of Alexander the Great. His untimely death, in suspicious circumstances, ended the possibility of a return to a more open republic. This, the first modern biography of Germanicus, is in parts a growing-up story, a history of war, a tale of political intrigue, and a murder mystery. In this highly readable, fast paced account, historical detective Lindsay Powell details Germanicus’s campaigns and battles in Illyricum and Germania; tracks him on his epic tour of the Eastern Mediterranean to Armenia and down the Nile; evaluates the possible causes of his death; and reports on the cruel fate his wife, Agrippina, and their children suffered at the hands of Praetorian Guard commander, and Tiberius’s infamous deputy, Aelius Sejanus.
A Site-by-Site Tour of the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages
Author: T. Douglas Price
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
Werner Herzog's 2011 film Cave of Forgotten Dreams, about the painted caves at Chauvet, France brought a glimpse of Europe's extraordinary prehistory to a popular audience. But paleolithic cave paintings, stunning as they are, form just a part of a story that begins with the arrival of the first humans to Europe 1.3 million years ago, and culminates in the achievements of Greece and Rome. In Europe before Rome, T. Douglas Price takes readers on a guided tour through dozens of the most important prehistoric sites on the continent, from very recent discoveries to some of the most famous and puzzling places in the world, like Chauvet, Stonehenge, and Knossos. This volume focuses on more than 60 sites, organized chronologically according to their archaeological time period and accompanied by 200 illustrations, including numerous color photographs, maps, and drawings. Our understanding of prehistoric European archaeology has been almost completely rewritten in the last 25 years with a series of major findings from virtually every time period, such as Ötzi the Iceman, the discoveries at Atapuerca, and evidence of a much earlier eruption at Mt. Vesuvius. Many of the sites explored in the book offer the earliest European evidence we have of the typical features of human society--tool making, hunting, cooking, burial practices, agriculture, and warfare. Introductory prologues to each chapter provide context for the wider changes in human behavior and society in the time period, while the author's concluding remarks offer expert reflections on the enduring significance of these places. Tracing the evolution of human society in Europe across more than a million years, Europe before Rome gives readers a vivid portrait of life for prehistoric man and woman.
The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology presents the most inclusive resource yet published on this topic - which seeks to benefit humanity by integrating ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. Features the work of more than fifty leading voices in the field, creating the most comprehensive survey of transpersonal psychology yet published Includes emerging and established perspectives Charts the breadth and diversity of the transpersonal landscape Covers topics including shamanism, neurobiology, holotropic states, transpersonal experiences, and more
To understand business and its political, cultural, and economic context, it helps to view it historically, yet most business histories look no further back than the nineteenth century. The full sweep of business history actually begins much earlier, with the initial cities of Mesopotamia. In the first book to describe and explain these origins, Roberts depicts the society of ancient traders and consumers, tracing the roots of modern business and underscoring the relationship between early and modern business practice. Roberts's narrative begins before business, which he defines as selling to voluntary buyers at a profit. Before business, he shows, the material conditions and concepts for the pursuit of profit did not exist, even though trade and manufacturing took place. The earliest business, he suggests, arose with the long distance trade of early Mesopotamia, and expanded into retail, manufacturing and finance in these command economies, culminating in the Middle Eastern empires. (Part One) But it was the largely independent rise of business, money, and markets in classical Greece that produced business much as we know it. Alexander the Great's conquests and the societies that his successors created in their kingdoms brought a version of this system to the old Middle Eastern empires, and beyond. (Part Two) At Rome this entrepreneurial market system gained important new features, including business corporations, public contracting, and even shopping malls. The story concludes with the sharp decline of business after the 3rd century CE. (Part Three) In each part, Roberts portrays the major new types of business coming into existence. He weaves these descriptions into a narrative of how the prevailing political, economic, and social culture shaped the nature and importance of business and the status, wealth, and treatment of business people. Throughout, the discussion indicates how much (and how little) business has changed, provides a clear picture of what business actually is, presents a model for understanding the social impact of business as a whole, and yields stimulating insights for public policy today.
The very idea of empire was created in ancient Rome and even today traces of its monuments, literature, and institutions can be found across Europe, the Near East, and North Africa--and sometimes even further afield. In Rome, historian Greg Woolf expertly recounts how this mammoth empire was created, how it was sustained in crisis, and how it shaped the world of its rulers and subjects--a story spanning a millennium and a half of history. The personalities and events of Roman history have become part of the West's cultural lexicon, and Woolf provides brilliant retellings of each of these, from the war with Carthage to Octavian's victory over Cleopatra, from the height of territorial expansion under the emperors Trajan and Hadrian to the founding of Constantinople and the barbarian invasions which resulted in Rome's ultimate collapse. Throughout, Woolf carefully considers the conditions that made Rome's success possible and so durable, covering topics as diverse as ecology, slavery, and religion. Woolf also compares Rome to other ancient empires and to its many later imitators, bringing into vivid relief the Empire's most distinctive and enduring features. As Woolf demonstrates, nobody ever planned to create a state that would last more than a millennium and a half, yet Rome was able, in the end, to survive barbarian migrations, economic collapse and even the conflicts between a series of world religions that had grown up within its borders, in the process generating an image and a myth of empire that is apparently indestructible. Based on new research and compellingly told, this sweeping account promises to eclipse all previously published histories of the empire.