Introduction : long-distance communication and the cohesion of early empires / Karen Radner -- Egyptian state correspondence of the New Kingdom : the letters of the Levantine client kings in the Amarna correspondence and contemporary evidence / Jana Mynarova -- State correspondence in the Hittite world / Mark Weeden -- An imperial communication network : the state correspondence of the neo-Assyrian empire / Karen Radner -- The lost state correspondence of the Babylonian empire as reflected in contemporary administrative letters / Michael Jursa -- State communications in the Persian Empire / Amelie Kuhrt -- The king's words : Hellenistic royal letters in inscriptions / Alice Bencivenni -- State correspondence in the Roman Empire from Augustus to Justinian / Simon Corcoran.
Letter writing was widespread in the Graeco-Roman world, as indicated by the large number of surviving letters and their extensive coverage of all social categories. Despite a large amount of work that has been done on the topic of ancient epistolography, material and formatting conventions have remained underexplored, mainly due to the difficulty of accessing images of letters in the past. Thanks to the increasing availability of digital images and the appearance of more detailed and sophisticated editions, we are now in a position to study such aspects. This book examines the development of letter writing conventions from the archaic to Roman times, and is based on a wide corpus of letters that survive on their original material substrates. The bulk of the material is from Egypt, but the study takes account of comparative evidence from other regions of the Graeco-Roman world. Through analysis of developments in the use of letters, variations in formatting conventions, layout and authentication patterns according to the sociocultural background and communicational needs of writers, this book sheds light on changing trends in epistolary practice in Graeco-Roman society over a period of roughly eight hundred years. This book will appeal to scholars of Epistolography, Papyrology, Palaeography, Classics, Cultural History of the Graeco-Roman World.
From Small States to Universalism in the Pre-Islamic Near East
Author: Mark Altaweel
Publisher: UCL Press
This book investigates the long-term continuity of large-scale states and empires, and its effect on the Near East’s social fabric, including the fundamental changes that occurred to major social institutions. Its geographical coverage spans, from east to west, modern-day Libya and Egypt to Central Asia, and from north to south, Anatolia to southern Arabia, incorporating modern-day Oman and Yemen. Its temporal coverage spans from the late eighth century BCE to the seventh century CE during the rise of Islam and collapse of the Sasanian Empire. The authors argue that the persistence of large states and empires starting in the eighth/seventh centuries BCE, which continued for many centuries, led to new socio-political structures and institutions emerging in the Near East. The primary processes that enabled this emergence were large-scale and long-distance movements, or population migrations. These patterns of social developments are analysed under different aspects: settlement patterns, urban structure, material culture, trade, governance, language spread and religion, all pointing at movement as the main catalyst for social change. This book’s argument is framed within a larger theoretical framework termed as ‘universalism’, a theory that explains many of the social transformations that happened to societies in the Near East, starting from the Neo-Assyrian period and continuing for centuries. Among other influences, the effects of these transformations are today manifested in modern languages, concepts of government, universal religions and monetized and globalized economies.
Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. In this Very Short Introduction, Karen Radner sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the end of the 7th century BC. Since the archaeological rediscovery of Assyria in the mid-19th century, its cities have been excavated extensively in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Israel, with further sites in Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan providing important information. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most geographically vast, socially diverse, multicultural, and multi-ethnic states of the early first millennium BC. Using archaeological records, Radner provides insights into the lives of the inhabitants of the kingdom, highlighting the diversity of human experiences in the Assyrian Empire. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.