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The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome (2007)

af Susan Wise Bauer

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
1,4782112,454 (4.08)1 / 22
The first volume in a new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Historian Bauer provides both sweeping scope and attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. Dozens of maps provide a geography of great events, while timelines give the reader an ongoing sense of the passage of years and cultural interconnection. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath"--literature, epic traditions, private letters and accounts--to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled. The result is a tapestry of human behavior from which we may draw conclusions about the direction of world events and the causes behind them.--From publisher description.… (mere)
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» Se også 22 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 21 (næste | vis alle)
If you are wanting a good, concise, readable history of the ancient world to Constantine, I have not found a better volume than this. ( )
  everettroberts | Oct 20, 2023 |
A great book and a great introduction to early history.
  sana8 | Sep 6, 2022 |
I am finally finished with this incredibly detailed recital of the ancient world, with all its mayhem. Billed as covering the facts from 'the earliest accounts' to the fall of Rome, it tells with relentless detail the stories of war, fratricide, patricide, matricide, and all matter of disaster as people chased after power. Bauer moves from Mesopotamia (and myths thereof) to China, back to the Mediterranean, over and over to keep us on an approximately even timeline, but the stories are depressingly the same. I am sure there is more to plumb in the history of our species than this lust for control, but it's not reflected here.

The audio voice is plummy, which is sufficiently soporific that I could only really listen when I was walking or traveling. Once the narrative got to the era reflected in stories of Egypt, Palestine, Greece and Rome, where I have more grounding, the names stopped blurring together. I suspect (or hope) the printed version has maps which might aid the reader - once in a while I resorted to Google and Wikipedia to show me the geography discussed.

All in all, a traditional overview of inferred and recorded time in Asia, Europe and North Africa. ( )
  ffortsa | Nov 15, 2021 |
Just finished this entire series. I hear lots of negativity regarding this volume and its two siblings.....Nothing but war, depressing, war, war, war. Well folks.........this is what history is made of. This is what shaped the world we live in. What makes the books so brilliant is the first quarter of the first book. Mrs. Bauer starts with a dot on the map of known civilization and by the time you are done with the third book the world is still in chaos. From the cloudy shores of England to the foggy banks of Japan with Samurai lurking in the shadows. This trilogy is incredible. Would like to see another volume. The third was supposed to be on the renaissance but only covered the events leading up to it. I highly recommend reading Thomas Asbridge's books on the Crusades in between the second and third volume of this series. ( )
1 stem JHemlock | Apr 21, 2017 |
Susan Wise Bauer writes well, but this overview of ancient history is depressing. She sticks to history, that is written accounts, so people who didn't have the ability to write, or didn't sufficiently annoy someone who did, don't get much mention. Those who do make it into this account of history lived in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, India, and Asia. What's depressing (at least to me) is that in the roughly 4,000 years, and across all the real estate covered by the book, people don't seem to have made much progress. The big achievement was writing. After that what they did mostly was wage war and engage in brutal internal squabbles for power. It's as if the entire human species (with very few exceptions) was infected with a virus that made them paranoid sociopaths. Maybe only the leaders were truly insane, but pretty much every king, general, or anyone else who obtained a position of power did so through deception, betrayal, and murder; and then they went about enslaving, maiming, and killing people ostensibly ruled by other psychopaths and stealing whatever they had. If you think modern politics are nasty or that the world today is a violent place, read this book. We've go it good. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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The first volume in a new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Historian Bauer provides both sweeping scope and attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. Dozens of maps provide a geography of great events, while timelines give the reader an ongoing sense of the passage of years and cultural interconnection. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath"--literature, epic traditions, private letters and accounts--to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled. The result is a tapestry of human behavior from which we may draw conclusions about the direction of world events and the causes behind them.--From publisher description.

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