State Correspondence in the Ancient World

Author: Karen Radner
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199354771
Release Date: 2014
Genre: History

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.

Material Aspects of Letter Writing in the Graeco Roman World

Author: Antonia Sarri
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 9783110426953
Release Date: 2017-11-20
Genre: History

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.

Revolutionizing a World

Author: Mark Altaweel
Publisher: UCL Press
ISBN: 9781911576631
Release Date: 2018-02-26
Genre: History

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.

Introduction Introducing Assyria Assyrian places Assyrians at home Assyrians abroad Foreigners in Assyria Assyrian world domination Chronology Glossary References Further reading Index

Author: Karen Radner
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780198715900
Release Date: 2015
Genre: History

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.

The Dynamics of Ancient Empires

Author: Ian Morris
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199707618
Release Date: 2009-01-13
Genre: History

The world's first known empires took shape in Mesopotamia between the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, beginning around 2350 BCE. The next 2,500 years witnessed sustained imperial growth, bringing a growing share of humanity under the control of ever-fewer states. Two thousand years ago, just four major powers--the Roman, Parthian, Kushan, and Han empires--ruled perhaps two-thirds of the earth's entire population. Yet despite empires' prominence in the early history of civilization, there have been surprisingly few attempts to study the dynamics of ancient empires in the western Old World comparatively. Such grand comparisons were popular in the eighteenth century, but scholars then had only Greek and Latin literature and the Hebrew Bible as evidence, and necessarily framed the problem in different, more limited, terms. Near Eastern texts, and knowledge of their languages, only appeared in large amounts in the later nineteenth century. Neither Karl Marx nor Max Weber could make much use of this material, and not until the 1920s were there enough archaeological data to make syntheses of early European and west Asian history possible. But one consequence of the increase in empirical knowledge was that twentieth-century scholars generally defined the disciplinary and geographical boundaries of their specialties more narrowly than their Enlightenment predecessors had done, shying away from large questions and cross-cultural comparisons. As a result, Greek and Roman empires have largely been studied in isolation from those of the Near East. This volume is designed to address these deficits and encourage dialogue across disciplinary boundaries by examining the fundamental features of the successive and partly overlapping imperial states that dominated much of the Near East and the Mediterranean in the first millennia BCE and CE. A substantial introductory discussion of recent thought on the mechanisms of imperial state formation prefaces the five newly commissioned case studies of the Neo-Assyrian, Achaemenid Persian, Athenian, Roman, and Byzantine empires. A final chapter draws on the findings of evolutionary psychology to improve our understanding of ultimate causation in imperial predation and exploitation in a wide range of historical systems from all over the globe. Contributors include John Haldon, Jack Goldstone, Peter Bedford, Josef Wieseh?fer, Ian Morris, Walter Scheidel, and Keith Hopkins, whose essay on Roman political economy was completed just before his death in 2004.

Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period

Author: Jennifer Cromwell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198768104
Release Date: 2018-01-11
Genre: History

Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period deals with the possibility of glimpsing pre-modern and early modern Egyptian scribes, the actual people who produced ancient documents, through the ways in which they organized and wrote those documents. While traditional research has focused on identifying a 'pure' or 'original' text behind the actual manuscripts that have come down to us from pre-modern Egypt, the volume looks instead at variation - different ways of saying the same thing - as a rich source for understanding the complex social and cultural environments in which scribes lived and worked, breaking with the traditional conception of variation in scribal texts as 'free' or indicative of 'corruption'. As such, it presents a novel reconceptualization of scribal variation in pre-modern Egypt from the point of view of contemporary historical sociolinguistics, seeing scribes as agents embedded in particular geographical, temporal, and socio-cultural environments. Introducing to Egyptology concepts such as scribal communities, networks, and repertoires, among others, the authors then apply them to a variety of phenomena, including features of lexicon, grammar, orthography, palaeography, layout, and format. After first presenting this conceptual framework, they demonstrate how it has been applied to better-studied pre-modern societies by drawing upon the well-established domain of scribal variation in pre-modern English, before proceeding to a series of case studies applying these concepts to scribal variation spanning thousands of years, from the languages and writing systems of Pharaonic times, to those of Late Antique and Islamic Egypt.

The Roman Market Economy

Author: Peter Temin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691147680
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Business & Economics

"The study of ancient economies has for many generations been a fiercely debated field. Peter Temin has produced a book that will in many ways foster renewed energy in this great debate. What is of special value here is his economic analysis, including the use of regressions to show that price movements in the Roman provinces must be linked to those in Rome itself, and that the Roman economy, therefore, was a market economy. Whether one agrees or not with this basic conclusion, the framing of the evidence will alter the terms of the debate, and not just for the Roman economy but for Hellenistic economies as well. The book is a must-read for all economic historians and will surely become one of the most widely read books on the ancient economy."--J. G. Manning, Yale University "Peter Temin's fascinating book deploys the techniques of economic analysis to understand the nature of Roman trade, markets, and transactions, and definitively challenges the view of the Roman Empire as a 'primitive' economy. Stressing the importance of markets, trade, commerce, and banking, and emphasizing their prominence in the evidence from ancient texts and archaeology, Temin offers a sophisticated account of Rome's economic institutions and practices that fundamentally revises and enriches our understanding of the prosperity and the decline of this major imperial power."--Alan K. Bowman, University of Oxford "This is a very important book, and I know of no other quite like it. Temin's scholarship promotes and illustrates the relevance of economic theory to the study of Roman history. "The Roman Market Economy" contains plenty of claims that are controversial, but that's what will energize the debate."--Walter Scheidel, coeditor of "The Oxford Handbook of Roman Studies" "Economic historians have actively studied medieval and early modern Europe for decades, but few have ventured back as far as Peter Temin does here. He demonstrates that economic arguments apply just as well to the ancient world, and that even quite general propositions can be tested against evidence from antiquity."--Francois R. Velde, coauthor of "The Big Problem of Small Change" "

Nomads Tribes and the State in the Ancient Near East

Author: Jeffrey Szuchman
Publisher: Oriental Inst Publications Sales
ISBN: 1885923619
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

For decades, scholars have struggled to understand the complex relationship between pastoral nomadic tribes and sedentary peoples of the Near East. The Oriental Institute's fourth annual post-doc seminar (March 7-8, 2008), Nomads, Tribes, and the State in the Ancient Near East, brought together archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists to discuss new approaches to enduring questions in the study of nomadic peoples, tribes, and states of the past: What social or political bonds link tribes and states? Could nomadic tribes exhibit elements of urbanism or social hierarchies? How can the tools of historical, archaeological, and ethnographic research be integrated to build a dynamic picture of the social landscape of the Near East? This volume presents a range of data and theoretical perspectives from a variety of regions and periods, including prehistoric Iran, ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, seventh-century Arabia, and nineteenth-century Jordan.

Empire and Communications

Author: Harold A. Innis
Publisher: Dundurn
ISBN: 9781550026627
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

"Empire and Communications" is one of Innis's most important contributions to the debate about how media influences the development of consciousness and societies.-This is one of Innis's most important contributions to the debate about how media influences the development of consciousness and societies.

The Egyptian

Author: Mika Waltari
Publisher:
ISBN: 0899668631
Release Date: 1991-01-01
Genre: Fiction


Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World

Author: Paul Erdkamp
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780198728924
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Land use

This volume focuses on how the institutional set-up, or structure, of the Roman Empire positively or negatively affected economic performance. An international range of contributors offers a variety of approaches that together enhance our understanding of how different ownership rights and various modes of organization and exploitation facilitated or prevented the use of land and natural resources in the production process.

Rome and China

Author: Walter Scheidel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199714290
Release Date: 2009-02-05
Genre: History

Transcending ethnic, linguistic, and religious boundaries, early empires shaped thousands of years of world history. Yet despite the global prominence of empire, individual cases are often studied in isolation. This series seeks to change the terms of the debate by promoting cross-cultural, comparative, and transdisciplinary perspectives on imperial state formation prior to the European colonial expansion. Two thousand years ago, up to one-half of the human species was contained within two political systems, the Roman empire in western Eurasia (centered on the Mediterranean Sea) and the Han empire in eastern Eurasia (centered on the great North China Plain). Both empires were broadly comparable in terms of size and population, and even largely coextensive in chronological terms (221 BCE to 220 CE for the Qin/Han empire, c. 200 BCE to 395 CE for the unified Roman empire). At the most basic level of resolution, the circumstances of their creation are not very different. In the East, the Shang and Western Zhou periods created a shared cultural framework for the Warring States, with the gradual consolidation of numerous small polities into a handful of large kingdoms which were finally united by the westernmost marcher state of Qin. In the Mediterranean, we can observe comparable political fragmentation and gradual expansion of a unifying civilization, Greek in this case, followed by the gradual formation of a handful of major warring states (the Hellenistic kingdoms in the east, Rome-Italy, Syracuse and Carthage in the west), and likewise eventual unification by the westernmost marcher state, the Roman-led Italian confederation. Subsequent destabilization occurred again in strikingly similar ways: both empires came to be divided into two halves, one that contained the original core but was more exposed to the main barbarian periphery (the west in the Roman case, the north in China), and a traditionalist half in the east (Rome) and south (China). These processes of initial convergence and subsequent divergence in Eurasian state formation have never been the object of systematic comparative analysis. This volume, which brings together experts in the history of the ancient Mediterranean and early China, makes a first step in this direction, by presenting a series of comparative case studies on clearly defined aspects of state formation in early eastern and western Eurasia, focusing on the process of initial developmental convergence. It includes a general introduction that makes the case for a comparative approach; a broad sketch of the character of state formation in western and eastern Eurasia during the final millennium of antiquity; and six thematically connected case studies of particularly salient aspects of this process.

Sapiens

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062316103
Release Date: 2015-02-10
Genre: Science

New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

State Power in Ancient China and Rome

Author: Walter Scheidel
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780190202248
Release Date: 2015
Genre: History

The Chinese and the Romans created the largest empires of the ancient world. Separated by thousands of miles of steppe, mountains and sea, these powerful states developed independently and with very limited awareness of each other's existence. This parallel process of state formation served as a massive natural experiment in social evolution that provides unique insight into the complexities of historical causation. Comparisons between the two empires shed new light on the factors that led to particular outcomes and help us understand similarities and differences in ancient state formation. The explicitly comparative perspective adopted in this volume opens up a dialogue between scholars from different areas of specialization, encouraging them to address big questions about the nature of imperial rule. In a series of interlocking case studies, leading experts of early China and the ancient Mediterranean explore the relationship between rulers and elite groups, the organization and funding of government, and the ways in which urban development reflected the interplay between state power and communal civic institutions.0Bureaucratization, famously associated with Qin and Han China but long less prominent in the Roman world, receives special attention as an index of the ambitions and capabilities of kings and emperors. The volume concludes with a look at the preconditions for the emergence of divine rulership. Taken together, these pioneering contributions lay the foundations for a systematic comparative history of early empires.

1177 B C

Author: Eric H. Cline
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400874491
Release Date: 2015-09-22
Genre: History

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen? In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age—and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.