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A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-71816-2
424 pages
August 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC, 3rd Edition (111871816X) cover image

Description

Incorporating the latest scholarly research, the third edition of A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000–323 BC presents a comprehensive overview of the multicultural civilizations of the ancient Near East.

  • Integrates the most up-to-date research, and includes a richer selection of supplementary materials
  • Addresses the wide variety of political, social, and cultural developments in the ancient Near East
  • Updated features include new “Key Debate” boxes at the end of each chapter to engage students with various perspectives on a range of critical issues; a comprehensive timeline of events; and 46 new illustrations, including 12 color photos
  • Features a new chapter addressing governance and continuity in the region during the Persian Empire
  • Offers in-depth, accessible discussions of key texts and sources, including the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

List of Charts xi

List of Maps xii

List of Debates xiv

List of Boxes xv

List of Documents xvi

Preface xviii

Author’s Note xxi

1 Introductory Concerns 1

1.1 What Is the Ancient Near East? 1

1.2 The Sources 3

1.3 Geography 6

1.4 Prehistoric Developments 10

Part I City-States 19

2 Origins: The Uruk Phenomenon 21

2.1 The Origins of Cities 23

2.2 The Development of Writing and Administration 30

2.3 The “Uruk Expansion” 37

2.4 Uruk’s Aftermath 41

3 Competing City-States: The Early Dynastic Period 44

3.1 The Written Sources and Their Historical Uses 45

3.2 Political Developments in Southern Mesopotamia 48

3.3 The Wider Near East 56

3.4 Early Dynastic Society 60

3.5 Scribal Culture 63

4 Political Centralization in the Late Third Millennium 67

4.1 The Kings of Akkad 68

4.2 The Third Dynasty of Ur 79

5 The Near East in the Early Second Millennium 90

5.1 Nomads and Sedentary People 92

5.2 Babylonia 95

5.3 Assyria and the East 100

5.4 Mari and the West 107

6 The Growth of Territorial States in the Early Second Millennium 113

6.1 Shamshi-Adad and the Kingdom of Upper Mesopotamia 115

6.2 Hammurabi’s Babylon 118

6.3 The Old Hittite Kingdom 127

6.4 The “Dark Age” 131

Part II Territorial States 135

7 The Club of the Great Powers 137

7.1 The Political System 138

7.2 Political Interactions: Diplomacy and Trade 142

7.3 Regional Competition: Warfare 151

7.4 Shared Ideologies and Social Organizations 153

8 The Western States of the Late Second Millennium 159

8.1 Mittani 160

8.2 The Hittite New Kingdom 165

8.3 Syria-Palestine 174

9 Kassites, Assyrians, and Elamites 182

9.1 Babylonia 183

9.2 Assyria 190

9.3 The Middle Elamite Kingdom 195

10 The Collapse of the Regional System and Its Aftermath 202

10.1 The Events 203

10.2 Interpretation 210

10.3 The Aftermath 213

Part III Empires 221

11 The Near East at the Start of the First Millennium 223

11.1 The Eastern States 224

11.2 The West 232

12 The Rise of Assyria 246

12.1 Patterns of Assyrian Imperialism 247

12.2 The Historical Record 253

12.3 Ninth-Century Expansion 255

12.4 Internal Assyrian Decline 261

13 Assyria’s World Domination 265

13.1 The Creation of an Imperial Structure 266

13.2 The Defeat of the Great Rivals 270

13.3 The Administration and Ideology of the Empire 277

13.4 Assyrian Culture 279

13.5 Assyria’s Fall 284

14 The Medes and Babylonians 289

14.1 The Medes and the Anatolian States 290

14.2 The Neo-Babylonian Dynasty 294

15 The Creation of a World Empire: Persia 308

15.1 The Sources and Their Challenges 309

15.2 The Rise of Persia and Its Expansion 310

15.3 Governance of the Subject States 315

15.4 The Creation of an Imperial Structure 319

16 Governing a World Empire: Persia 327

16.1 Political Developments 327

16.2 Administration of the Empire 331

16.3 Local Forms of Persian Administration 335

16.4 The End of the Empire 342

Epilogue 346

King Lists 348

Guide to Further Reading 364

Bibliography 370

Comprehensive Time Line 385

Index 389

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Author Information

Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of many books on various aspects of the histories of the ancient Near East and Egypt, including The Ancient Mesopotamian City (1997, 1999), King Hammurabi of Babylon (Blackwell, 2004), The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and A History of Ancient Egypt (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).
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Reviews

“This is the third edition of a classic made all the more popular as we try to understand the origins of today’s Middle East with its wars, hatreds, dictatorships, genocides and infamous new caliphates that hold nothing but terror for those who will not bow the knee to jihadi dogma.”  (Unrv.com, 1 January 2016)

“For these reasons and for many more, this volume deserves considerable praise and lasting admiration.”  (RBECS.org, 27 December 2015)

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