Skip to main content

A Companion to Ancient History

A Companion to Ancient History

Andrew Erskine (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-58153-7

Nov 2012, Wiley-Blackwell

640 pages

$44.99

Description

This Companion provides a comprehensive introduction to key topics in the study of ancient history.

  • Examines the forms of evidence, problems, approaches, and major themes in the study of ancient history
  • Comprises more than 40 essays, written by leading international scholars
  • Moves beyond the primary focus on Greece and Rome with coverage of the various cultures within the ancient Mediterranean
  • Draws on the latest research in the field
  • Provides an essential resource for any student of ancient history

List of Figures xi

List of Maps xii

Notes on Contributors xiii

Preface xix

Abbreviations, Reference Works xx

Abbreviations and Glossary, Ancient Authors xxiii

Timeline xxx

1 Personal Perspectives 1
Josiah Ober, Peter Derow, Andrea Giardina, Neil McLynn, Kathryn Welch

Part I: Evidence 11

2 Historiography 13
John Marincola

3 Epigraphical Cultures of the Classical Mediterranean: Greek, Latin, and Beyond 23
Gregory Rowe

4 Papyrology 37
Alan K. Bowman

5 Numismatics 48
A. R. Meadows

6 Archaeology and Ancient History 59
Stephen L. Dyson

7 Oratory 67
Catherine Steel

8 Ancient History Through Ancient Literature 77
Tim Whitmarsh

Part II: Problems and Approaches 87

9 Ancient History Today 89
J. A. North

10 Political History 99
Robert Morstein-Marx

11 Economic and Social History 112
Neville Morley

12 Ethnicity and Culture 123
Edward Herring

13 Population and Demography 134
Walter Scheidel

14 Writing Women into History 146
Amy Richlin

15 Interpreting Myth 154
Carol Dougherty

16 Environmental History 164
Robert Sallares

Part III: People and Places 175

17 The Near East 177
Maria Brosius

18 Egypt under the Pharaohs 189
John Ray

19 The Jews 201
Gideon Bohak

20 The Greeks 213
Thomas Harrison

21 Asia Minor 222
Peter Thonemann

22 Rome 236
Christer Bruun

23 Italy beyond Rome 248
Kathryn Lomas

24 North Africa 260
Josephine Crawley Quinn

25 The Iberian Peninsula in the Roman Period 273
A. T. Fear

26 The “Celts” 284
Constanze Witt

Part IV: Encountering the Divine 299

27 Religion 301
Mark Humphries

28 The Emergence of Christianity 312
John Curran

Part V: Living and Dying 327

29 The Family 329
Mary Harlow and Tim Parkin

30 Food 342
John Wilkins

31 Eros: Love and Sexuality 352
James Davidson

32 Housing 368
Lisa C. Nevett

33 Entertainment 381
David Potter

34 Education 392
Jason König

35 Medicine 403
Helen King

36 Death 414
David Noy

Part VI: Economy 427

37 The Mediterranean and the History of Antiquity 429
R. Bruce Hitchner

38 Ancient Economies 436
John Davies

39 Labor: Free and Unfree 447
Peter Fibiger Bang

40 The Countryside 462
Robert Witcher

41 Finance and Resources: Public, Private, and Personal 474
Paul Millett

42 Ancient Technology 486
Tracey Rihll

Part VII: Politics and Power 497

43 Structures 499
Hans Beck

44 Citizenship 510
Andrew Lintott

45 Law 520
Elizabeth A. Meyer

46 Warfare 531
Louis Rawlings

Part VIII: Repercussions 543

47 The Impact of Antiquity 545
Rosamond McKitterick

48 Ancient History and National Identity 555
Andrew Erskine

49 Hollywood’s Ancient World 564
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

Bibliography 580

Index 654

Yet, however unsatisfactory the definition of Ancient History may be (seen from the angle of an Assyriologist, an Egyptologist, or an Iranologist), the appearance of this well-edited, wide ranging and most interesting volume is a felicitous event, proving that under the reign of Wikipedia there is still need to replace the dethroned Pauly-Wissowa with general studies of the highest quality. Assyriologists, Egyptologists, and Iranologists will certainly find much useful material here for them as well.”  (Scripta Classica Israelica, 2012)

"The quality of the presentation is high; maps, a timeline, and indices are provided and will be of help to new students of the discipline. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, April 2010)


  • Examines the forms of evidence, problems, approaches, and major themes in the study of ancient history

  • Comprises more than 40 essays, written by leading international scholars

  • Moves beyond the primary focus on Greece and Rome with coverage of the various cultures within the ancient Mediterranean

  • Draws on the latest research in the field

  • Provides an essential resource for any student of ancient history