Alexander the Great

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Hugh Bowden
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198706154
Category: History
Page: 120
View: 4306

Continue Reading →

In 336 BC Alexander the Great became king of Macedon. During his twelve-year reign he conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest to have yet existed, and in the process had a profound effect on the world he moved through. In this examination of his life and career, Hugh Bowden explores his cultural and historical legacy.

Alexander the Great: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Hugh Bowden
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191016365
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 2742

Continue Reading →

Alexander the Great became king of Macedon in 336 BC, when he was only 20 years old, and died at the age of 32, twelve years later. During his reign he conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest empire that had ever existed, leading his army from Greece to Pakistan, and from the Libyan desert to the steppes of Central Asia. His meteoric career, as leader of an alliance of Greek cities, Pharaoh of Egypt, and King of Persia, had a profound effect on the world he moved through. Even in his lifetime his achievements became legendary and in the centuries that following his story was told and retold throughout Europe and the East. Greek became the language of power in the Eastern Mediterranean and much of the Near East, as powerful Macedonian dynasts carved up Alexander's empire into kingdoms of their own, underlaying the flourishing Hellenistic civilization that emerged after his death. But what do we really know about Alexander? In this Very Short Introduction, Hugh Bowden goes behind the usual historical accounts of Alexander's life and career. Instead, he focuses on the evidence from Alexander's own time — letters from officials in Afghanistan, Babylonian diaries, records from Egyptian temples — to try and understand how Alexander appeared to those who encountered him. In doing so he also demonstrates the profound influence the legends of his life have had on our historical understanding and the controversy they continue to generate worldwide. 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.

Borders: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Alexander C. Diener,Joshua Hagen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199912653
Category: Social Science
Page: 152
View: 1693

Continue Reading →

Compelling and accessible, this Very Short Introduction challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map, revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic, social, political, and environmental processes that shape our lives. Highlighting the historical development and continued relevance of borders, Alexander Diener and Joshua Hagen offer a powerful counterpoint to the idea of an imminent borderless world, underscoring the impact borders have on a range of issues, such as economic development, inter- and intra-state conflict, global terrorism, migration, nationalism, international law, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. Diener and Hagen demonstrate how and why borders have been, are currently, and will undoubtedly remain hot topics across the social sciences and in the global headlines for years to come. This compact volume will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students, including geographers, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, international relations and law experts, as well as lay readers interested in understanding current events.

Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Harry Sidebottom
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577979
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 1366

Continue Reading →

Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare before and after. The key difference is often held to be that the Greeks and Romans practised a 'Western Way of War', where the aim is an open, decisive battle, won by courage instilled in part by discipline. Harry Sidebottom looks at how and why this 'Western Way of War' was constructed and maintained by the Greeks and Romans, why this concept is so popular and prevalent today, and at whether or not this is an accurate interpretation. All aspects of ancient warfare are thoroughly examined - from philosophy and strategy to the technical skills needed to fight. He looks at war in the wider context - how wars could shape classical society, and how the individual's identity could be constructed by war, for example the Christian soldier fighting in God's name. He also explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict: Can a war be just? Why was siege warfare particularly bloody? What role did divine intervention play in the outcome of a battle? Taking fascinating examples from the Iliad, Tacitus, and the Persian Wars, Sidebottom uses arresting anecdotes and striking visual images to show that the any understanding of ancient war is an ongoing process of interpretation. 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 Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction


Author: David M. Gwynn
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191642355
Category: History
Page: 168
View: 6084

Continue Reading →

The rise and fall of the Roman Republic occupies a special place in the history of Western civilization. From humble beginnings on the seven hills beside the Tiber, the city of Rome grew to dominate the ancient Mediterranean. Led by her senatorial aristocracy, Republican armies defeated Carthage and the successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great, and brought the surrounding peoples to east and west into the Roman sphere. Yet the triumph of the Republic was also its tragedy. In this Very Short Introduction, David M. Gwynn provides a fascinating introduction to the history of the Roman Republic and its literary and material sources, bringing to life the culture and society of Republican Rome and its ongoing significance within our modern world. 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.

Babylonia: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Trevor Bryce
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198726473
Category: History
Page: 160
View: 9284

Continue Reading →

The history of Ancient Babylonia in ancient Mesopatamia is epic. After playing host to three great empires, the Hammurabic and Kassite empires, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire ruled by Nebuchadnezzar, it was conquered by the Persians. Entered triumphantly by Alexander the Great, it later provided the setting for the Conquerer's deathbed. Squabbled over by his heirs, Babylonia was subsequently dominated by the Parthian and Roman empires. In this Very Short Introduction, Trevor Bryce takes us on a journey of more than 2,000 years across the history and civilization of ancient Babylonia, from the emergence of its chief city, Babylon, as a modest village on the Euphrates in the 3rd millennium BC through successive phases of triumph, decline, and resurgence until its royal capital faded into obscurity in the Roman imperial era. Exploring key historical events as well as the day-to-day life of an ancient Babylonian, Bryce provides a comprehensive guide to one of history's most profound civilizations. 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.

Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Helen Morales
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804766
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 9178

Continue Reading →

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths in both high art and popular culture.

Alexander the Great

The Hunt for a New Past
Author: Paul Cartledge
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 1400079195
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 368
View: 475

Continue Reading →

An analysis of Alexander the Great's political and military accomplishments traces the path of his armies while charting the course of his influence, citing his impact on military tactics, scholarship, and politics throughout history while describing the many roles with which he has been credited. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Eric H. Cline
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199760276
Category: History
Page: 130
View: 6219

Continue Reading →

This introduction considers whether the Trojan war actually took place and whether archaeologists have discovered the site of ancient Troy.

Alexander

The Ambiguity of Greatness
Author: Guy Maclean Rogers
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588364135
Category: History
Page: 464
View: 7038

Continue Reading →

For nearly two and a half millennia, Alexander the Great has loomed over history as a legend–and an enigma. Wounded repeatedly but always triumphant in battle, he conquered most of the known world, only to die mysteriously at the age of thirty-two. In his day he was revered as a god; in our day he has been reviled as a mass murderer, a tyrant as brutal as Stalin or Hitler. Who was the man behind the mask of power? Why did Alexander embark on an unprecedented program of global domination? What accounted for his astonishing success on the battlefield? In this luminous new biography, the esteemed classical scholar and historian Guy MacLean Rogers sifts through thousands of years of history and myth to uncover the truth about this complex, ambiguous genius. Ascending to the throne of Macedonia after the assassination of his father, King Philip II, Alexander discovered while barely out of his teens that he had an extraordinary talent and a boundless appetite for military conquest. A virtuoso of violence, he was gifted with an uncanny ability to visualize how a battle would unfold, coupled with devastating decisiveness in the field. Granicus, Issos, Gaugamela, Hydaspes–as the victories mounted, Alexander’s passion for conquest expanded from cities to countries to continents. When Persia, the greatest empire of his day, fell before him, he marched at once on India, intending to add it to his holdings. As Rogers shows, Alexander’s military prowess only heightened his exuberant sexuality. Though his taste for multiple partners, both male and female, was tolerated, Alexander’s relatively enlightened treatment of women was nothing short of revolutionary. He outlawed rape, he placed intelligent women in positions of authority, and he chose his wives from among the peoples he conquered. Indeed, as Rogers argues, Alexander’s fascination with Persian culture, customs, and sexual practices may have led to his downfall, perhaps even to his death. Alexander emerges as a charismatic and surprisingly modern figure–neither a messiah nor a genocidal butcher but one of the most imaginative and daring military tacticians of all time. Balanced and authoritative, this brilliant portrait brings Alexander to life as a man, without diminishing the power of the legend. From the Hardcover edition.

The Hellenistic Age: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Peter Thonemann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191063150
Category: Social Science
Page: 152
View: 6310

Continue Reading →

The three centuries which followed the conquests of Alexander are perhaps the most thrilling of all periods of ancient history. This was an age of cultural globalization: in the third century BC, a single language carried you from the Rhône to the Indus. A Celt from the lower Danube could serve in the mercenary army of a Macedonian king ruling in Egypt, and a Greek philosopher from Cyprus could compare the religions of the Brahmins and the Jews on the basis of first-hand knowledge of both. Kings from Sicily to Tajikistan struggled to meet the challenges of ruling multi-ethnic states, and Greek city-states came together under the earliest federal governments known to history. The scientists of Ptolemaic Alexandria measured the circumference of the earth, while pioneering Greek argonauts explored the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic coast of Africa. Drawing on inscriptions, papyri, coinage, poetry, art, and archaeology, in this Very Short Introduction Peter Thonemann opens up the history and culture of the vast Hellenistic world, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) to the Roman conquest of the Ptolemaic kingdom (30 BC). 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 Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Amanda H. Podany
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019970323X
Category: History
Page: 168
View: 4009

Continue Reading →

The ancient Near East is known as the "cradle of civilization"--and for good reason. Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia were home to an extraordinarily rich and successful culture. Indeed, it was a time and place of earth-shaking changes for humankind: the beginnings of writing and law, kingship and bureaucracy, diplomacy and state-sponsored warfare, mathematics and literature. This Very Short Introduction offers a fascinating account of this momentous time in human history. The three thousand years covered here--from around 3500 BCE, with the founding of the first Mesopotamian cities, to the conquest of the Near East by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE-represent a period of incredible innovation, from the invention of the wheel and the plow, to early achievements in astronomy, law, and diplomacy. As historian Amanda Podany explores this era, she overturns the popular image of the ancient world as a primitive, violent place. We discover that women had many rights and freedoms: they could own property, run businesses, and represent themselves in court. Diplomats traveled between the capital cities of major powers ensuring peace and friendship between the kings. Scribes and scholars studied the stars and could predict eclipses and the movements of the planets. Every chapter introduces the reader to a particular moment in ancient Near Eastern history, illuminating such aspects as trade, religion, diplomacy, law, warfare, kingship, and agriculture. Each discussion focuses on evidence provided in two or three cuneiform texts from that time. These documents, the cities in which they were found, the people and gods named in them, the events they recount or reflect, all provide vivid testimony of the era in which they were written. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Jennifer T. Roberts
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199575991
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 123
View: 6586

Continue Reading →

Jennifer Roberts introduces the background and writing of the 5th century Greek thinker and researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus, who invented the genre of historical investigation. She discusses all aspects of his work, including his fascination with his origins; his travels; his interest in seeing the world; and the recurring themes of his work.

Ancient Greece

A History in Eleven Cities
Author: Paul Cartledge
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191579608
Category: History
Page: 216
View: 9136

Continue Reading →

The contribution of the Ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizably different without the formative influence of Ancient Greek models. Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city - in Greek, the polis, from which we derive 'politics'. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny and - last but by no means least - democracy. This highly stimulating introduction to Ancient Greece takes the polis as its starting point. Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language around 1400 BCE, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around CE 330. Covering everything from politics, trade, and travel to slavery, gender, religion, and philosophy, it provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization that helped give birth to the world as we know it.

Russian History: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Geoffrey Hosking
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199580987
Category: History
Page: 154
View: 7752

Continue Reading →

A leading international authority discusses all aspects of Russian history, from the struggle by the state to control society to the transformation of the nation into a multi-ethnic empire, Russia's relations with the West and the post-Soviet era. Original.

Exploration

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Stewart A. Weaver
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199946957
Category: History
Page: 133
View: 8398

Continue Reading →

For as long as there have been civilizations, there has been the urge to venture outside of them, either in search of other civilizations or in search of novelty. Exploration: A Very Short Introduction surveys this quintessential human impulse, tracing it from pre-history to the present, from east to west around the globe, and from the depths of volcanoes to the expanses of space. Stewart Weaver arranges the history of world explorations into thematic chapters, each of which isolates the distinctive qualities and characteristics of exploration in a particular era, period, or place. He introduces the reader to the definition of exploration; to the Polynesians crossing vast seas on their canoes and other early explorers; through Columbus and the European discovery of the Americas. James Cook and the place of exploration in the Enlightenment form the subject of a chapter. So too do the natural histories and explorations of Alexander von Humboldt in South America and Lewis and Clark in North America. The book's final chapters chart exploration through imperial expansion and into new frontiers, guiding the reader through exploration in Africa and Central Asia, the race to the North and South Poles, and today's efforts in space and deep sea exploration. But what accounts for this urge? Through this unique survey of the history of exploration, Weaver clearly shows how the impulse to explore is also the foundation of the globalized world we inhabit today. Exploration combines a narration of explorers' daring feats with a wide-lens examination of what it fundamentally means to explore. As Weaver shows us, the act of exploration in the largest possible global context is the natural history of the earth itself. 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.

Risk: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Baruch Fischhoff,John Kadvany
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199576203
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 162
View: 2455

Continue Reading →

Risks are everywhere. They come from many sources, including crime, diseases, accidents, terror, climate change, finance, and intimacy. They arise from our own acts and they are imposed on us. In this Very Short Introduction Fischhoff and Kadvany draw on both the sciences and humanities to show what all risks have in common. Do we care about losing money, health, reputation, or peace of mind? How much do we care about things happening now or in the future? To ourselves or to others? All risks require thinking hard about what matters to us before we make decisions about them based on past experience, scientific knowledge, and future uncertainties. Using conceptual frameworks such as decision theory and behavioural decision research, we examine the science and practice of creating measures of risk and look at how scientists apply probability by combining historical records, scientific theories, and expert judgement. Showing what science has learned about how people deal with risks, and applying these to diverse everyday examples, the authors demonstrate how we move from understanding a risk to making a choice in everyday life.

Dividing the Spoils

The War for Alexander the Great's Empire
Author: Robin Waterfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199931526
Category: History
Page: 273
View: 8712

Continue Reading →

"Dividing the spoils" revives the memory of Alexander's Successors, whose fame has been dimmed only because they stand in his enormous shadow. In fact, Alexander left things in a mess at the time of his death, with no guaranteed succession, no administration in place suitable for such an enormous realm, and huge untamed areas both bordering and within his 'empire'. The Successors consolidated the Conqueror's gains. Their competing ambitions, however, meant that consolidation inevitably led to the break-up of the empire.

The Aztecs

A Very Short Introduction
Author: David Carrasco
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0195379381
Category: History
Page: 138
View: 6315

Continue Reading →

Illuminates the complexities of Aztec life. Readers meet a people highly skilled in sculpture, astronomy, city planning, poetry, and philosophy, who were also profoundly committed to cosmic regeneration through the thrust of the ceremonial knife and through warfare.

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Christopher Kelly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192803913
Category: History
Page: 153
View: 9020

Continue Reading →

The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. With a population of sixty million people, it encircled the Mediterranean and stretched from northern England to North Africa and Syria. This Very Short Introduction covers the history of the empire at its height, looking at its people, religions and social structures. It explains how it deployed violence, 'romanisation', and tactical power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture from Rome to its furthest outreaches.