Best Selling Books in History - Ancient

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release date: Sep 06, 2016
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SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

New York Times Bestseller • National Book Critics Circle Finalist • Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2015 • Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015 • Economist Books of the Year 2015 • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2015

A sweeping, "magisterial" history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists shows why Rome remains "relevant to people many centuries later" (Atlantic).

In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome "with passion and without technical jargon" and demonstrates how "a slightly shabby Iron Age village" rose to become the "undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean" (Wall Street Journal). Hailed by critics as animating "the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life" (Economist) in a way that makes "your hair stand on end" (Christian Science Monitor) and spanning nearly a thousand years of history, this "highly informative, highly readable" (Dallas Morning News) work examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries. With its nuanced attention to class, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, SPQR will to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.

100 illustrations; 16 pages of color; 5 maps
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release date: Oct 24, 2017
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The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The creator of the award-winning podcast series The History of Rome and Revolutions brings to life the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic.

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in central Italy, Rome gradually expanded into a wider world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings. Through the centuries, Rome's model of cooperative and participatory government remained remarkably durable and unmatched in the history of the ancient world.

In 146 BC, Rome finally emerged as the strongest power in the Mediterranean. But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled: rising economic inequality disrupted traditional ways of life, endemic social and ethnic prejudice led to clashes over citizenship and voting rights, and rampant corruption and ruthless ambition sparked violent political clashes that cracked the once indestructible foundations of the Republic.

Chronicling the years 146-78 BC, The Storm Before the Storm dives headlong into the first generation to face this treacherous new political environment. Abandoning the ancient principles of their forbearers, men like Marius, Sulla, and the Gracchi brothers set dangerous new precedents that would start the Republic on the road to destruction and provide a stark warning about what can happen to a civilization that has lost its way.

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release date: Oct 24, 2017
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The Story of the Jews Volume Two: Belonging: 1492-1900

" A riveting picture, generously rendered, of the stubborn, argumentative miracle of Jewish survival against the odds... Schama has made an eloquent and a far-reaching case for why Jews needed a small piece of earth they could call home.” -- The New York Times Book Review

In the second of three volumes of this magnificently illustrated cultural history, the tie-in to the PBS and BBC series The Story of the Jews, Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish people from 1492 through the end of nineteenth century

Simon Schama’s great project continues and the Jewish story is woven into the fabric of humanity. Their search for a home where a distinctive religion and culture could be nourished without being marginalized suddenly takes on startling resonance in our own epoch of homelessness, wanderings, persecutions, and anxious arrivals.

Volume 2 of The Story of the Jews epic tells the stories of many who seldom figure in Jewish histories: not just the rabbis and the philosophers but a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a general in Ming China; a boxer in Georgian England, a Bible showman in Amsterdam; a teacher of the deaf in eighteenth-century France, an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stagecoaches and the railways, trudges the dawn streets of London with a pack load of old clothes, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon’s ruined army.

Through Schama’s passionate and intelligent telling, a story emerges of the Jewish people that feels as if it is the story of everyone, of humanity packed with detail, this second chronicle in an epic tale will shed new light on a crucial period of history.

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release date: Dec 05, 2017
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The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works: Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, and  Spanish War
The Landmark Julius Caesar is the definitive edition of the five works that chronicle the mil­itary campaigns of Julius Caesar. Together, these five narratives present a comprehensive picture of military and political developments leading to the collapse of the Roman republic and the advent of the Roman Empire.
 
The Gallic War is Caesar’s own account of his two invasions of Britain and of conquering most of what is today France, Belgium, and Switzerland. The Civil War describes the conflict in the following year which, after the death of his chief rival, Pompey, and the defeat of Pompey’s heirs and supporters, resulted in Caesar’s emergence as the sole power in Rome. Accompanying Caesar’s own commentaries are three short but essential additional works, known to us as the Alexandrian War, the African War, and the Spanish War. These were written by three unknown authors who were clearly eyewitnesses and probably Roman officers.
 
Caesar’s clear and direct prose provides a riveting depiction of ancient warfare and, not incidentally, a persuasive portrait for the Roman people (and for us) of Caesar himself as a brilliant, moderate, and effec­tive leader—an image that was key to his final success.
 
Kurt A. Raaflaub’s masterful translation skillfully brings out the clarity and elegance of Caesar’s style, and this, together with such Landmark features as maps, detailed annotations, appendices, and illustrations, will provide every reader from lay person to scholar with a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

(With 2-color text, maps, and illustrations throughout; web essays available at http://www.thelandmarkcaesar.com/)
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release date: Dec 01, 2000
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The Trial and Death of Socrates

The third edition of The Trial and Death of Socrates presents G. M. A. Grube's distinguished translations, as revised by John Cooper for Plato, Complete Works. A number of new or expanded footnotes are also included along with a Select Bibliography.

release date: Aug 23, 2016
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NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture

2017 ECPA BIBLE OF THE YEAR RECIPIENT

“How I wish someone had put a book like this into my hands 50 years ago.” - N.T. Wright, Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

“I cannot recommend a study Bible any more than this one: Five stars!” - Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

 

CONTEXT CHANGES EVERYTHING

You’ve heard many Bible stories hundreds of times, but how many behind-the-scenes details are you missing? Sometimes a little context is all you need to discover the rich meaning behind the stories of Scripture.

That’s what the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible provides. Every page is packed with expert insight into the customs, culture, and literature of Bible times. These fascinating explanations will serve to clarify your study of the Scriptures, reinforcing your confidence and bringing difficult passages of Scripture into sharp focus.

Discover new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar Bible passages as you take a behind-the-scenes tour into the ancient world.

The Bible was originally written to an ancient people removed from us by thousands of years and thousands of miles. The Scriptures include subtle culturally based nuances, undertones, and references to ancient events, literature and customs that were intuitively understood by those who first heard the Scriptures read. For us to hear the Scriptures as they did, we need a window into their world.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, with notes from Dr. John H. Walton (Wheaton College) in the Old Testament and Dr. Craig S. Keener (Asbury Theological Seminary) in the New Testament, brings to life the ancient world of Scripture for modern readers.

 

Features:

  • The full text of the NIV
  • Targeted book introductions explain the context in which each book of the Bible was written
  • Insightful and informative verse-by-verse study notes reveal new dimensions of insight to even the most familiar passages
  • Key Old Testament (Hebrew) and New Testament terms are explained and expanded upon in two helpful reference features
  • Over 300 in-depth articles on key contextual topics
  • 375 full-color photos, illustrations, and images from around the world
  • Dozens of charts, maps, and diagrams in vivid color
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Additional study Bible tools: cross references, a concordance, indexes and other helps
8.9-point type size
release date: Feb 27, 2018
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Paul: A Biography

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology—transforming a faith and changing the world.

For centuries, Paul, the apostle who "saw the light on the Road to Damascus" and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church’s most widely cited saints. While his influence on Christianity has been profound, N. T. Wright argues that Bible scholars and pastors have focused so much attention on Paul’s letters and theology that they have too often overlooked the essence of the man’s life and the extreme unlikelihood of what he achieved.

To Wright, "The problem is that Paul is central to any understanding of earliest Christianity, yet Paul was a Jew; for many generations Christians of all kinds have struggled to put this together." Wright contends that our knowledge of Paul and appreciation for his legacy cannot be complete without an understanding of his Jewish heritage. Giving us a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the human and intellectual drama that shaped Paul, Wright provides greater clarity of the apostle’s writings, thoughts, and ideas and helps us see them in a fresh, innovative way.

Paul is a compelling modern biography that reveals the apostle’s greater role in Christian history—as an inventor of new paradigms for how we understand Jesus and what he accomplished—and celebrates his stature as one of the most effective and influential intellectuals in human history.

release date: Apr 07, 2017
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release date: Jul 20, 2016
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The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory
Ideal for introduction to archaeology and world prehistory courses, The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory, Seventh Edition, is an engaging and up-to-date chronological overview of human prehistory. Kenneth L. Feder introduces students to "the big picture"--the grand sweep of human evolutionary history--presenting the human past within the context of fundamental themes of cultural evolution. Feder's unique, refreshing, and accessible narrative personalizes the past and makes it relevant to today's students. Using a consistent chapter format--"Prelude, Chronicle, Issues and Debates, Messages from the Past, and Case Study Close-up"--Feder helps students master both what we know and what is still debated about the complex story of the human past.
release date: Aug 22, 2017
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Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States
An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative

Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction.

Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.
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