The Great Empires of the Ancient World

The Great Empires of the Ancient World

  1. Edited by Thomas Harrison
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  • ISBN 9780500051603
  • 27.00 x 21.40 cm
  • Hardback
  • 288pp
  • 277 Illustrations, 259 in colour
  • First published 2009
‘A remarkable achievement … The careful use of illustrations, combined with well written essays, make this an excellent introduction to an increasingly popular field of study’ – Contemporary Review

The success of blockbusters such as Alexander and Gladiator, and sell-out museum shows such as The First Emperor reflect a resurgence of interest today in ancient empires. But what do we really know about these ancient powers? What is the truth behind the movie glamour and the exhibition splendour?

A distinguished team of internationally renowned scholars surveys the great empires from 1600 BC to AD 500, from the ancient Mediterranean to China, taking in the empires of New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria and Babylonia, Achaemenid through to Sassanid Persia, Athens and Alexander, Rome, India and Qin and Han China.

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Superbly illustrated and complete with maps and timelines,
The Great Empires of the Ancient World is an original and highly appealing work that makes past societies resonate with us today.

Each chapter conveys the main narrative of events, their impact on ancient societies and the dominant rulers who shaped that history, from Ramesses II in Egypt to Chandragupta in India, from Rome’s Augustus to China’s Shi Huang di. Exploring the very nature of empire itself, the authors show how profoundly imperialism in the distant past influenced the 19th-century powers and the modern United States.

Thomas Harrison is Rathbone Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, and Head of the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. His publications include Divinity and History, The Religion of Herodotus, The Emptiness of Asia, Aeschylus’ Persians and The History of the Fifth Century. He has also edited or co-edited Greeks and Barbarians and The Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome.

The contributors
Alastair Blanshard • Trevor Bryce • Robin Coningham • W. J. F. Jenner • Ted Kaizer • Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones • Bill Manley • Mark Manuel Michael Sommer • Marc Van de Mieroop