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From the bestselling author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, the fascinating story of how images of Roman autocrats have influenced art, culture, and the representation of power for more than 2,000 years What does the face of power look like? Who gets commemorated in art and why? And how do we react to statues of politicians we deplore? In this book-against a background of today's "sculpture wars"-Mary Beard tells the story of how for more than two millennia portraits of the rich, powerful, and famous in the western world have been shaped by the image of Roman emperors, especially the "Twelve Caesars," from the ruthless Julius Caesar to the fly-torturing Domitian. Twelve Caesars asks why these murderous autocrats have loomed so large in art from antiquity and the Renaissance to today, when hapless leaders are still caricatured as Neros fiddling while Rome burns. Beginning with the importance of imperial portraits in Roman politics, this richly illustrated book offers a tour through 2,000 years of art and cultural history, presenting a fresh look at works by artists from Memling and Mantegna to the nineteenth-century American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, as well as by generations of weavers, cabinetmakers, silversmiths, printers, and ceramicists. Rather than a story of a simple repetition of stable, blandly conservative images of imperial men and women, Twelve Caesars is an unexpected tale of changing identities, clueless or deliberate misidentifications, fakes, and often ambivalent representations of authority. From Beard's reconstruction of Titian's extraordinary lost Room of the Emperors to her reinterpretation of Henry VIII's famous Caesarian tapestries, Twelve Caesars includes fascinating detective work and offers a gripping story of some of the most challenging and disturbing portraits of power ever created. Published in association with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen? In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age-and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.
This special-edition volume of the Library of Ancient Israel, based on the latest research, presents a vivid description of the world of Ancient Israel, covering such topics as domestic life, the means of existence, cultural expression, and religious practices. With over 175 full-color pictures and illustrations, Life in Biblical Israel opens the door to everyday life in biblical Israel for all readers. This volume is perfect for classrooms, coffee tables, and personal use. Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines--such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and literary criticism--to illuminate the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these insights for a wide variety of readers.
Jack the Ripper. Jeffrey Dahmer. John Wayne Gacy. Locusta of Gaul. If that last name doesn't seem to fit with the others, it's likely because our modern society largely believes that serial killers are a recent phenomenon. Not so, argues Debbie Felton-in fact, there's ample evidence to show that serial killers stalked the ancient world just as they do the modern one. Felton brings this evidence to light in Monsters and Monarchs, and in doing so, forces us to rethink the assumption that serial killers arise from problems unique to modern society. Exploring a trove of stories from classical antiquity, she uncovers mythological monsters and human criminals that fit many serial killer profiles: the highway killers confronted by the Greek hero Theseus, such as Procrustes, who tortured and mutilated their victims; the Sphinx, or "strangler," from the story of Oedipus; child-killing demons and witches, which could explain abnormal infant deaths; and historical figures such as Locusta of Gaul, the most notorious poisoner in the early Roman Empire. Redefining our understanding of serial killers and their origins, Monsters and Monarchs changes how we view both ancient Greek and Roman society and the modern-day killers whose stories still captivate the public today.
Blending high adventure with history, this chronicle of 100 astonishing discoveries from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the fabulous "Lost City of the Monkey God" tells incredible stories of how explorers and archaeologists have uncovered the clues that illuminate our past. Archaeology is the key that unlocks our deepest history. Ruined cities, golden treasures, cryptic inscriptions, and ornate tombs have been found across the world, and yet these artifacts of ages past often raised more questions than answers. But with the emergence of archaeology as a scientific discipline in the 19th century, everything changed. Illustrated with dazzling photographs, this enlightening narrative tells the story of human civilization through 100 key expeditions, spanning six continents and more than three million years of history. Each account relies on firsthand reports from explorers, antiquarians, and scientists as they crack secret codes, evade looters and political suppression, fall in love, commit a litany of blunders, and uncover ancient curses. Pivotal discoveries include: King Tut's tomb of treasure Terracotta warriors escorting China's first emperor into the afterlife The glorious Anglo-Saxon treasure of Sutton-Hoo Graves of the Scythians, the real Amazon warrior women New findings on the grim fate of the colonists of Jamestown With a foreword from bestselling author Douglas Preston, Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs is an expertly curated and breath-taking panorama of the human journey.
Drawing on new archaeological evidence, an authoritative history of Rome's Great Fire-and how it inflicted lasting harm on the Roman Empire According to legend, the Roman emperor Nero set fire to his majestic imperial capital on the night of July 19, AD 64 and fiddled while the city burned. It's a story that has been told for more than two millennia-and it's likely that almost none of it is true. In Rome Is Burning, distinguished Roman historian Anthony Barrett sets the record straight, providing a comprehensive and authoritative account of the Great Fire of Rome, its immediate aftermath, and its damaging longterm consequences for the Roman world. Drawing on remarkable new archaeological discoveries and sifting through all the literary evidence, he tells what is known about what actually happened-and argues that the disaster was a turning point in Roman history, one that ultimately led to the fall of Nero and the end of the dynasty that began with Julius Caesar. Rome Is Burning tells how the fire destroyed much of the city and threw the population into panic. It describes how it also destroyed Nero's golden image and provoked a financial crisis and currency devaluation that made a permanent impact on the Roman economy. Most importantly, the book surveys, and includes many photographs of, recent archaeological evidence that shows visible traces of the fire's destruction. Finally, the book describes the fire's continuing afterlife in literature, opera, ballet, and film. A richly detailed and scrupulously factual narrative of an event that has always been shrouded in myth, Rome Is Burning promises to become the standard account of the Great Fire of Rome for our time.
The last and longest war of classical antiquity was fought in the early seventh century. It was ideologically charged and fought along the full length of the Persian-Roman frontier, drawing in all the available resources and great powers of the steppe world. The conflict raged on an unprecedented scale, and its end brought the classical phase of history to a close. Despite all this, it has left a conspicuous gap in the history of warfare. This book aims to finally fill that gap. The war opened in summer 603 when Persian armies launched co-ordinated attacks across the Roman frontier. Twenty-five years later the fighting stopped after the final, forlorn counteroffensive thrusts of the Emperor Heraclius into the Persians' Mesopotamian heartland. James Howard-Johnston pieces together the scattered and fragmentary evidence of this period to form a coherent story of the dramatic events, as well as an introduction to key players-Turks, Arabs, and Avars, as well as Persians and Romans- and a tour of the vast lands over which the fighting took place. The decisions and actions of individuals-particularly Heraclius, a general of rare talent-and the various immaterial factors affecting morale take centre stage, yet due attention is also given to the underlying structures in both belligerent empires and to the Middle East under Persian occupation in the 620s. The result is a solidly founded, critical history of a conflict of immense significance in the final episode of classical history.
In Books 6 and 7 Thucydides' narrative is, as Plutarch puts it, 'at its most emotional, vivid, and varied' as he describes the Sicilian Expedition that ended so catastrophically for Athens (415-413 BCE). Book 7 opens with Athens seemingly on the point of victory, but the arrival of the Spartan commander Gylippus marks a change in fortunes and the Athenian commander Nicias is soon sending home a desperate plea for reinforcements. Three narrative masterpieces follow their arrival, first the eerie confusion of the night battle on the heights, then the naval clash in the Great Harbour, and finally the desperate attempt to escape and the slaughter at the river Assinarus. Following the sister commentary on Book 6, the Commentary offers students considerable help understanding the Greek while the Introduction discusses Thucydides' narrative skill and the part these books play in the architecture of the history.
Diodoros of Sicily (c.90-c.30 BC) spent thirty years producing an encyclopedic compendium of world history from its mythical beginnings to his own day. His is the only surviving, connected account of Greek affairs from 480/79 to 302/1. The books translated in this volume cover the years from the end of the Peloponnesian War to the aftermath of the Battle of Mantineia in 362/1. These were crucial years in the struggle for supremacy in Greece amongst the Greek states, Sparta, Athens and Thebes, before they were overtaken by the unexpected rise of Macedon. Diodoros also provides the only extant account of the career of Dionysios I of Syracuse and the Cypriot war between Persia and Evagoras of Salamis. The translation is supported by extensive notes and the Introduction examines Diodoros' moral and educational purpose in writing, the plan of his work, his sources, and his qualities as a historian.
From the phenomenal bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus
How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war or ecological catastrophe?
What do we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism?
How should we prepare our children for the future?
21 Lessons is an exploration of what it means to be human in an age of bewilderment.
'Fascinating…Harari has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the 21st century' Bill Gates, New York Times
'An astonishingly readable and informative history of the greatest mathematical bestseller of all time ... The writing is vivid and the stories are gripping. Highly recommended ' IAN STEWART, AUTHOR OF SIGNIFICANT FIGURES Euclid's Elements of Geometry was a book that changed the world. In this sweeping history, Benjamin Wardhaugh traces how the ancient Greek text on mathematics - often hailed as the world's first textbook - shaped two thousand years of art, philosophy and literature, as well as science and maths. With stories of influence on every continent, and encounters with the likes of Ptolemy and Isaac Newton, Hobbes and Lewis Carroll, Wardhaugh gives dramatic life to the evolution of mathematics. Previously published as The Book of Wonders
Slavery and sexuality in the ancient world are well researched on their own, yet rarely have they been examined together. This volume is the first to explore the range of roles that sex played in the lives of enslaved people in antiquity beyond prostitution, bringing together scholars of both Greece and Rome to consider important and complex issues. Chapters address a wealth of art, literature, and drama to analyze a wide range of issues, including gendered power dynamics, sexual violence in slave revolts, same-sex relations between free and enslaved people, and the agency of assault victims. Slavery and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity reveals the often hidden and contradictory attitudes concerning the sexual identities and expression of enslaved people. These individuals were typically objectified by both social convention and legal description but were also recognized as human subjects, with subjectivity and sexual desires of their own. The contributors provoke valuable and fascinating questions that not only recognize the trauma and struggles of enslaved people but also point to the apparent inconsistencies in the mindsets of the enslavers. The resulting volume expands our understanding of both sexuality and slavery in ancient Greece and Rome, as separate subjects and as they impacted each other.
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