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Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381849559158 Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World by Norman F. Cantor. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 240 pages. Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers; (2003). Norman Cantor delivers this compact but magisterial survey of the ancient world, from the birth of Sumerian civilization around 3500B.C. in the Tigris-Euphrates valley (what is now present-day Iraq) to the fall of the Roman Empire in A.D. 453. In "Antiquity", Cantor covers such subjects as Classical Greece, Judaism, the founding of Christianity, and the triumph and decline of Rome. In this fascinating and comprehensive analysis, the author explores social and cultural history, as well as the political and economic aspects of his narrative. He explains leading themes in religion and philosophy and discusses the environment, population, and public health. With his signature authority and insight, Cantor highlights the great books and ideas of antiquity that continue to influence culture today. CONDITION: NEW. Unblemished except VERY slight rubbing to dustjacket (dustjacket is photo-finish, high-gloss dark blue and so shows rub marks very easily, even merely from being shelved between other books). Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unread, though it is of course possible that it may have been flipped through once or twice by bookstore "lookie-loo's". Satisfaction guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Norman F. Cantor was Emeritus Professor of History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His academic honors include appointments as a Rhodes Scholar, Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow at Princeton University, and Fulbright Professor at Tel Aviv University. His many books include the New York Times bestseller "In the Wake of the Plague", "Antiquity", "Inventing the Middle Ages", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and "The Civilization of the Middle Ages", the most widely read narrative of the Middle Ages in the English language. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: An NYU emeritus professor of history, sociology and comparative literature, Cantor does for antiquity what he did for medieval times in his acclaimed "The Civilization of the Middle Ages". With his characteristic eloquence and lucid insights, he offers a majestic introductory survey of the major empires of the ancient world, divided into two parts. The first provides a basic narrative of Hellenistic culture, the Roman Empire and Christianity. In clear prose, Cantor outlines the development of each of those cultures without many details about the evolution of each society. In the second part, he offers a more detailed exploration of the development of each of these ancient cultures, as well as ancient Judaism and Egypt. For example, in his chapter on Rome, Cantor discusses in detail the rise of jurisprudence and the Roman emphasis on civil society that can be traced to Cicero and Caesar. Cantor offers some wonderfully rich characterizations of ancient Greek philosophers: Socrates was a "hippie stonecutter who expounded on philosophy in the Athenian marketplace, perhaps to avoid going home to face his shrewish wife"; Plato was "part of a fast crowd of rich young men"; his Academy was the first talk show. Cantor offers a splendid and accessible portrait of the cultures of the ancient world. REVIEW: Unintimidating, adroitly structured grounding in the enduring legacies of ancient civilizations. Although best known as an energetic medieval scholar ("In the Wake of the Plague", etc.), Professor Cantor (History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature Emeritus/New York University) has made enough previous literary forays into the various civilizations of antiquity so that integrating and contrasting them is a cinch for him. Furthermore, he makes some fairly provocative educated guesses (labeled as such) with ease and confidence. While other academics fret, for example, over why Hebrew society would invent the Jews' Egyptian bondage-it's now generally accepted that there's no evidence for it after decades of archaeological and related scientific research-he suggests that the progenitors of "elitist" Judaism may not have been above laying a guilt trip ("We deserve . . .") on the rest of civilization. The impact of recent DNA studies on anthropological theory is also evident in Cantor's conclusions, although he seems to embrace a more extended time frame for the seminal African emigration than some scientists do. The author has helpfully rendered his work in two sections. The chapters in "Basic Narrative" present fundamental information about how major civilizations originated, waxed, and waned in the Near and Middle East, Greece, and Rome. Cantor sees Rome's decline, for example, as primarily due to plagues during the second century A.D. that killed off irreplaceable taxpayers; he also notes that societies heavily dependent on slave labor tend to stifle their own capacity for technological innovation, a crucial factor in the wars against the Visigoths. The second section, "Societies and Cultures", probes more deeply into the religions, philosophies, laws, politics, and arts of the same key civilizations. A final case for the melding of Hellenic culture and Judaism as the central pillar of Western civilization is dazzlingly put. A lifetime's worth of crib notes for late-blooming history buffs. REVIEW: To roll into one slim volume the Mediterranean world's ancient history up to the fall of the Roman Empire certainly presents an author with a monumental editing task. Cantor's strategy splits the job: minimize the narration of events, and expand on the ethics of living and the organization of government as expounded and practiced by the Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians. Cantor is particularly keen to highlight modes of expression; artistic, legal, and religious, created by the ancients that contemporary civilization continues to imitate. This outline is designed, Cantor announces, to convey "basic knowledge" to educated readers about the likes of Pericles, Plato, or Pompey, as well as the feeling of what living in an ancient society might have been like. The latter balances any tendency to glorify the wonder that was Rome, for it stood on slavery and rapacious conquest. An efficient survey that also covers Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the writing of the Hebrew Bible, Cantor's work provides the beginning classicist with an enticing yet sturdy foundation for further exploration. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: My Greek Literature professor used to say that most classicists get ancient culture wrong. Instead of seeing ancients as real people who eat, sleep, and fornicate, they tend to deify to students what historians know of ancient civilizations. Ancient history is too often approached as 'ancestor worship' and we forget that these peoples were merely human. She demonstrated this by having us read some Greek poetry as written and them proceeded to read it to us, in Greek, as the Greeks would have heard it; in all its lusty intent. Norman Cantor has done something wonderful here in his book 'Antiquity'. In his conversational highly opinionated way, he tells us what the ancient world was really like. Not the stale boring histories we often had to sit through in college but a culmination of observation and opinion backed by many years of readings and teaching. Cantor may not be a scholar of the ancient world but he sure does understand it in a way that only years of reflection can muster. The only real criticism that a reader might have with this book is that his interpretation of events may not match your own. If you're a classicist, you will disagree with some of Cantor's views. If you are a conservative Christian, you will be upset about his interpretation of early Christian history. If you are a student of history however, you will marvel on how easily Cantor cuts through the hyperbole and creates a vision of the ancient world you will recognize as essential correct. Read the book for yourself and decide. Enjoy. REVIEW: Provocative and Interesting. Cantor's book provided some interesting information on the ancient world, particularly Rome and early Christianity - usually a difficult task. According to Cantor, ancient man reached Europe about 10,000 B.C., and constructed irrigation in Iraq and Egypt about 6,000 B.C. Soldiers enforced the maintenance of canals for the ruling class, and the priests assured people that the gods will look favorably on their doing so. Until 1948, Cambridge University required knowledge of classical Greek for admission. Yet, despite the importance accorded, there were less than 200,000 Greek citizens at any one time, and Athens is a small city today. Its early economics were based on sea trade. The secret of Rome's military success was the organization and composition of its army, republican government (until the end of the first century B.C.), and liberal treatment of conquered people. The Roman army was comprised of professional mercenaries from all over Italy who usually entered at 18 with long contracts to serve. They were well-trained, well-fed and paid, and given land at the end of their service. During army service they were normally unmarried. Generals were originally appointed for a limited period, but those with proven skill served for longer periods. Because of the Roman Empire's far-flung distances and communications difficulties (a letter required about 5 weeks to go from Rome to London), leaders were afforded lots of delegation. About 40% of the population were slaves. Disease and the fact that slaves did not reproduce (why was not explained) eventually brought substantial declines in the army and general populations. First century Rome had one million people, Alexandria had 750,000; in 700 A.D. Rome had less than 100,000 people. Again, according to Cantor, the Gospels were written 20+ years after Jesus, Saint Paul never saw him, and the "dying/reborn savior" saga was a common religious belief at the time where Paul came from (Asia Minor). Other chapters focused on Egypt, ancient Judaism, Athens, etc. REVIEW: "Antiquity" by Norman F. Cantor is a very readable and useful general introduction to the history and culture of the ancient Mediterranean. Though he wrote in his introduction that this book covers antiquity from earliest humanity (about 2.5 million years ago) to the fall of the Roman Empire (in the west) in the fifth century A.D., the focus is primarily on the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome as well as on ancient Judaism and early Christianity (with Jewish history particularly well covered). Ancient Egypt is fairly well discussed though there is very light coverage on the civilizations of Mesopotamia and some of the other Mediterranean civilizations, such as those of the Minoans, Phoenicians, and the Carthaginians (and generally the latter only in context with Roman history). Having said that though, I still found the book worthwhile as it provided a nice review of ancient history. The book has some particularly interesting sections, including a chapter on the legacy of Roman law (and on that of Marcus Tullius Cicero, the greatest Roman lawyer of all time) and on divisions in the early Christian church. This latter chapter was particularly unusual, constructed as an imagined conservation between Saint Augustine (tremendously influential Christian theologian from early fifth century Tunisia), his sister Placida, and a one time friend of Augustine, Bishop Vincent, a leader of a Christian sect called the Donatists, one that Augustine was at odds with. Cantor remarked several times how remarkable it was that the small city-state of Athens (counting farmers in the nearby countryside not more than 200,000 people at any one time) managed to forge an empire and to become for a time the predominant political, military, economic, and most importantly for us today cultural center for not only Greece but for the Mediterranean. This particular culture gave us Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato, incredibly influential thinkers and writers that along with the Hebrew Bible were the foundations for Western civilization. The author compared the Jews and the Athenians on one interesting point; both were cultures grounded in an epic historical myth. The Jews had their Exodus and the Athenians had the Trojan War as described in the epic poem, "The Iliad", both of which were national historical myths that gave "identity and moral authenticity" to their respective peoples. While the Jews were seen as "heroic refugees from slavery" and "righteous conquerors" of a pagan land, the Athenians saw themselves as descended from courageous warriors. Controversially, Cantor wrote that there is no evidence of any Jewish Exodus from Egypt, though I myself had not read that the Exodus was wholly myth. Another observation he made, again new to me, was that Homer was not some folk poet nor were his writings folk stories that grew with time. Rather, Homer's writings were created specifically for the Athenian market, with his sequel to "The Iliad", "The Odyssey", revealed "clearly" that he was a "market-driven professional writer," one who borrowed heavily from traveler's stories and Egyptian fantasy in concocting his tale. Ancient Judaism is very well covered with Cantor describing the evolution of the synagogue and how the modern threefold spilt in Jewish religious culture had it origins in ancient times, as well as the relatively late addition of the concept of personal immortality in Judaism, a concept that quietly entered the rabbinical mainstream around 200 B.C. as a "concession" to the anxious masses by religious leaders. One interesting point he made several times in the book regarded a civilization's views of history and progress. For centuries the forces for change in the great societies of Egypt and Iraq were generally external rather than internal, spurred not generally by internal power struggles and change but by invasions (with one notable exception in Egypt, the attempt by the Pharaoh Akhenaton to impose a new monotheistic religion around the year 1330 B.C.). The Egyptians felt that events of the moment were transitory, that the present was eternal, and that the world was as a whole static. Egyptian literature did not have careful records of events or the distinctive traits of individual pharaohs, but rather strove to portray the divine ideal, the eternal nature of the subject, independent of time and space. History was at best cyclic. Similarly, many Greeks felt that history moved in circles, repeating itself infinitely. The Jews (and later the Christians) felt instead that history moved forward directly, unrepeatable, from the creation to the end of the world, all preordained by a divine plan. The Jewish idea that each event in history was singular and that history proceeded along a straight path was Cantor wrote to have a profound impact upon European thinking. Though much of the book focuses on the history of the ancient Mediterranean and the importance of Aristotle, Plato, the Bible, Roman law, and Greek theater (among other things) to the foundation of Western civilization, the author did note some of the deficiencies of classical culture. While the Greeks gave us epic poems, philosophy, theatrical tragedies, and invented the natural sciences, history, and anthropology and the Romans a huge body of poetry and a system of law still more or less in use today in much of Europe, they gave us virtually nothing of the rich oral traditions of the ancient Mediterranean nor any accounts of the hopes, thoughts, and feelings of the millions of people of the era. Additionally, classical culture often lacked a social conscience, oblivious to slavery, despotism, poverty, disease, everyday cruelty, and "might makes right" ways of thinking. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish

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