"Delightful and learned, and written in a crisp and vigorous style, this book will be read with great interest and profit by both scholars and general readers." —Stanley Burstein, author of The Reign of Cleopatra
Drawing on ancient historical writings, the vast array of information gleaned in recent years from the study of Hellenistic coins, and startling archaeological evidence newly unearthed in Afghanistan, Frank L. Holt sets out to rediscover the ancient civilization of Bactria. In a gripping narrative informed by the author’s deep knowledge of his subject, this book covers two centuries of Bactria’s history, from its colonization by remnants of Alexander the Great’s army to the kingdom’s collapse at the time of a devastating series of nomadic invasions. Beginning with the few tantalizing traces left behind when the ‘empire of a thousand cities’ vanished, Holt takes up that trail and follows the remarkable and sometimes perilous journey of rediscovery. Lost World of the Ancient King describes how a single bit of evidence—a Greek coin—launched a search that drew explorers to the region occupied by the tumultuous warring tribes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Afghanistan. Coin by coin, king by king, the history of Bactria was reconstructed using the emerging methodologies of numismatics. In the twentieth century, extraordinary ancient texts added to the evidence. Finally, one of the ‘thousand cities’ was discovered and excavated, revealing an opulent palace, treasury, temple, and other buildings. Though these great discoveries soon fell victim to the Afghan political crisis that continues today, this book provides a thrilling chronicle of the search for one of the world’s most enigmatic empires.
Coinage--it is one of the most successful and consistent technologies ever invented. Nothing else we still use in everyday life has a history quite like it. Look around at all the things that would bewilder a Greek, Roman, or Renaissance ancestor; then, dig into your purse or pocket for that one artifact that they would immediately recognize as part of their world. Historian Frank L. Holt takes us on a lively journey through the history of numismatics, the study of coins--one of the oldest and most important contributions to the arts and humanities. For 2600 years, poets, economists, philosophers, historians, and theologians have pondered the mysteries of money. Who invented coins, and why? Does coinage function beyond our control as if it had a mind of its own? How has it changed world history and culture? What does numismatics reveal about our past that could never be discovered from any other source? How has numismatics advanced using modern science? Does it still suffer from racist ideas about physiognomy and phrenology? What does its future hold? The approach taken in this richly illustrated book is as multi-faceted as coined money itself. Coins are integral to our economic, social, political, religious, and cultural history. When Money Talks: A History of Coins and Numismatics explores each aspect of coinage, and takes a special interest in how coins have appeared in literature and pop culture, ranging in its analysis from Greek drama and the New Testament to T.V. sitcoms and meme theory.
Between c.350 BC and 30 BC the Mediterranean world was one in which kings ruled. The exceptions were the Greek cities and Roman Italy. But for most of that period neither of these republican areas was central to events. For the crucial centuries between Alexander the Great and the Roman conquest of Macedon, the political running was made by kings, and it is their work and loves and experience which is the subject here. Rome's expansion extinguished a series of monarchies and pushed back the area which was ruled by kings for a time, but the process of building a republican empire eventually rebounded on the city, and the Romans empire came to be ruled by an emperor who was in fact a facsimile of a Hellenistic king.Rather than attempting a narrative of the various kingdoms, John Grainger takes a thematic approach, considering various aspects of Hellenistic kingship in turn. This allows him to highlight the common features as well as the differences across the various dynasties. How did one become king? How was a smooth succession secured and what happened when it was not? What were the duties of a king, and what were the rewards and distractions? These are just a few of the interesting facets examined in this original and fascinating book.
The complex role warfare played in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations is examined through coverage of key wars and battles; important leaders, armies, organizations, and weapons; and other noteworthy aspects of conflict. • Provides an up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of conflict in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds that relates warfare to society, politics, economy, and culture • Examines major wars and other key conflicts; important generals and leaders; and Greek and Roman political, military, social, and cultural institutions • Presents ancillary information, including maps and illustrations; a topically arranged bibliography; sourcebooks of primary sources in translation; and lists of the most interesting "sound bites" attributed to Greek and Roman leaders in ancient times
This volume provides a thorough conspectus of the field of Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek studies, mixing theoretical and historical surveys with critical and thought-provoking case studies in archaeology, history, literature and art. The chapters from this international group of experts showcase innovative methodologies, such as archaeological GIS, as well as providing accessible explanations of specialist techniques such as die studies of coins, and important theoretical perspectives, including postcolonial approaches to the Greeks in India. Chapters cover the region’s archaeology, written and numismatic sources, and a history of scholarship of the subject, as well as culture, identity and interactions with neighbouring empires, including India and China. The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World is the go-to reference work on the field, and fulfils a serious need for an accessible, but also thorough and critically-informed, volume on the Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek kingdoms. It provides an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the Hellenistic East.
The second volume in John Grainger's history of the Seleukid Empire is devoted to the reign of Antiochus III. Too often remembered only as the man who lost to the Romans at Magnesia, Antiochus is here revealed as one of the most powerful and capable rulers of the age. Having emerged from civil war in 223 BC as the sole survivor of the Seleukid dynasty, he shouldered the burdens of a weakened and divided realm. Though defeated by Egypt in the Fourth Syrian War, he gradually restored full control over the empire. His great Eastern campaign took Macedonian arms back to India for the first time since Alexander's day and, returning west, he went on to conquer Thrace and finally wrest Syria from Ptolemaic control. Then came intervention in Greece and the clash with Rome leading to the defeat at Magnesia and the restrictive Peace of Apamea. Despite this, Antiochus remained ambitious, campaigning in the East again; when he died in 187 BC the empire was still one of the most powerful states in the world.
What was Hellenistic art, and what were its contexts, aims, achievements, and impact? This textbook introduces students to these questions and offers a series of answers to them. Its twelve chapters and two 'focus' sections examine Hellenistic sculpture, painting, luxury arts, and architecture. Thematically organized, spanning the three centuries from Alexander to Augustus, and ranging geographically from Italy to India and the Black Sea to Nubia, the book examines key monuments of Hellenistic art in relation to the great political, social, cultural, and intellectual issues of the time. It is illustrated with 170 photographs (mostly in color, and many never before published) and contextualized through excerpts from Hellenistic literature and inscriptions. Helpful ancillary features include maps, appendices with background on Hellenistic artists and translations of key documents, a full glossary, a timeline, brief biographies of key figures, suggestions for further reading, and bibliographical references.
Dedicated to Getzel M. Cohen, a leading expert in Seleucid history, this volume gathers 45 contributions on Seleucid history, archaeology, numismatics, political relations, policy toward the Jews, Greek cities, non-Greek populations, peripheral and neighboring regions, imperial administration, economy and public finances, and ancient descriptions of the Seleucid Empire. The reader will gain an international perspective on current research.
A thorough and detailed resource that describes the history, culture, and geography of the Himalayan region, providing an indispensable reference work to both general readers and seasoned scholars in the field. • Presents invaluable insights into the dynamics that have shaped the Himalayan region over human history • Provides a context for understanding the importance of the region to a larger understanding of globalization and key related issues we must currently deal with, including but not limited to climate change, border disputes, and economic and political migrations • Offers a balanced understanding of major socio-political issues that affect the region • Supplies a detailed and rich description of the region in a single volume that serves readers who need immediate answers to questions as well as those seeking a comprehensive overview of the complexities of the region
Egypt, Greece, and Rome is regarded as one of the best general histories of the ancient world, having sold more than 80,000 copies in its first two editions. It is written for the general reader and the student coming to the subject for the first time and provides a reliable and highly accessible point of entry to the period. Beginning with the early Middle Eastern civilizations of Sumer, and continuing right through to the Islamic invasions and the birth of modern Europe after the collapse of the Roman empire, the book ranges beyond political history to cover art and architecture, philosophy, literature, society, and economy. A wide range of maps, illustrations, and photographs complements the text. This third edition has been extensively revised to appeal to the general reader with several chapters completely rewritten and a great deal of new material added, including a new selection of images.