Editor: John Julius Norwich
Publication: September 13, 2022 by Thames & Hudson
Genre: Nonfiction, Ancient History
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John Julius Norwich presents a sweeping tour of forty great cities that shaped the ancient world and its civilizations―and which in turn have shaped our own.
The cities of the ancient world built the foundations for modern urban life, their innovations in architecture and politics essential to cities as we know them today. But what was it like to live in Babylon, Carthage, or Teotihuacan?
From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the spectacular urban monuments of the Maya in Central America, the cities explored in Cities That Shaped the Ancient World represent almost three millennia of human history. Not only do they illustrate the highest achievement of the cultures that built them, but they also help us understand the rise and fall of these ancient peoples. In this new compact paperback, eminent historians and archaeologists with first-hand knowledge of each site give voice to these silent ruins, bringing them to life as the teeming, state-of-the-art metropolises they once were.
This book is edited by the late John Julius Norwhich and explores forty different cities in history that have shaped the ancient world, and like the synopsis says: which in turn have shaped our own. Each chapter in the book is dedicated to a different city and written by different authors. This was a really fascinating read that I finished in no time. I’d highly recommend!
What I enjoyed about this book in the first place was that each chapter that was dedicated to a different city in ancient history was fairly short. I love books with short chapters so this was a perfect fit for me. The chapters weren’t too short in my opinion, just the right amount for this kind of book and I thought that was really great.
Second of all, the book was also divided by continent so all the cities of Asia were together, all the cities of the Americas and so on. Of course I had my favorite chapters and those were personally all set in the Near East (Uruk, Babylon, Petra etc), Europe (Knossos, Mycenae, Pompeii etc) and Africa (Thebes, Amarna, Alexandria etc).
If you want to learn more about ancient cities in different continents and also have some amazing illustrations and photographs to look at then, Cities That Shaped the Ancient World by John Julius Norwhich is one I’d highly recommend.
Cities featured in this book:
Uruk, Ur, Hattusa, Troy, Babylon, Nineveh, Persepolis, Pergamum, Jerusalem, Petra, Ephesus, Palmyra, Memphis, Thebes, Amarna, Carthage, Alexandria, Meroë, Leptis Magna, Aksum, Knossos, Mycenea, Athens, Akragas, Paestum, Rome, Pompeii, Trier, Xianyang, Pataliputra, Anuradhapura, Caral, La Venta, Monte Albán, Teotihuacan, Tikal, Palenque