Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.99
  • Save: $2.24 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Antiquity: From the Birth... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Antiquity: From the Birth of Sumerian Civilization to the Fall of the Roman Empire Paperback – September 14, 2004

43 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.75
$1.39 $0.01

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Real West by David Fisher
New U.S. History Books
Browse new selections in U.S. history, from the American Revolution to World War II. Learn more | See related books
$11.75 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Antiquity: From the Birth of Sumerian Civilization to the Fall of the Roman Empire + Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Price for both: $22.45

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. Although Cantor makes a few missteps-the Gnostics are not also called the Manichees, though the latter might have practiced Gnosticism-Cantor offers a splendid and accessible portrait of the cultures of the ancient world. Maps not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1St Edition edition (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060930985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060930981
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By JS on October 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on a whim as I was standing in line at a local bookseller's. I have to say I've come to regret the impetuosity of my purchase, for if I'd had more time to investigate the text, I probably wouldn't have picked it up.
I'm a classicist and am not familiar with Cantor's work on the Middle Ages, but his research here on antiquity leaves much to be desired. The general reviewers are right to laud his "clear prose," but it is so clear as to make the reader feel at times like a middle schooler. This might make _Antiquity_ fine for a middle school audience's introduction to a phenomenally rich set of cultures, but for the many stark errors and sweeping generalizations the author makes. He dates the burying of Pompeii at 73 AD (a glaring mistake, as the eruption of Vesuvius occurred a full six years later). He counts Cicero as "the embodiment of the Stoic ideal and its prime disseminator," a statement with which Cicero surely would not have agreed; he considered himself an Academic. While he did study under some Stoics and argued for a Stoic approach to justice and natural law, his works codify contemporary Stoic doctrines and do not necessarily make new contributions to 1st century BC Stoicism. More stunning, he claims that Vergil was writing _The Aeneid_ "around 10 AD," whereas the poet had died nearly thirty years before. In the same segment, while discussing Rome's founding myths, he mixes together the stories of Aeneas and Romulus and Remus, implying that they are parallel and competing narratives -- in fact, Vergil's _Aeneid_ anticipates Romulus and Remus, but never tries to claim that Aeneas and the twins Romulus and Remus were hanging out together in Italy around 700 BC!
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
46 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gunther on October 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to reading this book, having read and learned much from Cantor's previous books on the Middle Ages. As for the present book, in Cantor's own (rather grandiose) words, "This book is an attempt to communicate to the educated reader and to students of history some basic knowledge about antiquity from 2.5 million years ago - the dawn of humanity - to the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D. ... focusing on the Mediterranean and Western Europe... [Part I] lays out the fundamental knowledge about antiquity that every educated person should possess." (p. ix) Unfortunately, this book does not meet its stated goals, and its reach far exceeds its grasp.
The first 50 pages consist of very brief (6-7 pages each) essays about Egypt and the Middle East, Greece, Rome, classical philosophy, Christianity, and the decline and fall of Rome. The remaining 150 pages cover the same material, all over again. The most successful are Chapter 10, on ancient Judaism, and Chapter 14, on the Civil Law. Chapter 13, an imaginary dialogue featuring Saint Augustine of Hippo, is also of interest. The exposition is admirably clear throughout.
On the other hand, there is little continuity between chapters, and an amazing amount of error, muddle, and hyperbole along the way. Reviewer Jennifer Sposito has accurately identified many of these "Cantorisms;" here are just a few more.
1. "humans reached Europe... about 10,000 BC. Earlier [sic!], around 6000 BC,... civilization had emerged in the Near East." (p. 4) Humans reached Europe about 35,000 years ago. The Venus of Willendorf (Austria) dates to 30,000 BC. Chauvet painted cave dates to 18,000 BC. In the Middle East, Jerico (a walled city with perhaps 1,000 inhabitants) dates to 8000 BC.
2.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Like all Norman Cantor's work, this book is extremely readable and it allows the mind to relax, and to put in order a wealth of information about immense subjects. My library and study are filled with books on details of ancient history, and how refreshing it is to pick up "Antiquity" and step back from the details and see through Cantor's eyes great patterns and great developments, to see relationships that have eluded me as I drown in specialized studies. The energy in Cantor's writing is always inviting. I don't agree with all Cantor's conclusions, but he teaches me things all the way through. And this book is particularly illuminating now when East and West are at war, and we are being compelled to learn about the East as never before, perhaps, in our lifetimes. We need scholars like Cantor who can and dare to make statements about the big picture. Anne Rice, New Orleans,La
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm a professor and I picked up this book thinking it might be useful to assign a chapter or two to students as background information for a comparative cultures course I will teach. Like many other reviewers I thought the book was remarkably poor. In addition to factual errors and tendentious interpretations, the book is incredibly poorly written. I thought it might be suitable to teach at the undergraduate level, but in fact it reads as if it were written by an undergraduate, or a very gifted high school student. At times it seems as if portions of the book weren't finished and the sentence-long paragraphs that appear in it are the remains of the outline the author wrote from. I'm saddened, but not surprised, that Cantor wrote a book like this. What does surprise me is that his editors published it in this form. Frankly, its an embarrassment. Given the enormous amount of good books on antiquity available, there is no reason to read this one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Antiquity: From the Birth of Sumerian Civilization to the Fall of the Roman Empire
This item: Antiquity: From the Birth of Sumerian Civilization to the Fall of the Roman Empire
Price: $11.75
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?