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At Empire's Edge: Exploring Rome's Egyptian Frontier Hardcover – April 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300088566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300088564
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Drawn to the rich history of the deserts bordering Egypt, Jackson (chair of the department of history, American International School of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman) has traveled the eastern and western deserts, and south to the Sudan, by foot, camel, and jeep over the past 20 years. His attraction to Greco-Roman sites gave rise to the research that produced this magnificent study, which focuses on the period from 29 B.C.E. to the fifth century C.E. Rich in archaeological and textual documentation, the work also deftly re-creates a feeling for the lives of the people who inhabited these now barren places. Though the author visited every known Roman site, never once does he intrude upon his subject with the personal pronoun "I." Rather, his narrative draws us into the subject matter, site by site, covering Roman stone quarries, trade routes, ports, oases, fortresses, temples, and settlements. Jackson effortlessly blends ancient history with accounts by later travelers and the most recent archaeological work. Written for students and the general reader, this volume, besides providing otherwise inaccessible information, is meant to draw attention to the importance of these sites, which are being vandalized and neglected. A superbly written work of major importance for laypersons and scholars; recommended for history and travel collections. Joan W. Garland, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A concise and excellent introduction to Rome's Egyptian frontier. Jackson has a remarkable ability to evoke the atmosphere of a site by describing his own experience. The book is easy to read and difficult to put down." Rudolf Winkes, Brown University

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alvaro Lewis on June 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Here is a splendid recounting of histories (the old and the older) and anecdotes of explorations in the deserts and oases of what was once Roman Egypt. In addition, credible summations of existing research and excavations provide the reader with a distanced understanding of some curious spaces. The images in this book, all black and white, seem both numinous and stunning. The maps present the only bit of chaos with their insect-like sprawlings and unorganized keys. One must scan all names of the key to find the number and location for the places described. Clearer maps would have been lovely, but since it is unlikely I'll need such maps, the existing suffice. The reading is compelling, the topics heterogenous. On the whole, this book provides significant information and pleasure.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was amazing! when i read it, not only did it keep me interested, but i couldn't put it down!! the photographs were amazing, and so were the detailed maps! Jackson has done an excellent job with this book, and i can't wait for his next one. his hard work on this book has really paid off as it provides an exquisite insight into the history of Rome and the other places. being the head of the history department is a high post, and i am sure he deserves it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lebling on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Oman-based historian Robert Jackson has spent a lot of time over some two decades tramping through the deserts of Egypt. His favorite historical period is the Graeco-Roman - specifically from about 29 B.C. to the start of the Byzantine period in the late fifth century.

He has tracked down an amazing collection of ruins and sites from this period, and compiled them in this appealing book, which is part history, part gazetteer, part explorer's adventure. It is packed with Jackson's fine photos of Roman ruins from across Egypt, most of which cover sites you've probably never seen.

Jackson divides his subject into three geographical areas: the Eastern Desert, the Upper Nile Valley and the Western Desert. He explores the Red Sea coast, Roman stone quarries, the Porphyry Road, the desert trade routes. He visits the temples and fortresses of Roman Nubia. He catalogues Roman ruins in the inhabited depressions or oases of the Western Desert: the Great Oasis (Rome's term for the united oases of Kharga and Dakhleh), the Small Oasis (the united oases of Bahariya and Farafra) and of course Siwa, home of the famed oracle.

Two aspects of the book stand out. First, it covers a lot of territory, and gives you a good idea of just how extensive the Roman presence in Egypt actually was. Second, Jackson manages to keep us entertained along the way, supplementing his impressive array of hard facts with a good sprinkling of anecdotes, oddities and historical mysteries.

[A version of this review appeared in Saudi Aramco World, Sep/Oct 2003.]
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Guillaume Dupuis on May 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm basing my next vacation in the Western desert to include a few oasis. He keeps the gritty details to a comfortable level, which makes the reading pleasant.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
From the Back Cover
"No one with even a passing interest in New York will be able to live without it."- William Grimes, New York Times Book Review
Please correct me if I am wrong, but, I do not understand how an interest in "New York" has ANYTHING to do with this book.
Am I missing something?
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