From Library Journal
With this volume, Freeman (The Ancient Greeks, Oxford Univ., 1996) has written a useful introduction to three significant ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean littoral. While some may question the inclusion of Egyptian civilization in a volume largely surveying classical civilization, the author persuasively presents Egypt and the ancient Near East as strong influences, if not precursors, of classical civilization. Although most recent volumes of the ancient world have been anthologies (e.g., The Oxford History of the Classical World, Oxford Univ., 1986), with different specialists responsible for contributing chapters, Freeman elected to consult various specialists in ancient history when composing his work but assumes sole responsibility for the final presentation. Acknowledging that ancient studies are not free of controversies, the author unfortunately does not feel that a survey volume of this type is the right forum in which to air them. Still, this work is a useful introduction to the ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.?Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
`comprehensive, clearly structured and lucidly written ... should appeal to and be enjoyed by the intelligent general reader' Dr Dominic Rathbone, King's College, London
`Confronted with Charles Freeman's Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civiliations of the ancient Mediterranean, whose 600 carefully written pages encompasses three major civilizations ... it is impossible not to be impressed by the author's sheer staying-power ... this is a triumph of tenacity; a skilful exercise in the compression of the past ... Freeman's magisterially paced prose ensured that the past runs to a tight commuter timetable - secure, familiar, assured ... no one can deny Freeman's enthusiasm and his concern that a survey volume, whatever its faults, should - like any properly run prep school - "provide the springboard into further study of these fascinating societies".' Times Literary Supplement
`The book is not only enjoyable but comprehensive in its description of the richness and complexity of the classical past ... He writes attractively ... He discusses clearly philosophers and philosophies, historians,the theatre, art, education and social life, including the status of women and the role of slavery ... this book has, in addition, copious suggestions for further reading, a comprehensive list of dates, useful maps and excellent illustrations.' Arthur Foss, The Anglo-Hellenic Review, 1997