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The Ancient Orient: An Introduction to the Study of the Ancient Near East n Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0802801425
ISBN-10: 0802801420
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From the Back Cover

""This long-awaited work by the most famous Assyriologist of recent times brings together into a single picture the history, languages, and cultures of the ancient Semitic and Indo-European near East. It embraces intellectual, artistic, economic, political, and social life and brings within the grasp of the nonspecialist the enormous advances that have been made in Assyriology in recent decades"." Philip R. Davies, University of Sheffield
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; n edition (February 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802801420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802801425
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Over the past few years I have been very interested in the history of the Ancient Near East and have read a number of scholarly books on the subject of ancient Canaan & Israel, Egypt of the Pharaohs, Cyprus, Ebla, the Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, and the Sumerians. But many of these are at least 25 years old, and I thought it was time to bring myself up-to-date with the latest developments, as well as reading modern translations of the important ancient documents. To that end, I recently purchased this book, plus "Ancient Iraq" by Georges Roux, and the two volumes of "The Ancient Near East - An Anthology of Text and Pictures" by James B Pritchard.
Fortunately, I read this book first! It was originally published in 1985, and the English translation by Donald G Schley was published in 1994. In the translator's words, Wolfram von Soden (who was born in 1908) was a master in the field of Assyriology, and the intention of the book, as the title states, is "an Introduction to the Study of the Ancient Near East". In making the text available in English, Professor Schley's aim is to provide a concise, yet comprehensive text for his classes in the ancient Near East, and one which could also serve as a background text for classes in biblical studies
For Professor von Soden the term "Ancient Orient" denotes ancient Western Asia without Asia Minor, but with Western Iran. That is to say the focus of the book is on the Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian empires for the period from 3000BC to about 500BC with some coverage of the Mittanians, Hurrians, Uruartians, Elamites, and Hittites where they impinge on these empires.
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Format: Paperback
This text is an incisive overview of the entire sweep of ancient Near Eastern studies. Particularly valuable is the section on philology and the extent to which various available texts have or have not yet been translated. It is directly useful as a core text for coursework in any aspect of Mesopotamian civilizations.
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Format: Paperback
Von Soden's work is an excellent introduction to the Ancient Near East, comprehensive in its coverage of a wide range of topics, time periods, and geographic settings. A feminist historiography you will not find, as women's daily lives and roles in society are not a focal point. King lists and men's roles in society are much more prominent, as are traditional views on history (i.e. that history does not "begin" until the advent of writing). However, for anyone hoping to gain a broad understanding of what life was like in Mesopotamia or the Ancient Near East for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Millennia BCE, this book is a great survey.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Comprehensive" is one word to describe this book. While it doesn't delve deeply into any period of subject, it covers the entire scope of the period from Sumer to Assyria in Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers. As such it contains enough information to satisfy the average interested non-specialist and guidance on where to find out more. The translation is solid and easy reading.
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Format: Paperback
Very, very interesting. Though hard to read if one is not familiar with the local wording/jargon.
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