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From Aristotle to Zoroaster: An a to Z Companion to the Classical World Hardcover – October 1, 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The classical world, in British historian Cotterell's view, encompasses not only ancient Greece and Rome, but also Egypt, Persia, India, and China. This encyclopedic compendium is long on thematic entries--for instance, précis of the condition of women in ancient Old World civilizations or the evolution of monumental architecture--but somewhat short on single-subject biographical pieces of the sort covered by, say, the Oxford Classical Dictionary. The thematic entries do make the book exceptionally useful for cross-cultural research, however, and Cotterell draws on the best recent scholarship, especially in anthropology and archaeology. --Gregory MacNamee


Victor Davis Hanson Author of The Other Greeks, The Western Way of War, and with John Heath, Who Killed Homer?

There are numerous scholarly classical dictionaries; but very few are accessible to the general reader -- and fewer still incorporate the persons, places, and ideas of the ancient Chinese, Indians, and Near East. Thus Arthur Cotterell's illustrated companion to the classical worlds of both Europe and Asia is original and useful, reminding us not only how similar East and West were in antiquity, but also how very different the Greeks and the Romans were from the classical Asian civilizations. This is not only a valuable reference tool, but a fascinating book to read in itself. -- Review


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684855968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684855967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,643,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jvstin VINE VOICE on December 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Similar to other dictionaries on the Classical World, From Aristotle to Zoroaster has some points which make it stand out from many of the others.
First its accessible. This dictionary is NOT directed at the classical scholar, or even a classics major in College (although both of them would appreciate this work). Its target is the lay reader and assumes only that you have a passing familiarity with ancient history.
Second, it casts a broad net. Most works of this time center themselves around the Mediterranean, but Cotterell has entries for points as far as China and India. His reasoning for including these (ie. none of these civilizations, including the Greek were in isolation from each other) is a good one, and I found myself interested in "what the Indians were doing" at the same time as the more familiar events in Greece, Rome and the Mediterranean region.
The book's maps and tables are well done, and give great overviews of the period . The illustrations, which are numerous, are well done, too. Although some of the entries seem a bit idiosyncratic (like "INVENTIONS"), by and large, this is an excellent work, and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the period.
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