- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (May 27, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140513485
- ISBN-13: 978-0140513486
- Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.3 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History: Revised Edition Reissue Edition
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About the Author
Colin McEvedy is the author of The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History; The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History; The Penguin Atlas of Recent History (Europe Since 1815) and The Penguin Atlas of North American History. He lives in London, W6
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Top customer reviews
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It has been updated since the 1967 original, but looks like it's mostly the same, so I wonder whether some of the information is dated. The author's timeframe for the early expansion of the Indo-European languages (9000BCE) is nonsense by the reckoning of most scholars, so I find myself taking the rest with a grain of salt. However, it's great for big-picture and context, and you can always zoom in through other sources if you need confirmation.
I often find myself wishing for finer granularity of time between maps, but I don't think I've ever seen another atlas as fine-grained as this one for the period.
I've read this (and the earlier edition) repeatedly, and used it as a reference countless times.
I note that knowledgeable historians nit-pick the accuracy from time to time but, for myself, the ordinary punter, the book is simply stunning. Firstly the scope covers a mere 40,000 years of mainly European and Middle Eastern history. From the stone age to Byzantium. Secondly you get a swift and understandable summary of all those peoples you should know about but don't; the Medes, the Cimmarians, the Ostrogoths and hundreds of others. Thirdly, as well as the military and political history which helped create the world of today, for just a few quid you get a history of population developement, a history of trade and the story of the development and spread of both language and literacy. Wow!
On top of all this, the book is written in witty and self-depreciating style, explaining carefully where the evidence may be contradictory or simply absent. The book is even updated to include some DNA evidence and doubtless there will be a lot more in future editions.
So 5 stars plus it is.
These are thin books with lots of maps and limited text, so don't complain about lack of depth. These books give a bird's eye view of the world throughout the times covered. If you want depth buy a fat book. Also the author has a pretty wry sense of humor, if you like that.
After this book I now intend on buying all of this author's other atlases.