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Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers wide areas and aspect but sometimes lacks in depth., 16 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Egypt, Greece, and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean (Paperback)
This book covers vast areas of ancient history: Egypt, Greece and Rome along with other ancient lands, political, social and art history, religions, literature and so forth. This is not an old-fashioned history book about rulers and wars, neither does it concentrate solely on social history and culture without giving political background to cultural developments. Rather the book covers variety aspects and provides a broad view to its subject, which is the major strength of the book.
The strength of the book is, perhaps inevitably, its major weakness. By attempting to cover such varied areas the book often lacks in depth and specialised knowledge. Sometimes one has to struggle through fairly dull lists of events, dates, people, with explanations that I sometimes found too brief to adequately explain developments and factors behind. Sometimes one gets an impression that the author has not thoroughly analysed his information, but rather repeats other scholars in an abridged, sometimes even slightly erroneous manner.
To be fair with the author, no one person can be expected to have expertise on all these areas. A more in-depth analysis would probably have meant a narrower focus or would have made the book too long. As a scholar in one aspect of ancient world, I think the book serves well by offering a comprehensive view to ancient history, and as a reference book for checking dates, names and developments in ancient history.
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