- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (27 Aug. 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014012523X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140125238
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ancient Iraq (Penguin History) Paperback – 27 Aug 1992
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This is a political, cultural and economic history which covers the whole of Mesopotamia from the days of prehistory to the Christian Era. The book describes the empires, dynasties and religions of each millennium and suggests something of the splendour of Babylon before its capture by Cyrus.
About the Author
Georges Roux was a French writer born in Salon-de-Provence in 1914. The son of an army officer, he lived for 12 years with his parents in Syria and Lebanon before returning to study medicine at the University of Paris, graduating in 1941. While practicing medicine he also pursued oriental studies at the cole des Hautes tudes. In 1950 he became a medical officer for the Iraq Petroleum Company, staying for two years in Qatar and seven in Iraq. Between 1956 and 1960 he wrote for the IPC's widely read journal, the articles of which eventually became Ancient Iraq, the authoritative work on political, cultural, and socioeconomic history from Mesopotamia days of prehistory to the Christian era. First published in English in 1964, the work has also been translated into French, Arabic, Spanish, and Polish.
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One feels Roux grasps how these ancient cultures actually worked as functioning societies rather than as quaint historical constructs. One sees how the strange factory cultures of Sumer (everyone working for the globalised gods) clashed with the free-booting Semitic and then Hurrian peoples of the periphery resulting in respectively Sargon and Assyria. Here is a people simple enough to be owned by their gods and yet already engaging in complex commercial structures and bureaucratic management never mind their scientific achievements.
Each chapter is just enough to flesh out a culture and then on to the next. Each makes one to think of a real society with rational aims and goals. Each chapter is also well paced enough for you to retain your understanding until you can link to the next piece of the historical chain.
I would not have believed such a distant civilisation could so effortlessly been evoked; something only a great deal of knowledge can achieve.
I am personally obsessed with early civilisations and the more I read and understand, the more I am held in awe by our ancestors. This book is a great introduction to what can be a veritable wealth and minefield of information, and is also something that would give people a taste for other branches of ancient history, such as the study of other ancient cultures, archaeology, the trade and 'intercourse' between great and ancient civilisations, and so on. All in all, a very good book!
Georges Roux succeeds in clearly reviewing Iraq ancient history.
His book is wonderfully written and should appeal to both scholars and beginners.
It made me re-read all my classics dealing with the history of this part of the world.
The writer, as a story teller should keep you interested until the last page.
Perhaps the best introduction to several thousand years of archaeology and history.
It also provides an extensive bibliography, although many of the references are quite old. It could be improved by the inclusion of some decent internet links.
Overall a very good read which is sure to motivate you to study particular topics in more detail.
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