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Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome (The Kenneth Nebenzahl Jr. Lectures in the History of Cartography) Kindle Edition

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""Ancient Perspectives "does not simply revise the last comprehensive, but largely traditional, study of early European and west Asian cartography in the light of the latest research, discoveries, and debates; for the first time, it puts what survives of early Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman maps and related artifacts into their very different wider cultural contexts and reveals the diverse roles played by the maps in their very different societies. These roles often run counter to traditional assumptions and yet, in some respects, seem strangely familiar. Not the least achievements of the book are that they succeed in weaving the notoriously fragmentary surviving evidence into such a sophisticated, nuanced, persuasive, thorough, and convincing whole and that the book does so in language that is crystal clear and free of jargon. It represents scholarly communication at its very best."
--Peter Barber, British Library

"Maps and their place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome have been studied for centuries, but the time is ripe for a new survey of up-to-date research on this fascinating subject. In this volume, internationally leading experts provide such a guide in seven chapters ranging from the Ancient Near East to the later Roman empire. By studying ancient perspectives the book opens up new vistas for fresh research on the history of cartography, making it a perfect addition to the Nebenzahl Lectures."--Kai Brodersen, President, University of Erfurt, Germany

"To read these essays is to see how far the study of ancient maps has come in the past three decades or so. The essays are both authoritative and accessible and will be the new starting point for any consideration of ancient map-mindedness. Anyone interested in ancient Mediterranean civilizations or in the history of geography will be in the authors' debt."--Grant Parker, Stanford University

"Nowhere has been mustered into one place so much new and critically examined, or reexamined, evidence from the beginnings of the historical record--from Mesopotamian clay tablets to late Roman monuments and texts--to dispel, once and for all, any lingering anachronistic myths about the enduring nature and scope of the human mapping impulse. Here is illuminated, sometimes brilliantly, always readably and in scholarly fashion, a range of contexts, subjects, perspectives, styles, orientations, functions, structures, and presentations of maps, whether concerning geographies of the ground or geographies for thought, that applies equally to all later history."--Catherine Delano-Smith, Institute of Historical Research, London

"This richly illustrated volume provides a sweeping yet engaging overview of cartography produced in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, with examples spanning from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE. . . . The book will find a wide, interdisciplinary audience. Highly recommended. For specialists and nonspecialists alike."--K. M. Morin, Bucknell University "Choice "

"I recommend "Ancient Perspectives "highly."--Judith A. Tyner, California State University, Long Beach "Geographical Reviews "

"Edited and introduced masterfully by Richard J. A. Talbert, ["Ancient Perspectives"] contains must-read essays for all those interested in the history of these earliest forms of cartography. . . . A truly wonderful read, and with its updated research and bibliography, [it] certainly represents one of most important additions to the scholarship on ancient cartography published in recent years. I could not recommend it more."--John Hessler, Library of Congress "Portolan "

This richly illustrated volume provides a sweeping yet engaging overview of cartography produced in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, with examples spanning from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE. . . . The book will find a wide, interdisciplinary audience. Highly recommended. For specialists and nonspecialists alike. --K. M. Morin, Bucknell University "Choice ""

I recommend "Ancient Perspectives "highly. --Judith A. Tyner, California State University, Long Beach "Geographical Reviews ""

Edited and introduced masterfully by Richard J. A. Talbert, ["Ancient Perspectives"] contains must-read essays for all those interested in the history of these earliest forms of cartography. . . . A truly wonderful read, and with its updated research and bibliography, [it] certainly represents one of most important additions to the scholarship on ancient cartography published in recent years. I could not recommend it more. --John Hessler, Library of Congress "Portolan ""

To read these essays is to see how far the study of ancient maps has come in the past three decades or so. The essays are both authoritative and accessible and will be the new starting point for any consideration of ancient map-mindedness. Anyone interested in ancient Mediterranean civilizations or in the history of geography will be in the authors debt. --Grant Parker, Stanford University"

"Ancient Perspectives "does not simply revise the last comprehensive, but largely traditional, study of early European and west Asian cartography in the light of the latest research, discoveries, and debates; for the first time, it puts what survives of early Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman maps and related artifacts into their very different wider cultural contexts and reveals the diverse roles played by the maps in their very different societies. These roles often run counter to traditional assumptions and yet, in some respects, seem strangely familiar. Not the least achievements of the book are that they succeed in weaving the notoriously fragmentary surviving evidence into such a sophisticated, nuanced, persuasive, thorough, and convincing whole and that the book does so in language that is crystal clear and free of jargon. It represents scholarly communication at its very best.
--Peter Barber, British Library"

Maps and their place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome have been studied for centuries, but the time is ripe for a new survey of up-to-date research on this fascinating subject. In this volume, internationally leading experts provide such a guide in seven chapters ranging from the Ancient Near East to the later Roman empire. By studying ancient perspectives the book opens up new vistas for fresh research on the history of cartography, making it a perfect addition to the Nebenzahl Lectures. --Kai Brodersen, President, University of Erfurt, Germany"

Nowhere has been mustered into one place so much new and critically examined, or reexamined, evidence from the beginnings of the historical record from Mesopotamian clay tablets to late Roman monuments and texts to dispel, once and for all, any lingering anachronistic myths about the enduring nature and scope of the human mapping impulse. Here is illuminated, sometimes brilliantly, always readably and in scholarly fashion, a range of contexts, subjects, perspectives, styles, orientations, functions, structures, and presentations of maps, whether concerning geographies of the ground or geographies for thought, that applies equally to all later history. --Catherine Delano-Smith, Institute of Historical Research, London"

About the Author

Richard J. A. Talbert is the William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of History and Classics and the founder of the Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World and Rome's World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 28573 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (14 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IGQI7NC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,869,077 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
In today’s hi-tech world of sat-navs, Google Earth images and the widespread use of maps in the media, it is hard to imagine a time when maps and map-making were a rarity. This volume, comprising seven academic papers, charts the development of map-making from the earliest written and drawn maps in Mesopotamia, through to the detailed itineraries and maps from the end of the Roman Empire.

The main interest in this book for Egyptologists must be the paper by David O’Connor, with his discussion on maps from Egypt. O’Connor explains that some of the key maps of places can be found on the walls of temples. Such ‘maps’ can be found at Abu Simbel (the plan of the Battle of Qadesh) and on the outside of the northern wall of Karnak’s Hypostyle Hall (Seti’s campaigns in the Levant). These can be read as ‘smiting scenes’ where the king defeats an enemy for the benefit of the gods.

But as well as maps on temple walls, the Egyptians produced what we would consider more conventional maps. A number of papyri from New Kingdom Deir el-Medina show a tomb plan and the site of gold mines in the Eastern Desert. We also have a Graeco-Roman map of the ‘Book of the Fayum’ that combines topography with the locations of places and myths that are associated with the god Sobek of Crocodilopolis.

Other papers in the book contain details of the Greek maps of the world and the Mediterranean, information on Roman surveying techniques, and how the Romans used maps to define and govern their empire. Unlike the Egyptian maps, however, many of these later maps are only known from very late copies or reports by various classical authors.

The book itself is really aimed at the map-maker, and the classical scholar.
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