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The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History Paperback – 28 Nov 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2Rev Ed edition (28 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140513485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140513486
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 0.7 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After going through this book I must say that I am a bit disappointed. Although this book certainly has it's uses, it is very limited in what it gives you as an atlas of ancient history. I had expected at least some detailed maps of the important areas (Egypt, Middle east, Mesopotamia, etc.) but you only get very general maps covering an area from Norway down to the Sahara, with broad outlines of the empires and cultures, in most cases cities are not even indicated. If you only need the broad outlines of what was happening, this book is fine, but if you are looking for more then this book is definitely not what you need. The accompanying text is of more value, especially the population estimates, trade routes and so but most of it is a good but basic summary of history from the emergence of modern man till the fall of the Roman Empire.
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Format: Paperback
This is a small book both in terms of page numbers and size. However a lot of information is crammed in, mostly by using very small type faces, and I mean small. The format through most of the book is text on the verso page and a map (almost monochromatic) on the recto page. The content is sound but obviously restricted by the size of the book. I use this as an easy access aide memoire to the main events of the ancient period. Could be useful for school as it is cheap and compact.
I've awarded 3 stars as I think its rather grandiose title is a bit misleading; I would call it a guide rather than an atlas.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been criticised for not being something else. If you want an in-depth history of the Egyptians, Hittites, Indo-Europeans or Romans, look elsewhere. This is a history of Europe as a whole (which includes the Near-East and North Africa) over a long period of time. For anyone who wants to understand the transition of the region AS A WHOLE from prehistory to history, it is excellent and almost unique.

It's not quite as good as its Medieval counterpart, but it's splendid nonetheless. It starts in the Ice Age and ends in 362AD, with Emperor Julian about to lead his legions against the Persians and with the Huns in Kazakhstan, looming ominously. It overlaps with the Medieval book, but should have overlapped a bit more in order to show the end of the classical world.

There are printing errors - a missed character on one map; Ireland disappearing briefly at the end of the Ice Age - but the story of the creation of our world is well told with McEvedy's trademark deftness and wit. Where else would the non-specialist learn about Sargon of Akkad, the Seleucids and the Tocharians - not to mention the linguistic development that made nearly every language from the Orkneys to the Indus related to each other?

This is a light, easy read that can be dipped into at any time for an easy, broad introduction to early history. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No problem with delivery or seller. Like other customers I find the book very informative for my needs. BUT type face exceedingly small. As it's a Penguin publication, I thought they would have got the hang of it after all these years. Wake up guys. Not much point publishing something people can't read without a magnifying glass.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a scholarly read rather than an easy access. It is informative and there are maps as you would expect in an atlas. But the print is small, making it uncomfortable for older eyes and the maps lack clarity being in blue and white only and overcrowded with data shown as various styles of black-line shading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the usefulness of the book would have improved with a larger size, having it in my backpack for history class meant that I did not hurt myself. The combined text and maps are in fact excellent, and the portability in combination with the fair price tag says to me that this is bargain.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the thrird copy I have bought as I keep giving mine away to friends, also interested in this. It is a great way to tie in the many aspects of individual local histories on my travels. For instance, how else do you work out what was happening in Filitosa, Corsica when they were carving their menhirs with, say where the 'Sea People' were coming from?. Or , if as we did, visit the early bronze age site near Cheng Du, wonder what was happening in Mesopotamia at the same time - who won the race? (Mesopotamia - the Chinese did not even have to go through the dangerous arsenical bronze period even!). This is the book that will tell you and make you chuckle at the same time.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good broad brushstrokes overview of early history. Anyone who expects a detailed treatment of 50000 years in a hundred page book is asking a bit much. As the accompanying text makes clear many of the details on the early maps are vague and subject to change (in fact I think this edition has been substantially revised since the first one) but the author has tied the whole of history together quite nicely. The idea of keeping the same projection on the same place on each page works quite well and allows you to flip backwards and forwards to follow movements.

My main criticism would be around the presentation of the map. Why use a multitude of very similar hatchings to denote language instead of much easier to read colours? Understandable for a litho printed book in the 70s, much less so now.
It would also have been nice to get a bit more of China into the story but it is understandably hard to make that fit nicely onto a map.
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