Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A History of the Ancient Near East: CA. 3000-323 BC” as Want to Read:
A History of the Ancient Near East: CA. 3000-323 BC
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A History of the Ancient Near East: CA. 3000-323 BC

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  226 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
This title presents a concise history of the extraordinarily multicultural civilizations of the Ancient Near East. Beginning with the emergence of writing around 3000 BC, the narrative ranges from the origins of the first cities in Mesopotamia, through the growth of the Babylonian and Hittite kingdoms, to the Assyrian and Persian empires. It ends with the transformation of ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published June 9th 2003 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A History of the Ancient Near East, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A History of the Ancient Near East

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 703)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Evan Leach
This book is exactly what it advertises itself to be: a clear, concise, single-volume history of the ancient Near East. It covers prehistory, Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, the Hittites, the Elamites, Persia and more. It contains some nice illustrations and a very thorough guide for further reading.

This reads like a textbook (which it is, I assume), with text boxes and short, easily digestible sections. Any historian dealing with this period is confronted with a lack of written documentation, which n
Yay for using textbooks to stack my GR challenge stats!

Anyhow, I feel mildly dishonest rating this because I didn't actually read everything. It's pretty dry, and I didn't have time for some of the middle chapters. I would say that I'll go back and read them, but... I won't. I'll take it to class for discussion tomorrow, then move my bookmark to our next book and leave it on the shelf until it's time to sell it.

But as far as the actual content goes, what I read of it at least - it's not terrible
Jul 04, 2014 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
An excellent academic overview. Although it is primarily a political history, there are bits of information about culture, economics, religion, etc. These are necessarily brief because the nature of the book itself. A lot of the time the book feels like a summary, as if you are breezing through large periods of time. Part of this is due to the scarcity of records but other parts are clearly a compression to try to keep the book an acceptable length. As a result it can feel like you're missing ou ...more
Very prosaic account of an admittedly technical subject. I desperately needed filling on the earliest ancient civilizations and it certainly helped in that. I found it very interesting how similar the wording of the Behistun inscription was to much earlier royal proclamations from the New Assyrian Empire and even Hittite diplomatic letters. In many ways, the Persians coming at the very end of the period covered, were just the most successful empire builders in a long and coherent history of them ...more
Lauren Albert
Some historic places and periods are harder to study. Most obviously, because those based on archaelogical evidence depend heavily on luck and interpretation (what you find and how you understand it). But some eras are particularly complex because of a diversity of linguistic, ethnic, regional, and political groupings. To the study of the Ancient Near East must be added the difficulty relative obscurity of the names. Everytime I came across "Egypt" or "Babylonia" I breathed a sigh of relief--Som ...more
Gavin White
A very sound general introduction to the history of the Ancient Near East. If you are interested in any aspect of the ANE then this is a good buy to give you a background brief on the region's history and cultural development. Published in 2004 its the most up-to-date history of the region, though personally I have come to prefer 'Ancient Iraq' by Georges Roux even if it was written way back in the 1960s.
Kamil Kopacewicz
Jun 16, 2014 Kamil Kopacewicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written and intelligent history book. It helps to understand processes that occurred in Ancient Near East and shows how complex the history was. On the other side, it requires sharp and clear mind, and it is good to read it in small parts. Fortunately the book is well organised and is supplemented with handful maps.
I've scored 4 on my exam, so I will rate Mieroop's book the same
It's an expansive history of the region that at once shows off its scale but also avoids overwhelming with information. It's a must read to acquire a sense of perspective over the region's history.
Oct 24, 2013 Ralph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best survey of Near Eastern History I've found yet. Van De Mieroop is careful to stick to what is known from archaelogical evidence and where he touches on theories and speculations he identifies it clearly. There is no central thesis he is promoting with this book, it is a straight forward chronological summary of 3000 years of history bookended by brief sections on pre Sumerian neolithic peoples on one end and the closing of the period with the coming of the Persians on the other. In betwe ...more
Greg Hess
Jun 27, 2008 Greg Hess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the better histories I've read; an excellent introduction to the region. The author does a good job of picking specific events, discussing them, and then turning to analysis of the culture of that time and place rather than quickly rushing off to simply list off other events. This makes the book more readable while also providing a better understanding of the events (knowing long lists of events in minimal detail is not very useful, much better to know a few key events and their contexts ...more
Jul 12, 2007 Namrirru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I have an older edition of this text.

This is the best book I've ever read on the Ancient Near East. It's a real page-turner. Sometimes, he ends chapters on such a dramatic note that it tickles your curiosity to read what happens next even though you know what happens next.
Aug 14, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outside-reading
A very good introduction into the political history of the ancient near east before the Hellenistic age. Sometimes cursory, it is a easily readable introduction to the people and history of the region.
Sep 14, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in typical textbook fashion. Highly informative guide through Near East history, from the first known cities to the Persian Empire of the 4th century BCE.
Dec 07, 2014 Allein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome and brief history of the ancient world. Succinct, with maps, illustrations, and useful bibliography.
Jan 23, 2013 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly informative yet engaging and readable. Recommended to anyone interested in this period.
Apr 02, 2007 Phillip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nerds
Good try to condense a whole lot of complex information, but could be better organized still.
Amber Skantz
Textbook 1 for my class, Ancient Near East and Greece. Not to bad for a textbook.
R. Michael Fox
Jun 01, 2013 R. Michael Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is one of the best histories in my personal library, and I have quite a lot of them.
R. Shurmer
Aug 15, 2008 R. Shurmer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who has run out of wood for his fire
Shelves: ancient
Why o why, dear Lord, must we suffer such dry and uninspired textbooks to live among us!?
Ondra Panděro
May 14, 2015 Ondra Panděro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good general overview book, sometimes looked like a patchwork though.
The Cat  In The Hat
The Middle East, you know, where the history comes from.
Dec 18, 2015 Jerome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A necessity for any student of the Hebrew Bible!
Nov 19, 2008 Jesse marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Oasix21 marked it as to-read
May 25, 2016
Emma marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
Elias marked it as to-read
May 21, 2016
Mary marked it as to-read
May 19, 2016
Mark marked it as to-read
May 24, 2016
Jamie Mullen
Jamie Mullen marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Meredith Norville
Meredith Norville rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23 24 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ancient Iraq
  • The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character
  • The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion
  • Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary
  • The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (The Biblical Resource Series)
  • Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City
  • The Kingdom of the Hittites
  • Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization
  • Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times
  • History of the Persian Empire
  • The World of Late Antiquity 150-750 (Library of World Civilization)
  • Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome
  • Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe
  • Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization
  • Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present
  • Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe
  • The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: The History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra

Share This Book