Ancient World discussion

Is the title of this group correct?

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian (traveller1) | 17 comments The title here is "Ancient World", and it is described as "pre-christian", but ... the term ancient refers also to the Roman Empire period, which was decidedly in the christian era. Should we drop "christian" from the description? Just saying.

message 2: by David (last edited Dec 01, 2012 05:07PM) (new)

David Krae (davidkrae) Does the Ancient World not also include Ancient China, India, South America, Africa, Europe and Scandinavia?

I think pre-Christian might just cause confusion and limit the scope of the group to discussions of the Near and Middle East (ie. the lands situated near and connected culturally to Ancient Mesopotamia), which is the pre-Christian Ancient World.

How about the following:

For those interested in literature, history, pre-history and theories about Ancient Civilizations. Anywhere. This is a public group. Everyone is welcome.


Was thinking of starting a Sumerian thread just for fun as it seems to be a popular topic out there on the Interwebz these days and it is a much-neglected subject, along with the Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians.

A Mayan thread might also be fun, although we apparently only have three weeks left to discuss it before the Mayan world comes to an end.

An ancient Norse thread might be interesting as well.

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian (traveller1) | 17 comments Well, to return late to a topic I started, I am inclined to reply "no". The term "ancient world" refers to the Mediterranean region prior to the fall of the Roman Empire (lets say 5th century to that question). That is what I was taught in Classics and Ancient History, and the definition used by such classics (haha) as the "Cambridge Ancient History" series.

Of course, this usage can be considered a technical definition reflecting out Eurocentric cultural origins and studies, that is used to clearly identify one cultural stream.

In this group we can use whatever definition we like, but including everything. Is that too broad? It depends on how many people are interested in chatting here. If in the thousands we should consider subordinate groups (Chinese, Incas, etc), but if only a handful then lump everything into one pot.

message 4: by David (last edited Dec 03, 2012 09:08AM) (new)

David Krae (davidkrae) Hey Ian, I agree the traditional definition is pretty much Eurocentric or, perhaps more Mesopocentric than anything as the pre-Roman European, coastal and Scandinavian history has been somewhat neglected until relatively recently.

Just happened upon this group, found it conceptually interesting but a little quiet of late. I think broadening the scope might make it more inclusive, especially now that people are learning more about ancient China, India, South America, Scandinavia, England etc. via documentaries and more recent archeological endeavors around the world.

Agreed there's no reason to subdivide into folders unless there are a lot of people, although it might be worth considering whether 'seeding the pot' would be a useful exercise. As an example from structural perspective, I'm a member of the Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction group and it is organized with folders by era, which makes it very easy to navigate and creates clear delineations of where to create threads, which appears to be conducive to new discussions. Of course, subdivision by region would be more appropriate to Ancient World.

Anyway. Just spitballing some ideas. I think the Ancient World is fascinating and I know there are a lot of folks out there who are very interested in ancient times so I wondered if there was some way to draw them in. :)


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian (traveller1) | 17 comments I could be wrong, but I suspect that the gr crowd will not rush to this group in great numbers. This group seems more academically book inclined, histories of the subject, whereas gr leans towards novels and fiction. Thus the historical fiction groups are busy.

So, yes, I say open the group up. All ancient societies around the globe. The tricky part is writing a short, snappy definition which encompasses these.

"The Ancient World"—before modernity? Before gunpowder?

Lets say before the 15th century. This was when Europeans in quantity began exploring and linking the world.

message 6: by David (last edited Dec 03, 2012 05:54PM) (new)

David Krae (davidkrae) Agreed, the more academically inclined material is a bit of a tougher sell at first, but lot of historical fiction folks do like to explore source material and they're into all kinds of different subject matter. Other people might visit just looking for references or to share knowledge. As an example, I was reading one thread yesterday where a writer and historian has made a very in depth study of Mongolian society. Fascinating tidbits and some excellent book references were linked.

How about using the word 'Antiquity' somewhere in the description as that essentially means means "before the middle ages".

Short, snappy definition...

I think "Ancient World" already sounds pretty cool. It's a great name, snappy...mysterious. It certainly drew me in. Conversely, the accompanying description could be an entire paragraph, if need be. How about something along these lines:

Ancient World
This group explores books, literature and archeological evidence from ancient times, from prehistory through antiquity. Ancient cultures from around the world, archeology, history and the literature of old are the focus, from classical studies to new discoveries as we investigate and discuss various cultures from their earliest beginnings through the golden ages of ancient humanity.

message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian (traveller1) | 17 comments Cool, concur. Would suggest "Ancient Worlds". This does immediately signify that the group is broader than the mere classical ancient world, and it sounds groovy.

message 8: by David (last edited Dec 03, 2012 07:02PM) (new)

David Krae (davidkrae) Sounds good. At the same time, I'm just an enthusiastic interloper at this point or, in contemporary parlance, a newb.* What does the rest of the class think? (-- of the ideas above, I mean.)


message 9: by Luciana (new)

Luciana Cavallaro (goodreadscomluc) | 5 comments I've been following your conversation per se and the interesting points raised. I think there is room for both academic and fictional books in the group, but I'm new and like you David just poking my head and taking a peek. I like what you've outlined under the heading 'Ancient World'. Worthy of further discussions :)

message 10: by David (new)

David Krae (davidkrae) Well, let's start some threads then. ;) I'm going to start with the Norse as I'm currently reading up on the The Prose Edda and The Poetic Edda and other tales from Ancient Scandinavia.

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