The Face of the Ancient Orient: Near Eastern Civilization in Pre-Classical Times

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9780486419527: The Face of the Ancient Orient: Near Eastern Civilization in Pre-Classical Times

"A lucid, intelligent, and lively summation ... an appetizing and stimulating introduction to the study of man's early civilizations." — Science
This fascinating, lively study — praised by the American Historical Review as "a valuable introduction, perhaps the best available in English, to the ancient Near Eastern civilizations" — is essential reading for history students and for anyone interested in the development of Western civilization. The author, who was director of the Center of Semitic Studies at the University of Rome, undertook the study in order to make sense of several enormously important discoveries from the mid-twentieth century — including the discovery of Ugarit, a Syrian city that flourished for 4,000 years; the unearthing of Mari, an equally important city of ancient Mesopotamia; and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Professor Moscati begins with a chapter on the "Oriental Renaissance" and goes on to examine the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Hittites, Hurrians, Canaanites, Aramaeans, Israelites, and Persians, before offering, in the final chapter, a synthesis of Near Eastern accomplishments in politics, society, literature, and the arts. His conclusion is that "the civilizations of the ancient Orient [were] a tremendous human experience ... without which another, subsequent civilization would not be conceivable." One of the great pleasures of this intriguing book is its delightful sampling of illustrative quotations from primary sources — some from the Bible and many others (often with strikingly biblical intonations) from the little-known writings of Sumer, Egypt, Hurria, and the other great civilizations that prefigured Greece and Rome.

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About the Author:

Born in Mobile, Alabama, Carol Berkin received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her dissertation won the Bancroft Award. She is now presidential professor of history at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of City University of New York. She has written JONATHAN SEWALL: ODYSSEY OF AN AMERICAN LOYALIST (1974); FIRST GENERATIONS: WOMEN IN COLONIAL AMERICA (l996); A BRILLIANT SOLUTION: INVENTING THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION (2002); and REVOLUTIONARY MOTHERS: WOMEN IN THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE (2005). She has edited WOMEN OF AMERICA: A HISTORY (with Mary Beth Norton, 1979); WOMEN, WAR AND REVOLUTION (with Clara M. Lovett, 1980); WOMEN'S VOICES, WOMEN'S LIVES: DOCUMENTS IN EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY (with Leslie Horowitz, 1998); and LOOKING FORWARD/LOOKING BACK: A WOMEN'S STUDIES READER (with Judith Pinch and Carole Appel, 2005). She was contributing editor on southern women for THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOUTHERN CULTURE and has appeared in the PBS series "Liberty! The American Revolution; Ben Franklin; and Alexander Hamilton" and The History Channel's "Founding Fathers." Professor Berkin chaired the Dunning Beveridge Prize Committee for the American Historical Association, the Columbia University Seminar in Early American History, and the Taylor Prize Committee of the Southern Association of Women Historians. She served on the program committees for both the Society for the History of the Early American Republic and the Organization of American Historians. She has served on the Planning Committee for the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress, and she chaired the CLEP Committee for Educational Testing Service. She serves on the Board of Trustees of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and The National Council for History Education.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Christopher L. Miller received his Bachelor of Science degree from Lewis and Clark College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently associate professor of history at the University of Texas-Pan American. He is the author of PROPHETIC WORLDS: INDIANS AND WHITES ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU (1985), which in 2003 was republished as part of the "Columbia Northwest Classics Series" by the University of Washington Press. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and anthologies as well as standard reference works. Dr. Miller is also active in contemporary Indian affairs. He served, for example, as a participant in the American Indian Civics Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. He has been a research fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and was the Nikolay V. Sivachev Distinguished Chair in American History at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia). Professor Miller has also been active in projects designed to improve history teaching, including programs funded by the Meadows Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and other agencies.

Robert W. Cherny is a professor of history at San Francisco State University. He has served as an NEH Fellow, Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia), and Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He is also a former president of H-Net (an association of more than 100 electronic networks for scholars in the humanities and social sciences), the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the Southwest Labor Studies Association. He has served as treasurer of the Organization of American Historians and as a member of the council of the American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch. A respected author, his books include AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE, 1868-1900 (1997); SAN FRANCISCO, 1865-1932: POLITICS, POWER, AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (with William Issel, 1986); A RIGHTEOUS CAUSE: THE LIFE OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (1985, 1994); and POPULISM, PROGRESSIVISM, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF NEBRASKA POLITICS, 1885-1915 (1981). He also is co-editor of AMERICAN LABOR AND THE COLD WAR: UNIONS, POLITICS, AND POSTWAR POLITICAL CULTURE (with William Issel and Kieran Taylor, 2004). In addition, his articles on politics and labor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have appeared in journals, anthologies, and historical dictionaries and encyclopedias. In 2000, he and Ellen Du Bois co-edited a special issue of the "Pacific Historical Review" that surveyed women's suffrage movements in nine locations around the Pacific Rim. Cherny received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Born in Riverside, California, James L. Gormly received a B.A. from the University of Arizona and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He is now professor of history and chair of the history department at Washington and Jefferson College. He has written THE COLLAPSE OF THE GRAND ALLIANCE (1970) and FROM POTSDAM TO THE COLD WAR (1979). His articles and reviews have appeared in DIPLOMATIC HISTORY, THE JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY, THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, THE HISTORIAN, THE HISTORY TEACHER, and THE JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY HISTORY.

Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Douglas R. Egerton received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He is professor of history at Le Moyne College. His books include YEAR OF METEORS: THE ELECTION OF 1860 AND THE SECESSION WINTER (2010); DEATH OR LIBERTY: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND REVOLUTIONARY AMERICA (2009); THE ATLANTIC WORLD: A HISTORY, 1400-1888 (with Alison Games, Kris Lane, and Donald R. Wright, 2007); REBELS, REFORMERS & AND REVOLUTIONARIES: COLLECTED ESSAYS AND SECOND THOUGHTS (2002); HE SHALL GO OUT FREE: THE LIVES OF DENMARK VESEY (1999); GABRIEL'S REBELLION: THE VIRGINIA SLAVE CONSPIRACIES OF 1800 & 1802 (1993); and CHARLES FENTON MERCER AND THE TRIAL OF NATIONAL CONSERVATISM (1989). He was script consultant and on-camera commentator for two PBS series, "Africans in America" (1998) and "This Far By Faith: Stories of African American Religion" (2003). His articles on race and politics in early America have appeared in journals, anthologies, and encyclopedias. Professor Egerton served on the dissertation prize committee for the Southern Historical Association, and the book and article prize committees for the Society of Historians of the Early Republic. He has served on the editorial boards of the JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC and THE HISTORIAN, and he was awarded the John Adams Chair (Netherlands) Fulbright Scholar Distinguished Lecturing Award.

About the Author:

Carol Berkin received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College and her PhD from Columbia University. Her dissertation won the Bancroft Award. She is now presidential professor of history at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of City University of New York. She has written JONATHAN SEWALL: ODYSSEY OF AN AMERICAN LOYALIST (1974), FIRST GENERATIONS: WOMEN IN COLONIAL AMERICA (l996), A BRILLIANT SOLUTION: INVENTING THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION (2002), and REVOLUTIONARY MOTHERS: WOMEN IN THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICA'S INDEPENDENCE (2005). She has edited WOMEN OF AMERICA: A HISTORY (with Mary Beth Norton, 1979); WOMEN, WAR AND REVOLUTION (with Clara M. Lovett, 1980); WOMEN'S VOICES, WOMEN'S LIVES: DOCUMENTS IN EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY (with Leslie Horowitz, 1998); and LOOKING FORWARD/LOOKING BACK: A WOMEN'S STUDIES READER (with Judith Pinch and Carole Appel, 2005). She was contributing editor on southern women for THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOUTHERN CULTURE and has appeared in the PBS series "Liberty! The American Revolution," "Ben Franklin," and "Alexander Hamilton," and in The History Channel's "Founding Fathers." Professor Berkin chaired the Dunning Beveridge Prize Committee for the American Historical Association, the Columbia University Seminar in Early American History, and the Taylor Prize Committee of the Southern Association of Women Historians. She served on the program committees for both the Society for the History of the Early American Republic and the Organization of American Historians. She has served on the Planning Committee for the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress, and she chaired the CLEP Committee for Educational Testing Service. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the National Council for History Education.

Christopher L. Miller received his BS degree from Lewis and Clark College and his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently associate professor of history at the University of Texas-Pan American. He is the author of PROPHETIC WORLDS: INDIANS AND WHITES ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU (1985), which was republished in 2003 as part of the "Columbia Northwest Classics Series" by the University of Washington Press. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and anthologies as well as standard reference works. Dr. Miller also is active in contemporary Indian affairs. He served, for example, as a participant in the American Indian Civics Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. He has been a research fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and was the Nikolay V. Sivachev Distinguished Chair in American History at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia). Professor Miller also has been active in projects designed to improve history teaching, including programs funded by the Meadows Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and other agencies.

Robert W. Cherny received his BA from the University of Nebraska and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. He is professor of history at San Francisco State University. His books include COMPETING VISIONS: A HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA (with Richard Griswold del Castillo, 2005); AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE, 1868-1900 (1997); SAN FRANCISCO, 1865-1932: POLITICS, POWER, AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (with William Issel, 1986); A RIGHTEOUS CAUSE: THE LIFE OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (1985, 1994); and POPULISM, PROGRESSIVISM, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF NEBRASKA POLITICS, 1885-1915 (1981). He is coeditor of AMERICAN LABOR AND THE COLD WAR: UNIONS, POLITICS, AND POSTWAR POLITICAL CULTURE (with William Issel and Keiran Taylor, 2004). His articles on politics and labor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have appeared in journals, anthologies, and historical dictionaries and encyclopedias. In 2000, he and Ellen Du Bois coedited a special issue of the "Pacific Historical Review" that surveyed women's suffrage movements in nine locations around the Pacific Rim. He has been an NEH Fellow, Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia), and Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He has served as president of H-Net (an association of more than 100 electronic networks for scholars in the humanities and social sciences), the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the Southwest Labor Studies Association; as treasurer of the Organization of American Historians; and as a member of the council of the American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch.

Born in Riverside, California, James L. Gormly received a B.A. from the University of Arizona and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He is now professor of history and chair of the history department at Washington and Jefferson College. He has written THE COLLAPSE OF THE GRAND ALLIANCE (1970) and FROM POTSDAM TO THE COLD WAR (1979). His articles and reviews have appeared in DIPLOMATIC HISTORY, THE JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY, THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, THE HISTORIAN, THE HISTORY TEACHER, and THE JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY HISTORY.

Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Douglas R. Egerton received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He is professor of history at Le Moyne College. His books include YEAR OF METEORS: THE ELECTION OF 1860 AND THE SECESSION WINTER (2010); DEATH OR LIBERTY: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND REVOLUTIONARY AMERICA (2009); THE ATLANTIC WORLD: A HISTORY, 1400-1888 (with Alison Games, Kris Lane, and Donald R. Wright, 2007); REBELS, REFORMERS & AND REVOLUTIONARIES: COLLECTED ESSAYS AND SECOND THOUGHTS (2002); HE SHALL GO OUT FREE: THE LIVES OF DENMARK VESEY (1999); GABRIEL'S REBELLION: THE VIRGINIA SLAVE CONSPIRACIES OF 1800 & 1802 (1993); and CHARLES FENTON MERCER AND THE TRIAL OF NATIONAL CONSERVATISM (1989). He was script consultant and on-camera commentator for two PBS series, "Africans in America" (1998) and "This Far By Faith: Stories of African American Religion" (2003). His articles on race and politics in early America have appeared in journals, anthologies, and encyclopedias. Professor Egerton served on the dissertation prize committee for the Southern Historical Association, and the book and article prize committees for the Society of Historians of the Early Republic. He has served on the editorial boards of the JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC and THE HISTORIAN, and he was awarded the John Adams Chair (Netherlands) Fulbright Scholar Distinguished Lecturing Award.

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