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Ancient History & Classics: Books

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Very Short Introductions

Ancient Assyria

Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. This book sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium bc to the end of the 7th century bc.

Ancient Egypt

This book describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses.

Ancient Egyptian Art and Architecture

What did Egyptian art and architecture mean to the people who first made and used it—and why has it had such an enduring appeal? This book explores the visual arts produced in Egypt over a span of some 4,000 years.

Ancient Greece

This book takes the polis as its starting point and uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language in around 1400 bce, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around ce 330.

The Ancient near East

This book describes a momentous time in human history and explains why the ancient Near East is known as the ‘cradle of civilization’. It was a time and place of earth-shaking changes for humankind: the beginnings of writing and law, kingship and bureaucracy, diplomacy and state-sponsored warfare, mathematics and literature.

Ancient Philosophy

This book introduces ancient debates and focuses on important and revealing features of the subject providing a sense of its freshness and liveliness, and of its wide variety of themes and styles. The tradition of ancient philosophy is a long, rich and varied one, in which a constant note is that of discussion and argument.

Ancient Warfare

This book examines all aspects of ancient warfare, from philosophy and strategy to the technical skills needed to fight. Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare.

Babylonia: a Very Short Introduction

A journey of more than 2,000 years across the history and civilization of ancient Babylonia, from the emergence of its chief city, Babylon, as a village on the Euphrates in the 3rd millennium bc through phases of triumph, decline, and resurgence until its royal capital faded into obscurity in the Roman imperial era.

Byzantium

After surviving the 5th-century fall of the western European Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire flourished as one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe for a thousand years. This book introduces the unique fusion of Roman political culture, Greek intellectual tradition, and Christian faith that took place in the imperial capital of Byzantium under the emperor Constantine and his heirs.

Classical Literature

This book explores what the ‘classics’ are and why they continue to shape our Western concepts of literature. It provides a concise, lucid, yet broad overview of classical literature.

Classical Mythology

Explores the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths and examines how classical myths are used and understood in both high art and popular culture.

Classics

Begins with a visit to the British Museum to view the frieze that once decorated the Apollo Temple at Bassae. Through these sculptures, it prompts consideration of the significance of Classics as a means of discovery and enquiry, its value in terms of literature, philosophy, and culture, and its importance as a source of imagery.

Egyptian Myth

This publication explores the complex cultural and historical background behind a wide variety of sources and objects on Egyptian mythology, from Cleopatra's Needle and Tutankhamun's golden statue, to a story on papyrus of the gods misbehaving.

The Etruscans

This book explores Etruscan history, culture, language, and customs. From around 900 to 400 bc, the Etruscans were the most innovative, powerful, wealthy, and creative people in Italy. This account seeks to understand the way the Etruscans were perceived and described, and also to insist on the possibility of a diachronic historical understanding of their civilization.

The Hellenistic Age

Drawing on inscriptions, papyri, coinage, poetry, art, and archaeology, this book opens up the history and culture of the vast Hellenistic world, from the death of Alexander the Great (323 bc) to the Roman conquest of the Ptolemaic kingdom (30 bc). It navigates the power struggles and wars in the three centuries that followed the conquests of Alexander. In this age of cultural globalization, a single language carried you from the Rhône to the Indus.

Herodotus

This book explores the recurring themes of Herodotus's work. Like Homer, he set out to memorialize great deeds in words; more narrowly, he determined to discover the causes of the wars between Greece and Persia and to explain them to his fellow Greeks. Herodotus brought his literary talents to bear on a vast, unruly mass of information gathered from many interviews throughout his travels.

Homer

This publication considers Homer’s famous works, their composition, and their impact on readers throughout the centuries. It also shows how scholars’ notes on ancient manuscripts still influence our interpretation of Homer’s work today. Homer’s mythological tales of war and homecoming, the Iliad and the Odyssey, are widely considered to be two of the most influential works in the history of world literature. Yet their author, ‘the greatest poet that ever lived’, is something of a mystery.

Late Antiquity

This author debates the concept of and the events that took place in late antiquity. Was late antiquity a period of decline or transformation, conflict or interaction? Late antiquity was the period (c. 300—c.800) during which barbarian invasions defeated the Roman Empire in Western Europe by the 5th century and Arab invasions ended Roman rule over the eastern and southern Mediterranean coasts by the 7th century.

The Roman Empire

Covers the history of the empire from Augustus (the first Emperor) to Marcus Aurelius, describing how the empire was formed, how it was run, its religions and its social structure.

The Roman Republic

Describes the rise of the Roman Republic from its humble beginnings and explores its legacy in the modern world. Examining the political structure of the Republic and reflecting on the values and beliefs held by Romans of the time, it traces the legacy of the Republic through the Empire and the early Christian church to the Renaissance and the eighteenth-century revolutions in the USA and France.

The Trojan War

This VSI suggests that, although a Trojan War (or wars) probably did take place, it was fought for economic and political reasons. This formed the nucleus for the story that was eventually recorded by Homer. In addition to Homer, this VSI examines other treatments of the story from classical times.

Search the Library Catalogue for Books

Library Catalogue search or browse

Library Catalogue Power Search

 

When you want to find books in the Trent Library, search the Library Catalogue. There's an online tutorial available to tell you about the Library Catalogue.

Use a keyword search to find items on a topic. For instance, to find books on "Roman Archaeology" you might search for "roman and archaeology". To improve your results, use a "Power Search" and truncate your terms.

Terminology Notes:

The Library Catalogue uses LCSH (subject headings) in most records, to help us identify items of interest.

There is no subject heading of Ancient Greece or any variation of it. They're much more specific than that. Use a keyword search instead of a subject search.

Sample subject headings:

Cities and towns, Ancient--Greece.
Funeral rites and ceremonies, Ancient--Greece--Athens.
Greece--Civilization--To 146 B.C.
Sports--Social aspects--Greece--History.

The terms greece and rome will usually be more successful that greek or roman, because of the way the subject headings are designed.

The tem antiquities is used for artifacts or specimens.

Reference Books

Reference books offer great starting points and background reading on a topic.  Listed here are some of the more important reference books available at the Trent Library.  Call numbers are provided for print books; links for online.

E-Books

The majority of our e-books are included in the Library Catalogue and can be found with any search. The record includes a link to the e-book.

  • To limit a search to e-books, use the Power Search option and change the location to "E-Book".

The following resources contain collections of e-books. Most offer the option to create an account for yourself and save books, as well as adding notations and highlighting.