This undemanding introduction to the pre-Hellenistic history of the Near East is intended to help students better understand the most ancient periods in which civilisations propelled humans from pre-history to history. Over three thousand years these civilisations were the major characters of vitally important cultural developments that justify the saying ex Oriente lux. The geographical area of the so-called "fertile crescent" witnessed the birth and the evolution of the Assyrian, Hittite, Sumerian, Babylonian, Phoenician, Palestinian, and Aramaean societies, which ushered in some of the main intellectual inventions of humankind, including - first and foremost - writing. This textbook addresses both political and socio-cultural aspects of ancient history and provides a brief but exhaustive account of the pre-Hellenistic age.
Table of Contents: Foreword - 1. Memory and Rediscovery - 2. Peoples, Languages, and Writing - 3. Epigraphic Sources, Archives, and Libraries - 4. The Early Bronze Age - 5. The Middle Bronze Age - 6. The Late Bronze Age - 7. The Iron Age - Chronological Tables - Bibliography.
Maria Luisa Uberti teaches History of the Ancient Near East at the University of Bologna.
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