Edition: 2024
Pages: 912
Series: BSL
ISBN: 9788842095880

The Ancient East. History, society and economy

Mario Liverani


Routledge (USA)



In this major classic, the reader will find three millennia of history (3500-500 BC). Based on the documentation brought to light by the latest archaeological expeditions (the most noteworthy being Ebla), and on his own research conducted over twenty-five years, Mario Liverani recounts, in this historical rather than primarily philological account, the lives of the populations with such evocative names as the Sumerians, Hittites, Assyrians and Babylonians. The rich and varied illustrations for each historical period present the most characteristic and representative exhibits, testifying to the productive skills and technical prowess of the peoples of the Ancient East.

This new edition, twenty years after it was first published, was made necessary by "a time full of discoveries in the ancient East, following on from one another at a much faster pace than in other sectors of ancient history, and notwithstanding the obstacles posed by war and political conditions, which have stood in the way of archaeological activity in various countries... so that the new finds were not distributed in a uniform manner but were concentrated in those countries where it proved possible to work. The major innovation in the last twenty years has been the adoption of a method of reasoning and 'systemic' analysis of problems, which we owe to the spread of technology to the field of history. But this is an innovation that concerns more the technical aspect of the work and not its general assessment."

The author

Mario Liverani

Mario Liverani, professor emeritus of History of the ancient Near East at the University of Rome La Sapienza, has held courses in many American and European universities. He has collaborated in excavations in Syria (Ebla), Turkey (Arslantepe) and Libya (Acacus). He has published, among other things, The Origin of the City (Rome 1986), Akkad, the First World Empire (Padua 1993) and Myth and Politics in Ancient Near Eastern Historiography (London 2004). For Laterza he is the author of: War and diplomacy in the Ancient East. 1660-1100 BC (1994); Uruk, the First City (1998); Beyond the Bible. Ancient History of Israel (2003); Ancient Orient. History of the Economy Society (new edition 2011); Imagine Babel. Two Centuries of Studies on the Ancient Eastern City (2013); Assyria. The Prehistory of Imperialism (2017).

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