Saturday, April 03, 2010

Book Review (#3 of 2010)

Egypt, Greece, and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean by Charles Freeman (1st edition).
I started this book when I was in college and made a determined effort to finish it as part of a New Year's resolution. It is a long book with small print covering 4,000 B.C. to 640ish A.D. and has to be the most comprehensive history of the three civilizations ever written.

Freeman covers everything from governments & conquests, to literature and pottery, economic life, cultural & religious life, and the enduring impact these civilizations have on society today. There are plenty of aside chapters on philosophers and artisans, architecture, etc. I feel there are very few details he leaves out. Whether you're interested in specific battles or historical figures, you'll find plenty of info and further recommended readings in the back. A comprehensive timeline is also included and plenty of maps.

In the closing chapters there is a history of the rise of Christianity. It's interesting to read from a secular perspective and I appreciate how little I know about the early church and the development of the major manifestations of the Christian religious orders.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5. I am now glad to move down the list of other dusty books on my shelves asking to be read.

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