In What Makes Civilization?, archaeologist David Wengrow provides a vivid new account of the ‘birth of civilization’ in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq). These two regions, where many foundations of modern life were laid, are usually treated in isolation. This book aims to bring them together within a unified history of how people first created cities, kingdoms, and monumental temples to the gods. In the original blog post below, David Wengrow writes about that isolated view of the Near and Middle East.
J. C. McKeown is a Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His new book, A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World’s Greatest Empire, is a collection carefully gleaned from the wide body of evidence left to us by the Romans themselves. Each fact or opinion highlights a curious feature of life in ancient Rome. Below we have excerpted some tidbits from the chapter on Roman toilets.
Oxford Bibliographies Online is a series of intuitive and easy-to-use “ultimate reading lists” designed to help users navigate the vast seas of information that exist today. To introduce you to the doors this new online tool opens Andrew Herrmann, Associate Editor of OBO, has excerpted some suggested reading related to Greek mythology. Use his study guide below to impress the date you bring to see the Immortals.
Geologist Jan Zalasiewicz talks about the new epoch we live in and what the human legacy might look like in future Earth’s strata.
Andrew Robinson, author of Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction on the internet and language.
Martin Jones wins Food Book of the Year Award in London
A look into ancient Egypt.
Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina Coordinates: 43 59 N 18 10 E Population: 15,310 (1991 census) There are plenty of cases where tourists have been lured to destinations to see replicas of ancient architecture, or commercial complexes masquerading as cultural monuments, but how about sites that are arguably hoaxes? Residents of Visoko, a short distance northwest […]
Dreaming of Ireland.
Bart Ehrman answers some questions about his new book.
By Brian Fagan When I sat down to compile my latest book From Stonehenge to Samarkand, I found my greatest inspiration in the writings of a virtually forgotten English writer, Rose Macaulay. Her classic book, Pleasure of Ruins, first appeared in the 1950s and was reprinted with evocative photographs by Reny Beloff a decade later. […]
As promised, here is part 2 of the dialogue between Bryan Ward-Perkins and Peter Heather, colleagues at Oxford University and the authors of two recent books on the collapse of the Roman Empire; ‘The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization’ and ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians’, respectively. Today they discuss the consequences of ‘the fall’ on western Europe and why they both decided to write about the fall of Rome at the same time.
Today we present a dialogue between Bryan Ward-Perkins and Peter Heather. Ward-Perkins and Heather are colleagues at Oxford University and the authors of ‘The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization’ and ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians’, respectively. Both books were published this fall and offer new explanations for the fall of the Roman Empire.
This is the last of four excerpts from The Fall of Rome by Bryan Ward-Perkins. The first excerpt, “The Disappearance of Comfort,” can be found here: LINK The economic change that I have outlined was an extraordinary one. What we observe at the end of the Roman world is not a ‘recession’ or – to […]
This is the third of four excerpts from The Fall of Rome by Bryan Ward-Perkins. The first excerpt, “The Disappearance of Comfort,” can be found here: LINK In the post-Roman West, almost all this material sophistication disappeared. Specialized production and all but the most local distribution became rare, unless for luxury goods; and the impressive […]
There have been some very interesting reviews of The Fall of Rome zipping about the ether lately. Some of it spurred by our excerpt series which began HERE From across the pond, Alun reacts to our post… Troels, a graduate student in the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, gives his […]