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AELIAN'S ON THE NATURE OF ANIMALS ED. MACNAMEE

AELIAN'S ON THE NATURE OF ANIMALS ED. MACNAMEE

Author: AELIAN
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Not much can be said with certainty about the life of Claudius Aelianus, known to us as Aelian. He was born sometime between A.D. 165 and 170 in the hill town of Praeneste, what is now Palestrina, about twenty-five miles from Rome, Italy. He grew up speaking that town's version of Latin, a dialect that other speakers of the language seem to have found curious, but--somewhat unusually for his generation, though not for Romans of earlier times--he preferred to communicate in Greek. Trained by a sophist named Pausanias of Caesarea, Aelian was known in his time for a work called Indictment of the Effeminate, an attack on the recently deceased emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who was nasty even by the standards of Imperial Rome. He was also fond of making almanac-like collections, only fragments of which survive, devoted to odd topics such as manifestations of the divine and the workings of the supernatural.

His De Natura Animalium (On the Nature of Animals) has a similar patchwork quality, but it was esteemed enough in his time to survive more or less whole, and it is about all that we know of Aelian's work today. A mostly randomly ordered collection of stories that he found interesting enough to relate about animals--whether or not he believed them--Aelian's book constitutes an early encyclopedia of animal behavior, affording unparalleled insight into what ancient Romans knew about and thought about animals--and, of particular interest to modern scholars, about animal minds.

If the science is sometimes sketchy, the facts often fanciful, and the history sometimes suspect, it is clear enough that Aelian had a fine time assembling the material, which can be said, in the most general terms, to support the notion of a kind of intelligence in nature and that extends human qualities, for good and bad, to animals. His stories, which extend across the known world of Aelian's time, tend to be brief and to the point, and many return to a trenchant question: If animals can respect their elders and live honorably within their own tribes, why must humans be so appallingly awful?

Aelian is as brisk, as entertaining, and as scholarly a writer as Pliny, the much better known Roman natural historian. That he is not better known is simply an accident: he has not been widely translated into English, or indeed any European language. This selection from his work will introduce readers to a lively mind and a witty writer who has much to tell us.

AGE OF ALEXANDER

AGE OF ALEXANDER

Author: PLUTARCH
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Includes textual and historical notes that supplement a segment of Plutarch's Lives which covers the rise of Macedonia.
AGE OF CAESAR: FIVE ROMAN LIVES

AGE OF CAESAR: FIVE ROMAN LIVES

Author: PLUTARCH, PLUTARCH
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Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Antony: the names still resonate across thousands of years. Major figures in the civil wars that brutally ended the Roman republic, their lives pose a question that haunts us still: how to safeguard a republic from the flaws of its leaders.

This reader's edition of Plutarch delivers a fresh translation of notable clarity, explanatory notes, and ample historical context in the Preface and Introduction.

AGRICOLA and GERMANIA

AGRICOLA and GERMANIA

Author: TACITUS
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The Agricola is both a portrait of Julius Agricola--the most famous governor of Roman Britain and Tacitus' well-loved and respected father-in-law--and the first detailed account of Britain that has come down to us. It offers fascinating descriptions of the geography, climate and peoples of the country, and a succinct account of the early stages of the Roman occupation, nearly fatally undermined by Boudicca's revolt in AD 61 but consolidated by campaigns that took Agricola as far as Anglesey and northern Scotland. The warlike German tribes are the focus of Tacitus' attention in the Germania, which, like the Agricola, often compares the behaviour of barbarian peoples favourably with the decadence and corruption of Imperial Rome.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: Journey to the End of the Earth

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: Journey to the End of the Earth

Author: CANTOR, NORMAN
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Alexander's behavior was conditioned along certain lines -- heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty. He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure.

In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of men. Cantor draws from the major writings of Alexander's contemporaries combined with the most recent psychological and cultural studies to show Alexander as he was -- a great figure in the ancient world whose puzzling personality greatly fueled his military accomplishments.

He describes Alexander's ambiguous relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedon; his oedipal involvement with his mother, the Albanian princess Olympias; and his bisexuality. He traces Alexander's attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, using Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, as his model. Finally, Cantor explores Alexander's view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt.

More than a biography, Norman Cantor's Alexander the Great is a psychological rendering of a man of his time.

AMAZONS: LIVES AND LEGENDS OF WARRIOR WOMEN ACROSS THE ANCIENT WORLD

AMAZONS: LIVES AND LEGENDS OF WARRIOR WOMEN ACROSS THE ANCIENT WORLD

Author: MAYOR, ADRIENNE
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The real history of the Amazons in war and love

Amazons--fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world--were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.

But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.

Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons--Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.

Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.

-- "Kirkus Reviews"
ANABASIS OF CYRUS

ANABASIS OF CYRUS

Author: XENOPHON
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One of the foundational works of military history and political philosophy, and an inspiration for Alexander the Great, the Anabasis of Cyrus recounts the epic story of the Ten Thousand, a band of Greek mercenaries hired by Cyrus the Younger to overthrow his brother, Artaxerxes, king of Persia and the most powerful man on earth. It shows how Cyrus' army was assembled covertly and led from the coast of Asia Minor all the way to Babylon; how the Greeks held the field against a superior Persian force; how Cyrus was killed, leaving the Greeks stranded deep within enemy territory; and how many of them overcame countless dangers and found their way back to Greece.

Their remarkable success was due especially to the wily and decisive leadership of Xenophon himself, a student of Socrates who had joined the Ten Thousand and, after most of the Greek generals had been murdered, rallied the despondent Greeks, won a position of leadership, and guided them wisely through myriad obstacles.

In this new translation of the Anabasis, Wayne Ambler achieves a masterful combination of liveliness and a fidelity to the original uncommon in other versions. Accompanying Ambler's translation is a penetrating interpretive essay by Eric Buzzetti, one that shows Xenophon to be an author who wove a philosophic narrative into his dramatic tale. The translation and interpretive essay encourage renewed study of the Anabasis as a work of political philosophy. They also celebrate its high adventure and its hero's adroit decision-making under the most pressing circumstances.

ANCIENT CITY: STUDY OF RELIGION, LAWS & INSTITUTIONS OF GREECE & ROME

ANCIENT CITY: STUDY OF RELIGION, LAWS & INSTITUTIONS OF GREECE & ROME

Author: COULANGES, NUMA DENIS FUSTEL D
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With this influential study, French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges initiated a new approach to Greek and Roman city organization. Fustel de Coulanges' 1864 masterpiece, La Cité antique, drew upon physical evidence as well as ancient documents rather than the usual post-Classical histories. The result is a fresh, accurate, and detailed portrait of the religious, family, and civic life of Periclean Athens and Rome during the time of Cicero.
This fascinating sociological account reveals the significance of kinship and the cult of the family hearth and ancestors to ancient Hellenic and Latin urban culture. It chronicles the rise of family-centered pagan belief systems, tracing their gradual decline to the spread of Christianity. Fustel cites ancient Indian and Hebrew texts as well as Greek and Roman sources. The ingenuity of his interpretations, along with his striking prose style, offer readers a vital and enduring historic survey.
ANCIENT GREECE: A History in Eleven Cities

ANCIENT GREECE: A History in Eleven Cities

Author: CARTLEDGE, PAUL
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The contribution of the ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizable without the formative influence of ancient Greek models.
This highly original and stimulating introduction to ancient Greece takes the city as its starting point, revealing just how central the polis ("city-state" or "citizen-state") was to Hellenistic cultural achievements. In particular, Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities--out of more than a thousand--to illuminate the most important and informative aspects of Greek history. The book spans a surprisingly long time period, ranging from the first examples of ancient Greek language from Cnossus in Crete around 1400 BC to the establishment of Constantinople (today's Istanbul) in 324 AD on the site of the Greek city of Byzantion. Cartledge highlights the role of such renowned cities as Athens (birthplace of democracy) and Sparta, but he also examines Argos, Thebes, Syracuse in Sicily, and Alexandria in Egypt, as well as lesser known locales such as Miletus (home of the West's first intellectual, Thales) and Massalia (Marseilles today), where the Greeks introduced the wine grape to the French. The author uses these cities to illuminate major themes, from economics, religion, and social relations, to gender and sexuality, slavery and freedom, and politics. And throughout, the book explores how these eleven cities differed both from each other and from modern society.
An innovative approach to ancient Greece and its legacy, both in terms of the time span covered and in its unique city-by-city organization, this superb volume provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization.
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ANCIENT GREECE: FROM PREHISTORIC TO HELLENISTIC TIMES, SECOND EDITION

Author: MARTIN, THOMAS R.
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In this compact yet comprehensive history of ancient Greece, Thomas R. Martin brings alive Greek civilization from its Stone Age roots to the fourth century B.C. Focusing on the development of the Greek city-state and the society, culture, and architecture of Athens in its Golden Age, Martin integrates political, military, social, and cultural history in a book that will appeal to students and general readers alike. Now in its second edition, this classic work now features new maps and illustrations, a new introduction, and updates throughout. "A limpidly written, highly accessible, and comprehensive history of Greece and its civilizations from prehistory through the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire. . . . A highly readable account of ancient Greece, particularly useful as an introductory or review text for the student or the general reader."--Kirkus Reviews "A polished and informative work that will be useful for general readers and students."--Daniel Tompkins, Temple University