Synopses & Reviews
"Saggs has a knack for drawing together the most telling details from the jumble of cultural data and presenting them in such a way that we truly see each culture as it was at its zenith, and its heritage to the world. An especially informative look at the cross-cultural development of writing....An accurate and lively picture of an area typically neglected by Western educators." Library Journal
"This lively and authoritative book gives the general reader and student an introduction to most of the early civilizations of the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean." Andrew M.T. Moore, Yale University
"A nimble and useful survey of pre-Greek and Roman antiquity....For those hard-pressed to keep abreast of the labors of the specialists, Saggs has done a favor and done it briefly and accurately." Kirkus Reviews
"Every page...shows the depth and precision only a master can achieve, a remarkable work of synthesis and interpretation....Saggs' writing is idiomatic and lucid." Choice
"Saggs takes technical archaeological findings and translates it into a history which is both scholarly and absorbing." Midwest Book Review
In this fascinating work, H. W. F. Saggs presents a wide-ranging survey of the greatest achievements of the ancient civilizations of the Near and Middle East from the Phoenician alphabet to mathematics, astronomy, medicine, religion, and international law and shows how their influence is still felt today.