Synopses & Reviews
Cradled among the worlds highest mountainsand sheltering one of its most devout religious communitiesTibet is, for many of us, an ultimate destination, a place that touches the heavens, a place only barely in our world, at its very end. In recent decades Western fascination with Tibet has soared, from the rise of Tibetan studies in academia to the rock concerts aimed at supporting its independence to the simple fact that most of us knowfar from any base campexactly what a sherpa is. And yet any sustained look into Tibet as a place, any attempt to find ones way around its high plateaus and through its deep history, will yield this surprising fact: we have barely mapped it. With this atlas, Karl E. Ryavec rights that wrong, sweeping aside the image of Tibet as Shangri-La and putting in its place a comprehensive vision of the region as it really is, a civilization in its own right. And the results are absolutely stunning.
The product of twelve years of research and eight more of mapmaking, A Historical Atlas of Tibet documents cultural and religious sites across the Tibetan Plateau and its bordering regions from the Paleolithic and Neolithic times all the way up to today. It ranges through the five main periods in Tibetan history, offering introductory maps of each followed by details of western, central, and eastern regions. It beautifully visualizes the history of Tibetan Buddhism, tracing its spread throughout Asia, with thousands of temples mapped, both within Tibet and across North China and Mongolia, all the way to Beijing. There are maps of major polities and their territorial administrations, as well as of the kingdoms of Guge and Purang in western Tibet, and of Derge and Nangchen in Kham. There are town plans of Lhasa and maps that focus on history and language, on population, natural resources, and contemporary politics.
Extraordinarily comprehensive and absolutely gorgeous, this overdue volume will be a cornerstone in cartography, Asian studies, Buddhist studies, and in the libraries or on the coffee tables of anyone who has ever felt the draw of the landscapes, people, and cultures of the highest place on Earth.
Experience what life was like when pharaohs erected the majestic pyramids; when Hannibal commanded Carthage's 40,000 troops; when Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor; and when the drive to conquer defined the destiny of leaders and the lives of ordinary people. Much of human history is destined to be forgotten--but thousands of years have not erased the epic stories of the great empires of the world. Great Empires sweeps through the ages, uncovering the secrets of dynasties from the dawn of human civilization to the 20th century and tracing the path of power around the globe and across the centuries. Each chapter delves into the times, places, and historical forces that gave rise to legendary warriors, charismatic kings, and lasting dynasties. Throughout these epic tales of the great empires we see extraordinary ambition, shrewd calculation, heroic bravery, and surprising foresight--all captured in one complete volume. Organized in chronological order from 2600 B.C. to the 20th century, this comprehensive history weaves together a compelling portrait of more than 30 epic empires using dramatic images, intriguing sidebars, and easy-to-follow time lines. New, meticulously drawn National Geographic maps show the extent of territory held by each empire, major trade routes, paths of military campaigns, locations of principal traded commodities, significant roads, walls and buildings, and sites of pivotal battles. Selected maps also show the changes in physical geography between ancient and modern coastlines. Sidebars, images, and text showcase the historic leaders such as Hammurabi, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan, who had grandiose visions for their world.
About the Author
STEPHEN G. HYSLOP has written extensively for National Geographic and Time-Life Books, including Almanac of World History
(with Patricia Daniels), Eyewitness to the Civil War, Atlas of the Civil War
, and Bound for Santa Fe.
PATRICIA DANIELS has written, edited, or contributed to many National Geographic books on history, science, and geography, most recently Almanac of World History, New Solar System, Eyewitness to History, and National Geographic Encyclopedia of Space. The author lives in Alexandria, VA and State College, PA.