The Egyptian empire, the Babylonians and the Assyrians, the Hittite kingdom, the Minoans and Mycenaens, the later Greek city states, the ancient Israelite civilization of the Old Testament, as well as many more.
All of these emerged in the ancient near east; this was truly the crucible of civilization.
Henry R. Hall’s brilliant study of the ancient near east uncovers how these civilizations developed, what they believed in, how they survived, adapted and changed to differing pressures, and how some of them eventually crumbled.
Hall begins with a study of the area as the early Bronze age civilizations such as the Minoans who built brilliant palace complexes at Knossos around 2000 BC.
He then explores the development of humanity in ancient Egypt. A eygptologist by trade Hall is able to describe in brilliant detail how the ancient Egyptians were able to build monumental structures and beautiful sculpture. He explores the lives of many of the pharaohs in detail, for example the mightily powerful Ramasses II to the revolutionary Akhenaten.
Chapters V, X and XII uncover the historic civilizations of Babylonia and Assyria. Hall examines the archaeological finds from these sites along with their deciphered scripts to fully explore what these empires were truly like.
Through the course of chapter IX Hall compares the archaeological evidence from Syria, Palestine and Israel with the writings of the Old Testament to reveal a fascinating account of the ancient Philistines, Hebrews, and Aramaeans.
“I have always felt a respect for the Oxford Greats man [Hall], and now I feel something more like awe.” The Classical Review
Henry R. Hall MBE, FBA, FSA was an English Egyptologist and historian. Hall’s interests were not confined to Egyptology; after the war he directed the British Museum excavations at Ur and Tell Ubaid, in Mesopotamia. He travelled in Greece and western Asia, and published a variety of works on the history of these regions; he even cultivated an interest in Chinese antiquities. His book, The Ancient History of the Near East was first published in 1913 and he passed away in 1930.