REFERENCE

The Ancient World: Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Societies

4 vols. Salem. Nov. 2016. 2250p. ed. by . illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781682171899. $685. REF
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Covering "the world from prehistory through 700 CE," this four-volume set from Shally-Jensen, who has edited many of Salem's "Careers" and "Defining Documents" series, examines historical people, places, and events. Accurate, enlightening, and well organized, it combines material from the Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (2002) with new articles for a total of 1,140 entries. A pronunciation guide and a list of the 23 maps are provided. The set's greatest strength is its wide scope, spanning the Near East, India, the Far East, Rome, Africa, Central Asia, Oceania, Europe and the British Isles, the Americas, Egypt and Alexandria, and Greece. Divided by location, the sections each begin with overviews of themes specific to the region, such as food, religion, government, architecture, art, literature and myth, and warfare. For each theme, there are "Interesting Facts," a bibliography, and works cited. Alphabetically listed entries follow. Subjects include Aesop, Alexander the Great, Confucius, Solomon, and Spartacus. Black-and-white images accompany several of the entries. The set concludes with a chronological listing of all entries and a time line of the most significant events along with calendrical systems information.
VERDICT High school and undergraduate students of ancient world history will find this selection helpful.

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