Sea of Caliphs: The Mediterranean in the Medieval Islamic World by Christophe Picard & Nicholas Elliott. Harvard University Press, 2017. The importance of the Mediterranean to the rise of the caliphs.
The Fate of Rome; Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire by Kyle Harper. Princeton University Press, 2017. The role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the ‘decline and fall’ of the Roman Empire.
In Search of the Phoenicians by Josephine Quinn. Princeton University Press, 2017. Who these ancient sailors were remains a mystery; they may never have existed but acquiromg a their name and group identity much later.
The Roman Market Economy by Peter Temin. Princeton University Press, 2017 paper. Maintaining markets and Pax Romana were the basis of ancient Roman prosperity. Temin argues that Romans were probably as comfortably off as any subsequent European people prior to the industrial revolution.
Caesar’s Footprints; A Cultural Excursion to Ancient France; Journeys through Roman Gaul by Bijan Ornrani. Pegasus, 2017. A rich province where the Romans were confronted with an interesting indigenous Celtic culture.
The Storm Before the Storm; The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Michael Duncan. Public Affairs, 2017. This Italian city-state managed to avoid dictatorship; until it began conquering lands with tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings.
The Persian War; A Military History by William Shepherd. Osprey, 2017. The victory of the Greeks at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis has often been told. Shepherd uses Herodotus’s account to elaborate further on the Greek victory over the Persian Empire.
The Rise of Athens; The Story of the World’s Greatest Civilization by Anthony Everitt. Random House, 2017 paper. How Athens, population 200,000, became the world’s most influential city.