Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-12-31
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World presents a cross-cultural comparison of the ways in which ancient civilizations thought about the past and recorded their own histories.

  • Written by an international group of scholars working in many disciplines
  • Truly cross-cultural, covering historical thinking and writing in ancient or early cultures across in East, South, and West Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas
  • Includes historiography shaped by religious perspectives, including Judaism, early Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism

Author Biography

Kurt A. Raaflaub is David Herlihy University Professor, and Professor of Classics and History, emeritus at Brown University. His publications include The Discovery of Freedom (2004), Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (with Josiah Ober and Robert Wallace, 2007), The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (ed., with Johann P. Arnason, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre-Modern Societies (with Richard J. A. Talbert, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), and The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy: A Politico-Cultural Transformation and Its Interpretations (ed., with Johann P. Arnason and Peter Wager, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface


Editor’s Introduction

1. On Being Historical

David Carr (Emory University)

2. The Task and Ritual of Historical Writing in Early China

 Stephen W. Durrant (Univ. of Oregon, Eugene)

3. History and Primordium in Ancient Indian Historical Writing: Itih?sa and Pur?ṇa in the Mah?bh?rata and Beyond

James Fitzgerald (Brown University)

4. Historical Consciousness and Historical Traditions in Early North India

 Romila Thapar (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

5. Thinking, Recording and Writing History in Ancient Japan: The Nihon shoki as a

Text of Transition

Christian Oberländer (University of Halle)

6. As the Dharmacakra Turns: Historical Memory in Buddhist Narratives of the Past, Present,

and Future

Jason Neelis (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario) 

7. History as Festival? A Reassessment of the Use of the Past and the Place of

Historiography in Ancient Egyptian Thought

 Thomas Schneider (University of British Columbia)

8. The Presence of the Past in Early Mesopotamian Writings

Piotr Michalowski (University of Michigan)

9. ‘Two Old Tablets’: Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in Hittite Society

Theo van den Hout (Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)

10. Thinking and Writing about History in Teispid and Achaemenid Persia

 Robert Rollinger (University of Innsbruck)

11. Historical Texts in the Hebrew Bible?

 Marc Zvi Brettler(Brandeis University)

12. The Many Faces of the Past in Archaic and Classical Greece

 Jonas Grethlein (University of Heidelberg)

13. How the Romans Remembered, Recorded, Thought about, and Used Their Past

 Andreas Mehl (University of Halle)

14. Patterns of Early Christian Thinking and Writing of History: Paul — Mark — Acts

Eve-Marie Becker (Univ. of Aarhus)

15. Byzantine historia

 Stratis Papaioannou (Brown University)

16. The Past in the Early and Medieval Islamic Middle East (c. 750-c.1250)

 Andrew Marsham (University of Edinburgh)

17. Sources and Scales of Classic Maya History

 Nicholas Carter (Brown University)

18. The Poetics and Politics of Aztec History

 Lori Diel (Texas Christian University)

19. Corn and Her Story Traveled: Reading North American Graphic Texts in Relation to

Oral Traditions

Lisa Brooks (Amherst College)

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