The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome - Susan Wise Bauer The author picks a very good way of telling the story of the development of the old world civilizations: chronologically and within each major civilization as the time line proceeds. That way the listener gets a feel for what's happening through out the whole world at any one time period.

At first, during the first half of the story I thought the author was misleading the listener by telling us about the myths and the superstitions that each of the early civilizations had as a foundation of their history and acting as if they were true or at least metaphorically true. Finally, I started to realize that was a great way of telling the story. How each civilization thought of themselves and why is just as important as some of the actual facts of history.

Another thing that had bothered me was the author made Israel (and Judah) as major characters within the story especially before the Hellenic period. I wrongly thought why dwell on such unimportant players. Finally, I realized that history sometimes needs to be understood from what is important today, and that the author's approach was a more than valid approach. Besides, for the first time I started to put together what I and II Kings and Ezra in the bible really mean in terms of history.

Who among us doesn't love the Hittites? Any book that devotes two or so hours about their proper place in history deserves special mention.

I don't think I've read another world history book that ties the multiple civilizations together as seamlessly and was able to relate the within story for each civilization with the between as well as this book does. I love a good insult and this book had many and also one of my all time favorites when the ambassador was sent to talk to the Israel Leader (I believe) and was told to say "tell the prince that your little finger is wider than the prince's fathers *****" (I'll let you fill in the stars).

I'll get the other two books in this series when Audible offers one of their two for one deals. This book does a great job at getting to the essential points of the old world history while keeping the listener always entertained and waiting for the story to unfold.