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Cities that Shaped the Ancient World

John Julius Norwich


John Julius Norwich presents a sweeping tour of forty great cities that shaped the ancient world and its civilizations - and which in turn have shaped our own


The cities of the ancient world built the foundations for modern urban life, their innovations in architecture and politics essential to cities as we know them today. But what was it like to live in Babylon, Carthage or Teotihuacan?

From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the spectacular urban monuments of the Maya in Central America, the cities explored here represent almost three millennia of human history. Not only do they illustrate the highest achievement of the cultures that built them, but they also help us understand the rise and fall of these ancient peoples. Eminent historians and archaeologists with first-hand knowledge of each site give voices to these silent ruins, bringing them to life as the teeming, state-of-the-art metropolises they once were.

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'Gorgeous ... a pleasure to peruse'

'Informative and thought-provoking'
EDP Weekend

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Publication date: 3 February 2022

ISBN: 9780500293409

Contents List

Uruk • Ur • Hattusa • Troy • Babylon • Nineveh • Persepolis • Pergamum • Jerusalem • Petra • Ephesus • Palmyra • Memphis • Thebes • Amarna • Carthage • Alexandria • Meroé • Leptis Magna • Aksum • Knossos • Mycenae • Athens • Akragas • Paestum • Rome • Pompeii • Nîmes and the Pont du Gard • Trier • Mohenjo-Daro • Linzi • Xianyang • Pataliputra • Anuradhapura • Caral • La Venta • Monte Albán • Teotihuacan • Tikal • Palenque

About the Author

John Julius Norwich was the author of more than twenty books, including the New York Times bestseller Absolute Monarchs, and The Great Cities in History, published by Thames & Hudson. He began his career in the British foreign service, but resigned his diplomatic post to become a writer. He was a chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund and the honorary chairman of the World Monuments Fund. John Julius Norwich died in 2018.