Ancient History – ERB Library of FREE Classic Ebooks [Kindle/More]

October 2, 2013

 

Ancient HistoryThis will be the first post in a series that will, in effect, create a library of classics that are available as free ebooks.

This first group of books focus on Ancient History.  We have selected these books as recommended reading on this topic.

In 2013, we are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.

Editor’s Note: These are all important books on this topic. However, they are all in the public domain, which means that they are at least 90 years old.  For some works, newer and better translations may exist; some parts of the historical accounts in these books may be considered outdated today, but these works still stand as solid introductions to the basic people and stories of antiquity. And, of course, they are free.


 

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[easyazon-link asin=”B004UJDK6I” locale=”us”]The History of Herodotus – Volume 1[/easyazon-link]

 
[easyazon-link asin=”B004TS09CI” locale=”us”]The History of Herodotus – Volume 2[/easyazon-link]

 
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[ Vol I ]   [ Vol II ]

(via Project Gutenberg)
 
The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known around the Mediterranean and Western Asia at that time. It is not an impartial record but it remains one of the West’s most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established without precedent the genre and study of history in the Western world, although historical records and chronicles existed beforehand.
 
Perhaps most importantly, it stands as one of the first, and surviving, accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, the events of, and causes for, the Greco-Persian Wars between the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery (the Persians) on the one hand, and freedom (the Athenians and the confederacy of Greek city-states which united against the invaders) on the other.  (Wikipedia)
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[easyazon-link asin=”B0082T1X1Q” locale=”us”]The Babylonian Legends of the Creation[/easyazon-link]
 
Sir. E.A. Wallis Budge

 
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(via Project Gutenberg)
 
The Enûma Eliš has about a thousand lines and is recorded in Old Babylonian on seven clay tablets, each holding between 115 and 170 lines of text. Most of Tablet V has never been recovered, but aside from this lacuna, the text is almost complete. A duplicate copy of Tablet V has been found in Sultantepe, ancient Huzirina, located near the modern town of Şanlıurfa in Turkey.
 
This epic is one of the most important sources for understanding the Babylonian worldview, centered on the supremacy of Marduk and the creation of humankind for the service of the gods. Its primary original purpose, however, is not an exposition of theology or theogony but the elevation of Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, above other Mesopotamian gods.
(Wikipedia)

 

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