The Near East in History: A 5000 Year Story

The Near East in History: A 5000 Year Story

The Near East in History: A 5000 Year Story

The Near East in History: A 5000 Year Story

Excerpt

Mounting interest in Near Eastern peoples prompted the compilation of this volume for the benefit of non-specialists--students and laymen. It tries to bring out the high-water marks in the careers of these peoples, their contributions to the progress of mankind and their contacts with the rest of the world, particularly the West. That part of the past which has become integrated with the present and promises to pass on to the future has been primarily sought. The author, however, does not claim to have done justice to an area (what is today Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Arabia), which was the cradle of our civilization and has experienced a longer history than any other area, and to a people who, with no ancestors to guide them, lifted mankind from barbarism to the highest cultural stage in antiquity, attained in the spiritual realm unprecedented, unsurpassed heights and, in scientific and artistic fields, levels unmatched by their medieval contemporaries. Nor does he claim specialization in all the countries and periods covered. He, therefore, had to draw on other works and heavily on his own, particularly History of the Arabs, History of Syria Including Lebanon and Palestine, and Lebanon in History. In the interest of clarity and brevity--as in all such works-- he had on controversial matters to take a definite but seemingly vulnerable stand and, in other cases, to make generalizations without protective reservations.

The chapters on the ancient Semites were submitted to the critical consideration of his colleague Professor John H. Marks, on Roman and Byzantine history to Professor Glanville Downey of Dumbarton Oaks Research Laboratory (Harvard University in Washington), those on Persia and Turkey to two other colleagues Professor T. Cuyler Young and Lewis V. Thomas respectively. Credit should be given these scholars for their valuable contribution to the improvement of the text but none should be blamed for any defects. I also acknowledge with appreciation the cooperation of Dr. George C. Miles of the American Numismatic Society in the choice of illustrative coins, of Dr. M. S.Dimand . . .

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