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By Norman Davies

Here's a masterpiece of historic narrative that stretches from the Ice Age to the Atomic Age, because it tells the tale of Europe, East and West. Norman Davies captures it all-the upward thrust and fall of Rome, the sweeping invasions of Alaric and Atilla, the Norman Conquests, the Papal struggles for energy, the Renaissance and the Reformation, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Europe's upward push to develop into the powerhouse of the area, and its eclipse in our personal century, following devastating international Wars. this is often the 1st significant heritage of Europe to offer equivalent weight to either East and West, and it shines mild on attention-grabbing minority groups, from heretics and lepers to Gypsies, Jews, and Muslims. It additionally takes an leading edge procedure, combining conventional narrative with distinct positive aspects that aid deliver historical past alive: 299 time tablets scattered in the course of the narrative catch telling facets of an period. 12 -snapshots supply a breathtaking examine all of Europe at a specific second in background. complete insurance of japanese Europe—100 maps and diagrams, seventy two black-and-white plates.All advised, Davies’'s Europe represents the most vital and illuminating histories to be released in recent times.

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The dramatic finish happened in 30 BC, whilst Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and the final Queen of Egypt, terminated either a political culture and her personal existence through ‘pressing the asp to her snow-white breast’. because the lover of either Caesar and Antony, she had performed her utmost to regulate the relentless improve, and advances, of the Romans. yet Pascal’s bon mot that ‘the face of the earth might were assorted if Cleopatra’s nostril were a bit shorter’ was once infrequently to the purpose. The political and army energy of the Greek international used to be exhausted; absolutely the supremacy of Rome was once already a longtime truth. the consequent fusion of the hellenistic and the Roman international, and the emergence of the hybrid Graeco-Roman civilization, makes it very unlikely to place an exact date at the dying of old Greece. yet hellenic and hellenistic traditions endured for much longer than is generally intended. The Delphic Oracle persisted to function until eventually destroyed by way of marauding barbarians in advert 267. The Olympic video games persevered to be held each 4 years until eventually the 292nd Olympiad in advert 392. The Academy persisted to coach its students in Athens till closed by means of the Christian Emperor Justinian in advert 529. The library of Alexandria, notwithstanding badly burned in the course of Caesar’s siege, used to be now not eventually closed till the coming of the Muslim Caliphate in advert 641. through then twenty centuries, or entire millennia, had handed because the twilight of Crete and the sunrise at Mycenae. a lot of Greek civilization was once misplaced. a lot used to be absorbed via the Romans, to be glided by them into the Christian and the Byzantine traditions. a lot needed to look forward to rediscovery throughout the Renaissance and after. but, a method or one other, adequate has survived for that one small East ecu kingdom to be frequently acclaimed as ‘the mom of Europe’, the ‘Source of the West’, an important aspect if now not the only real fountain-head of Europe. Syracuse, Sicily, yr 1 of the 141st Olympiad. within the past due summer season of the 6th 12 months of the second one Punic battle, the epic fight among the Italian urban of Rome and the African urban of Carthage used to be balanced at the knife-edge of destiny. Hannibal, the Carthaginian normal, having annihilated a couple of Roman armies despatched to halt him, had marched the size of Italy and used to be campaigning strongly within the south. He had simply seized the port and fort of Tarentum (see here). The Romans, not able to tame him without delay, have been straining to carry off his allies—the Celts of northern Italy, Philip V of Macedon, who had invaded Illyria, and the Greek urban of Syracuse. They have been especially wanting to subdue Syracuse, considering the fact that Syracuse held the major either to Hannibal’s offer strains from Africa and to their very own intentions of re-conquering Sicily. therefore, Syracuse used to be enduring the second one season of a made up our minds siege from a Roman strength less than M. Claudius Marcellus. Syrakousai, queen of larger Greece, used to be the biggest, the main wealthy, and apparently the main attractive of all of the Greek colonies within the West. Proudly autonomous in a hellenic age which had visible the subjugation of such a lot city-states, it had asserted its supremacy over Athens lengthy for the reason that, and had escaped the attentions of Alexander the nice.

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