George Roux, author of the book, (Roux, 1976 ) “Ancient Iraq” tells us in the first sentence of the book, “Nowhere, perhaps, is the influence of geography upon history as clearly demonstrated as in the group of countries which extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Iranian plateau and form what we call the near East.
The author tells us about the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia. He describes these civilizations from the Paleolithic period to the Sumer and Akkad, the Assyrian Empire and then Babylon, which was the period associated with the Old Testament. He finally tells us about the last takeover by the Hellenistic Greeks.
Roux told us how long the Sumerian culture survived the invasions from foreigners. He demonstrates how strong these people were to survive for a period of three thousand years with threats constantly being thrown at them.
The ancient civilizations were a huge part of Roux’s writing that pertain to Iraq, today. He also elaborates on the Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians and how they were associated with the Mesopotamians.
The author utilized many aids in his descriptions, such as maps, pictures and timelines, in order to clearly give his reading audience a sense of where these areas were in the world and how they may have looked during different time periods. The timeline was extremely important as it showed a clear path throughout time.
Ancient Mesopotamia was a place that the author showed great interest in and he described the area with great confidence, but he didn’t write much about the cultures in the near East, like the Hittites, Egyptians and the Persians.
Roux describes the climate and the lay out of the land as he gives us a clear understanding of the beauty and history of the Mesopotamia. He tells us about the pre-historical areas and about the styles that you find in the land, such as ceramic artifacts, that offer a glimpse at various time periods.
The author covers a large time period in the Mesopotamia history of Iraq and by reading “Ancient Iraq” we can develop a clear picture, as we visualize the area and through Roux’s writing, we can better understand the people, culture, and past traditions of ancient Iraq.
Anyone who has an interest in ancient Iraq should read about Thomas Roux’s description of the area, where they can gain an educated teaching from the author about the styles, layout of the land, and hear about events that are tracked by timelines in this book.
Roux, by discussing the lifestyles and thought from various neighbors, offers us a more direct look into the traditions and thoughts of the people of ancient Iraq.
Also the author, by discussing the artifacts that were unearthed, tells us a great deal about the ancient civilization and clears up questions about the way they lived in the past. The dying out of the Mesopotamian civilization can be blamed on three reasons, which are the absence of a national government, the foundation by Alexander and his successors of new cities vying for older settlements, and most important, the profound ethnic, religious and cultural changes that were introduced by the foreigners who invaded the area.
Roux, Thomas. (1976) “Ancient Iraq”. Penguin Books. P. 1
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