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Ancient Dynasties (Hardback)

The Families that Ruled the Classical World, circa 1000 BC to AD 750

Ancient History

By John D Grainger
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9781526746757
Published: 6th March 2019



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As featured in The Bookseller, December 2018.

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Ancient Dynasties is a unique study of the ruling families of the ancient world known to the Greeks and Romans. The book is in two parts. The first offers analysis and discussion of various features of the ruling dynasties (including the leading families of republican Rome). It examines patterns, similarities and contrasts, categorizes types of dynasty and explores common themes such as how they were founded and maintained, the role of women and the various reasons for their decline. The second part is a catalogue of all the dynasties (over 150 of them) known to have existed between approximately 1000 BC and AD 750 from the Atlantic Ocean to Baktria (roughly modern Afghanistan). It gives genealogical tables and tells where and when they held power.

Thoroughly researched and with geanological tables to support the lucid text, the whole forms a valuable study and invaluable reference to the families that wielded power in the Classical world.

Ancient Dynasties spans an enormous amount of time and should be considered a staple for all interested in ancient history. It has both reference and interest qualities and would suit all ranges of curiosity and passion in the topic... I found the entire book fascinating and interesting.

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Queens & Emperors, Tayla McRae

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VaeVictis - n° 144 - mars/avril 2019

A reference book that will interest researchers as well as history buffs alike.

PRÉTORIEN Magazine N°51

A Catalogue of extraordinary documentary value.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

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About John D Grainger

JOHN D GRAINGER is a former teacher and historian of great experience with a particular interest in Classical and Hellenistic Greek history. His many previous works include the following for Pen & Sword: Hellenistic and Roman Naval Wars (2011); The Wars of the Maccabees (2012); Roman Conquests: Egypt and Judaea (2013); a three-part history of the Seleukid Empire (2014-16), King’s and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC (2017), Antipater’s Dynasty (2018), Ancient Dynasties (2019, The Roman Imperial Succession (March 2020), The Straits from Troy to Constantinople (2021) and The Forty Sieges of Constantinople (2022). He lives in Evesham, Worcestershire.

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In this first volume of his trilogy on the Ptolemies, John Grainger explains how Ptolemy I established the dynasty's power in Egypt in the wake of Alexander the Great's death. Egypt had been independent for most of the fourth century BC, but was reconquered by the Persian Empire in the 340s. This is essential background for Ptolemaic history since it meant that Alexander was welcomed as a liberator and, after the tyranny of Kleomenes, so was Ptolemy. This was the essential basis of Ptolemy’s power. He conciliated the Egyptians, but reinforced his military strength with Greek settlers, mainly…

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