Catalogue


Encyclopedia of ancient literature /
James Wyatt Cook.
imprint
New York : Facts On File, c2008.
description
xix, 716 p.
ISBN
9780816064755 (hc : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Facts On File, c2008.
isbn
9780816064755 (hc : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6662803
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
First Chapter
Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature features more than 500 entries covering the literary works, writers, and concepts of the ancient world, from the beginnings to approximately 500 CE. Ranging from ancient Greece and Rome to China, Egypt, Japan, India, Persia, Babylonia, the Hebrew world, and more, this accessible A-to-Z encyclopedia provides students with an extensive overview of this period of literature.
Coverage includes:
Writers, such as Aeschylus, Aesop, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Confucius, Demosthenes, Euclid, Flavius Josephus, Hammurabi, Herodotus, Homer, Horace, Menander, Plato, Princess Nukata, Sappho, Sima Qian, Sophocles, Thucydides, Virgil, Yamanoue no Okura, Zoroaster, and more
Famous works, such as the Aeneid, Antigone, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Gilgamesh Epic, the Hebrew Bible, the History of the Peloponnesian War, the Iliad, Medea, the Metamorphoses, the Nart Sagas, the New Testament, the Odyssey, the Oresteia, the Ramayana, the Rig-Veda, the Trojan Women, and more
Literary and historical terms, such as alphabet, hubris, epic, quipu, Rosetta Stone, and more.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-09-01:
Cook (emer., Albion College) attempts to cover the literatures of Greece, Rome, the ancient Near East, and Asia through 500 CE. In the introduction, he admits his lack of expertise in this topic; this is reflected in the book. Articles cover authors, works, genres, and topics. Many seem to rely heavily on a single source; e.g., those on The Apostolic Fathers and its component works draw primarily on Bart Ehrman's Loeb edition. The article on Catullus assumes that biographical facts can be derived from his poetry; the one on Cicero gives short shrift to his orations; the one on Cornelius Gallus claims inaccurately that none of his writing was extant before the Qasr Ibrim papyrus, although another fragment is preserved in Vibius Sequester. The article on Oxyrhynchus lists some major finds there but neglects to note The Constitution of the Athenians, attributed to Aristotle, or Bacchylides; its bibliography lacks the excellent POxy Web site (CH Oct'05 43-1107). Cook writes about Linear B without mentioning Linear A or citing John Chadwick's classic Decipherment of Linear B (1958). Bibliographies sometimes omit key works, while often including technical or foreign-language titles inappropriate for a general audience. Articles on individual works are largely plot summaries; most are serviceable, although one questions the value of summaries for every ode of Horace. This is an uneven, sometimes unreliable work that lacks a clear sense of its audience. The book includes a number of typos; the review copy lacked pp. 461-476. Summing Up: Not recommended. F. W. Jenkins University of Dayton
Appeared in Library Journal on 2008-07-01:
Since prehistoric times people have recorded their history, myths, and legends. While stories were originally kept verbally, the invention of writing heralded the creation of literature. Cook (emeritus, English, Albion Coll.) has written another book discussing the history of literature, having previously penned Facts On File's Encyclopedia of Renaissance Literature (LJ 2/1/06). In the introduction, he promises a book "meant to acquaint learners with what they may expect to find in broad literary ancient texts and give learners an introductory overview about the people who wrote the works." In this, the book succeeds. Over 500 A-to-Z entries--running in length from one to ten pages--summarize and review famous literary works, popular philosophies, author's lives, and literary compilations created between 2350 B.C.E. and the middle eighth century C.E. Notable authors' works and their bibliographic information are discussed separately. While the major emphasis is on Greek and Roman authors, influential authors and materials from ancient Egypt, China, Japan, India, Egypt, and several other countries are also covered. A brief bibliography is included with each article, and a selective bibliography concludes the book. There is also a time line and an index that can help users find relevant authors and information. Unlike many encyclopedias, the book does not contain illustrations, but it does provide a few charts showing relations between characters. BOTTOM LINE This work offers a very concise overview and synopsis of many significant works of literature from ancient times. While it is accessible, casual readers probably won't do more than glance through it. Researchers with a general interest in literature, a specific author, or a specific title should find it a good place to start. The emphasis on the Greek and Roman literature may limit use of the book. [Available in print only.]--James Langan, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Johnstown (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, July 2008
Reference & Research Book News, August 2008
Choice, September 2008
Booklist, October 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This A-Z reference provides an extensive overview of ancient literary works, writers and concepts, covering the period from the 'beginning' to approximately 500 CE. The encyclopedia covers a wide range of cultures, including Rome, Greece, China, Japan, Egypt, Babylonia, India, Persia, and the Hebrew World.
Long Description
Coverage includes: - Writers, such as Aeschylus, Aesop, Aristophanes. Aristotle. Julius Caesar, Cicero. Confucius, Demosthenes. Euclid, Flavius Josephus, Hammurabi. Herodotus, Homer, Horace, Menander, Plato, Princess Nukata, Sappho, Sia Qian, Sophocles. Thucydides, Virgil, Yamanoue no Okura, Zoroaster, and more - Famous works, such as the Aeneid, Antigone, the Egyption Book of the Dead, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hebrew Bible, The History of the Peloponnesian War, the Iliad, Medea, Metamorphoses, the Nart Sagas, the New Testament, the Odyssey, The Oresteia, Ramayana, Rig-Veda. Trojan Women, and more - Literary and historical terms, such as alphabet, hubris, epic, quipu, Rosetta Stone, and more.

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