By Arthur Cotterell
From one of many world's best historians?a entire narrative of the 3,000 years that experience shaped Asia's humans, tradition, and worldwide destiny
Tracing its origins in Mesopotamia to its sleek function at the international geopolitical level, historian Arthur Cotterell deals a compelling, energetic, and readable account of 1 of the main culturally assorted, and sometimes misunderstood, elements of the area. starting with the emergence of the world's earliest civilization in 3000 BC, Asia: A Concise background presents a desirable examine the worldwide convulsions?like the increase and fall of Assyria and Persia, the medieval states that flourished after the arrival of Islam, and the trendy changes prompted through the lightning conquests of imperial Japan?that have formed the continent. * Covers the good occasions and figures of Asian historical past, besides a glance on the enormous is still that undergo witness to these occasions: the ziggurats of Iraq, the Taj Mahal, the good Wall of China, the temple of Angkor Wat* comprises interesting slices of heritage, together with funeral preparations for Qin Shi Huangdi in 210 BC; an extract from Lord Macartney's magazine of his 1793 diplomatic venture to the Qing emperor Qian lengthy; and Toyotomi Hideyoshi's edict of 1587 banning firearms in Japan* beneficial properties boxed inserts of particular interest?like a Babylonian recipe for lamb stew circa 1500 BC* comprises over a hundred illustrations, maps, and photographs* different books by means of Cotterell: The Minoan World, The First Emperor of China, The Encyclopedia of Mythology, and Chariot
Destined to develop into a reference staple for historical past buffs and scholars of Asian heritage, Asia: A Concise background bargains readers a panoramic narrative and wealth of aspect that make the formative classes, key occasions, and personalities from this as soon as distant a part of the realm come alive.
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Additional info for Asia: A Concise History
Her baleful character is at odds with the East Asian attitude towards dragons, which were always seen as benevolent deities and held in high regard. Throughout Chinese history the dragon was the rainbringer, the lord of waters—clouds, rivers, marshes, lakes and seas. On the western edge of the Asian continent alone, the dragon acquired an evil reputation whether it lurked in caves or in the sea, so that Leviathan, the “Coiled One”, was a direct descendant of Tiamat. The rise of Marduk to a supreme position in Babylon had three distinct consequences.
Though later associated with Satan, mention of the serpent in Eden may be intended to disparage Canaanite beliefs. Snake worship was part of the rain god Baal’s cult, and the snake seems to have been a symbol of the mother goddess as well. On Crete, an island that had once been ruled by West Asian kings, statuettes show goddesses or priestesses handling serpents. According to the Greeks, King Agenor of Tyre sent his five sons in search of their sister Europa, whom Zeus had abducted to Crete in the disguise of a bull.
Oceanus and Tethys, the primeval couple of Greek mythology, could easily have come straight from the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish, which dates from the reign of Nebuchadrezzar I. This poem describes the war waged by Marduk against the primeval forces of chaos led by Tiamat, out of whose dismembered body he created the world after her defeat. Marduk is then crowned “king of the gods” by the divine assembly, and the epic ends with a recital of his fifty attributes. Enuma Elish, which takes its title from the poem’s first words “When on high”, continues, skies were not yet named nor earth below pronounced by name, sweet water Apsu, the first one, their begetter, and salt water Tiamat, who bore them all, had mixed together, but had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds, when yet no gods were manifest, nor names pronounced, nor destines decreed, then the gods were born.