War and Peace in the Ancient World

Raaflaub, Kurt
Date published: 
November 2006

This book is the first to focus on war and peace in the ancient world from a global perspective. Nineteen distinguished scholars, all of whom are experts in their fields, discuss different aspects of this fascinating subject in relation to a large number of early civilizations, from China and India through West Asia (Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Hittites, Israel, Persia, and early Islam) to the Mediterranean (Greece, Rome, and early Christianity) and the Americas (the Aztecs and the Iroquois Peace League). The book demonstrates that ancient societies, no less than modern ones, suffered from the losses and destructions caused by war, and yearned for peace and prosperity. It offers remarkable insights into the different responses ancient societies developed in order not only to defend their territory, but also to avoid war and restore peace. Some early societies, the volume reveals, even developed an explicit public discourse on war and peace, and embedded peace in an ideological or religious framework.