Ancient History

Ancient history books do more than provide facts about the past: they also highlight how people thought during specific periods of time. Originally, history was recorded on stone, and the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians recorded events on tablets and in temples. As the written medium evolved, larger, more portable written works were developed.

One of the earliest ancient history books on record was created by Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 BC-425 BC); The Histories examines a broad panorama of ancient conflicts, mighty heroes, and cultural insights, although some of the stories were based on legends. Many ancient history books were written with a purpose beyond simple education. For example, one of the most famous of ancient historians, Josephus (37 AD-100 AD), not only produced a broad overview of the history of the Jewish people to the time of the Romans, but also provided insights into their unique culture in light of the Roman rule. 

Collectors who want to buy ancient history books will find a wide variety of texts at their fingertips at AbeBooks. For example, collectible ancient history books about Egypt include special editions of Egyptologist and writer Amelia B. Edwards's 1877 work, A Thousand Miles up the Nile. William Whiston's translation of Josephus's work (The War of the Jews or Wars) from 1841 would make a fine addition to any collection.

If English history is your interest, Cambridge professor Robert Tombs's The English and Their History provides a whirlwind tour of one of the oldest nations in the world. Famous figures in history are always fascinating, and the award-winning Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts is a comprehensive look at one of the most defining figures in French history. Those with an eye toward the East should snap up gems such as Karl Friday's The First Samurai: The Life and Legend of Warrior Rebel Taira Masakado; Friday, a well-known expert on ancient Japan, captivates with his crisp language and obvious enthusiasm for Japan. Shop collectible ancient history books to enrich your understanding of our world.