In the Land of a Thousand Gods
A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World
In collaboration with Peter Frei
Translated by Steven Rendall
This monumental book provides the first comprehensive history of Asia Minor from prehistory to the Roman imperial period. In this English-language edition of the critically acclaimed German book, Christian Marek masterfully employs ancient sources to illuminate civic institutions, urban and rural society, agriculture, trade and money, the influential Greek writers of the Second Sophistic, the notoriously bloody exhibitions of the gladiatorial arena, and more.
In the Land of a Thousand Gods is truly panoramic in scope. Blending rich narrative with in-depth analyses of political, social, and economic history, the book traces Asia Minor's shifting orientation between East and West and examines its role as both a melting pot of nations and a bridge for cultural transmission. Marek takes readers from the earliest known Stone Age settlements to the end of antiquity. He covers the emergence of early Greek poetry and science, the invention of coinage, Persian domination, the prosperity of cities under the Hellenistic kings, and the establishment of Roman provinces. Marek draws on the latest research—in fields ranging from demography and economics to architecture and religion—to describe how Asia Minor became a center of culture and wealth in the Roman Empire. He shows how the advancement of Hellenic culture and civic autonomy was the irreversible legacy of the Pax Romana.
A breathtaking work of scholarship, In the Land of a Thousand Gods will become the standard reference book on the subject in English.
Christian Marek is professor emeritus of ancient history at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. His fields of research are the ancient cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, from Archaic Greece to early Byzantium, and Greek epigraphy. He specializes in Asia Minor and has been conducting epigraphical and archaeological fieldwork in Turkey for more than thirty years.