DA -- History and Area Studies

Große Revolutionen der Geschichte: von der Frühzeit bis zur Gegenwart [Great Revolutions of History: From Ancient Times to the Present]. Ed. Peter Wende. München: Beck, 2000. 391 p. 23 cm. ISBN 3-406-46703-2: DM 49.80 [00-1/4-367]

The literature about revolutions, and also about the theory of revolutions, can fill whole libraries. Because the phenomenon of revolution is multi-layered, and forming theories is hard, any dictionary or handbook faces many difficulties. The editor of this volume, a professor of history at the University of Frankfurt am Main, alludes to these difficulties in his introduction. The contributions he has brought together should therefore be seen as a "collection of cases for studying the phenomenon of revolution." They range from the ancient Orient to the 1989 transition in the GDR, and are written by recognized authors. The emphasis is on modern times. Each of the twenty chapters is introduced by a short chronology of related events. They are engaging to read and inspire the reader to further research. There are no footnotes, but the appendix offers some books for additional reading for each chapter. Because of the excellent authors and the variety of the revolutions treated (e.g., the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the revolution of 1968, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979), this volume is suited not only for research libraries but also for larger (German-language) public libraries. [wl/gh]

Kleines Handbuch der Münzkunde und des Geldwesens in Deutschland [Concise Handbook of Coinage and the Monetary System in Germany]. Ed. Wolfgang Trapp. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1999. 319 p. ill. 15 cm. (Universal-Bibliothek, 18026). ISBN 3-15-018026-0: DM 15.00 [00-1/4-368]

Wolfgang Trapp, formerly director of the Bavarian State Office for Weights and Measures in Munich, is an expert in the field of administration of standards. This handbook follows the publication of the third edition of his Kleines Handbuch der Maße, Zahlen, Gewichte und der Zeitrechnung [Concise Handbook of Measures, Numbers, Weights, and the Calculation of Time] (Stuttgart, 1998). It uses numerous tables, sketches, and illustrations to explain the concept of money and coinage and the history of coins and currency, prices, wages, and purchasing power. It concludes with a discussion of the European Currency Union and the introduction of the Euro. It includes a glossary of terms, concepts and abbreviations, a chronology, a bibliography, and a subject index.

The style and depth of treatment of the subject imply that this handbook is intended for a broad audience, ranging from subject specialists to collectors and hobbyists. This diverse work is very useful for the researcher seeking an introduction to the field of numismatics and the history of money. It is one of a very few academic works in German on the subject; most other works being catalogs or guidebooks for collectors. Among the few other scholarly works are Tyll Kroha's Grosses Lexikon der Numismatik [Great Dictionary of Numismatics] (Gütersloh, 1997), Michael North's Von Aktie bis Zoll: ein historisches Lexikon des Geldes [From Stock Certificates to Customs Duties: An Historical Dictionary of Money] (München, 1995), and Das Geld und seine Geschichte: vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart [Money and its History: From the Middle Ages to the Present] (München, 1994).

Wolfgang Trapp's work belongs not only in the private libraries of all interested persons, but also in all research libraries. [wl/ga]

Lexikon der Steinzeit [Dictionary of the Stone Age]. Emil Hoffmann. München: Beck, 1999. 409 p. 19 cm. (Beck'sche Reihe, 1325). ISBN 3-406-42125-3: DM 34.00 [00-1/4-369]

This handy dictionary grew out of the author's own collection of definitions of terms. Hoffmann has succeeded in writing more than 900 entries that can be understood and appreciated even by the layperson. The text is very readable, and technical details are explained in non-technical language. This dictionary explains the basic concepts of Stone Age archeology; artifacts and types; and research methods. Hoffmann has incorporated the results of recent research into his articles. An alphabetical section of terms and definitions is followed by 12 brief biographies of eminent scholars of the Stone Age, and by a bibliography listing 213 titles. Unfortunately, the volume is not illustrated, but illustrations are planned for the next edition. In view of the fact that currently there is no comparable, up-to-date dictionary of the Stone Age, this volume is to be recommended, particularly to the hobby archeologist and interested layperson. [wl/ba]

Metzler-Lexikon-Antike [Metzler Lexicon of Classical Antiquity]. Ed. Kai Brodersen and Bernhard Zimmermann. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2000. vi, 703 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-476-01610-2: DM 78.00 [00-1/4-370]

This lexicon aims to cover in one volume all areas of Greek and Roman antiquity. It is designed for the non-specialist and does not require knowledge of Latin or Greek. The signed articles expand on specific terms (names of persons and places, everyday life, literature, antiquity research). The selection of articles appears to be well balanced. Most are relatively short, and conclude with bibliographical references; these, however, have often not been brought up to date. The black-and-white photos and maps prove helpful to the reader. The book contains a useful 50-page appendix that includes a chronology, a listing of the Roman emperors, tables of weights and measures, and a bibliography. Compared to Reclams Lexikon der Antike (Stuttgart, 1996), another one-volume dictionary on antiquity, the Metzler-Lexikon-Antike has a broader approach. The Reclam volume places more emphasis on the literature of antiquity. It is difficult to compare the Metzler lexicon with two other one-volume dictionaries, the Kleines Lexikon der Antike (Tübingen, 1995) and Wörterbuch der Antike (Stuttgart, 1995). The Metzler work does not replace the two older ones; all three supplement each other. The Metzler-Lexikon-Antike presents a good general overview of classical antiquity. It is suitable for school and public libraries, but not necessarily required for academic and research libraries. [kh/ba]

Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft [Encyclopedia of Classical Antiquity]. Founded by August F. Pauly. Rev. ed. Georg Wissowa. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler. 24 cm. [00-1/4-371]

Gesamtregister [Complete Index]. Ed. Tobias Erler. ISBN 3-476-01195-X (set)

Vol. 2. Systematisches Sach- und Suchregister [Systematic Subject Index]. Ed. Christa Frateantonio and Markus E. Fuchs. 2000. 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 3-476-01194-1: DM 980.00, 780.00 (for subscribers to the main work)

In 1997, the first part--the alphabetical section--of the complete index to the Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft appeared (see RREA 4:179). In September 2000, the second part, the systematic subject index, followed. Although the alphabetical index was published both in book form and on CD-ROM, the systematic subject index is available only as a CD-ROM, due to its enormous size. It comes with a booklet containing installation and search instructions, as well as sample searches. System requirements for the CD-ROM are a PC with Pentium I (200 MHz); Windows 95/98, 2000, NT 3.5 or higher; 32 MB of memory; and a 200-MB hard drive.

The CD-ROM offers simple, advanced, and alphabetical searching capabilities. The advanced search interface includes access through a number of basic entry points: person, Roman cultural area, Greek cultural area, settlement; and also broad subject categories, such as Egyptology, archaeology, biology, Byzantine studies, philosophy, law, and economics. Numerous subsubject categories include agronomy, agriculture, daily life, anthropology, architecture, education, ethnicity, festivals, contests and games, literature, mathematics, medicine, meteorology, religion, and sports. The time span of coverage is from the 8th century B.C.E. through the 6th century C.E. A weakness of the search engine is that it does not always retrieve all articles that would be relevant to the search entered.

Apart from some inherent search-and-retrieval weaknesses of this database (e.g. the fact that the level of indexing could have been more detailed, and that some articles have been assigned to incorrect classes), the electronic systematic index offers interesting and impressive access to the most comprehensive encyclopedia of classical antiquity that exists. Even Der neue Pauly (see RREA 6:273 below) has by no means surpassed this work. Surely this CD-ROM will increase actual use of the Realencyclopädie.

In the CD-ROM the user has the convenience of having both the alphabetic and systematic indexes combined. Thus it would not have been necessary for purchasers of the CD-ROM to have acquired the print alphabetical index for DM 500.00. Also, it is too bad that online help is not available on the CD-ROM. In any case, it will be incumbent upon librarians to instruct their users in the intricacies of the systematic index. Presumably relatively few libraries with this product will make it accessible as an electronically networked database. [kh/tk]

Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike [The New Pauly: Encyclopedia of Antiquity]. Ed. Hubert Cancik und Helmuth Schneider. 15 vols. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler. 27 cm. ISBN 3-476-01470-3 (set): DM 5,220.00; DM 348.00 per vol. [00-1/4-372]

Rezeptions- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte [History of Reception and Scholarship].

Vol. 13: A-Fo, 1999. lvi, 1,162 p. ill. ISBN 3-476-01483-5: DM 328.00

With the Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Alterumswissenschaft, which was begun by August Pauly in 1839, and whose 84th and final volume of the 1894 "new edition" appeared in 1980, the field of classical studies was ahead of its time in pursuing modern interdisciplinary studies. A five-volume extract of the older work, the so-called Kleine Pauly (1964-1975), has also served students and scholars well.

Now, with Der neue Pauly, an encyclopedia of the ancient world has appeared whose concept differs considerably from that of the earlier works. In terms of size, Der neue Pauly has about twice the content of Der kleine Pauly, and it reflects research of the last 50 years that has deepened our understanding of classical antiquity. For a review of volumes 1 (1996) through 3 (1997) of Der Neue Pauly see RREA 4:178.

Although Der neue Pauly concencentrates on Hellenic and Roman culture, it also emphasizes the ancient Near Eastern roots of these two cultures, as well as their influences on the Semitic, Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic peoples of antiquity; the interactions among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and the transition process from late antiquity to the Carolingian Renaissance. It is to this work's credit that it finally gives Byzantine studies the attention it deserves.

The greatest weakness of Der neue Pauly is its failure adequately to treat the reception of the works of antiquity in modern times. In the case of Aristophanes, for example, there is no mention of the unsurpassed translation by Ludwig Seeger (1845-1948), and also nothing about the successful adaptations of Aristophanes' works by the GDR dramatist Peter Hacks. Other lacunae contribute to an overall impression of volume 13 as chaotic, e.g., the works of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut and the École Française de Rome are treated in separate articles, but the various American research institutes for classical studies in Rome and Athens are not; and the article on libraries does not even mention the indispensable Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft.

Der neue Pauly is consequently of two natures: on the one hand frequently a very helpful source of information, but on the other, testimony that even works in the venerable field of Classical Studies may be forced to submit to a hectic pace of production, which can can result in a sloppy end product. [hak/tk]

Lexikon der christlichen Antike [Lexicon of Christian Antiquity]. Ed. Johannes B. Bauer and Manfred Hutter. Stuttgart: Kröner, 1999. xxxi, 387 p. 18 cm. (Kröners Taschenausgabe, 332). ISBN 3-520-33201-9: DM 49.80 [00-1/4-373]

The 24 contributors to this lexicon are primarily Austrian, from institutes of theology and religious history in Graz. In approximately 1,000 entries they describe the world of Christian antiquity (as opposed to classical antiquity): the first to the eighth centuries. Of necessity, information about previous periods and peripheral concepts is included, making this book of interest to a wide spectrum of readers.

Entries are brief, seldom more than three columns, and have bibliographical references. Because of the wide scope of the subject, a lexicon of this length cannot be complete. Concentrating on theological, philosophical and spiritual themes of early Christianity, this work de-emphasizes social and political elements. Nevertheless, it is a very useful book for readers interested in the world of early Christian thought and belief. [jm/mrh]

Res medii aevi; kleines Lexikon der Mittelalterkunde [Res medii aevi: Concise Lexicon of Information about the Middle Ages]. Ed. Renate Neumüllers-Klauser. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999. 317 p. ill. 19 cm. ISBN 3-447-03778-4: DM 78.00 [00-1/4-374]

A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Clavis mediaevalis (Wiesbaden, 1962), this work leads the medievalist to sources about paleography, archives and libraries, documents, seals, heraldry, numismatics, chronology, and some of the prominent editions of medieval sources. It complements Wilhelm Volkert's Kleines Lexikon des Mittelalters [Brief Lexicon of the Middle Ages] (see RREA 5:226), which emphasizes social, economic, legal, and political issues; there is very little overlap between the two.

The illustrations are the same as in Clavis mediaevalis, but there are more entries here on literary history and on some other areas, such as law. Reliably edited, this book is a concise and dependable source of information for everyone interested in the Middle Ages. [ch/mrh]

Chronik des 20. Jahrhunderts [Chronicle of the 20th Century]. Ed. Johannes Ebert. Gütersloh: Chronik-Verlag im Bertelsmann-Lexikon-Verlag. 640 p. ill. 30 cm. + 2 CD-ROMs. ISBN 3-577-14592-7 (book with CD-ROMs): DM 98.00; ISBN 3-577-14304-5 (book only): DM 69.00 [00-1/4-375]

This mixed media work, comprised of a lengthy book and two CD-ROMs, appears to be the prototype of various similar projects undertaken by Bertelsmann to mark the close of the century and millennium. The book chronicles every year of the 20th century, introducing each with a calendar of the most important events, followed by three pages of articles, lavishly illustrated, in journalistic style. The last page of the three is consistently devoted to events relating to Germany. The result is a balanced overview of the history of the last century, presented in chronological form, with an emphasis on German history. The CD-ROMs complement and expand the information in the book by offering 100,000 entries by date; 1,100 longer articles; about 2,500 pictures and graphs; 1,000 biographical entries; 3 hours of spoken text; and 50 minutes of video. The navigation is simple, and Internet links to many topics provide additional information (although these are bound to become outdated). System requirements for the CD-ROM include Windows 95/98 or Windows NT, at least 16 MB RAM, 40 MB of memory, a 16-bit graphics card, and a Windows-compatible sound card. The Chronik des 20. Jahrhunderts is the most balanced among a number of similar projects, and can be recommended for all libraries whose patrons have an interest in German history of the 20th century. [jpl/akb]

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