DA - History and Area Studies
Elektronische Informationsressourcen für Historiker [Electronic Information Resources for Historians]. Klaus Gantert. Berlin [et al.]: De Gruyter Saur, 2011. ix, 428 p. ill. 24 cm. (Bibliotheks- und Informationspraxis, 43). ISBN 978-3-11-023497-8: EUR 59.95 [12-2]
The author, Klaus Gantert, has published several guides to the scholarly searching of library and information sources (see RREA 17:62 for a review of his Elektronische Informationsressourcen für Germanisten). In this work for historians, Gantert’s intelligent choices have more than satisfied the necessary selectivity that such a work demands. While some entries lend themselves only with difficulty to the typological organization of the book, in general the author has assembled a comprehensive and current picture of reference titles for the auxiliary fields of history and has also brought in underrepresented areas. A desideratum would be greater elucidation of the search strategies that benefit the researcher, especially as relates to controlled vocabularies and internal cross-referencing by index. Overall this is a valuable work for both the beginning and advanced user. [hdw/rlk]
Wörterbuch historischer und politischer Begriffe des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts: Deutsch–Englisch–Französisch [Dictionary of 19th and 20th Century Historical and Political Terms: German–English–French]. Ed. Winfried Baumgart and Mathias Friedel. München: Oldenbourg, 2010. 575 p. 24 cm. + 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 978-3-486-58907-8: EUR 99.80 [11-3]
We have long been lacking a dictionary of modern political and historical German nomenclature and concepts with English and French translations or equivalents, so we must be grateful to Winfried Baumgart for this compilation that is largely her own work. Baumgart is the author of the long-standing Bücherverzeichnis zur deutschen Geschichte [Index to Books on German History] (Stuttgart, 2010, 17th ed.). The dictionary under review is extremely broad in scope, ranging through current as well as already obsolete terms, and relevant foreign terms insofar as they have no German equivalent (e.g., Establishment, Élan vital). Terms peculiar to Austro-Hungarian and Swiss usage are included as well. Most of Baumgart’s translations are plausible or better, although—not surprisingly—there are very specific terms for which an English or French equivalent is difficult to arrive at, and in some instances none is supplied. In any case, the dictionary is a useful tool for scholars in modern and contemporary history. The accompanying CD-ROM allows use of the dictionary with a PC and provides searching capability from the French and/or English translations. [jli/kst]
Le dictionnaire des années 80 [Dictionary of the ‘80s]. Ed. Gilles Verlant, Pierre Mikaïloff, and Carole Brianchon. Paris: Larousse, 2011. 544 p. ill. 24 cm. (Les dictionnaires insolites Larousse). ISBN 9782035850256: EUR 20.90
An RREA Original Review by Wendeline A. Hardenberg (Southern Connecticut State University)
This dictionary devoted to the 1980s from a French perspective has everything from worldwide events (the Exxon Valdez oil spill, AIDS) to pop culture icons (Madonna, Indiana Jones) to television shows from France and elsewhere (Pause-café [Coffee Break], Dallas). More than 700 entries are arranged alphabetically, each with the initials of the editor who wrote it and an icon to mark it as belonging to one of the following categories: society, television, nightlife, media, fashion, cinema, fine arts, music, graphic novels/comics, science and technology, literature, leisure, politics, people, sports, and dance. While leafing through would be an amusing nostalgic exercise for anyone who remembers the ‘80s, for Americans the amusement is increased tenfold by the discovery of how France appropriated various aspects of American culture during that time period. (For example, SOS Fantômes=Ghostbusters, Tortues Ninja=Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and there is an entire entry devoted to French teenagers’ use of the English “too much” in place of “c’est trop.”)
Though both informative and entertaining, the dictionary almost completely lacks framing apparatus—the blurb on the back simply invites the reader to explore however he or she wishes in order to rediscover the spirit of the ‘80s. An alphabetical table of contents is included at the end, but no actual index. This shortcoming is somewhat mitigated by the presence of tiny superscript smiley faces that function as “see-also” references within entries, identifying words and phrases that have their own entries. Certain topics are favored with glossy full-color illustrations on unnumbered pages in the middle, but there is no way to identify illustrated entries by looking at the entries themselves, and some of the illustrations do not seem to correspond to entries at all.
On the whole, Le dictionnaire des années 80 is an excellent repository of the 1980s French worldview, especially for those who are largely unfamiliar with it. Trying to look up anything specific could be a bit frustrating, but the intent seems to have been to create something playful and amusing rather than simply a practical reference work. Recommended for libraries serving French departments that emphasize recent French history and culture.
Altsteinzeit von A bis Z [The Paleolithic Age from A to Z]. Lutz Fiedler, Gaëlle Rosendahl, and Wilfried Rosendahl. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2011. 415 p. ill. 25 cm. (Publikationen der Reiss-Engelhorn- Museen, 44). ISBN 978-3-534-23050-1: EUR 79.90, EUR 49.90 (WBG members’ price) [12-2]
This reference work will be of interest not only to students and interested lay persons but also to scholars. Following a brief preface, key archaeological concepts and discoveries are clearly defined and discussed. Important archaeological sites, stone-working techniques, stone implements and their origin are presented and placed in relation to one another. Numerous black-and-white line drawings supplement the text.
The lexicon offers a reliable source for technical terms definitions. The difficulty of formulating generally applicable definitions or concepts is due to the many-faceted discipline of prehistoric archaeology and its various schools. The resulting variety of approaches necessarily leads to different naming conventions. These can hardly be brought together under a single umbrella, but the lexicon solves the problem with the help of cross-references.
The user of the lexicon could wish for bibliographies attached to specific entries rather than the brief list of additional readings at the end of the book. The lexicon can, however, serve as a reference supplement to introductory texts in prehistoric archaeology and basis for comparing archaeological concepts.
Interested lay readers will find much of interest in the earlier Lexikon der Steinzeit (see RREA 6:270), but because the work under review offers such a good foundation for the use of technical terms and, in doubtful cases, a pointer to an equivalent term, every archaeology library should have Altsteinzeit von A bis Z in its collection. [mk/rc]
Archäologie und Politik: archäologische Ausgrabungen der 30er und 40er Jahre des 20. Jahrhunderts im zeitgeschichtlichen Kontext [Archeology and Politics: Archeological Excavations of the 1930s and 40s of the 20th Century in Historical Context]. Ed. Egon Schallmayer and Katharina von Kurzynski. [Transl: David Wigg-Wolf ]. Bonn: Habelt in Komm., 2011. x, 330 p. ill. maps. 31 cm. (Fundberichte aus Hessen: Beihefte, 7); (Glauberg-Forschungen, 1). ISBN 978-3-7749-3729-1: EUR 48 [12-2]
Archeologie und Politik is a collection of papers presented at an October 2008 conference, 75 Jahre Ausgrabungen am Glauberg [75 Years of Excavation at Glauberg] in Nidda-Bad Salzhausen on the topic of the interplay of archeology and politics during the Third Reich.
In the chapter entitled “Science under National Socialism—National Socialistic Science,” Frank-Rutger Hausmann delivers a concise survey of the role of the humanities in the Third Reich. Achim Leube then delves into the history of the subject area in his chapter entitled “German Prehistory from 1933 to 1945 and its Historical Foundations.” He discusses not only archeological research, university activities, and publications, but also the plunder of cultural objects and the organization of museums. In chapter three, entitled “Glauberg: An Excavation between the Fronts,” Holger Baitinger describes the excavation project at Glauburg under the direction of Heinrich Richter and its significance during the Third Reich. In 1936, the Glauberg project was incorporated into the excavation program of the SS and in 1938 received funding for further excavation from the Archeological Institute of the German Reich. However, work at this site was halted before the beginning of World War II. In the next chapter, “From Stone Age Settlements to Burial Mounds of the Princes,” Gunter Schöbel documents other large-scale excavation projects of the 1920s and 30s—at Federsee and Heuneburg in southwest Germany—projects directed by the Tübingen scholar Robert Rudolf Schmidt.
The volume includes an additional 11 comparable chapters focusing on an array of undertakings in different parts of Germany that were important to the Third Reich. These include the Lone Valley project (under the aegis of Heinrich Himmler after 1935), the excavations in Bremen-Mahndorf, those in Karnburg (Carinthia), and projects carried out between the Schlei (an arm of the North Sea that extends into Schleswig- Holstein), and the river Treene (in central Schleswig-Holstein). Many chapters explore not just the excavations themselves, but also the cultural and political significance of these projects to the Third Reich, such as the reinterpretation of archeological findings near Bad Dürkheim to support the existence of a Germanic heritage or the connection of a site near Xanten to the Siegfried mythos.
Many of the essays contain a list in brief citation format of sources used, and some provide additional material that became available after the manuscripts had been submitted. All provide a summary in English. Unfortunately an index of names is missing, which would have made it possible to identify quickly which persons were involved in which excavation projects. The richly illustrated volume concludes with a list of abbreviations and brief biographies of the authors. [map/jb]
Christliche Archäologie “compact”: ein topographischer Überblick: Europa, Asien, Afrika [Christian Archaeology “Compact”: A Topographical Overview: Europe, Asia, Africa]. Reiner Sörries. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2011. 499 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-89500-792-7: EUR 98 [13-1]
The reader interested in learning about the archaeology of Christian sites has any number of reference volumes to choose from, for example, Sörries’ Großes Lexikon der Bestattungs- und Friedhofskultur: Wörterbuch zur Sepulkralkultur (see RREA 9:145 and 12:219). The volume reviewed here presents itself as a compact “Who’s Who” of Christian sites and monuments. As this book makes clear, the field of Christian archaeology has increasingly expanded out from Rome to include more and more of the world beyond the Mediterranean basin. The volume is organized in four geographical areas; within each area the progression is from north to south and from west to east. Section 1, “The Occident” (p. 13-150), extends from the British Isles to Slovenia; its longest chapter is devoted to Italy. Section 2, “The Orient” (p. 151-337), covers Greece, Turkey, the eastern Mediterranean, and Egypt. Section 3, “Transcultural Regions between East and West” (p. 338-430), covers the Balkans, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula. Section 4, Beyond the Orient (p. 431-479), takes in the Caucasus (especially Armenia and Georgia), Asia, and Africa (especially the Sudan and Ethiopia).
Chapters begin with overviews, followed sometimes by digressions on particular themes, and are then organized by places; localities are listed by their modern names. Each chapter contains illustrations. Descriptions of individual monuments are kept extremely brief, and bibliographical citations are shortened by the use of sigla, whose full forms are given in the general bibliography, which begins on page 495. This bibliography also lists general works for further reading as well as appropriate periodicals; lexica, as well as monographs that deal only with a single site or monument, are excluded. The concluding index includes cross-references that guide readers from ancient forms of names to the modern names used in the body of the text. [sh/crc]
Pergamon: Panorama der antiken Metropole: Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung; eine Ausstellung der Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin [Pergamon: Panorama of an Ancient Metropolis; Catalog Accompanying an Exhibit of the Antiquities Collection of the Berlin State Museum]. Ed.Ralf Grüßinger, Volker Kästner, and Andreas Scholl. Petersberg: Imhof, 2011. 592 p. ill. maps. 31 cm. ISBN 978-3-86568-693-0: EUR 39.50 [12-1]
This opulent catalog was published to coincide with an exhibit held at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin from September 30, 2011 to September 30, 2012. The large format and wealth of images reflect the aim of the exhibit to present for the first time a complete panorama of the city of Pergamon to a broad public. The volume does not intend to replace Wolfgang Radt’s standard work Pergamon: Geschichte und Bauten einter antiken Metropole [Pergamon: History and Architecture of an Ancient Metropolis] (Darmstadt, 1999) but to complement it by making available a new and more complex perspective on the city.
The catalog contains more than 60 contributions in eight chapters on different aspects of the city’s history, its discovery and excavation, topography, architecture, cults and sanctuaries, sculpture, and reception history. The essays are followed by a comprehensive, richly illustrated catalog of about 150 pages, a 14-page bibliography, and a list of illustrations. This will likely serve for a long time as a standard work enabling the general public to gain a wealth of knowledge of ancient Pergamon. Scholars will also consult it with profit. [mk/rc]
Dictionnaire de l’antiquite´ [Dictionary of Antiquity]. Ed Jean Leclant. 2d printing. Paris: PUF, 2011. xlviii, 2389 p. 20 cm. (Quadrige; Dicos poche). ISBN 9782130589853: EUR 49
An RREA Original Review by Rebecca R. Malek-Wiley (Tulane University)
Originally published in 2005, this dictionary was reissued in 2011, the year of the death of editor-in-chief Jean Leclant, a noted Egyptologist. According to the back cover note, it contains about 3,200 articles. Over 500 specialist contributors include both wellestablished experts (Luc Brisson, Éric Rebillard, and numerous others) and younger scholars with noteworthy publications on the ancient civilizations that developed around the Mediterranean Basin. The coverage of various aspects of the cultures of ancient Egypt and Nubia, the Asian Near East, Greece, and Rome—historical, archaeological, literary, philosophical, etc.—extends from protohistory (around the end of the fourth millennium BCE) through the reign of Emperor Justinian (565 CE). The cover illustrations merge parts of a hieroglyphic text, cuneiform markings, and a Greek papyrological text, in addition to a motif from an Egyptian tomb painting, the last superimposed on the back over a map of the Roman Empire. Right from the beginning, then, one knows that this volume is not simply a standard “classical dictionary.”
Following the introduction on scope and purpose is a table of contents with an alphabetical list of articles, each with the name of its writer. Most of the names are French; many other European names also appear, with only a few Anglophones. Women are well represented. This table provides a few, although not many, crossreferences (e.g., from “Lagides” [Lagids] to “Ptolémées” [Ptolemies]) but no entry page numbers. A brief section preceding the main body of the dictionary lists abbreviations and acronyms representing primary and secondary sources in a number of Western European languages, including English, as well as scholarly bodies
Following the introduction on scope and purpose is a table of contents with an alphabetical list of articles, each with the name of its writer. Most of the names are French; many other European names also appear, with only a few Anglophones. Women are well represented. This table provides a few, although not many, crossreferences (e.g., from “Lagides” [Lagids] to “Ptolémées” [Ptolemies]) but no entry page numbers. A brief section preceding the main body of the dictionary lists abbreviations and acronyms representing primary and secondary sources in a number of Western European languages, including English, as well as scholarly bodies.
The entries themselves vary considerably in length, from a brief paragraph to several pages. Broad topics are often broken down into separate articles by place, although their titles are arranged to cluster in adjacent alphabetical locations. The article on education in Greece and Rome, for example, extends over four pages, with subsections on successive chronological periods set off by headers using italic font. It is followed by shorter articles on education in Mesopotamia, Greek philosophical views on education, and early Christian education. A reader interested in ancient ideas about time is treated to entries, all filing under “Temps,” on Egyptian, Mazdean, Semitic, and Mesopotamian conceptions of time, plus one on time and astronomy in Greek thought.
As these articles illustrate, many address concepts and social, political, and religious institutions and practices; other examples include purgatory, law, the Roman legion, clothing, bilingualism, temples, and incense. More specific entries for individual persons, deities, ethnic and religious groups, art forms, places, and events abound. In addition to those commonly found in reference sources in classical studies, such as Iamblichus, Catullus, Quintus of Smyrna, Trajan, Zeus, Vindelici, Huns, Greek bronzes, Hellenistic poetry, Thermopylae, Saguntum, and the Roman Civil War of 68-69 CE, the ancient Near East and Egypt are well represented. For example, Hammurabi, Zarathustra, the Babylonian deity Nergal, Safaitic Semitic inscriptions and their writers, the Sadducees, Ugarit, and the western Iranian archaeological site of Tepe Nush-i Jan all have individual entries, as do Amenhotep (under “Aménophis”) III, Mutnedjmet, the Egyptian god Sokar, Copts, Kush, and the Dakhleh Oasis. The lower number of entries for Near Eastern and pre-Ptolemaic Egyptian individuals compared with Greek and Roman ones likely reflects available source information as well as anticipated levels of non-specialist interest. A few methodological articles discuss archaeological topics such as “Télédetection.”
Each entry consists of a header in bold font; the text; a brief bibliography; “see-also” cross-references; and the author’s name. A single entry frequently includes references to multiple related topics.
The extensive 70-page index includes the article titles themselves, identified by asterisks, as well as cross-references to the relevant entry titles, but, like the table of contents, it does not give page numbers—an inconvenience that is somewhat mitigated by the running titles along the head of the pages of the main dictionary, which specify the first entry on the left-hand page and last entry on the right. Another reservation is that to keep the size and binding of this thick paperback manageable, the paper is quite thin, so that the pages feel fragile.
Probably inevitably given the range and complexity of the subjects covered, consulting the Dictionnaire is not always intuitive. For example, looking up under “Égypte,” one can find articles on Egypt, Roman Egypt, Christian Egypt, Egyptian language, Egyptian literature, Egyptology, and even Egyptomania. For Hellenistic Egypt, however, one must consult the index under “Égypte hellénistique,” which refers to three alternative entries, “Alexandrie,” “Bilinguisme (Égypte),” and Hellénistique (Civilisation)”. “Égéens et Égyptiens” provides an interesting discussion on evidences of contacts and political and cultural relations between Aegeans and Egyptians, but there is no reciprocal index term under “Égyptiens et Égéens” to lead to that essay.
The Dictionnaire de l’antiquite´ reflects an ambitious project. Despite the wording of its title, this resource could well be termed a concise encyclopedia. While there are many fine English-language classical dictionaries, this French-language publication is set apart by its broader geographic and chronological scope. Just recently published, The Encyclopedia of Ancient History edited by Roger S. Bagnall and others (Malden, Mass., 2013) dwarfs the Dictionnaire with its 13 volumes—but at a considerably higher cost. It is also significant that the contributors to the Dictionnaire are predominantly continental Europeans, citing sources from multiple countries, so the content does not simply duplicate the scholarship of English-language reference works.
Libraries that already hold a copy of the original 2005 Dictionnaire de l’antiquite´ will not need the 2011 republication due to its unchanged content. For others, it is recommended as a general reference source for academic collections covering ancient European, Near Eastern, and North African cultures, provided that a sufficient number of their students and faculty have a reading knowledge of French. For those enthusiasts of ancient history who can afford it, an individual desk copy could also be appealing.
Dictionary of Archaeological Terms: English-Greek/Greek-English = Lexiko archaiologiko¯n oro¯n: anglika-helle¯nika/helle¯nika-anglika. Nikos Koutsoumpos. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011. 92 p. 19 cm. ISBN 9781905739381: £9.99
An RREA Original Review by Anthony J. Oddo (Yale University)
This volume is an English-Greek/Greek- English dictionary of archaeology with a focus on archaeology related to ancient Greece. In the foreword, the compiler states that “the absence of a specialized bilingual dictionary … of terminology which would facilitate the work of both scholars and students of archaeology has long been noted.” This publication fills the gap. The introduction is short, followed by an extensive bibliography listing the various Greek and non-Greek sources consulted, many of which were written by well-known archaeologists.
As in any dictionary, each entry is listed alphabetically, and each entry is filed word for word. Examples of terms found include klimakostasio [staircase], glauka [owl] (associated with Athena, goddess of wisdom, and an emblem of the city of Athens), geiso [cornice], and varos [weight]. The dictionary excludes place names, personal names, and basically any term not directly related to archaeology. The English words follow British standards of spelling. No distinction is made as to the source of an entry; there are no bibliographical references within individual dictionary entries, nor are any quotations provided with examples of usage in context. No abbreviations or parts of speech are indicated.
This Dictionary of Archaeological Terms would be a welcome addition to the reference collection of an academic or departmental library supporting studies and research in Greek classical archaeology. Within its intended scope, it is comprehensive and detailed, an excellent tool for the archaeologist working in the field or conducting research in the library or laboratory, as well as for the student in the classroom.
Archäologie der Brücken: Vorgeschichte, Antike, Mittelalter, Neuzeit = Archaeology of Bridges [Prehistory, Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Modern Times]. Ed. Marcus Prell. Regensburg: Pustet, 2011. 327 p. ill. maps. 30 cm. ISBN 978-3-7917- 2331-0: EUR 49.90 [11-4]
This well-illustrated collection of papers from a 2009 conference is the first comprehensive collection of essays in German on this topic. The sponsors of the conference and the book are the Bayerische Gesellschaft für Unterwasserarchäologie [Bavarian Society for Underwater Archaeology] and the Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege [Bavarian State Office for Historic Preservation]. The 54 essays (over half of them are in English) present research on bridges in 15 different countries. The essays deal with some 5,000 years of history of bridge construction, the variety of purposes that bridges were required to fulfill, and the social aspect of bridges as places of human contact. It would have been helpful to include a list of terms pertaining to bridges, a bibliography, and an index. [mki/ldl]
Geschichte eines Buches: Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf: 1922-1945; eine Veröffentlichung des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte [The History of a Book: Adolf Hitler‘s Mein Kampf, 1922-1945; A Publication of the Institute for Modern History]. Othmar Plöckinger. 2d updated ed. München: Oldenbourg, 2011. viii, 632 p. ill. maps. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-486-70533-1: EUR 59.80 [11-3]
This claims to be an update of the 2006 first edition (see RREA 12:189), but the updates appear to be modest. The book deals primarily with the history of the reception of Mein Kampf in Germany, the United States, the Soviet Union and East Bloc countries, Great Britain, France, and Austria. The author admits that much more research needs to be undertaken on the reception of Mein Kampf evidenced in newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals. [tk/ldl]
Lexikon zur Homosexuellenverfolgung 1933-1945: Institutionen, Kompetenzen Betätigungsfelder [Encyclopedia of the Persecution of Homosexuals, 1933-1945: Institutions, Authorities, Scope]. Günter Grau. Berlin, Münster: Lit-Verlag, 2011. 391 p. ill. 24 cm. (Geschichte: Forschung und Wissenschaft, 21). ISBN 978-3-8258-9785-7: EUR 199.90 [11-3]
In this encyclopedia, medical historian Günter Grau devotes 236 articles to the topic of the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazi regime. There are 97 biographical sketches, mainly of perpetrators, including those within the NSDAP leadership, physicians who made scientific claims in support of such persecution, lawyers who devised the legal framework to justify it, the few homosexuals who profited from such a system, and some of those who were persecuted, from such notable figures as Magnus Hirschfeld and Hans Scholl to lesser-known individuals like vintner Leopold Obermeyer and bookseller, activist, and actor, Heinz Dörmer. Other articles address agencies such the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RHSA) [Reich Main Security Office] and the Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung [Reich Central Office for Combatting Homosexuality and Abortion]. Eleven entries cover concentration camps, including an article on the topic of concentration camp brothels, and others address institutions that were destroyed by the Nazi regime, such as Institut für Sexualwissenschaft [The Institute for Sexology] founded by Magnus Hirschfeld.
What is meant by “Kompetenzen” and “Betätigungsfelder” is unclear, but seems to encompass “laws, secret orders, and special operations,” including, for example, laws governing the castration of homosexuals. Other topics include the SS, police, and Hitler Youth, as well cover regions, such as Alsace-Lorraine, France, Italy, and Poland, among others.
All articles conclude with references to sources, which are listed along with other relevant titles in the extensive bibliography (p. 341-380). The volume also includes numerous black-and-white illustrations of persons, buildings, title pages, and writings. [sh/jmw]
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