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The author examines the environmental history of the classical period and argues that the decline of ancient civilisations resulted in part from exploitation of the natural world. He offers a detailed look at the impact of humans and their technologies on the ecology of the Mediterranean basin.
J. Donald Hughes is John Evans Distinguished Professor and a professor emeritus of history at the University of Denver. His books include The Mediterranean: An Environmental History, An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life, and What is Environmental History?
"A significant contribution to understanding the relationship between Classical Civilization in the Mediterranean Basin and its contemporary natural environment during the period from 800 B.C. to 600 A.D [...] Worthwhile and thought-provoking reading."
– Bryn Mawr, Classical Review
"This backward glance at glorious civilizations – now vanished, in part, because they neglected the long-term limits of their growth – should serve as an object lesson to those who argue that goodwill and technical ingenuity alone can sustain societies indefinitely."