As current events have made painfully obvious, the Middle East is a region long torn by strife and traditions of warfare. In this elegant, fast-paced, and well thought out cultural and military history, T. C. F. Hopkins, author of Confrontation at Lepanto, provides a remarkable glimpse into the origins of the conflicts that formed the ancient world as well as the world we have inherited. This book examines the development of the traditions and hostilities that have grown from millennia of conflict and looks at the precarious balance between the West and the Middle East. Focusing on complex rivalries, from the Ancient Egyptians and Hittites to the five-hundred-year conflict between the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, this book seeks to shed light on the character of the region, and why it has borne and continues to bear a critical role in world affairs. Incorporating the most recent discoveries and scholarship, Empires, Wars, and Battles provides both an account of political and military events and a survey of the cultures and societies of the ancient Near East. The straightforward, accessible text is clear and credible to the well-read history buff, but understandable and fascinating to the reader who knows nothing about ancient or military history. There are few books on the market that can claim to cover this complex, timely material in such a comprehensive and interesting fashion.