The Harvest of Hellenism. A History of the Near East from Alexander the Great to the Triumph of Christianity.
Allen & Unwin, London, 1972. 800p. ills.(maps). Bound. There has long been a need for an introductory history of Hellenism in English, wider in scope than Tarn and Griffith's excellent Hellenistic Civilisation; Professor Peters has at last provided such a book. It is not perhaps as balanced or as centrally orientated as Tarn (...) but it will join him as a standard work (...). The two greatedst strenghts of the book must be mentioned. The first is in an area not obviouslu central to Peters's theme. His special interest in later Greek philosophy has led him to write a series of section on philosophy, which, if perhaps they somewhat overbalance the structure of the book, are the most perceptive and sympathetic short introduction to philosophy from Theophrastus to Porphyri that I know. This is because Peters sees philosophy as the ancients did, as the result of a tension between intellectual rigour and the yearning of the soul for emotional satisfaction. (...) Les remarkably, but more significantly for this theme, Peters manages to explain convincingly the three most important historical phenomena of his period, the transformation of Judaism from a Messianic to a rabbinical religion, the synthesis which produced Christianity, and how Christianity became a universal religion. This is because once again he does not take a one-sided view of religion: just as philosophy is for him an emotional pursuit, so religion has its intellectual aspects. It is in areas such as this that Peters's book rises above the level of general history, and becomes a work that even professionals will read with interest.' (OSWYN MURRAY in The Classical Review (New Series), 1973, 237-38).