Though centered in the southern Levant, the actual world of the Bible is much larger, stretching across the ancient Near East and filling the eastern Mediterranean Basin. None of the great empires of the ancient Near East or the Mediterranean Basin were born in the Levant. The powers that became Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome all began elsewhere, in lands blessed with resource bases that were more than adequate to prompt urbanization, fuel expansion and, eventually, burst into the full bloom of Empire. Moreover, none were ever really at home in the Levant, either. Rather, they arrived in a succession of waves, inundated the coast and broad inland valleys that cradled the imperial highways of the ancient world, then flowed on. It is the dynamism of these great empires which are focused on through the prism of the Holy Land in this innovative and refreshing book.