Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity
Studies of history usually focus on the fortunes of a single group over time, but this frequently obscures associations and pressures from other groups that dramatically influenced the group’s behavior. Michael Scott rectifies this problem in his book Ancient Worlds, which connects the Western and Eastern worlds of antiquity, uncovering hidden parallels between Greece, Rome, China, India and the the empires in the middle over the course of about a thousand years. Part one discusses the various political philosophies that these states adopted, from Athens’ direct democracy to Rome’s republic to China’s well-oiled bureaucracy, including how these philosophies developed and their subsequent effect on later national developments. Part two shows us a time of military conflict, when singular leaders like Alexander the Great permanently altered history’s course. Finally, part three discusses how great empires dealt with various new religions, from Christianity to Hinduism and Buddhism. Packed with those stories that resurrect history’s greatest figures, the book is a thrilling delight that immerses you in their lives as it reveals how seemingly disparate threads were tied together after all. This book is well-written and accessible, an instructive and entertaining synopsis of the ancient world.