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Ancient history for our globalised age: an epic odyssey over 900 years, taking us from the Mediterranean to India and China, taking in the birth of modern politics in Greece and Rome, the building of great empires by war and conquest, and the rise of the world’s great religions.

‘A bold and imaginative page-turner that challenges ideas about the world of antiquity.’ Peter Frankopan (The Silk Roads)

‘This vivid and engaging book brings to life some of the most important moments in ancient history, moments that have shaped not only the politics and culture of bygone eras, but the institutions, thoughts and fantasies of our time.’ Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens)

‘As panoramic as it is learned, this is ancient history for our globalised world.' Tom Holland (Dynasty, Rubicon)

Acclaimed historian and TV presenter Michael Scott guides us through an epic story spanning ten centuries to create a bold new reading of the classical era for our globalised world.

Scott challenges our traditionally western-focused perception of the past, connecting Greco-Roman civilisation to the great rulers and empires that swept across Central Asia to India and China – resulting in a truly global vision of ancient history.

With stunning range and richness Ancient Worlds illustrates how the great powers and characters of antiquity shared ambitions and crises, ways of thinking and forms of governing: connections that only grew stronger over the centuries as political systems evolved, mighty armies clashed, universal religions were born and our modern world was foreshadowed.

Scott focuses on three epochal ‘moments’ across the ancient globe, and their profound wider significance: from 509-8 BCE (birth of Athenian democracy and Rome’s republic, also the age of Confucius’s teachings in China); to 218 BCE (when Hannibal of Carthage challenged Rome and China saw its first emperor); to 312 CE, when Constantine sought to impose Christianity on the Roman world even as Buddhism was pervading China via the vast trading routes we now know as the ‘Silk Roads.’

A major work of global history, Michael Scott’s enthralling journey challenges the way we think about our past, re-draws the map of the classical age to reveal its hidden connections, and shows us how ancient history has lessons for our own times.

Reviews

A bold and imaginative page-turner that challenges ideas about the world of antiquity.

Peter Frankopan, (The Silk Roads)

As panoramic as it is learned, this is ancient history for our globalised world.

Tom Holland, (Dynasty, Rubicon)

This vivid and engaging book brings to life some of the most important moments in ancient history, moments that have shaped not only the politics and culture of bygone eras, but the institutions, thoughts and fantasies of our time.

Yuval Noah Harari, (Sapiens)

Scott has identified three game-changing moments in antiquity… We meet new, colourful, historical players… and re-calibrate our perception of old ones… Offering the Mediterranean and the Far East as a giant chessboard – with individual moves impacting the whole – astute analysis is matched with acute prose: this book reminds us that our own futures have long been written in the narratives of our global neighbours.

Bettany Hughes

Impeccably researched and authoritative... Scott's scholarly but accessible style manages to make this sweeping saga enthralling throughout, as he traces the stories of everyone from Hannibal to Confucius

Alexander Larman, Observer

A path-breaking contribution to the going interest in seeing the ancient world as a whole, embracing China and India as much as Greece and Rome. And what's more, it's a joy to read!

Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules for Now

This kind of bold, transgressional ancient history is still vanishingly rare…Michael Scott’s Ancient Worlds is a welcome addition to the genre

Times Literary Supplement

Impressive… Scott challenges a western-centric conception of antiquity.

Gerard DeGroot, The Times

Many valuable insights into the “ancient worlds”.

Irish Times

An ambitious reordering of ancient worlds… [which] brings the study of Greece and Rome together with Central Asia, India and China… Thoroughly admirable… This is an impressive feat.

Harry Mount, Spectator

Deftly sweeps us along on an illuminating voyage through history, revealing how an array of political systems and religious beliefs came to be, and the growing connections between them.... Provides a thoroughly enjoyable and much wider view of the ancient world and a better understanding of how it shaped our own.

David Bentley, Minerva

Deftly sweeps us along on an illuminating voyage through history, revealing how an array of political systems and religious beliefs came to be, and the growing connections between them.... Provides a thoroughly enjoyable and much wider view of the ancient world and a better understanding of how it shaped our own.

David Bentley, Minerva

Globalization is nothing new: early civilizations already shared formative experiences and interacted in many different ways. By re-connecting multiple ancient worlds from Europe to India and China that have long been viewed in isolation, Michael Scott deftly steers the study of ancient history into the twenty-first century. A landmark achievement.

Prof Walter Scheidel, Stanford University

Ground-breaking

Mail on Sunday

This kind of bold, transgressional ancient history is still vanishingly rare…Michael Scott’s Ancient Worlds is a welcome addition to the genre.

Times Literary Supplement

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099592082

    March 15, 2017

    Windmill Books

    432 pages

    RRP $30.00

    Online retailers

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  • EBook

    9781473506794

    June 30, 2016

    Cornerstone Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • Booktopia NZ

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