"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' 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.
Dr Michael Scott is an Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick. He received his doctorate from Christ's College, Cambridge, and lectured at Darwin College, Cambridge, before taking up his role at Warwick. His research and teaching focuses on the ancient history and archaeology of the Greek and Roman worlds. He has written a number of books and written and presented a range of TV programmes, including Delphi: Bellybutton of the Ancient World (BBC4, 2010); Guilty Pleasures : Luxury in Ancient Greece and Luxury in the Middle Ages (BBC4, 2011); Jesus: Rise to Power (National Geographic, 2012); The Mystery of the X Tombs (BBC2, 2013); Ancient Greece - The Greatest Show on Earth (BBC4 2013); Who were the Greeks? (BBC2, 2014); Roman Britain from the Air (ITV, 2014); and Rome's Invisible City (BBC1, 2015). He also presented the BBC Radio 4 series Spin the Globe from 2013-2014.