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Books in brief: ‘Ancient Worlds: An Epic History of East and West’ by Michael Scott

"This book reminds us that our own futures have been long written in the narratives of our global neighbours."

ancientworlds-coverAncient Worlds: An Epic History of East and West by Michael Scott (Hutchinson, £25)

There is a new confidence among historians. Following on from Peter Frankopan’s magisterial The Silk Roads (note the plural) we now have Michael Scott’s Ancient Worlds. Scott has identified three game-changing moments in antiquity within a wide world that spanned the Indian subcontinent, China, Greece and Rome. Via piquant examples—the book starts with an ancient Greek’s eyewitness account of man-eating ants in India —we hear how politics, war and gods catalysed the story of civilisation in the…

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