ancient history, Indian history, Chinese history


Michael Scott, Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick in England, who has written prolifically on Ancient Greece and the Greco-Roman world, has broadened his scope in writing the book under review to include consideration of the ancient histories of selected societies in the Near East, India, Central Asia, and China. Scott is motivated by the thought that, scholars, particularly in the West, have been provincial, treating the designation, ancient worlds or ancient history, as if Greece, Rome, and the peripheral areas with which they interacted constituted the sum total of the ancient world. Or, if they are aware of the “ancient” histories of India and China, they treat these histories as if they evolved completely apart or only evoke certain common elements: trade, systems of government, social evolution, religion, literature, concentrating them in what Scott calls “thematic silos” that may be strong in terms of comparisons but weak in terms of connectivity.