Ancient Worlds: The Search for the Origins of Western Civilization

Author(s): Richard Miles


Across the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Nile Delta, awe-inspiring, monstrous ruins are scattered across the landscape - vast palaces, temples, fortresses, shattered statues of ancient gods, carvings praising the eternal power of long-forgotten dynasties. These ruins - the remainder of thousands of years of human civilization - are both inspirational in their grandeur, and terrible in that their once teeming centres of population were all ultimately destroyed and abandoned. In this major new book, Richard Miles recreates these extraordinary cities, ranging from the Euphrates to the Roman Empire, to understand the roots of human civilization. His challenge is to make us understand that the cities which define culture, religion and economic success and which are humanity's greatest invention, have always had a cruel edge to them, building systems that have provided both amazing opportunities and back-breaking hardship. Miles is above all fascinated by the compromises that make the city work - the mixture of coercion and desire, ceremony and justice, the great public and private spaces created and recreated across the ancient world that defined the focus and meaning of human civilization. This exhilarating, beautifully illustrated book is both a pleasure to read and a challenge to us all to think about our past - and about the present.

Product Information

[for Carthage Must Be Destroyed]: Richard Miles tells this story with tremendous elan, combining the best of modern scholarship with narrative pace and energy. It is a superb achievement, a model for all such endeavours. He is even better on the little-known background to this tale -- Peter Jones The Telegraph [for Carthage Must Be Destroyed]: Miles ... has written an epic and fascinating new history of the city ... [and] performed a splendid feat of resurrectionism -- Tom Holland The Spectator

Richard Miles is the author of Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization. He teaches classics at the University of Sydney and was previously a Newton Trust Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics and Fellow and Director of Studies at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He has written widely on Punic, Roman and Vandal North Africa and has directed archaeological excavations in Carthage and Rome.

General Fields

  • : 9780713997941
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Allen Lane
  • : October 2010
  • : 251mm X 196mm X 27mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Richard Miles
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : very good
  • : 320
  • : full integrated c. 100 colour pictures and maps