Professor Michael Scott, Classics and Ancient Civilisation

In his book Ancient Worlds: An Epic History of East and West (2016), Michael Scott explores history as a “connected web of entanglement and interaction” across the whole globe, but also zoomed into small fascinating details that throw new light on the past, its people, and their stories. This is more than just a great read, it’s a call to expand our horizons as researchers, to be more open to interconnections, even if they make things complicated and messy. Here’s a sample from the book:

“Across university departments, across countries, whole tribes of historians study and write about their worlds without feeling the need to raise their eyeline to the wider context of the different human civilisations living and breathing at the same time around the globe, even when the connections sit glaringly before us. We are in the twenty-first century, a global community. And yet, at the same time, ironically, we seem to prefer to write and read about history as if it happened in unconnected, compartmentalised chunks. But what if we undertook to tell a bigger story – not of a monolithic ‘Ancient World’, but of many and diverse ancient worlds?”