1st Edition

A Global History of the Ancient World Asia, Europe and Africa before Islam

By Eivind Heldaas Seland Copyright 2022
    168 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    168 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Ancient history has traditionally focused on Greece and Rome. This book takes a global approach to the distant past, following the development of human societies across the globe from the last Ice Age, 11,700 years ago, to the rise of Islam in the seventh century CE.

    The only book of its kind, A Global History of the Ancient World provides succinct narratives of the first Asian, African and European civilizations and their importance for later history without foregoing the key topics of conventional textbooks. Thematic overviews give truly global perspectives on connections, disconnections and parallel developments shaping the ancient world.

    Written for students of history, classics and related disciplines, the book will appeal to anyone interested in widening their view of early history.

    Introduction: Ancient history and global history 

    1. Great changes: Until c. 4000 BCE 

    2. Making sense of past societies 

    3. Metals and the first complex societies: Until c. 1200 BCE 

    4. Early Iron Age crisis and recovery: C. 1200–800 BCE 

    5. City-states and empires in the Iron Age: C. 800–335 BCE 

    6. City-states and collective government 

    7. The empires strike back: 335 BCE–200 CE 

    8. Crisis, consolidation and collapse: 200–651 CE 

    Conclusion: A global history of the ancient world


    Eivind Heldaas Seland is Professor of Ancient History and Premodern Global History at the University of Bergen, Norway. He is the author of Ships of the Desert and Ships of the Sea: Palmyra in the World Trade of the First Three Centuries CE (2016).

    "It is rare indeed that so much information is packaged so neatly between two covers. The book would serve well as a basic textbook in an introductory survey on ancient Eurasia and will also be useful for scholars of ancient Greece and Rome who are looking for an up-to-date overview that puts the ancient Mediterranean in a wider context, both geographically and chronologically."The Classical Review