Ancient Worlds: The Search for the Origins of Western Civilization

Ancient Worlds: The Search for the Origins of Western Civilization

By Richard Miles

'Ancient Worlds really does put flesh on the bones of history and Richard Miles brings long lost cities to life'  Observer
Ancient Worlds tells the epic story of civilization, and the cities that made us who we are.
The path of human progress is one of enlightenment and cruelty, achievement and bloodshed, creation and destruction. Here Richard Miles reaches back into our distant past to bring alive its most glorious and terrible people and places: from the first ever city in Mesopotamia to the death cults of Egypt, from the Phoenician seafarers who invented the alphabet to the brutal Assyrian empire, and on to the great city-states of Athens and Rome.
By choosing to live together with strangers in vast urban settings, Miles shows, humans harnessed the very best and the worst of ourselves, setting civilization in motion and forging the modern world.
'An epic, spanning five millennia and half the globe'  Daily Telegraph
'Engaging . . . full of interesting things about the radical social experiment of the city-state, and the new ways of living it permitted'  Independent

Format & Editions



November 7, 2011

Penguin Press (UK Adult)

RRP $27.99

Buy now

Online Retailers


Find your local Bookstore at

Also by Richard Miles