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How the World Made the West by Josephine Quinn review – rethinking ‘civilisation’

Like the railway and the telegraph, western civilisation was invented in the 19th century.

It had located its noble roots in classical Athens and Rome, and from then, so the story went, white Europeans embarked on a smooth progression of gradual sophistication and enlightenment that culminated, not coincidentally, in the glories of the British empire.

That’s not quite how it all got started, argues ancient history professor Josephine Quinn in this fascinating account of the cultural and martial doings around the Mediterranean in the two millennia BC, and…

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