Add free shipping to your order with these great books
How the World Made the West : A 4,000-Year History - Josephine Quinn

How the World Made the West

A 4,000-Year History

By: Josephine Quinn

Paperback | 29 January 2024

At a Glance



or 4 interest-free payments of $10.44 with

Expected to ship in at least 4 weeks

A Guardian, Financial Times, New Statesman, The Rest is Politics and Waterstones Highlight for 2024

'Quinn has done a lot more than reinvent the wheel. What we have here is a truly encyclopaedic and monumental account of the ancient world' The Times

'A work of great confidence, empathy, learning and imagination' Rory Stewart

'Bold, beautifully written and filled with insights . . . Extraordinary' Peter Frankopan

'One of the most fascinating and important works of global history to appear for many years' William Dalrymple

The West, the story goes, was built on the ideas and values of Ancient Greece and Rome, which disappeared from Europe during the Dark Ages and were then rediscovered by the Renaissance. But what if that isn't true?

In a bold and magisterial work of immense scope, Josephine Quinn argues that the real story of the West is much bigger than this established paradigm leads us to believe. So much of our shared history has been lost, drowned out by the concept – developed in the Victorian era – of separate 'civilisations'.

Moving from the Bronze Age to the Age of Exploration, How the World Made the West reveals a new narrative: one that traces the millennia of global encounters and exchange that built what is now called the West, as societies met, tangled and sometimes grew apart. From the creation of the alphabet by Levantine workers in Egypt, who in a foreign land were prompted to write things down in their own language for the first time, to the arrival of Indian numbers in Europe via the Arab world, Quinn makes the case that understanding societies in isolation is both out-of-date and wrong. It is contact and connections, rather than solitary civilisations, that drive historical change. It is not peoples that make history – people do.

About the Author

Josephine Quinn is Professor of Ancient History at Oxford University, and Martin Frederiksen Fellow and Tutor of Ancient History at Worcester College, Oxford. She has degrees from Oxford and UC Berkeley, has taught in America, Italy and the UK, and co-directed the Tunisian-British archaeological excavations at Utica. She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books, as well as to radio and television programmes.

Quinn has been elected as the first woman to hold the Professorship of Ancient History at the University of Cambridge and will join the Faculty in 2025.

Other Editions and Formats


Published: 29th February 2024

More in Ancient History to the Year 500

Caesar : Bellum Gallicum Book VII - Christopher B. Krebs
After 1177 B.C. : The Survival of Civilizations - Eric H. Cline

RRP $49.99


Under the Eagle (Eagles of the Empire 1) : Eagles of the Empire - Simon Scarrow
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - Bettany Hughes

RRP $34.99


A Song to Drown Rivers : Deluxe Edition - Ann Liang
The History of Philosophy - A. C. Grayling

RRP $24.99


Fall of Civilizations : Stories of Greatness and Decline - Paul Cooper
Discourses and Selected Writings : Penguin Classics - Epictetus
Cicero : Pro Marco Caelio - Marcus Tullius Cicero

RRP $47.95


The Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives : Penguin Classics - Plutarch
Hidden Prince, The - Tessa Afshar


RRP $30.99


How to Be : Life Lessons from the Early Greeks - Adam Nicolson

RRP $34.99


Rubicon : The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic - Tom Holland