This project had its origins in 1993, when I was invited to give a series of lectures on World History, and I realised that there was a new story to be told. In the mid-1990s I revised the lecture which I gave several times, Around 2000 I wrote the synopsis, and following a trip to Egypt I wrote an Egyptian section (which does not quite fit) and also a section on Greece.
I began writing this site seriously at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006.
At the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006, I wrote a ‘philosophy’ section (not now used)
In April 2006 I wrote the Trobriand Islands, and Sparta, and then I added a short piece on the French Revolution, to put down a marker as it were, for covering later history.
June/July 2006, I wrote a Section on Roman Britain(not used at present ).
On December 2006, wrote new section on the Origins of Rome.
In 2009 I re-wrote a completely new account of the Rise of Rome.
Then in 2010 I began writing a new account of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, concentrating on the role of Diocletian, and the social changes that followed his revision of the taxation system.
Then in March 2010 , I re-wrote Sparta, following a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on the 27th January 2010 , when I was able to photograph some of the objects from Artemis Orthia.
In May 2010 I completed Diocletian and expanded both backwards into the causes of the decline in the inflation of the third centre, and then down to Constantine.
This led me to investigate Christianity, and this went backwards into an investigation of Judaism, which does not quite fit, but may eventually go into the section on the Higher barbarisms.
In 2011 I found the whole site was getting a little unwieldy so I transferred it to WordPress, a content management system that provides a more structured layout for the site.
I also wrote a note on Deir el Medina, explaining the economy of the New Kingdom in Egypt and also a piece on the Greek temple at Epidaurus, where extensive building inscriptions have survived, giving a good example of how the Greek economy actually worked.
Then at Christmas 2011 I read Ian Morris’s Why the West Rules for Now and began writing a short section on China
January 2012. I wrote an extensive section on the Minoans
2012, spring and summer. Writing on the Egyptians, covering the predynastic and down to the age of the pyramids, but I need to complete an account of how the pyramids were erected.
July, August 2012 Wrote the Age of Augustus
September, October 2012 Wrote the fourth century , inspired by the idea that it was the age when Rome turned barbarian – and took on, briefly, some of the barbarian virtues.
I must then complete the account of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
I must then go back and rewrite the account of Greece thoroughly.
January 2013. I have been sidetracked into writing Roman marriage
I have also re-written yet again the introduction, and have also re-jigged Christianity, so that the new page flows logically after the history of the Jews.
March 2013. I return to Egypt, inspired by Barry Kemp’s new book on Amarna. I want to look at how far it is possible, by looking at a town, and its layout, to tell whether it was barbarian or civilised
October 2013. Completed three-parter on Constantine
January 2014. Completed page on Julian the Apostate. At 6,000 words, it is too long
February 2014. Putting up pages on Amarna and Pompeii
I have spent the last year and a half writing about China. In May/June 2014 we went to China for 18 days and this had a major effect on my whole thought about the major themes of this book. I therefore first wrote up an account of our visit which can be found under www.AncientChina.org.uk and then I spent another six months writing up the China sections of this book, firstly a section on the history of China, and then a section on the Governance of China.
This is now complete, which means that the whole of the initial writing of the book is complete. I have just done a spreadsheet to show the length which comes to 174,000 words, which is rather too long. (I have just calculated that Barry Cunliffe’s Europe between the Oceans is around 120,000 words, while Ian Morris’ Why the West Rules is around 220,000 words).
It is time therefore to rewrite, prune, fill out and edit the whole book from the beginning. I am starting off with Greece for which I have written an attempted pagination which can be seen here
It is also time that I approach an agent to see if I can get the book actually published.