This is a series of 3 books. Each are available to purchase separately or can be bought together for a discount.

Volume 1: Egypt, Greece & Rome
Volume 2: The Medieval World
Volume 3: The Modern World

“The world’s history is the world’s judgement.”
Frederich von Schiller, German poet

“History is philosophy from examples.”
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Greek historian

The general plan of the book traces the rise of three civilisations. The account of Egyptian civilisation seeks to outline some of the chief features that enabled it to survive with remarkably little variation for almost three thousand years. Graeco-Roman civilisation, from its obscure beginning in the world of Homer to its collapse in the fifth century AD, revealed much greater diversity, whilst its final centuries are seen as simultaneous with the rise of the third civilisation, in which we still live, that of Christianity. Every civilisation contains a philosophy, a way of life, that touches the very depths of human experience. Such was the teaching of Hermes Trismegistus in Egypt, of the early philosophers of Greece and of Jesus Christ in Israel.

Ancient tradition challenges the view that mankind is ever progressing from ape-like origins towards an apotheosis of humanity. The study of history tends to confirm the contrary thesis of a gradual descent from a golden age to an age of iron. Yet throughout history there have arisen societies that rise above decline to exhibit the characteristics of a high civilisation, where knowledge and art flourish and inspire later generations. The Advancement of Civilisation in the Western World seeks to portray these exemplary times of human genius, whilst showing them against the background of oft-recurring times of darkness.


Author Details
Brian Hodgkinson qualified as a Chartered Accountant, before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford. During a long teaching career at Sussex University, Dulwich College and St James Schools in London, he developed a strong and diverse interest in writing, which involved studying History, Economics, Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy and epic literature. Brian is the author of a number of Shepheard-Walwyn books.

You can read more about Brian Hodgkinson on his author page. 

This series is published by Originals (an Imprint of Low Price Publications, Delhi, India) and distributed in the UK by Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers with their permission.

Volume 1 was previously published in the UK by St James Publishing but is now out of print. This version has been updated with minor corrections.


Table of Contents

Part 1: Foundations
Chapter 1: A Time to Live The Nature of History
Chapter 2: The Ages of Man The Great Cycles 

Part 2: Egyptian Civilisation
Chapter 3: God Beyond All Name Egyptian Philosophy and Religion 
Chapter 4: Giants in the Earth The Old Kingdom 
Chapter 5: Renewing Births The Middle and New Kingdoms and the Decline of Egypt 

Part 3: Graeco-Roman Civilisation: Homeric Culture
Chapter 6: Minotaur Theseus and Ancient Crete 
Chapter 7: Agamemnon’s Return Mycenaean Society 
Chapter 8: One is the Race of Gods and Men Culture and Religion 
Chapter 9: Since Peace is in the Land The Greek Polis 
Chapter 10:The Crown of Wild Olive The Olympic Games 
Chapter 11: Obedient to their Laws Lycurgus & Sparta 
Chapter 12: Model Cities Colonisation & Solon 
Chapter 13: The Tomb of the Body Pythagoras; Egyptian & Eastern Influences 
Chapter 14: The Gates of Heaven Reforms of Cleisthenes & the Battle of Marathon 
Chapter 15: Triumph of the Greeks The Persian War 
Chapter 16: Alliance into Empire The Delian League 
Chapter 17: The Classical Moment Athenian Culture 
Chapter 18: The Saving Bulwark Pericles 
Chapter 19: A Vision of Hidden Things The Philosophy of Unity 
Chapter 20: Death of a Culture The Peloponnesian War 

Part 4: Graeco-Roman Civilisation: Hellenistic Culture
Chapter 21: A Draught of Hemlock The Teaching of Socrates
Chapter 22: Scourge of Tyranny The Career of Epaminondas 
Chapter 23: Philosopher Kings Plato’s Political Philosophy 
Chapter 24: Son of Zeus Alexander the Great 
Chapter 25: Our Fathers’ Mingled Blood The Foundation of Rome 
Chapter 26: Sacred Fire Numa Pompilius
Chapter 27: Brave Days of Old The Kings of Rome
Chapter 28: Destined to Grow Great The Republic Conquers Italy
Chapter 29: Natural Justice Growth of Roman Government and Law
Chapter 30: Tempered in the Fire War with Carthage
Chapter 31: The Fetters of Greece The Roman Conquest of Greece
Chapter 32: Land and Liberty The Gracchi’s Land Reform 
Chapter 33: Cruel Men of Rome Decline of the Republic 
Chapter 34: But One Only Man Julius Caesar 
Chapter 35: A Better Age of Gold The Rule of Augustus 

Part 5: The Rise of Christian Civilisation
Chapter 36: I Am the True Vine The Life of Jesus Christ
Chapter 37: When Uricon the City Stood Roman Britain
Chapter 38: Care of the Churches St Paul and the Early Church 
Chapter 39: One True Nobility The Empire from Trajan to Marcus Aurelius 
Chapter 40: Saints and Martyrs The Growth of the Church to the Council of Chalcedon 
Chapter 41: Long Autumn of Empire The Fall of the Western Empire and the Creation of Constantinople 

Index of Maps


“Hodgkinson weaves myth and legend into factual evidence so that Homeric heroes have their feet in facts and turn out to have their descendants in every heroic action performed by every person we recognise today as heroic.”
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