20 NOVEMBER 1926, Page 45

Current Literature

A HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. By M. Rostovtzeff. Translated from the Russian by J. J. Duff. Vol. I. The Orient and Greece. (Clarendon Press. 21s. net.)— Professor Rostovtzeff is well known as one of the most brilliant of Russia's exiled scholars. The revolution tore him from his special Scythian studies and gave him an opportunity of developing his general views of ancient history, first at Madison (Wisconsin), and since then at Yale. His new book, the first Part of which comes down-to the second century before Christ, is a masterly exposition in outline of a vast theme. For detail one can look elsewhere ; but this broad survey by a great historian is uncommonly stimulating. The author lays great stress on the artistic side of the subject and gives a long series Atypical examples, with notes, of Egyptian, Babylonian, to and Greek art. Arranged in order of date, these fine Plates are most 'instructive. How was it, for example, that Egypt was producing about 3000 n.e. masterly statues which Greece about 600 B.C. was timidly trying to imitate ?. A similar interval, be it added, separates the Parthenon sculp- tures from our London War memorials !