I do still remember more and fewer two months ago, I bought this magnificent old book when there was a bazaar of book shop at State Islamic University of Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta. Well, this is my campus I study there. This book seems very old, a little bit dusty and grim with old green color. There is no picture even an illustration whether in front and back cover. The title of this one is ‘The Story of the Ancient World’ by H.A. Clement. It was belong to Dover Height Girls’ High School at November, 1959. The book’s contain consists of the story from the earliest times to the fall of Rome. Earliest times mean from the pre-historic times. First gazing this book, I felt love and wanted to know more about this one. Then, I bought this book for IDR 15000 or a dollar American if I converted it.
I think this is an amazing book that has been written many decades ago. I can know what does the pre-historic aged, the great ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Assyria and Persia civilizations. About ancient Persia, the story of 300 Spartans was based on true event. Under their King ‘Leonidas’ the Spartans fought of war bravely to obstacle a Persian Empire under Darius and continued after his death by his son Xerxes. Greek city states had been borne many great philosophers and so on with the Roman Empire. I just already have known that firstly Roman was a kingdom, then became a republic and last had become an Empire. Two Empires exactly. West Roman Empire which was located in Italy and East Empire in Byzantine Constantinople or Turkey at present day.
What bring me to interest it that Jesus Christ born 30 years after Cesar Augustus had become Emperor. He died on cross at Cesar Tiberius’s reign. Unfortunately, there is some misinformation that the author gives explanation. He said in his book that Roman Empire had fallen because of massive attack for centuries by Barbarians of Anglo, Saxon, Celtic, Goth and Hun. Meanwhile, according to general valid stories, Rome had fallen because the war against The Empire of Ottoman (Turkey Utsmani). That is why Constantinople changed its name becomes Istanbul.
One more dismissed information that H.A. Clement has told about Islam, that is he uses term ‘Mohammedanism’ as Islam religion that brought by Prophet Mohammed. This is very clear that he uses term that had been used by many older orientalists before him such Ignaz Goldzieher (Bulgaria), and after him like A.J. Arberry (England), Joseph Schactz (Canada), etc. Clement denies the term of Islam.
History isn’t just a usual story. Some historians act to being neutral/impartially, but some of them act to distort the real happened before. Anyway, this is a quite good book that I recommend to you for reading it. Time-Chart that enclosed in book, will tell you the summary with pretty better understanding to read a history world.
Omar, (The reviewer)