Mary Beard How do we look? The eye of faith. London: Profile Books. 240 pp.

This is the script of Mary Beard’s documentaries Civilisations (revisiting Alistair Clark’s Civilisiation). Most worthwhile are the many photographs of astounding works of art from the history of civilisation, mostly architecture and sculpture since this is what survives. Nevertheless I found this book ultimately insubstantial and delivers less than it promises. Although Mary Beard is illuminating in the way she writes about the cultures that produced these works, I’m not sure if she is mounting an argument despite offering a host of comments that don’t enlarge understanding (like “art is bound to faith”). It is more a commentary.