The Cambridge World History of Violence

Video: Professor Philip Dwyer talks about the Cambridge World History of Violence

General Editors: Professor Philip Dwyer and Professor Joy Damousi (Melbourne University)

This multi-volume world history is the first collection of its kind to look at 'violence' across all periods of human history and across all regions of the world. It capitalises on the growing scholarly interest in the history of violence, which is emerging as one of the key intellectual issues of our time.

These volumes take into account the latest scholarship in the field, providing a narrative of violence, as well as a wide-ranging thematic treatment of different types of violence. It will thus offer the reader a compendium of an experience shared by all peoples, allowing for a comparative history of violence on a vast scale.

Our task is to:

  • Bring a range of scholars together from across disciplines and across regions so that a genuinely comparative, transnational approach is at the heart of the project.
  • Transform how we understand violence through a series of in-depth, long-term studies.
  • Explore both continuity and change in violence based on a range of important themes that hold continuing relevance throughout human development.

This is comparative history on a large scale, bringing together a significant number of scholars from across a wide range of disciplines, with a broad array of language skills and cultural orientations. Our project will, we believe, lead to a better understanding of the interaction between the forces that shape violence, and the ways in which institutions, beliefs and the structures of daily life reduce or amplify the potential for violent action.


Volume 1 The Prehistoric and Ancient Worlds

Edited by Linda Fibiger (University of Edinburgh),  Garrett G. Fagan (Penn State University) and Mark Hudson (University of West Kyushu)

Volume 2 AD 500-AD 1500

Edited by Richard W. Kaeuper (University of Rochester), Deborah Tor (University of Notre Dame) and Harriet Zurndorfer (Leiden University)

Volume 3 AD 1500-AD 1800

Edited by Robert Antony (University of Macau), Stuart Carroll (University of York) and Caroline Dodds Pennock (University of Sheffield)

Volume 4 AD 1800-AD 2000

Edited by Louise Edwards (University of New South Wales), Nigel Penn (University of Cape Town) and Jay Winter (Yale University)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.