Presses Universitaires de France
Unlike Samuel P. Huntington, whom the author refers to often in Orients/Occidents, Camous believes that a clash of civilizations began not thirteen centuries ago, but two hundred and fifty centuries ago, and that it has had less to do with wars of religion, in particular those pitting Islam vs. Christianity, than with various peoples of the Orient and Occident in proximity with one another finding themselves at violent odds. And more often than not he explains, the great wars of human history can be seen as battles at a particular point in time over a distinct culture of the individual: the Oriental putting more value on the masses and being a nomadic civilization, and the Occidental bearing close resemblance to the Greek model of citizenship with much value placed on the individual. From the battle of Marathon in 490 BCE to today’s invasion of Iraq, the author presents the world in a continuous state of upheaval over peoples of the Orient and Occident mixed with a territorial conflict of some sort. He concludes that the more apt term for “clash of civilizations” might be clash of identities, in order to take into account the internal differences that add up to lead a people to wage war against another.
Thierry Camous :
Thierry Camous has a Ph.D. in ancient history. He teaches history at the Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis and has also taught at the University of Guangzhou in China. He is a former student of the École Française de Rome, and is a researcher at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique. His latest work, Orients-Occidents, 25 siècles de guerre (PUF, 2007), has been translated into several languages.