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The rise of the modern absolutist monarchies in Europe constitutes in many ways the birth of the modern historical epoch. Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, the companion volume to Perry Anderson's Lineages of the Absolutist State, is a sustained exercise in historical sociology to root the development of absolutism in the diverse routes taken from the slave-based societies of Ancient Greece and Rome to fully-fledged feudalism. In the course of this study Anderson vindicates and the refines the explanatory power of a Marxist conception of history, whilst casting a fascinating light on Greece, Rome, the Germanic invasions, nomadic society, and the different patterns of the evolution of feudalism in Northern, Mediterranean, Eastern and Western Europe.