German archaeologist Ernest Diez's trenchant survey of ancient Asia, its habits and habitants, though somewhat short in cultural scope is nevertheless pretty stocky with scholarly detail. A bit pedantic, a bit too particularized, its appeal should lie more with the student and specialist than the general reader. Tracing a peculiar phenomenon, that of the ""god on a mountain"" belief as it manifested itself from Mesopotamia to the Yellow River, through tribal beginnings up into 19th century Mandalay, Professor Diez examines and re-examines all evidence, both the oldest and the very latest. Such ""finds"" include treasures, scrolls, religious texts, expeditionary logs, delineations of ancestor-cults, excavatory sites, minute descriptions of temples and relevant art work -- in short, a study full of academic concern, careful historicity, ample illustrations and very keen observations on aspects of Babel, Isfahan, the Pagoda, Ch'in empire and the Buddhist Grotto. What is missing is simply the Toynbeean synthesis, the Weramian color. This is a monograph, not a panorama. As such it has a precise, if limited, value.