From the 1740s a group of Scots based mainly in Edinburgh and Glasgow gained increasing recognition in a range of fields including philosophy, history, law, science, medicine, literature, economics, and what were to become the social sciences. This achievement, unmatched in England, was of major importance in European terms and has become known as the Scottish Enlightenment. It is often associated with the writings of its two greatest figures; David Hume, perhaps Britain’s most original social philosopher, and Adam Smith who established the discipline of economics. But Hume and Smith did not work in isolation. They interacted with other writers whose works, although little read today, were important in their time. Adam Ferguson and John Millar established modern sociology while William Robertson, a historian with a strong sociological interest, was eclipsed in his day only by Gibbon. Together these and other men created a close-knit scholarly community.