A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich
By E. H. Gombrich
In 1935, with a doctorate in paintings historical past and no prospect of a task, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich used to be invited via a publishing acquaintance to try a heritage of the realm for more youthful readers. Amazingly, he accomplished the duty in an excessive six weeks, and Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser used to be released in Vienna to instant good fortune, and is now on hand in seventeen languages the world over.
towards the tip of his lengthy lifestyles, Gombrich embarked upon a revision and, finally, an English translation. a bit historical past of the realm offers his energetic and related to background to English-language readers for the 1st time. fantastically designed and freshly illustrated, this can be a booklet to be savored and picked up.
In 40 concise chapters, Gombrich tells the tale of guy from the stone age to the atomic bomb. In among emerges a colourful photograph of wars and conquests, grand artistic endeavors, and the unfold and obstacles of technology. it is a textual content ruled now not via dates and proof, yet through the sweep of mankind’s adventure around the centuries, a consultant to humanity’s achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.
The made of a beneficiant and humane sensibility, this undying account makes intelligible the entire span of human background.
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And they took just as much care as they did with their corpses, when they preserved them from rotting away, in preserving all their ancient traditions over the centuries. Their priests made quite sure that no son did anything his father had not done before him. To them, everything old was sacred. Only rarely in the course of all that time did people turn against this strict conformity. Once was shortly after the reign of King Cheops, about 2100 , when the people tried to change everything. ’ But it did not last long, and soon everything was as strict as before.
And the Phoenicians passed on to them their wonderful way of writing using letters. You shall see what use they made of it. 8 ❖ A U S omething very strange happened between 550 and 500 . I don’t really understand it myself, but perhaps that’s what makes it so interesting. In the high mountain chain that runs north of Mesopotamia a wild mountain tribe had long been living. They had a beautiful religion: they worshipped light and the sun and believed it to be in a state of constant warfare with the dark – that is, with the dark powers of evil.
Not just on the walls of palaces and temples, but also in books, though the books are no longer very legible. For the ancient Egyptians did have books, even that long ago. Of course they weren’t made of paper like ours, but from a certain type of reed that grows on the banks of the Nile. The Greek name for these reeds is papyrus, from which our name for paper comes. They wrote on long strips of this papyrus, which were then rolled up into scrolls. A whole heap of these scrolls has survived. And when we read them we discover just how wise and clever those ancient Egyptians really were.