A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich

By E. H. Gombrich

In 1935, with a doctorate in paintings heritage and no prospect of a role, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich used to be invited through a publishing acquaintance to try a historical past 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 rapid luck, 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 background of the realm provides his full of life and concerning historical past to English-language readers for the 1st time. beautifully designed and freshly illustrated, it is a e-book 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 photo of wars and conquests, grand artistic endeavors, and the unfold and barriers of technological know-how. this can be a textual content ruled no longer by means of dates and evidence, yet through the sweep of mankind’s event 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 whole span of human background.

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It is worth remembering that they were composed shortly before 800 . When the Greeks came to Greece, they were not yet Greeks. Does that sound strange? Yet it is true. For the fact is that when the tribes from the north first invaded the lands they were to occupy, they weren’t yet a unified people. They spoke different dialects and were obedient to different chieftains. They were tribes rather like the Sioux or the Mohicans you read about in stories of the Wild West, and had names such as the Dorians, Ionians and Aeolians.

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.

That was still to come. It came after the death of Cambyses, during the reign of a great king named Darius. He governed the vast Persian empire – which now stretched from Egypt to the frontiers of India – in such a way that nothing happened anywhere that he himself had not decreed. He built roads so that his orders might be carried without delay to the furthest parts of his kingdom. And even his highest officials, the satraps, were spied on by informers known as ‘the king’s eyes and ears’. Darius now began to extend his empire out into Asia Minor, along whose coasts lay the cities of the Ionian Greeks.

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