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 by means of a publishing acquaintance to try a heritage of the area for more youthful readers. Amazingly, he accomplished the duty in an severe six weeks, and Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser used to be released in Vienna to instant luck, and is now on hand in seventeen languages the world over.
towards the top of his lengthy lifestyles, Gombrich embarked upon a revision and, eventually, an English translation. a bit background of the area offers his energetic and related to background 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 photograph of wars and conquests, grand artworks, and the unfold and boundaries of technology. this can be a textual content ruled now not by way of dates and proof, yet by means of the sweep of mankind’s event around the centuries, a consultant to humanity’s achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.
The fabricated from a beneficiant and humane sensibility, this undying account makes intelligible the total span of human historical past.
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It was still a tremendous puzzle, and great scholars devoted their lives to it. You can see that stone – it’s called the Rosetta Stone – in the British Museum in London. We are now able to read almost everything the Egyptians wrote. 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.
One such pharaoh was King Cheops, who lived in about 2500 . He summoned all his subjects to help construct his tomb. He wanted a building like a mountain, and he got it. You can still see it today. It’s the Great Pyramid of Cheops. You may have seen pictures of it, but you still won’t be able to imagine how big it is. A cathedral would fit comfortably inside. Clambering up its huge stone blocks is like scaling a mountain peak. And yet it was human beings who piled those gigantic stones on top of each other.
If you remember, the Egyptian pictures were very beautiful, but rather severe and stiff, a bit like their priests. This was not the case in Crete. What mattered most to them was to catch animals or people in rapid motion: hounds chasing wild boar, and people leaping over bulls – nothing was too hard for them to paint. The kings of the Greek cities clearly learnt a great deal from them. But by 1200 this time of splendour was over. For it was at around that time (some two hundred years before the reign of 35 King Solomon) that new tribes came down from the north.
A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich