By E. H. Gombrich
In 1935, with a doctorate in artwork heritage 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 extreme six weeks, and Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser was once released in Vienna to quick good fortune, and is now to be had in seventeen languages the world over.
towards the tip of his lengthy lifestyles, Gombrich embarked upon a revision and, eventually, an English translation. a bit historical past of the area offers his vigorous and concerning historical past to English-language readers for the 1st time. fantastically designed and freshly illustrated, this can be 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 obstacles of technological know-how. this can be a textual content ruled now not through dates and evidence, yet through the sweep of mankind’s adventure around the centuries, a advisor 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 whole span of human heritage.
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This time Xerxes himself took command. But when the Persians tried to cross the narrow neck of sea which separates Asia Minor from today’s Istanbul, on a bridge made of boats, rough waves tore the bridge apart. In his fury Xerxes had the waves lashed with chains. But I doubt if the sea took any notice. One part of this gigantic army attacked Greece by sea, while another part marched overland. In northern Greece, a small army of Spartans, who had made an alliance with the Athenians, tried to block the Persian advance in a narrow pass called Thermopylae.
For You we pluck our harps, for You we sing. So sang the ancient Egyptians. And they were right. For, thanks to the Nile, their land grew rich and powerful. Mightiest of all was their king. One king ruled over all the Egyptians, and the first to do so was King Menes. Do you remember when that was? It was in 3100 . And can you also remember – perhaps from Bible stories – what those kings of Egypt were called? They were called pharaohs. A pharaoh was immensely powerful. He lived in a great stone palace with massive pillars and many courtyards, and his word was law.
But one thing united the Greeks: their religion and their sport. And I say ‘one thing’ because, strangely enough, sport and religion weren’t two separate things – they were closely connected.