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 background of the realm 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 rapid good fortune, and is now to be had in seventeen languages internationally.
towards the tip of his lengthy lifestyles, Gombrich embarked upon a revision and, eventually, an English translation. a bit historical past of the realm provides his energetic and related to heritage to English-language readers for the 1st time. beautifully 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 artworks, and the unfold and barriers of technological know-how. this can be a textual content ruled now not through dates and evidence, yet by means of the sweep of mankind’s event around the centuries, a advisor to humanity’s achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.
The made from a beneficiant and humane sensibility, this undying account makes intelligible the complete span of human heritage.
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Additional info for A Little History of the World
Its statue near the pyramids is so vast that a whole temple would fit inside. Buried from time to time by the desert sands, the Sphinx has now been guarding the tombs of the pharaohs for more than five thousand years. Who can say how long it will continue to keep watch? And yet the most important part of the Egyptians’ strange religion was their belief that, although a man’s soul left his body when he died, for some reason the soul went on needing that body, and would suffer if it crumbled into dust.
Each pharaoh, they believed, was a son of the sun god, which explains why they feared him so much and obeyed all his commands. In honour of their gods they chiselled majestic stone statues, as tall as a five-storey house, and built temples as big as towns. In front of the temples they set tall pointed stones, cut from a single block of granite. These are called ‘obelisks’ (a Greek word meaning something like ‘little spear’). In some of our own cities you can still see obelisks that people brought back from Egypt.
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. If not more so. On another occasion it was the pharaoh himself who tried to change everything. Akhenaton was a remarkable man who lived around 1370 . He had no time for the Egyptian religion, with its many gods and its mysterious rituals.