Universal history

A universal history is a work aiming at the presentation of a history of all of mankind as a whole, coherent unit.[1] A universal chronicle or world chronicle typically traces history from the beginning of written information about the past up to the present.[2] Therefore, any work classed as such purportedly attempts to embrace the events of all times and nations in so far as scientific treatment of them is possible.[3]

Universal history in the Western tradition is commonly divided into three parts, viz. ancient, medieval, and modern time.[4] The division on ancient and medieval periods is less sharp or absent in the Arabic and Asian historiographies. A synoptic view of universal history led some scholars, beginning with Karl Jaspers,[5] to distinguish the Axial Age synchronous to "classical antiquity" of the Western tradition.[6] Jaspers also proposed a more universal periodization—prehistory, history and planetary history. All distinguished earlier periods belong to the second period (history) which is a relatively brief transitory phase between two much longer periods.

  1. ^ Lamprecht, Karl (1905). What is history? Five lectures on the modern science of history. E. A. Andrews (trans.), William Edward Dodd (trans.). New York: Macmillan Co. pp. 181–227. OCLC 1169422.
    Carl Ploetz. 1883. Epitome of ancient, mediaeval and modern history. Introduction, pages ix–xii.
    Jacques Bénigne Bossuet, James Elphinston. An universal history: from the beginning of the world, to the Empire of Charlemagne. R. Moore, 1810. page 1-6 (introduction)
  2. ^ History begins at the point where monuments become intelligible and documentary evidence of a trustworthy character is fortheoming but from this point onwards the domain is boundless for Universal History as understood. (Universal history: the oldest historical group of nations and the Greeks by Leopold von Ranke. Preface, pg. x)
  3. ^ Leopold von Ranke. Universal history: the oldest historical group of nations and the Greeks. Scribner, 1884. An epitome of universal history by A. Harding. Page 1.
  4. ^ H. M. Cottinger. Elements of universal history for higher institutes in republics and for self-instruction. Charles H. Whiting, 1884. pg. 1+.
  5. ^ The Origin and Goal of History, (London: Yale University Press, 1949).
  6. ^ Samuel N. Eisenstadt, Axial Age Civilizations, (New York: New York State University Press, 1986).

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