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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 way of a publishing acquaintance to aim 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 was released in Vienna to quick good fortune, and is now to be had in seventeen languages around the world.
Toward the tip of his lengthy existence, Gombrich embarked upon a revision and, eventually, an English translation. A Little heritage of the area presents his vigorous and regarding heritage to English-language readers for the 1st time. fantastically designed and freshly illustrated, this can be a publication to be savored and collected.
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 boundaries of technological know-how. this can be a textual content ruled now not by way of dates and proof, yet via the sweep of mankind’s adventure around the centuries, a consultant 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 whole span of human history.
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But that isn’t all the Bible has to say about ancient Babylon. Do you know the story of the Tower of Babel, when the people of a great city tried to build a tower that would reach up to heaven, and God was angry at their pride and stopped them building any 26 higher by making them all speak different languages so that they could no longer understand one another? Well, Babel is Babylon. So now you will be able to understand the story better. For, as you know, the Babylonians really did build gigantic towers ‘the top of which reached even to the heavens’, and they built them so as to be nearer to the sun, the moon and the stars.
So now you can write ‘Osiris’ in hieroglyphs! But think what a job it must have been to decipher all that Egyptian writing when people became interested in hieroglyphs again, two hundred years ago. In fact, they were only able to decipher them because a stone had been found on which the same words were written in three scripts: ancient Greek, hieroglyphs and another Egyptian script. 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.
The Egyptians were immensely proud of their writing – indeed, they were almost in awe of it. And of all professions, that of scribe was the most highly esteemed. Would you like to know how to write using hieroglyphs? In fact, learning this sort of writing must have been incredibly hard, as it’s more like constructing a picture puzzle. If they wanted to write the name of their god, Osiris, they would draw a throne ( ), which was pronounced ‘Oos’, and an eye ( ), which was pronounced ‘iri’, so that the two together made ‘Os-iri’.
A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich