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Big History

by John

Big History books

When I came up with the fanciful notion of an interactive timeline that stretches back as far as the Big Bang I thought I was onto something exciting and new. The problem with new ideas these days though, is that you’re only one quick web search away from the realisation that they are anything but.

Although I think the interactive visualisation aspect is still new, it turns out that the unified (multi-disciplinary) approach to history has been around for about 25 years. The study of Big History attempts to combine the timescales of cosmology, geology, paleontology, archeology and history into a single unified timeline. As we have more detailed information about events closer to the present, the result is a naturally logarithmic timeline.

Big History courses have been taught in Australia and the US and David Christian’s excellent lecture series is available from the Learning Company. The information and insights contained in these books are going to be invaluable for structuring periodization for Herodotus.

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