Know your audience: look at this history porn infographic!

The vertical is time, the horizontal space and the coloured meandering blocks civilisations. Your best bet first time round is to start following one civilisation then jumping to another as your first one narrows to nothing. Repeat.

All the history

I agree, it’s a bit Eurocentric. No way that the Sung dynasty is a third as important as Byzantia! Making the Tang a third of the Arabs? Pfft. Plus the Mongolian and Chinese lines are far too distinct…I could go on. It was written in the 1930s and most of the history I’ve ever read could be read as a rebellion against this tradition. Still. Click through. It’s fascinating even if there is no Africa.

This “Histomap”, according to Slate, was created by John B. Sparks in 1931. Slate seem to think that the horizontal axis is a bit ambiguous and might indicate the author thought history was a zero sum game. The narrowness of the axis representing the reality of printing. No historian I can think of wouldn’t want to make this a fat bottomed pyramid (and who wouldn’t be disappointed when his published says he had a foot and no more).

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