A Little History of the World

A Little History of the World

E. H. Gombrich

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 030014332X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In 'A Little History of the World' Ernst Gombrich tells the story of man from the stone age to the atomic bomb. There emerges a colourful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, the spread and limitations of science and tribes evolving towards society.

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thousand years old, and Joseph and his brothers must have mar-velled at them, just as we do today. Rather than return to their own country, Joseph’s brothers and their children settled in Egypt, and before long had to toil for the pharaoh as the Egyptians did at the time of the pyramids. In the first chapter of Exodus we read: ‘And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick . . .’ In the end, Moses

After all, Gautama spent six whole years thinking about this and nothing else. The idea that came to him, his great Enlightenment, the solution to human suffering, was this: if we want to avoid suffering, we must start with ourselves, because all suffering comes from our own desires. Think of it like this. If you are sad because you can’t have something you want – maybe a book or a toy – you can do one of two things: you can do your best to get it, or you can stop wanting it. Either way, if you

adopted his young cousin, whose name was Ali. Strong and vigorous, with black hair and beard, eagle nose and heavy, loping gait, Muhammad was highly respected. He was known as ‘the Trustworthy One’. He had shown an early interest in questions of religion and enjoyed talking not just with Arab pilgrims who came to the shrine at Mecca, but also with Christians from nearby Abyssinia, and with Jews, of whom there were large numbers in Arabian oasis towns. In his conversations with Jews and

them a good deal of trouble, and Maximilian the Last Knight was no exception. They exercised almost unlimited power over their fiefdoms and had become increasingly reluctant to accompany their emperor into battle when he commanded them to do so. With the arrival of money and cities and gunpowder, the granting of land with bonded peasants in return for military service had become as outdated as chivalry. Which is why, when Maximilian went to fight the French king for his Italian possessions, he

Meanwhile the Portuguese had discovered the true sea route to the Indies, where their behaviour was little better than that of the Spaniards. All the wisdom of ancient India meant nothing to them. They too wanted gold, and nothing else would do. In the end, so much gold reached Europe from India and America that burghers grew richer and richer as knights and landowners grew poorer and poorer. And because all the ships sailed out westwards and returned from the west, it was Europe’s western ports

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