The Timetables of History

by Bernard Grun

What is The Timetables of History

The Timetables of History is a translation of much of the material from the Kulturfahrplan by Werner Stein, 1946.1 The content in the book is laid out as a timeline beginning with -5000. The entries in the timetables are brief. This book is not meant to have history in detail, there are already plenty of resources for that. This book is a "Horizontal Linkage of People and Events" [quoted from the cover] where you can read what was going on in the world during a certain year or a span of time. On every two-page spread, there are seven columns. The column headings are listed below.

  1. History, Politics
  2. Literature, Theater
  3. Religion, Philosophy, Learning
  4. Visual Arts
  5. Music
  6. Science, Technology, Growth
  7. Daily Life

A photograph of my copy of the book. I tended use yellow highlight on some entries. To see a better view of the book, use the book store links I have on this page in the right column, both have inside images of the book that you may view.

timetables of history book

Sample from the book (every entry from time era not shown; in some time eras some columns are blank and sometimes they are all filled).

1173 Queen Eleanor imprisoned (-1185) blank Canonization of Thomas à Becket blank blank blank First authenticated influenza epidemics
1174 Henry II does penance at Canterbury for murder of Becket blank blank Campanile of Pisa ("Leaning Tower") built blank blank Earliest horse races in England

Why I Recommend The Timetables of History

The Timetables of History is a starting point for an overview of concurrent events in the different areas of the lives of people. In my opinion, history is much more interesting when it is given a setting, such as knowing that in the year that Columbus was sailed across the ocean for the first time, King Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain expelled the Jews from Spain, Henry VIII was a toddler, Henry the VII invaded France, and Martin Luther, Albrecht Durer, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Caravaggio were alive.


1Schwed, Peter, The Timetables of History, Publisher's Note, 1991

Donna Young

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