A Timeline of History

by G. P. Jelliss

This section of my website is a revision of pages that began as a 'History of Ideas'. The purpose is to provide an outline sketch of the whole of human history, from human evolution to the present day. I feel strongly that it is important for any student of history and of human knowledge generally to have an overview of the broad sweep of events and ideas before becoming absorbed in the study of any one particular period. I begin with a section of 'Prehistory' which covers human evolution and spread to form the first settlements and civilisations. Then a single section on 'Palaeohistory' covers the historical period from −4000 to −800. The rest of 'Recorded History' (where we have written records) is presented over a series of pages, each covering an 'Age' of 400 years (this is a change from the previous scheme that used Ages of 500 years). By dividing time up equally in this way makes clear how the degree of creative activity has varied over the ages. It also shows how reason has struggled with unreason, and that the concept of the Dark Ages is justified. To give an adequate account of the last 400 years would probably require a further subdivision into eight half-centuries. The approach throughout is chronological. Like much of my website this is work in progress. Most recent update March 2020.

History Index

Sources and Notes on Method
Prehistory Human evolution and spread, from −6,000,000 to present (15000 Ages)
Palaeohistory −4000 to −800 (8 Ages)
First Age −800 - −400 Age of Awakening
Second Age −400 - 0 Age of Greece
Third Age 0 - 400 Age of Rome
Fourth Age 400 - 800 Age of Christianity
Fifth Age 800 - 1200 Age of Islam
Sixth Age 1200 - 1600 Age of Renewal
Seventh Age 1600 - 2000 Age of Science
Eighth Age 2000 - 2400 The Present Age