Luigi Cajani

in The Oxford Handbook of World History

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199235810
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History


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This article presents an overview of the different periodizations of world history. It discusses first world histories that originated as part and parcel of religious visions which connect Creation myths and human history; Greek and Roman historiography; the Christian synthesis of salvation; medieval European historiography of the Six Ages and the Four Empires; Muslim historiography; the European discovery of new histories; the challenges against biblical chronology; Voltaire and the Enlightenment; German Aufklärung; Eurocentrism during the nineteenth century; Marxist historiography; UNESCO's world history after World War II; and current trends. The discussion ends with the big history, which places human history within the wider framework of the history of the universe, thus starting with the Big Bang and going through the formation of the galaxies, the solar system, planet Earth, and the geological eras until the evolution of human beings, and down to the present day.

Keywords: world history; historiography; myth; biblical chronology; Eurocentrism; Creation myths; Enlightenment; Aufklärung; World War II; Big Bang

Article.  8740 words. 

Subjects: History ; Methods and Historiography

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