In its modern form, the systematic study of World History began in the 1720s, when a group of Englishmen undertook an enormous publication based on what they took to be the British public's newfound interest in far-flung places around the world. This publication gave the peoples of the world their first historical identity, at least in the English language. As the Age of Exploration opened the European mind to the world in its vast extent, the publishers called this work the "Universal History." At 64 volumes, it is still the largest history set ever published, and took the greater part of the 18th Century to finish (1728-1766). One by one the volumes arrived to the subscriber's house like a newspaper or monthly magazine. Suffice to say, not many complete sets still exist, and probably no one currently alive has actually red the whole thing (but that may change- as the Google search engine company is digitizing it!). Hey, at least its not microfishe!

The first 20 volumes of the 64 volume "Universal History"

250 years ago, this enormous set satisfied a need to know. See more about it here. Its sheer bulk made it hard to pass around, of course, but the idea caught on. Soon, smaller and more readable 'universal histories' appeared. After the French and American Revolutions, in the early 1800s, nationalism and romantic ideas stuck a cord, leading to further interest about who the peoples of the world are and what they are like. 


Year    Author                       Title of World History Book

-400s   Bible                            Old Testament
-400s   Herodotus                    The Histories
-300s   Ephorus                        History
-100s   Polybius                       The Histories
-90s    Sima Qian                     Records of the Grand Historian
-60s    Lucretius                       On the Nature of Things
-40s    Diodorus                       Library of History
-20s    Livy                              Annals of the Roman People
40s     Seneca                          Naturales Quaestiones
300s    Eusebius of Caesarea    Ecclesiastical History
400s    Augustine of Hippo       City of God
400s    Orosius                        Seven Books of History Against the Pagans
500s    Gregory of Tours          Ten Books of Histories
600s    The Venerable Bede     Ecclesiastical History
600s    Isidore of Seville           The Etymology
900s    Al Tabari                      History of Prophets and Kings
1100s   Goffredo da Viterbo    Liber Universalis
1100s   Otto von Freising         History of the Two Civic Societies
1100s   Joachim of Fiore          Harmony of the Old and New Testaments
1200s   Helinand of Froidmont Chronicon
1200s   Vincent of Beauvais      The Great Mirror
1200s   Jans der Enikel             World Chronicle
1300s   Ranulf Higden               Polychronicle
1300s   R. al-Din Hamadani      Compilation of Chronicles
1300s   Jean Froissart               Chronicles
1400s   Ibn Khaldun                  Muquaddimah
1400s   Various                         Yongle’s Encyclopedia
1500    Marcantonius Sabellicus Enneades sive Rhapsodia historiarum
1554    Marcin Bielski               World Chronicle
1589    Mattias Flacius              Magdeburg Centuries
1607    Caesar Baronius            Annales
1610    Walter Raleigh               History of the Whole World
1666    Peter Heylyn                  Cosmographie
1682    Jacques-Benigne Bossuet Discourse on the History of the Whole World
1747    George Sale et al.           Universal History – Antient Part
1757    Voltaire                          Essay on Manners and Spirit of Nations
1758    Ludwig von Holberg       Synopsis of Universal History
1765    Tobias Smollett et al.       Universal History – Modern Part
1772    Claude Millot                  Elements of General History
1784    Johann von Herder          Reflections on the Philosophy of History
1784    Immanuel Kant                Idea for a Universal History
1789    Marquis de Condorcet    Sketch of the Progress of the Human Mind
1789    Friedrich Schiller             What is Universal History?
1793    Louis-Pierre Anquetil       Summary of Universal History
1795    John Adams                    A View of Universal History
1804    William Fordyce Mavor   Universal History
1811    Johannes von Muller        An Universal History
1819    Frederick Butler              Sketches of Universal History
1822    Conrad Malte-Brun         Universal Geography
1824    Leopold von Ranke         Various
1830    Dionysus Lardner            Outlines of Universal History
1830    Royal Robbins                 The World Displayed
1832    George Putnam                Tabular Views of Universal History
1835    Emma Willard                  System of Universal History
1835    Alexander Fraser Tytler   Universal History to the Reign of George II
1837    Georg W. F. Hegel          Philosophy of History
1840    Charles von Rotteck        General History of the World
1844    Samuel Maunder              Treasury of History
1847    Henry White                     Elements of Universal History
1853    Georg Weber                   Outlines of Universal History
1859    Samuel G. Goodrich         History of All Nations
1869    Evert Duyckinck               History of the World
1874    William Swinton                Outlines of World History
1880    Karl Julius Ploetz              Epitome of Universal History
1882    Edmund Ollier                  Cassell’s Illustrated Universal History
1885    George Park Fisher          Outlines of Universal History
1885    John Clark Ridpath           Cyclopaedia of Universal History
1887    Nugent Robinson              A History of the Whole World with Sensations
1888    Friedrich Ratzel                 History of Mankind
1889    Philip Van Ness Myers     General History for Colleges and High Schools
1893    John Clark Ridpath           Great Races of Mankind
1898    Israel Smith Clare             Library of Universal History
1901    Hans L. Helmolt               The History of the World
1902    Justi et al.                         History of All Nations
1904    Henry Smith Williams        Historian’s History of the World
1905    Josephus Nelson Larned   World History, or, Seventy Centuries
1907    Henry Cabot Lodge          History of Nations
1911    Houston S. Chamberlain    Foundations of the Nineteenth Century
1912    Victor Duruy                     A General History of the World
1913    Edward Ellis                      Story of the Greatest Nations
1914    Eva March Tappan           The World’s Story
1915    James Bryce et al.             The History of All Nations
1919    H.G. Wells                        The Outline of History
1919    Oswald Spengler               Decline of the West
1921    Hutton Webster                 World History
1921    Hendrik W. Van Loon       The Story of Mankind
1925    Charles F. Horne               The World and its People
1926    James Henry Breasted        The Conquest of Civilization
1926    James Harvey Robinson     The Ordeal of Civilization
1927    Albert McKinley                World History Today
1928    Lynn Thorndike                  A Short History of Civilization
1928    Geoffrey Parsons                The Stream of History
1929    John A. Hammerton            The Universal History of the World
1932    Carlton Hayes                    World History
1934    Jawaharlal Nehru                Glimpses of World History
1934    Arnold Toynbee                  A Study of History
1935    Harry Elmer Barnes            History of Western Civilization
1936    E. H. Gombrich                  A Little History of the World
1936    Will & Ariel Durant             The Story of Civilization
1937    Albert Kerr Heckel             On the Road to Civilization
1938    Edwin Pahlow                     Man’s Great Adventure
1938    Marcus Wilson Jernegan      The Progress of Nations
1940    William L. Langer                Encyclopedia of World History
1941    Edward McNall Burns         Western Civilizations
1946    Carl Becker                       Story of Civilization
1949    Lester Rogers                    Story of Nations
1955    Tielhard de Chardin           The Phenomenon of Man
1955    David Saville Muzzey         The Struggle for Civilization
1955    Crane Brinton                    A History of Civilization
1960    Chester G. Starr                A History of the World
1963    Fay-Cooper Cole              Illustrated Outline of Mankind
1963    Fernand Braudel                History of Civilizations
1963    Leften Stavrianos               A Global History of Man
1963    William McNeill                The Rise of the West
1963    Hawkes et al.                    History of Mankind
1968    Thomas P. Neill                 Story of Mankind
1972    John A. Garraty                 Columbia History of the World
1973    Hayden White                    Metahistory
1974    Edward McNall Burns       World Civilizations
1976    Arnold Toynbee                 Mankind and Mother Earth
1977    Richard Ostrowski              Echoes of Time
1980    Marvin Perry                      Unfinished Journey
1986    Gerald Leinwand                Pageant of World History
1991    Isaac Asimov                     Chronology of World Hsitory
1991    Larry Gonick                     Cartoon History of the World
1992    Larry S. Krieger                World History: Perspectives on the Past
1993    J. M. Roberts                    History of the World
1996    Dorling Kindersley             Chronicle of the World
1997    Elisabeth Ellis et al.            World History: Connections to Today
1997    Nathan Schur                     Relevant History of the World
1997    William T. Hanes et al.       World History: Continuities and Chjange
2000    Geoffrey Blainey                A Short History of the World
2001    Peter Haugen                    World History for Dummies
2004    James C. Davis                 The Human Story
2004    Roger Beck et al.              World History: Patterns of Interaction
2004    David Christian                  Maps of Time
2005    David Fromkin                  Way of the World
2005    Jackson Spielvogel            World History
2007    Peter Stearns et al.            World Civilizations
2007    Filipe Fernandez-Armesto  The World
2008    Timothy C. Hall                 A Complete Idiot’s Guide to World History
2011    Jerry Bentley et al.             Traditions and Encounters
2011    Robert Strayer et al.          Ways of the World
2011    Richard Bulliet et al.           The Earth and its Peoples
2012    John McKay et al.             A History of World Societies





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