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Time in History: Views of Time from Prehistory to the Present Day

Time in History: Views of Time from Prehistory to the Present Day

Synopsis We have never been as obsessed with time as we are now. The more accurately we are able to measure it, the more we worry about it; yet though we complain that it passes too quickly, we seldom question its fundamental characteristics. Is our idea of time, in fact, immutable? Is the way in which we measure it, by clock and calendar, absolute? Most of us are so accustomed to the ideas of time, history, and evolution that we are inclined to forget that these concepts have not always been accorded the importance which we now assign to them. If, however, we are to understand why it is that time tends to dominate our way of life and thought, we must examine the role that it has played throughout history.

Part I. Introduction

Chapter 1. Awareness of TimeAwareness of Time

Chapter 2. Describing Time Time, language, and number

Part II. Time in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Chapter 3. Time at the Dawn of History

Chapter 4. Time in Classical Antiquity

Chapter 5. Time in the Middle Ages

Chapter 6. Time in the Far East and Mesoamerica

Part III. Time in the Modern World

Chapter 7. The Advent of the Mechanical Clock

Chapter 8. Time and History in the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution

Chapter 9. Time and History in the Eighteenth Century

Chapter 10. Evolution and the Industrial Revolution

Chapter 11. Rival Concepts of Time

Chapter 12. Time, History, and Progress

Appendix 1. Leap Years

Appendix 2. The Metonic Calendrical Cycle

Appendix 3. The Calculation of Easter

References