Human Race: 10 Centuries of Change on Earth by Ian Mortimer

By Ian Mortimer

We're an remarkable species. over the last millennium of plagues and exploration, revolution and medical discovery, woman’s rights and technological advances, human society has replaced past recognition.

Sweeping in the course of the final thousand years of human improvement, Human Race is a treasure chest of the lunar leaps and lightbulb moments that, for higher or worse, have despatched humanity swerving down a direction that not anyone may well ever have predicted.

But which of the final ten centuries observed the best alterations in human history?

History’s maximum travel consultant, Ian Mortimer, is aware what solution he could supply. yet what’s yours?

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These oracles and the comets nourished the king’s self-image and his official publicity. The prophecies helped create fertile ground for popular support of his campaign against the tyranny of Rome. ”16 The widespread belief in the ancient Near East that heavenly fire or light would announce the birth of a redeemer helps explain another story told about Mithradates. When he was a baby, lightning struck his cradle. Mithradates was unharmed, but the lightning left a distinctive scar—in the shape of a diadem or crown—on his forehead.

12 John Lewis Gaddis’s Landscape of History (2002) was influential in helping me map uncharted areas of Mithradates’ life while maintaining historical fidelity. 13 To narrate (and in a few cases to dramatize) Mithradates’ story, I sometimes flesh out missing elements in the historical record, drawing on known facts, literary and archaeological evidence, comparable events, and probabilities. In these instances, I follow the widely accepted rules for disciplined alternative history, established in Niall Ferguson’s Virtual History (2000): the details must be probable or plausible for Mithradates’ time and place, and they must match contemporary experiences, derived from ancient literature, art, and history and/or archaeology.

On an appointed day in one month’s time, they vowed to kill every Roman man, woman, and child in their territories. The conspiracy was masterminded by King Mithradates the Great, who communicated secretly with numerous local leaders in Rome’s new Province of Asia. ) How Mithradates kept the plot secret remains one of the great intelligence mysteries of antiquity. The conspirators promised to round up and slay all the Romans and Italians living in their towns, including women and children and slaves of Italian descent.

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