H. G. (Herbert George) Wells.

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THE OUTLINE
OF HISTORY.

Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind



BY



H. G. WELLS



Written with the Advice and Editorial Help of

Mr. ERNEST BARKER, SIR H. H. JOHNSTON,

SIR E. RAY LANKESTER, and PROFESSOR

GILBERT MURRAY

And Illustrated by J. F. HORRABIN



REVISED AND CORRECTED EDITION

{With Several New Maps and Diagrams^



GASSELL AND COMPANY, LTD

London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne



First published September 1020.
Reprinted Febmary 1921.



oP'3



INTRODUCTION



"J. j)hilosop1iy of the history of the human race, tvorthy of its name, must
begin with the heavens and descend to the earth, must he charged xoith the
conviction that all existence is one — a si7igle conception sustained from begin-
ning to end upon one identical laio." — Friedrich Ratzel.



THIS Outline of History is an attempt
to tell, truly and clearly, in one con-
tinuous narrative, the whole story
of life and mankind so far as it is known to-
day. It is written plainly for the general
reader, but its aim goes beyond its use as
merely interesting reading matter. There is
a feeling abroad that the teaching of history
considered as a part of general education is
in an unsatisfactory condition, and particu-
arly that the ordinary treatment of this
" subject " by the class and teacher and
examiner is too partial and narrow. But the
desire to extend the general range of historical
ideas is confronted by the argument that the
available time for instruction is already con-
sumed by that partial and narrow treatment,
and that therefore, however desirable this
extension of range may be, it is in practice
impossible. If an Englishman, for example,
has found the history of England quite
enough for his powers of assimilation, then
it seems hopeless to expect his sons and
daughters to master universal history, if that
is to consist of the history of England, plus
the history of France, plus the history of
Germany, plus the history of Russia, and so
on. To which the only possible answer is
that universal history is at once something
more and something less than the. aggregate
of the national histories to which we are
accustomed, that it must be approached in
a different spirit and dealt with in a different
manner. This book seeks to justify that
answer. It has been written primarily to
show that history as one whole is amenable
to a more broad and comprehensive handling
than is the history of special nations and
periods, a broader handling that will bring
it within the normal limitations of time and
energy set to the reading and education of
an ordinary citizen. This outline deals with
ages and races and nations, where the
ordinary history deals with reigns and pedi-
grees and campaigns ; but it will not be



found to be more crowded with names and
dates, nor more difficult to follow and under-
stand. History is no exception amongst
the sciences ; as the gaps fill in, the outline
simpUfies ; as the outlook broadens, the
clustering multitude of details dissolves into
general laws. And many topics of quite
primary interest to mankind, the first
appearance and the growth of scientific
knowledge for example, and its effects upon
human life, the elaboration of the ideas of
money and credit, or the story of the origins
and spread and influence of Christianity,
which must be treated fragmentarily or by
elaborate digressions in any partial history,
arise and flow completely and naturally in
one general record of the world in which we
live.

The need for a common knowledge of the
general facts of human history throughout
the world has become very evident during
the tragic happenings of the last few years.
Swifter means of communication have
brought all men closer to one another for
good or for evil. War becomes a univer-
sal disaster, blind and monstrously destruc-
tive ; it bombs the baby in its cradle and
sinks the food-ships that cater for the non-
combatant and the neutral. There can be
no peace now, we realize, but a common
peace in all the world ; no prosperity but a
general prosperity. But there can be no
common peace and prosperity without common
historical ideas. Without such ideas to hold
them together in harmonious co-operation,
with nothing but narrow, selfish, and con-
flicting nationalist traditions, races and
peoples are bound to drift towards conflict
and destruction. This truth, which was
apparent to that great philosopher Kant a
century or more ago — it is the gist of his
tract upon universal peace — is now plain to
the man in the street. Our internal policies
and our economic and social ideas are pro-
foundly vitiated at present by wrong and



-? .f r



317



VI



INTRODUCTION



fantastic ideas of the origin and historical
relationship of social classes. A sense of
history as the common adventure of all
mankind is as necessary for peace within as
it is for peace between the nations.

Such are the views of history that this
Outline seeks to realize. It is an attempt to
tell how our present state of affairs, this
distressed and multifarious human hfe about
us, arose in the course of vast ages and out
of the inanimate clash of matter, and to
estimate the quality and amount and range
of the hopes with which it now faces its
destiny. It is one experimental contri-
bution to a great and urgently necessary
educational reformation, which must ulti-
mately restore universal history, revised,
corrected, and brought up to date, to its
proper place and use as the backbone of a
general education. We say " restore," be-
cause all the great cultures of the world
hitherto, Judaism and Christianity in the
Bible, Islam in the Koran, have used some
sort of cosmogony and world history as a
basis. It may indeed be argued that without
such a basis any really binding culture of
men is inconceivable. Without it we are a
chaos. ^

Remarkably few sketches of universal his-
tory by one single author have been written.
One book that has influenced the writer very
strongly is Winwood Reade's Martyrdom oj
Man. This dates, as people say, nowadays,
and it has a fine gloom of its own, but it is
still an extraordinarily inspiring presentation
of human history as one consistent process.
Mr. F. S. Marvin's Living Past is also an
admirable summary of human progress.
There is a good General History of the World
in one volume by Mr. Oscar Browning.
America has recently produced two well-
illustrated and up-to-date class books,
Breasted' 8 Ancient Times and Robinson's
Medieval and Modern Times, which together
give a very good idea of the story of man-
kind since the beginning of human societies.
There are, moreover, quite a number of
nominally Universal Histories in existence,
but they are really not histories at all, they
are encyclopaedias of history ; they lack the
unity of presentation attainable only when
the whole subject has been passed through
one single mind. These universal histories
are compilations, assemblies of separate
national or regional histories by different
hands, the parts being necessarily unequal
in merit and authority and disproportionate

• See upon this an excellent pamphlet by F. J.
Gould, History, the Supreme Subject in the Instruction
of the Young (Watts & Co.).



one to another. Several such universal
histories in thirty or forty volumes or so,
adorned with allegorical title pages and
illustrated by folding maps and plans of
Noah's Ark, Solomon's Temple, and the
Tower of Babel, were produced for the
libraries of gentlemen in the eighteenth
century. Helmolt's World History, in eight
massive volumes, is a modern compilation
of the same sort, very useful for reference
and richly illustrated, but far better in its
parts than as a whole. Another such
collection is the Historians^ History oj the
World in 25 volumes. The Encyclopcedia
Britannica contains, of course, a complete
encyclopaedia of history within itself, and is
the most modern of all such collections.
F. Ratzel's History of Mankind, in spite of
the promise of its title, is mainly a natural
history of man, though it is rich with sug-
gestions upon the nature and development
of civilization. That publication and IVIiss
Ellen Churchill Semple's Influence of Oeo-
graphical Environment, based on Ratzel's
work, are quoted in this Outline, and have
had considerable influence upon its plan.
F. Ratzel would indeed have been the ideal
author for such a book as our present one.
Unfortunately neither he nor any other ideal
author was available. '

The writer wiU offer no apology for making
this experiment. His disqualifications are
manifest. But such work needs to be done
by as many people as possible, he was free
to make his contribution, and he was greatly
attracted by the task. He has read sedul-
ously and made the utmost use of all the
help he could obtain. There is not a chapter
that has not been examined by some more
competent person than himself and very
carefully revised. He has particularly to
thank his friends Sir E. Ray Lankester, Sir
H. H. Johnston, Professor Gilbert Murray,
and Mr. Ernest Barker for much counsel and
direction and editorial help. Mr. Philip
Guedalla has toiled most efficiently and
kindly through all the proof?. Mr. A. Alli-
son, Professor T.. W. Arnold, Mr. Arnold
Bennett, the Rev. A. H. Trevor Benson,
Mr. Aodh de Blacam, Mr. Laurence Binyon,
the Rev. G. W. Broomfield, Sir William
Bull, Mr. L. Cranmer Byng, Mr. A. J. D.
Campbell, Mr. A. Y. Campbell, Mr. L. Y.
Chen, Mr. A. R. Cowan, Mr. 0. G. S. Craw-
ford, Dr. W. S. Culbertson, Mr. R. Langton
Cole, Mr. B. G. Collins, Mr. J. J. L. Duyven-

* A compact and inspiring book to be noted here is
Pairgrieve's Geography and World Power. Another
very suggestive book is Andrew Reid Cowan's
Master Clues in World History. .



INTRODUCTION



Vll



dak, Mr. 0. W. Ellis, Mr. G. S. Ferrier, Mr.
David Freeman, Mr. S. N. Fu, Mr. G. B.
Gloyne, Sir Richard Gregory, Mr. F. H.
Hay ward, Mr. Sydney Herbert, Dr. Fr.
Krupicka, Mr. H. Lang Jones, Mr. C. H. B.
Laughton, Mr. B. I. Macalpin, Mr. G. H.
Mair, Mr. F. S. Marvin, Mr. J. S. Mayhew,
Mr. B. Stafford Morse, Professor J. L.
Myres, the Hon. W. Ormsby-Gore, Sir
Sydney Olivier, Mr. R. I. Pocock, Mr, J.
Pringle, Mr. W. H. R. Rivers, Sir Denison
Ross, Dr. E. J. Russell, Dr. Charles Singer,
Mr. A. St. George Sanford, Dr. C. 0. Stally-
brass, Mr. G. H. Walsh, Mr. G. P. Wells,
Miss Rebecca West, and Mr. George Whale
have all to be thanked for help, either by
reading parts of the MS. or by pointing oiit
errors in the published parts, making sug-
gestions, answering questions or giving
advice. The amount of friendly and sym-
pathetic assistance the writer has received,
often from very busy people, has been a
quite extraordinary experience. He has met
with scarcely a single instance of irritation
or impatience on the part of specialists
whose domains he has invaded and traversed
in what must have seemed to many of them
an exasperatingly impudent and super-
ficial wa3^ Numerous other helpful corre-
spondents have pointed out printer's errors
and minor slips in the serial publication wliich
preceded this book edition, and they have
added many useful items of information,
and to those writers also the warmest
thanks are due. But of course none
of these generous helpers are to be held
responsible for the judgments, tone, ar-
rangement or writing of this Outline. In



the relative importance of the parts, in the
moral and political implications of the story,
the final decision has necessarily fallen to
the writer. The problem of illustrations
was a very difficult one for him, for he had
had no previous experience in the production
of an illustrated book. In Mr. J. F. Horrabin
he has had the good fortune to find not only
an illustrator but a coUaborator. Mr.
Horrabin has spared no pains to make this
work informative and exact. His maps and
drawings are a part of the text, the most
vital and decorative part. Some of them,
the hypothetical maps, for example, of the
western world at the end of the last glacial
age, during the " pluvial age " and 12,000
years ago, and the migration map of the
Barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire,
represent the reading and inquiry of many
laborious days.

The index to this edition is the work
of Mr. Strickland Gibson of Oxford. Several
correspondents have asked for a pronounc-
ing index and accordingly this has been
provided.

The ^vriter owes a word of thanks to that
living index of printed books, Mr. J. F. Cox
of the London Library. He would also like
to acknowledge here the help he has received
from Mrs. Wells. Without her labour in
typing and re-typing the drafts of the various
chapters as they have been revised and
amended, in checking references, finding
suitable quotations, hunting up illustrations,
and keeping in order the whole mass of
material for this history, and without her
constant help and watchful criticism, its
completion would have been impossible.



j^^;^



THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY '

SCHEME OF CONTENTS

BOOK I
THE MAKING OF OUR WORLD

PAGE

CHAPTER I. The Earth in Space and Time 3

CHAPTER II. The Record of the Rocks

PAGE

§ 1. The first Living things . . 5 § 2. How old is the world ? . . 8

CHAPTER III. Natural Selection and the Changes of Species ... 9

CHAPTER IV. The Invasion of the Dry Land by Life

§ L Life and water . . . 12 § 2. The earliest animals . . 13

CHAPTER V. Changes in the World's Climate

§1. Why Ufe must change con- §3. Changes from within the earth 17

tinually . . . . 14 § 4. Life may control change . 18

§ 2. The sun a steadfast star . 17

CHAPTER VI. The Age op Reptiles

§ I. The age of lowland Ufe . 19 § 4. An age of hardship and death . 22

§2. Flying dragons . . . 21 §5. The first appearance of fur and

§ 3. The first birds . . .21 feathers . . . .23

CHAPTER VII. The Age of Mammals

§ 1. A new age of hfe . .25 §4. The world grows hard again . 29

§ 2. Tradition comes into the world 25 § 5. Chronology of the Ice Age . 29
§ 3. An age of brain growth . 27



BOOK II
THE MAKING OF MAN

CHAPTER VIII. The Ancestry of Man ^

§ 1. Man descended from a walking § 3. The Heidelberg sub-man . . 36

ape . . , . . 33 § 4. The Piltdown sub-man . . 36

§ 2. First traces of man-like crea- § 5. The riddle of the Piltdown re-

tures ..... 35 mains ..... 37

CHAPTER IX. The Neanderthal Men, an Extinct Race. (The Early
Paleolithic Age)

§ I. The world 50,000 years ago . 3^ § 3. The last Palaeolithic men . 43

§ 2. The daily hfe of the first men . 40



SCHEME OF THE OUTLINE



CHAPTER X. The Later Postglacial Paleolithic Men, the First True
Men. (Later Paleolithic Age)



§ 1. The coming of men like our-
selves ..... 43

§ 2. Subdivision of the Later

Palaeolithic .... 48

CHAPTER XI. Neolithic Man in Europe

§ L The age of cultivation begins . " 52
§ 2. Where did the Neolithic culture

arise ? . . . . .54

§ 3. Everyday Neolithic hfe . 54

CHAPTER XII. Early Thought

§ I. Primitive philosophy . . 61

§ 2. The Old Man in religion . 62

§ 3. Fear and hope in religion . 62



§ 3. The earliest true men were

clever savages
§ 4. Hunters give place to herdsmen
§ 5. No sub-men in America .



§ 4. How did sowing begin ?
§ 5. Primitive trade
§ 6. The flooding of the Mediter-
ranean valley . . . .



§ 4. Stars and seasons

§ 5. Story- telling and myth-making

§ 6. Complex origins of religion



CHAPTER XIII. The Races of Mankind

§L Is mankind still differentiating ? 67 .§4. The Heliolithic culture of the
§ 2. The main races of mankind . 69 Brunet peoples



The main races of mankind
§ 3. Was there an Alpine race ?



69

70



§ 5. How existing races may be re-
lated to each other



CHAPTER XIV. The Languages of Mankind



§ 1. No one primitive language

§ 2. The Aryan languages

§ 3. The Semitic languages .

§ 4. The Hamitic languages .

§ 5. The Ural-Altaic languages



74

75
75
76

77



§ 6. The Chinese languages

§ 7. Other language groups

§ 8. Submerged and lost languages .

§ 9. How languages may be related



50
51
51



58
59

59



63

64
65



72



74



77
78
79
80



■ BOOK III
THE DAWN OF HISTORY



CHAPTER XV. The Aryan-speaking Peoples in Prehistoric Times



§ 1. The spreading of the Aryan-
speakers .... 83



The First Civilizations
90



CHAPTER XVI

§ 1. Early cities and early nomads .

§ 2a. The riddle of the Sumerians . 93

§ 2b. The empire of Sargon the First 94

§ 2c. The empire of Hammurabi . 94
§ 2d. The Assyrians and their

empire .... 95



§ 2. Primitive Aryan life
§ 3. Early Aryan daily life



§ 2e. The Chaldean empire
§ 3. The early history of Egypt
§ 4. The early civilization of India
§ 5. The early history of China
§ 6. While the civilizations were
growing ......



CHAPTER XVII. Sea Peoples and Trading Peoples

§1. The earliest ships and sailors . 103 §4. Early traders



§ 2. The ^gean cities before history 105
§ 3. The first voyages of exploration 107



CHAPTER XVIII. Writii^g

§ 1. Picture writing
§ 2. Syllable writing



110
112



§ 5. Early travellers



§ 3. Alphabet writing
§ 4, The place of writing in human
life



84

87



96

96

100

100

102



108
109



112



112



SCHEME OF THE OUTLINE



XI



CHAPTER XIX. Gods and Staes, Priests and Kings



§ 1. Nomadic and settled religion . 114
§2. The priest comes into history . 115
§3. Priests and the stars . .117

§ 4. Priests and the dawn of

learninff . . . .118



§ 5. King against priests

§6. How Bel-Marduk struggled

against the kings
§ 7. The god-kings of Egypt
§ 8. Shi Hwang-ti destroys the books



>^



CHAPTER XX. Serfs, Slaves, Social Classes, and Free Individuals



§ 1. The common man in ancient

times ..... 124
§ 2. The earliest slaves . . .125

§ 3. The first " independent " persons 127
§ 4. Social classes three thousand

years ago . . . .128



118

120
121
124



§ 5. Classes hardening into castes . 130

§ 6. Caste in India .... 131

§ 7. The system of the Mandarins . 132
§ 8. A summary of five thousand

years ..... 133



BOOK IV
JUDEA, GREECE, AND INDIA



§3.



CHAPTER XXI. The Hebrew Scriptures and
§ 1. The place of the Israelites in

history 137

§2. Saul, David, and Solomon . 141

CHAPTER XXII. The Greeks and the

§ 1. The Hellenic peoples . . 147

§ 2. Distinctive features of the

Hellenic civilization . . 150

§ 3. Monarchy, aristocracy, and de-
mocracy in, Greece . . .152

§ 4. The kingdom of Lydia . .155



CHAPTER XXIII. Greek Thought and

§ 1. The Athens of Pericles . .169

§2. Socrates . . . .173

§ 3. What was the quality of the

common Athenians ? . . 174

§ 4. Greek tragedy and comedy . 174

CHAPTER XXIV.



THE Prophets

The Jews a people of mixed

origin .....

§ 4. The importance of the Hebrew

prophets .....

Persians

§ 5. The rise of the Persians in the

East
§ 6. The story of Croesus
§ 7. Darius invades Russia
§ 8. The battle of Marathon
§ 9. Thermopylae and Salamis .
§ 10. Plataea and Mycale

Literature

§ 5. Plato and the Academy .
§ 6. Aristotle and the Lyceum
§ 7. Philosophy becomes unworldly .
§ 8. The quality and limitations of
Greek thought



/(



The Career of Alexander the Great

§ 1. Phihp of Macedonia . . 180 § 6.

§ 2. The murder of King Philip . 183 § 7.

§ 3. Alexander's first conquests . 185 § 8.

§4. The wanderings of Alexander . 189

§ 5. Was Alexander indeed great ? 191



The successors of Alexander
Pergamum a refuge of culture
Alexander as a portent
world unity



/



of



CHAPTER XXV, Science and Religion at Alexandria

§1. The science of 'Alexandria . 197 §3. Alexandria as a factory of
§ 2. Philosophy of Alexandria . 201 religions .....

CHAPTER XXVI. The Rise and Spread of Buddhism

§ 1. The story of Gautama . . 204 § 5. Two great Chinese teachers

§ 6. The corruptions of Buddhism



§ 2. Teaching and legend in conflict 207
§ 3. The gospel of Gautama Buddha 207
§4. Buddhism and Asoka . . 209



§ 7. The present range of Buddhism



144



145



156
158
161
164
165
168



175
176
177

178



194
194

195



201



212
215
216



xu



SCHEME OF THE OUTLINE



BOOK V
THE RISE AND COLLAPSE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE



CHAPTER XXVII. The Two Western Republics



§ 1. The beginnings of the Latins . 219

§ 2. A new sort of state . . . 224
§ 3. The Carthaginian republic of

rich men .... 230

§ 4. The First Punic War . . 230
§ 5. Cato the Elder and the spirit

of Cato 232



§ 6. The Second Punic War

§ 7. The Third Punic War

§ 8. How the Punic War under

mined Roman liberty
§ 9. Comparison of the Roman re

public with a modern state



CHAPTER XXVIII. From Tiberius Gracchus

§ 1. The science of thwarting the § 4,

common man . . . 242

§ 2. Finance in the Roman state . 244 § 5

§ 3. The last years of republican § 6

pontics 245 §7

CHAPTER XXIX. The C^sars between the
THE Old World

§ 1. A short catalogue of emperors 256 § 5.

§ 2. Roman civilization at its zenith 259

§ 3. Limitations of the Roman mind 264 § 6.

§ 4. The stir of the great plains . 265



to THE God-Emperor in Rome

The era of the adventurer

generals .....

, Caius Julius Caesar and his death

, The end of the republic .

. Why the Roman republic failed

Sea and the Great Plains of



233
236

239

239



248
250
252
253



The Western (true Roman)
Empire crumples up . .271
The Eastern (revived Hellenic)
Empire 275



BOOK VI
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM



CHAPTER XXX. The Beginnings, the Rise, and the Divisions of Christianity



§ 1. Judea at the Christian era . 281
§ 2. The teachings of Jesus of

Nazareth . . . .282

§ 3. The universal religions . . 287

§ 4. The crucifixion of Jesus of

Nazareth . . . .288

§ 5. Doctrines added to the teach-
ings of Jesus .... 289



§ 6. The struggles and persecutions
of Christianity ....

§ 7. Constantino the Great

§ 8. The establishment of official
Christianity ....

§ 9. The map of Europe, a.d. 500 .

§ 10. The salvation of learning by
Christianity ....



CHAPTER XXXI. Seven Centuries in Asia (circa 50 B.C. to a.d. 650)



304
307
307



319

320

322
325



§7.
§8.
§9.



§ 1. Justinian the Great . . 302

§ 2. The Sassanid empire in Persia 303
§ 3. The decay of Syria under the
Sassanids . . . .

§ 4. The first message from Islam .
/ § 5. Zoroaster and Mani

y CHAPTER XXXII. Muhammad and Arab Islam

§ 1. Arabia before Muhammad

§ 2. Life of Muhammad to the

Hegira .....
§ 3. Muhammad becomes a fighting

prophet .....
§ 4. The teachings of Islam .



§ 6. Hunnish peoples in central Asia
and India ....

The great age of China
Intellectual fetters of China
The travels of Yuan Chwang



§ 5. The caUphs Abu Bekr and Omar
§ 6. The great days of the Omayyads
§ 7. The decay of Islam under the

Abbasids .....
§ 8. The intellectual life of Arab

Islam .....



292

294

296
298

300



308
310
312
316



326
329

333

335



SCHEME OF THE OUTLINE

CHAPTER XXXIII. Christendom and the Crijsades
§ 1. The Western world at its lowest



XIU



ebb 337

§ 2. The feudal system . . .338

§ 3. The Frankish kingdom of the

Merovingians .... 340
§ 4. The Christianization of the

western barbarians . . . 341

§ 5. Charlemagne becomes emperor

of the West . . . .344

§ 6. The personality of Charlemagne . 346
§ 7. The French and the Germans

become distinct . . . 348



§ 8. The Normans, the Saracens, the
Hungarians, and the Seljuk
Turks

§ 9. How Constantinople appealed
to Rome ....

§ 10. The Crusades

§11. The Crusades a test of Chris-
tianity .....

§12. The Emperor Frederick II

§ 13. Defects and limitations of the
papacy .....

§ 14. A list of leading popes .



349

353
354

358
359

361
364



BOOK VII

THE GREAT MONGOL EMPIRES OF THE LAND WAYS
AND THE NEW EMPIRES OF THE SEA WAYS

OF Jengis Khan and his Successors

§ 5a. Kublai Khan founds the Yuan
dynasty .....
The Mongols revert to tribalism
The Kipchak empire and the
Tsar of Muscovy .
Timurlane ....
The Mongol empire of India .
The Mongols and the Gipsies .



CHAPTER XXXIV. The Great Empire
§ 1. Asia at the end of the twelfth



century .....
The rise and victories of the
Mongols ....

§ 3. The travels of Marco Polo
§ 4. The Ottoman Turks, the Turkish
Caliph and Constantinople
Why the Mongols were not
Christianized ....



Online LibraryH. G. (Herbert George) WellsThe outline of history : being a plain history of life and mankind → online text (page 1 of 114)