Timeline Stories

All timeline stories.

man holding scroll

First Mail, First Postal System

The first known postal system goes back to the Pharoah’s of Egypt circa 2400 BCE. Pharaohs used couriers to send out decrees throughout the Egyptian territory. The earliest surviving piece of mail dates back to 255 BCE and is also Egyptian.  


Neanderthal-Denisovan Split

12,000 Generations Ago Neanderthals and Denisovans had a common ancestor about 300,000 BCE (current estimates range from 250,000 to 500,000 BCE and possibly as far back as 1.3 million BCE). Humans did not evolve from Denisovans nor Neanderthals, but both were the evolution descendant of a common ancestor with Homo Sapiens tentatively identified as Homo …

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Voltaire (1694-1778)

Voltaire was a French Enlightenment philosopher born François-Marie Arouet. He was an advocate of civil liberties and satirized intolerance, and religious dogma in a time one was punished with censorship, jail, banishment, or worse. Some of my favorite Voltaire quotes translated from French: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. …

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David Hume (1711-1776)

The Scottish Enlightenment philosopher and historian Hume was a leading exponent of empiricism. The belief that all human knowledge derives solely from experience. Some of my favorite Hume quotes: “A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.” -A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739 “The life of man is of no greater importance to the …

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Zeno of Citium (334-262 BCE)

Zeno is considered the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy. When events occur in life, people react. Life is a series of events and immediate reactions. A stoic introduces a third middle step, a judge step. On their life journey, a stoic strives for a series of event-judge-react experiences. When you introduce a judge step, …

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Gyeongbokgung Palace, South Korea

Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BCE)

The Xia Dynasty is the first documented government of ancient China. The first to adopt dynastic succession. In modern times, it was regarded as a myth created later by Chinese historians, but 20th-century excavations uncovered sites which corresponded to descriptions in earlier historians’ accounts. This fact is an important lesson on understanding how little survived …

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Pythagoras (570-495 BCE)

The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was born in Ancient Greece on the island Samos which is about a mile off the coast of modern Turkey. History looks at Pythagoras as an educator and philosopher as well as a cult leader. He discovered the musical octave, used deductive reasoning, and embraced an early version of …

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Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

20 Generations Ago Montaigne was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance. In addition to furthering skepticism, he also extended stoicism. He also extended literary style by promoting the essay format and by breaking norms of his day. For example, talking about himself in his own writing. My favorite translated Montaigne quotes:  Obsession is …

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Seneca the Younger (4 BCE – 65 CE)

The stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger has the distinction that more of his writings survived the test of time and is therefore a valuable primary source for stoic philosophy.  Some of my favorite translated Seneca quotes: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. All cruelty springs from weakness. Religion is regarded by the …

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Cicero (106-43 BCE)

The stoic philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of Rome’s greatest orators and had an immense influence on the Latin language. Some of my favorite translated Cicero quotes: If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the …

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Epictetus (50-135 CE)

Epictetus stressed that philosophy is a way of life and not simply analytical. The stoic philosopher Epictetus was cited by Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations. Epictetus was one of the future emperor’s teacher’s during childhood up to the age of 14. Although no writings by Epictetus are known, his students documented his beliefs and sayings …

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Realistic Earth Planet against the the star sky

Spherical Earth

The Greeks knew the Earth is spherical. For example, Pythagoras (570-495 BCE), Aristotle (384-322 BCE), and Euclid (circa 450 BCE) wrote about the Earth as a sphere. Eratosthenes (276-194 BCE) even calculated the circumference of the Earth to within 1%. He also wrote about the idea that India could be reached by sailing westward from …

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Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE)

Aristotle was the greatest Greek philosopher and covered nearly all subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology, and government. His Aristotelian philosophy characterized by deductive logic and an analytic inductive method. Some of my favorite translated sayings are: The more you know, the …

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Plato (428 – 347 BCE)

Plato was a Greek philosopher born in Athens. He was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. Plato’s Theory of Forms asserts that the reality is only a shadow, or image, of the true reality of the Realm of Forms — abstract, perfect, unchanging concepts or ideals that transcend time and space. OOP …

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Marble statue of the ancient Greek Philosopher Plato.

Socrates (469 – 399 BCE)

Socrates was a Greek philosopher and is frequently credited as the founder of Western philosophy. He left no writings, but his student Plato documented his philosophy. Some of my favorite translated sayings attributed to Socrates: Enjoy yourself — it’s later than you think. He who is not content with what they have will not be …

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Proto-Sinaitic script

155 Generations Ago The Proto-Sinaitic alphabet is considered the earliest trace of alphabetic writing and the common ancestor of both Ancient South Arabian script and the Phoenician alphabet. The ancient South Arabian script evolved about 900 BCE which continued to evolve into today’s Modern South Arabian languages. The Phoenician alphabet evolved into the Greek alphabet …

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Phoenician Alphabet

133 Generations Ago The Phoenician alphabet is a direct continuation of the Proto-Canaanite script circa 1300 BCE. Starting about 900 BCE, the Phoenician alphabet thrived and was adapted by others. It evolved into use by many languages including Greek, Old Italic and Anatolian scripts. These early uses of the alphabet evolved into the alphanumeric alphabet. 


40 Generations Ago Spaces between words started circa 1000 CE because those copying texts found it easier and faster to copy if they introduced spaces between words. The 1215 Magna Carta is a good example of this quality of writing which included word-spacing, uppercase, and lowercase, but no punctuation, nor paragraphs. 

Law of the Twelve Tables

The Twelve Tables were rules citizens had to follow, and limits on the powers of the government. This idea was used several times during Roman history to force the Patricians, aristocrats, to consider the views of the plebeian citizens, commoners. In 451 BCE, plebeians went on strike to protest the tyranny of magistrates. The Twelve …

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