Timeline Stories

All timeline stories.

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. Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes. In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:David_Hume.jpg

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 universe than that of an oyster.” “Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.”

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spinoza_(cropped).jpg

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677, aged 44)

16 Generations Ago The Dutch philosopher Spinoza was a lens grinder by profession, a proponent of Rationalism, and an early founder of Enlightenment. My favorite concept of Spinoza’s is that God is nature, and nature is God. For me, whenever I read God in prayers and such I substitute the word nature. That concept I attribute to Spinoza. The concept doesn’t mean God does not exist, nor vice versa, it’s simply an acknowledgment of all interpretations of God, Gods, and nature and the fact, by my account, that we have no proof God exists or not. Some of my favorite..Read More/Comment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Paolo_Monti_-_Servizio_fotografico_(Napoli,_1969)_-_BEIC_6353768.jpg

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, you can frequently change your reaction to a healthier reaction.

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 the test of time. How much we will never know about the true progress of humans over our first 100,000 years. 

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 forms which was a stepping stone to Plato’s forms. His early theories on math as the answer to the universe are elementary and off course, but these first attempts led the path for future mathematicians to explore. He is most remembered for his Pythagorean theorem which..Read More/Comment

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 the wellspring of genius and madness. He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. What do I know? My art and profession is to live.

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 common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable. No man was ever wise by chance. Only..Read More/Comment

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 dividing of our grief. Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error. Silence is one of the great arts of conversation. Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body. Love is the attempt to form a..Read More/Comment

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 well. Epictetus is my favorite philosopher. I like nearly all the quotes attributed to him. Some of my favorite translated sayings attributed to him: It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. The key is to keep company only..Read More/Comment

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 Spain. Nearly 2,000 years later during the time Columbus sailed the ocean blue, most religious nuts believed the Earth was flat and he would fall off. What happened to truth? Although many educated people knew all along, the dogma of the brainwashed religious nuts over..Read More/Comment

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 more you know you don’t know. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Happiness depends upon ourselves. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence…Read More/Comment

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 Note: Similar to the concept of design classes and instantiated objects in object oriented programming.  Some of my favorite translated sayings are: Excellence is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice.  If women are expected to do the same work as men, we..Read More/Comment

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 content with more. Do not praise someone wealthy until you known how they employ it. We should hear and see more than we speak. False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. He is rich who is content..Read More/Comment

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 and all of today’s Western alphabets.

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. 

Word-Spacing

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 Tables came out of that strike. These bronze tablets were set up in the Forum of Rome for all citizens to see and students to study. Content examples: Table I – when a person is accused of something, both accused and accuser must be present..Read More/Comment

Noah’s Flood Myth

The legendary story of Noah’s flood occurred in the year 2348 BCE if you believe Ussher’s biblical timeline he made up in 1654. However, this flood myth is clearly based on the Sumerian flood story documented in the Epoch of Gilgamesh circa 2100 BCE. The Epoch of Gilgamesh is regarded as one of the earliest surviving notable literature. I think it is interesting to note that the first section of the Epoch of Gilgamesh refers to a time span of 241,200 years prior to the great flood. To me, it is interesting that around the proposed date of the great..Read More/Comment

Sumerian Civilization

Human DNA today is the same as 50,000 BCE. There is no doubt there were many dozens and perhaps thousands of civilizations prior to the Sumer civilization, but Sumer is the earliest known, or at least the earliest well known. The Sumer civilization first established between 6500 and 4100 BCE. We know quite a bit about the Sumerians because they immortalized their writing in clay tablets which will be around long after all the paper books on Earth right now have deteriorated. Sadly, we know almost nothing about prior civilizations because very little evidence survived the test of time. The Sumerians..Read More/Comment

Scroll to Top