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Hendrik van Loon

THE SUMERIAN NAIL WRITERS, WHOSE CLAY TABLETS TELL US THE STORY OF ASSYRIA AND BABYLONIA, THE GREAT SEMITIC MELTING-POT

THE STORY OF JOSHUA OF NAZARETH, WHOM THE GREEKS CALLED JESUS

IN the autumn of the year of the city 783 (which would be 62 A.D., in our way of counting time) AEsculapius Cultellus, a Roman physician, wrote to his nephew who was with the army in Syria as follows:

My dear Nephew,

BUT NOW THAT PEOPLE HAD BROKEN THROUGH THE BONDS OF THEIR NARROW MEDIAEVAL LIMITATIONS, THEY HAD TO HAVE MORE ROOM FOR THEIR WANDERINGS. THE EUROPEAN WORLD HAD GROWN TOO SMALL FOR THEIR AMBITIONS. IT WAS THE TIME OF THE GREAT VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY

BUT WHILE THE PEOPLE OF EUROPE WERE FIGHTING FOR THEIR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE, THE WORLD IN WHICH THEY LIVED HAD BEEN ENTIRELY CHANGED BY A SERIES OF INVENTIONS, WHICH HAD MADE THE CLUMSY OLD STEAM ENGINE OF THE 18TH CENTURY THE MOST FAITHFUL AND EFFICIENT SLAVE OF MAN

THE STORY OF MOSES, THE LEADER OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE

SOME time during the twentieth century before our era, a small and unimportant tribe of Semitic shepherds had left its old home, which was situated in the land of Ur on the mouth of the Euphrates, and had tried to find new pastures within the domain of the Kings of Babylonia. They had been driven away by the royal soldiers and they had moved westward looking for a little piece of unoccupied territory where they might set up their tents.

CONCERNING BUDDHA AND CONFUCIUS

BUT THE NEW ENGINES WERE VERY EXPENSIVE AND ONLY PEOPLE OF WEALTH COULD AFFORD THEM. THE OLD CARPENTER OR SHOEMAKER WHO HAD BEEN HIS OWN MASTER IN HIS LITTLE WORKSHOP WAS OBLIGED TO HIRE HIMSELF OUT TO THE OWNERS OF THE BIG MECHANICAL TOOLS, AND WHILE HE MADE MORE MONEY THAN BEFORE, HE LOST HIS FORMER INDEPENDENCE AND HE DID NOT LIKE THAT

THE PHOENICIANS WHO GAVE US OUR ALPHABET

HOW ROME BECAME THE CENTRE OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD

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