« AnteriorContinuar »
No apology for presenting the following little work to the public will be deemed necessary by those teachers who have felt, with the author, the difficulty of leading their pupils to the attainment of a connected idea of general bistory. Children naturally take it for granted that events happened in the order in which they read of them : very few think enough to discover their relation in point of time : if they read, for example, as they do in Rollin, the Carthaginian history long before the Macedonian, it is most probable they will never find out that the victories of Alexander were at least sixty years prior to the first Punic war; or if they do discover facts of that obvious kind, it will still be difficult for them to go back, and again to proceed with the historian, without so far 'losing the connection of events as to render it impossible for them, without a great deal more study and attention than they are generally found to give, to obtain a clear and orderly view of the whole.
It is the object of the present attempt to remedy this difficulty. The chart is intended, together with the sketches and tables, to serve the purpose of a brief compendium of ancient history, and to present, in one view, the whole current of events, during the period which it embraces. It is designed to answer the same purpose with regard to time, that a map of geography does to place; so that the papil may pass from the Egyptian to the Carthaginian history, and from the Carthaginian back again to the Assyrian, the Median, the Persian, and the Greek, without danger of confusion: and may follow an historian through all his digressions, and still preserve a connected idea of the whole.
In order to facilitate the remembrance of dates, which, for want of mental association, is generally found difficult, those of the principal events, which are printed in large figures in the tables, are marked in the chart in the century and the country in which they occurred; so that, by either committing them to memory, or frequently reading them over, and at the same time pointing them out in the chart, an employment which will be as amusing as a geographical lesson, they will be fixed in the mind without any difficulty.
It is particularly recommended that in reading bistory, the pupil should always be required to point out in this manner, the events and the sovereigns,
&c. that he meets with; for such a practice will be found not only greatly to strengthen the remem. brance of the facts themselves, but also to keep up the recollection of the condition and transactions of other contemporary kingdoms. Suppose he is reading, for example, the history of the Maccabees; by referring to the Chart, he will not only at once see the succession of Asmonean princes, with the dates of the leading events of their reigns, but he will easily recollect the preceding and subsequent history of the Jews; he will see the once tyrannizing kingdom of Syria and Egypt reduced to insignificance under a succession of vicious or impotent sovereigns; Athens, formerly so renowned for arts and arms, sunk into comparative obscurity; and the Romans every where victorious, : subduing Achaia, Macedon, and Carthage.
It is not pretended that the arrangement of the Chart offers much that is new. By excluding the early and uncertain periods of history, more room has been left for that which may be considered authentic ; and by the plan already alluded to, of inserting dates and names alone, a great deal more History is introduced than could have been by any other method. The care too that has been taken to place every sovereign and each event in the proper place in the century, makes it easy at once to see the comparative lengths of the reigns, and