< The Historical era
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The Consummation of Empire by Thomas Cole
A representation of the Roman Empire. The Consummation of Empire by Thomas Cole, oil on canvas (1836)


The term Historical Time can be used here to refer to human history rather than Earth history. Everything from the beginnings of the city-state and civilization in the Chalcolithic through to Bronze Age Near and Middle East, social innovations as commerce, monarchy, the church, and the standing army, the rise and fall of empires, the invention of the printing press, the steam engine and the industrial revolution. As with geological time there seems to be a sort of exponential acceleration, with lots of things happening in the twentieth century, and even more with the information revolution and the global noosphere of the internet.

The entire span of civilization fits here, everything from the Bronze Age through the Iron Age through to the industrial revolution, the Space Age, and the information revolution, the rise and fall of empires and civilizations.

History is defined by the rise and fall of civilization and the growth of human culture and knowledge. This period is characterized by the rise of complex societies, the development of writing, and the emergence of cities and states, the development of early forms of government, religion, and commerce, and the rise of great civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome, and Mesoamerica.

For the fanciful equivalent projected into the future, see the near term far future.


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Page by M Alan Kazlev, 2023