The History of Mankind

The History of Mankind by Professor Friedrich Ratzel was a landmark in the study of mankind. It was published in three Volumes by Macmillan of London in 1896.

The history book is remarkable for the wonderfully intricate bright color chromolithographs that are extremely well done, many images of native peoples, their costumes, tools, weapons, society, etc. There are several maps and more than 1,000 engravings.

Because they are close to home I have been working on The Races of Oceania initially and below are links to the indexes of the various sections completed related to that (there is a very long way to go!).

  • General Survey of the Group – List of Illustrations
  • The Races of the Pacific and Their Migrations – List of Illustrations
  • Physical Qualities and Intellectual Life of the Polynesians and Micronesians – List of Illustrations
  • Dress, Weapons, and Implements of Polynesians and Micronesians – List of Illustrations
  • The Negroid Races of the Pacific and Indian Oceans
  • Dress and Weapons of the Melanesians
  • Labour, Dwellings, and Food in Oceania
  • The Family and State in Oceania
  • Religion in Oceania

There are also sections on the Study of Specimens, Decorative Art, Propagation of Art and Culture, Understanding Mankind Through the Material Furniture of Life and a Translator’s Note accessible at the main history index.

My intention is to present the information as originally written but to use modern techniques such as links and search facilities to make it easier to use. I do not intend to preserve the original layout or even, if it seems appropriate, the original order of material as they will be sacrificed in the interests of ease of use. But the original language, grammar, spelling and writing style will be kept to preserve as much as possible the flavor of this window on how the world was seen at that time.