THE HISTORY OF MANKIND
Prof. Friedrich Ratzel
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 books are remarkable for the wonderfully intricate bright color chromolithographs that are extremely well done, many of native peoples, their costumes, tools, weapons, etc. There are several maps and more than 1,000 engravings.
The three volumes are divided into five books covering respectively:-
My intention is to present the information as originally written but to use modern techniques such as links (in many instances, hovering over a link will provide a short description of the link term. Clicking on the link will go to another reference to that term - usually Wikipedia) 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.
Most of the images will be shown as near as possible to the original location. However, in some cases images don't appear to relate directly to the text. In those cases the images may also be located elsewhere where they illustrate the text more adequately. Some images that have particular merit may be shown in several appropriate places in the text. Images with particular merit will be shown with the text and also as an enlarged version on their own page.
I will present the images in as high a resolution as makes sense within the constraints of this web site. All engravings will be scanned at at least 1200 pixels per inch and tidied up to reduce the inevitable blemishes in the originals. The coloured images present special problems as they are of exceptionally high quality but I will do my best to present them as near as possible to the original colouring. Any of the images may be purchased in high resolution versions at reasonable cost and payments will be used to help fund this work.
There are over 1600 pages in the three volumes so it is a substantial process to work through. My present plan is to start at a place that interests me and work through, gradually filling gaps until it's finished, as time and inclination allow. For that reason it will be a work in progress for some time. Various processes will be available later to facilitate an interested follower returning as new material is added or you may bookmark this page and return from time to time.
I hope that you will find this glimpse of a late 19th century study of human life as fascinating as I do and enjoy its exploration through the processes that modern technology make possible. I also hope you will contact me if you have any comment or suggestions for improvement.
I invite you to join me in this journey of discovery - John
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