“History in its broadest aspect is a record of man’s migrations from one environment to another”*…
All roads lead from Rome, according to a visual history of human culture built entirely from the birth and death places of notable people. The 5-minute animation provides a fresh view of the movements of humanity over the last 2,600 years.
Maximilian Schich, an art historian at the University of Texas at Dallas, and his colleagues used the Google-owned knowledge base, Freebase, to find 120,000 individuals who were notable enough in their life-times that the dates and locations of their births and deaths were recorded.
The list includes people ranging from Solon, the Greek lawmaker and poet, who was born in 637 bc in Athens, and died in 557 bc in Cyprus, to Jett Travolta — son of the actor John Travolta — who was born in 1992 in Los Angeles, California, and died in 2009 in the Bahamas.
The team used those data to create a movie that starts in 600 bc and ends in 2012…
Learn more (e.g., that more architects than artists died in the French Revolution) at Nature.
* Ellsworth Huntington
As we take the long view, we might recall that on this date in 1597, the Hanseatic League (a northern European confederation that was a forerunner of Germany) expelled all English merchants. The expulsion was a product of on-going tensions with English and Dutch trading interests, and a direct response to Elizabeth I’s closure of the Steelyard, the League’s trading post in London.