The Annals of the World

I tried reading through Annals of the World about ten years ago.  I thought it was very cool, found a few stories that especially interested me… and yet, the book was too big for me.  Taking a ‘short break’ was my fatal mistake.  When I tried to get back into it, the amount of reading I still had to go through intimidated me.  Then I forgot where I left off, lost my bookmark, and even forgot what I had read before.  After a while, I considered admitting defeat. 

In 1628 BC Acencheres, the daughter of Orus, reigns as queen.  Some years later, 1607, Acencheres I, the son of Rathotis, becomes king and is followed by Acencheres II.  Why must ancient Egyptian royalty do this? —My notes

Then, last Christmas, my friend gave me a new copy of the Annals.  It was far prettier, hardcover with a gilded ship, and a ribbon so that I wouldn’t lose my place again.  My ambition was restored!  So, after many long years, I picked up Annals of the World this summer.  Although I did take breaks, I didn’t let the book go stagnant, and I found that reading the Annals wasn’t so difficult after all. 

111 BC:  Antiochus Cyzicenus fascinated by stagecraft and puppetry.  He even makes larger than-life mechanical creatures, covered in precious metals.  First reported robots? —My notes

As I read through the Annals, I marked interesting pages with small ribbons, and wrote down notes.  Most of the notes were on incredible stories that I never heard before, or odd observations.  Other notes chronicled my alarm over how awful people could be.  Another fascinating thing was to watch God lay the preparations for the coming of Christ, and then the excitement of seeing that coming fulfilled.

5 BC:  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born of the most blessed virgin Mary at Bethlehem in the fulness of time.  – Ussher’s Annals of the World

One of the most difficult things about Annals of the World, is the tragic period in which it ends.  The chronology ends in 73 AD, with the disastrous Jewish wars.  Interestingly, I felt dissapointed not only because the book had ended in such a place, but that it had ended at all!  There was still so much of the story to read about, and I wanted to know what happened in the 80s, the 800s, and even up to Ussher’s own day.   But I’m grateful for what I have; and it really is remarkable to have so many histories entwined into one volume. 

Soli Deo Gloria in aeternum.  FINIS. – Close of Ussher’s Annals of the World

6 thoughts on “The Annals of the World

  1. Oh this is lovely. It’s funny how a nice copy of a book can really up one’s motivation to finish it. 🙂

    I love your notes. Antiochus Cyzicenus (wow, what a name) totally invented the robot.


  2. Oh, congratulations finishing it!! You’ve made me go from never hearing of this book before its mention in your List of Shame to really really really wanting to read it. Honestly, it’s so cool that Ussher wrote something like this. And the first reported robots in 111 BC??!? Wow!!


    1. Thank you!
      I hope you get to read it someday. (If buying, I actually recommend the paperback. Less pretty, but more prudent. On the other hand, the Internet Archive has it for free.)
      First reported robots according to me, anyhow. It’s a field that needs more study.


  3. I’ve never heard of this book before but now I want to read it!! It sounds so cool, with lots of good writing inspiration 😉

    Also hi! I found your blog through Eden’s and I love it. I also learned what a Shennachie is, which is TOO AWESOME, so thank you for that. 😊


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