Universal history

A universal history is a work aiming at the presentation of a history of all of mankind as a whole, coherent unit.[1] A universal chronicle or world chronicle typically traces history from the beginning of written information about the past up to the present.[2] Therefore, any work classed as such purportedly attempts to embrace the events of all times and nations in so far as scientific treatment of them is possible.[3]

Universal history in the Western tradition is commonly divided into three parts, viz. ancient, medieval, and modern time.[4] The division on ancient and medieval periods is less sharp or absent in the Arabic and Asian historiographies. A synoptic view of universal history led some scholars, beginning with Karl Jaspers,[5] to distinguish the Axial Age synchronous to "classical antiquity" of the Western tradition.[6] Jaspers also proposed a more universal periodization—prehistory, history and planetary history. All distinguished earlier periods belong to the second period (history) which is a relatively brief transitory phase between two much longer periods.