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One thing leads to another on the line of time.

By TIM WALKER [Independent] – From the ancient Roman calendar to Facebook’s brain-melting new “Timeline” profile layout, most of us are accustomed to visualising history as linear; a middle, book-ended by arbitrary beginnings and ends. And yet, timelines designed as a single straight axis, with a regular and measured distribution of dates, have only existed in such a form for around 250 years. So write historians Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton, the authors of Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline.

In the age of the internet, the infographic has matured into a mass medium, made famous by websites like David McCandless’s Information is Beautiful. Rosenberg and Grafton’s new book records its messy pre-natal development. Until the Renaissance, they explain, “chronology was among the most revered of scholarly pursuits… the facts of chronology had significant implications outside the academic study of history.”

Continued at The Independent | Examples | More Chronicle & Notices.

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