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Sebastian Adams' Classic Time-Line of World History: A Chronology of Ancient, Modern, and Biblical History Review by Deborah Wuehler

A Chronology of Ancient, Modern, and Biblical History
Master Books

In the past, I have disliked teaching history. I never enjoyed it in school and didn't quite know how to go about teaching it at home, except by using different Christian publishers' workbooks. However, I have discovered a gem that our family just loves. I was extremely excited to receive this review product, because I have always wanted an accurate and descriptive timeline for my homeschool. This is such an excellent product, and to me, it is much more than a timeline. Let me explain.

The first thing you will notice is that this is no wimpy, staple-to-the-wall, type of timeline. It is about two and a half feet high by 25 feet wide and is made of heavy cardstock that will definitely stand the test of time. It is packaged as an accordion-style fold-out--which is good, because I don't have 25 feet of wall space to hang it! We fold it out to the section we want to study and lay it on the table. We have opened it all the way down the main hallway and living room to get a feel for all the history contained on it. It has enough room to cover minute details of what was going on in Biblical and world history in pictures, words, and numbers from beginning to end. There is so much on this timeline that in a month's time we have barely begun to learn and digest all that's contained here. It was written in 1871 after many years of toil and research by S.C. Adams, his father being a relative of President John Adams. I love what is said about the author's mother: "Mrs. Adams bequeathed to her son her love of research and the indefatigable perseverance of her character, and thus has been wrought for the world this wonder which bears his name."

Included with the timeline is a 64-page key that explains the "map" of history. There are explanations in the book of some of the artwork, for example: "The ten red crosses upon the purple of the Roman Empire represent the "ten persecutions" of the Christians; the first under Nero from AD 64 to 68 and the last and tenth by Diocletian in AD 303. Also, all the illustrations are explained right on the map. Geography is also outlined in the little key book, telling of the beginnings of places like Britain, China, France, and many others. It covers the United States through the year 1875 and shows our first 19 presidents, up through R.B. Hayes.

A bonus of this resource is that it can be used as a companion to my favorite history textbook. The publisher calls it "the perfect companion to your copy of The Annals of the World." And it is indeed. The Annals of the World by James Ussher is a huge volume of world history, beginning with Creation and proceeding until about AD 73. The timeline can be used hand-in-hand with Usshers's book, which is also available from Master Books. Or the timeline can definitely stand alone.

I asked my high school son and junior high daughter to pick out some interesting facts just by looking at the timeline for a few minutes. Here's what they came up with:

  • Adam talked with Methuselah 243 years.
  • Lamech is the first person on record who died a natural death before his father. He lived 777 years and died 5 years before the flood.
  • Abel was the very first martyr.
  • Noah lived 350 years after the flood and died 2 years before Abraham was born.
  • The Ballista (medieval siege weapon) was made around or just after the time of Solomon.
  • Babylon was 15 miles square with walls 350 feet high and 87 feet thick with 25 brass gates on each side.
  • The Roman Coliseum was made right after Jesus' death and seated 100,000.
  • Baghdad is 68 miles north of Babylon.
  • A mule spinner was operated by 1 person and did the work of 3,000 women in the years 1774-79.
  • A telegraph cable was stretched across the Atlantic from England to America on July 27, 1867.
  • The first mail to go by coaches went on August 2, 1784 from London to Bristol.

I love this resource! If you love accurate Biblical and world history, you will love it too. If you don't like history, this product may just make it likeable and may even get you excited about teaching it, because your kids will be drawn to its beautiful illustrations and corresponding facts and information. Even if you already have a timeline, this product is different. It is like having a textbook, timeline, chart, and map all in one. I am so blessed to have this as a resource in my homeschool.

Product review by Deborah Wuehler, Senior Editor, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2007