Contents: Preface. 1. Calendar. 2. Hijrah, the year of migration. 3. How to calculate the date of manuscripts? 4. Sumer from its origin to Hammurapi. 5. Hittites, phoenicians and Hebrews. 6. Assyria and its neighbours. 7. Egypt from 4000 BC to Roman times. 8. Crete and Mycenae from their origins to the Dorian invasions. 9. Sparta, Athens and the birth of Rome. 10. Archaic Greece. 11. The formation of the Persian Empire. 12. Greece in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. 13. The empire of Alexander the Great. 14. Rome from Republic to world conquest. 15. Civil wars from Caesar to Augustus. 16. The empire in the first century. 17. The Golden age of the Antonines (AD 96-192). 18. The third century and the decline of the Empire (AD 193-395). 19. The fall of Rome and the Barbarian Kingdoms. 20. India and China (AD 900). 21. The Frankish Empire, England and the East. 22. Western Europe from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. 23. Byzantium, Persia and Arab conquests (AD 1000). 24. The decline of Byzantium, the Turks and Islam. 25. The Crusades and the Frankish states. 26. France in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 27. Universities and cultural life. 28. England and France from 1380 to 1500. 29. Spain, Portugal and Italy in fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 30. Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia: 950-1600. 31. Sixteenth-century Spain. 32. Pre-Columbian civilization. 33. Portuguese voyages of exploration and conquests. 34. Spanish America: discovery and conquest. 35. Asia before the European conquests. 36. Kings and Queens of England and the United Kingdom. 37. Norman and Plantagenet 1066-1399. 38. Lancaster and York 1399-1485. 39. Tudors 1485-1603. 40. Stuarts and Hanoverians 1603-1837. 41. Victoria and her descendants 1837. 42. Rulers of ancient, medieval and renaissance world. 43. Asia and the Far East in AD 1610, Map. 44. Europe influence in AD 1900, Map. 45. Asia and the Far East in AD 622 to 750, Map. 47. Events of the world according to Islamic history. 48. Major events concerning the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam. 49. Chart of commencement of lunar months of 23 years of Apostleship of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam. 50. Events of the capital of Delhi. 51. Razia Sultana (the ruler of Delhi). 52. The Mughal Dynasty. 53. The Mughal Princess. 54. The Mughal dynastic marriages. 55. Map of Mughal Empire. 56. Genealogy of Gengis Khan (Changes Khan). 57. Rulers of India. 58. Biographical listing of Mughal period. 59. Comparing tables of Muslim and Christian chronology. 60. Bibliography. Index.
From the preface: "Man must always have been curious about past events. Knowledge was dependent at first upon oral traditions, later supplanted by written records of past events, and stimulated by the visibIe monuments of half-remembered episodes.
"In the middle ages, any interest in the ancient world was affectively suppressed by religious priests. They presented in ordered list of events of particular religion.
"War between group of people probably had existed from the earliest times, but increased urbanization brought concentration of wealth and power which fostered endemic conflict. Territory, treasures, women, slaves-all were for the taking.
"Devastations, disease and famine were part of the lot of the ordinary man. Such circumstances as these undoubtly contributed to the increasing influence of religion as a supernatural means of escape from the problems at hand. Yet it should not be forgotten that pressure of war generally bring out some of the best qualities of arms and ammunitions for the need in times of conflict.
"In the seventh century, however, the antiquities of the classical world began to excite the imagination of scholars, and their interest was soon extended to the whole world. Each generation of scholars is indebted to its predecessors, for its own studies are a tribute to the past, a respect for the present and a guide for the future.
"The archaeologist tries not only to understand the major economic and political events of past times, events which in literate societies were usually recorded and which may be deduced through the excavation of prehistoric monuments, but also to appreciate the life of anonymous people who made up the basis of these societies.
"Archaeology shows that a system of writing was first invented in Mesopotania, in the early Sumerian cities. But to establish the date equalent to the prevalent calendars becomes difficult. For this purpose an archaeologist / scholar should have the knowledge of the other calendars simultaneously.
"From 1860, excavation were carried out in Mesopotania and Egypt. The date marks the beginning of gradual acceptance of the biological evidence for the great antiquity of man. It can be seen that the legacy of the past does not extend only to Greece and Rome but our Asia is more fertile.
"Numberless people established the traditions and bequeathed the heritage to late generations. Some achieved fame and others are anonymous. Their legacy is celebrated here in this book. Iranian artists emigrated in the mid sixteenth century to the Mughals courts in India, where Persian manuscript traditions were avidly adopted, but only late in the century did the distinctive Mughal idiom of book illustration and decoration emerge. Although Persian remained the literary language there for centuries.
"Manuscripts of historical and literary works are known to have been illustrated in earlier centuries, but in the late period the illustrated manuscript was transformed into a major art form which enjoyed widespread and enduring popularity.
"But the scarcity of basic data has always hampered the study of manuscript illumination in the Islamic world before the Mughals. Even when it became relatively common for such information to be given, the place of production was hardly ever mentioned. In early times there was no hard and fast rule about Colophons, indeed, signed and date examples are unknown before the tenth century.
"This handsome book, which includes the history of calendar, events, geneology and comparing tables of Muslim and Christian chronology, represents a distinguished and highly readable contribution to the scholars."