Abstract and Keywords
This chapter discusses some major historical antecedents of the field of global studies. It is argued that historical reflection requires a “way of thinking” that is sensitive to a holistic longue durée framework of social and intellectual development. The chapter provides a brief discussion of the place of planet Earth in the universe and connects this via the concept of relativization with the themes of globalization, glocalization, and globality. Attention is paid to the manner in which the world as a whole was discovered and mapped in various ways from ancient times onward. It stresses the inevitability of the impact of present concerns and events on the way in which the distant past is discussed. It concentrates on the period lasting from ancient societies and civilizations up to when the world was seen as a single place, mainly in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
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