Walter Ralegh: The History of the World

(1427 words)

Ralegh's greatest literary achievement, The History of the World, was composed between 1607 and 1614 while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London on trumped-up charges of plotting against the life of James I. Ralegh had intended to compose a three-volume encyclopaedia of universal existence from the Creation to the present day, but completed only “the first part” which itself comprised five books and 776 folio pages. Tracing the rise and fall of the empires of Babylon, Persia and Greece, Ralegh anchors his narrative firmly in the Old Testament, but traverses widely across Greek and Roman philosophy and poetry, rabbinical exegesis, Christian writings in Latin and Greek, and medieval and Renaissance theology. Ralegh composed <…

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Craik, Katharine. "The History of the World". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 November 2001
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]