Three-sentence history of the world

There are plenty of histories of the world out there written by actual, qualified historians like J.M. Roberts, H.G. Wells, Thucydides and Herodotus, but they all suffer from a common fault: too long. I’d like to write a history of the world so that it’s around fifteen A5 pages. This is mostly for amusement and to eventually include in the backpacker’s manual that I’m working on. It’s going pretty well; it’s actually really fun and liberating to read history by completely skipping over all detail of any kind.

But I am kind of struggling with how to begin writing anything. I think the technique might be to do a few sentences at a time right across history – start with everything in frame and then gradually zoom in until I’m at fifteen pages. At least that’s my approach for right now.

So here is a three sentence history of the world:

Time and matter first emerged in a rapid expansion known as the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago and this expansion continues to the present day.

Around 12,000 years ago, humans first developed agriculture in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East.

In 2020, the COVID-19 virus became a global pandemic, resulting in national quarantines, economic deterioration, and the death of more than two million people.

I’ll fill in the rest later.