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Measuring Time, Making History

By Lynn Hunt

Publication Year: 2008

Time is the crucial ingredient in history, and yet historians rarely talk about time as such. These essays offer new insight into the development of modern conceptions of time, from the Christian dating system (BC/AD or BCE/CE) to the idea of “modernity” as a new epoch in human history.

Published by: Central European University Press


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pp. c-ii

Title Page

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p. iii-iii

Copyright page

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p. iv-iv


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pp. v-vi

Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. 1-2

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Chapter 1. Is Time Historical?

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pp. 3-46

Time, as Sexton’s lines so forcibly remind us, requires metaphor. It flows like a river, accelerates like an engine, flies like a winged chariot, freezes like instant ice, stands still like a heart between beats, or, in Sexton’s words, grows short, and then dims out as death opens his door. Without the metaphors,...

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Chapter 2. Modernity and History

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pp. 47-92

Modernity has two related definitions, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is “the quality or condition of being modern; modernness of character or style,” and “an intellectual tendency or social perspective characterized by departure from or repudiation...

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Chapter 3. Post Times or the Future of the Past

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pp. 93-134

Western notions of time have shaped temporal understandings around the world and to a considerable extent have been imposed on the rest of the world. Twenty-five nations sent delegates to the International Meridian Conference that met in Washington D.C. in October 1884 and adopted the observatory...


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pp. 135-140

back cover

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p. bc-bc

E-ISBN-13: 9786155211485
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776142

Page Count: 148
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: The Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Ser