A Chart of Biography

Published in 1765 by British polymath Joseph Priestley, A Chart of Biography was very popular and has influenced generations.

Purpose of the chart was to "trace out distinctly the dependence of events to distribute them into such periods and divisions as shall lay the whole claim of past transactions in a just and orderly manner".

Priestley wanted to teach his students the relationship between the nations of the past and the people that defined them. His creation ended up becoming two separate but related views. Images shown is a small snippet from the first which shows over 2000 historical figures.

 A New Chart of History

Together, they weave an intricate story. They explain and document both the rise and fall of empires, and the unique thinkers that defined those nations. For example, we can see the clusters
of biographies and how they correlate to the major moments in human history –the Greeks, the Romans, the Enlightenment, etc.