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Learn the key ideas of the book by Alessandro Barbero , Piero Angela

Dietro le quinte della storia

The history of mankind from an unusual perspective

The history books never show us the vicissitudes of ordinary men but tend to focus on the exploits of prominent people and the lives of kings and emperors. In their book Dietro le quinte della storia, (Behind the Scenes of History) Piero Angela and Alessandro Barbero offer a glimpse into the everyday life of the ordinary people who have played an important role in human history since ancient times. Family life, beliefs, sexuality, inventions, crimes and punishments: only by understanding these key components of people’s lives can we really begin to understand how humanity has developed through the centuries. This book is full of new anecdotes and interesting facts to stimulate the reader's curiosity and immerse themself in our distant past.

Dietro le quinte della storia
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Studying the past to better understand the present

The history lessons we attend at school are packed with momentous events and their most significant historical figures, but, according to the authors, the only way to understand the changes that take place from one era to another is to go behind the scenes, to examine the lives of ordinary people. Only through the discovery of everyday life and the small episodes upon which historical events are based, can we truly understand the reasons for certain developments.

Observing past societies helps us understand the importance of the introduction of technology, energy, and the advancement of knowledge. These components have radically changed the world, and still play a vital role in the development of today’s economy and contemporary society.

  

The key ideas of "Dietro le quinte della storia"

01.
Studying the past to better understand the present
02.
Agriculture fuelled the first great revolution in human history: social structures change when men go from hunter gatherers to farmers
03.
The agricultural revolution is linked to another revolution: rearing animals, an important activity which had a significant impact on people’s diet and workload
04.
The era when slaves were the chosen source of alternative energy
05.
In mediaeval times there was no such thing as medical care, not even for the rich
06.
People in the past were not much different from today: man’s desire to thrive has always been prevalent, as has the desire to raise a family and offer their children a future
07.
Sexuality in medieval times was seen very differently: sex was considered healthy and important, and spoken about openly
08.
In mediaeval times, religion influenced every aspect of daily life: religious affiliation was the most important part of people’s identity
09.
The Middle Ages were also a time of creativity: many inventions that changed the course of history were created during this time although it is often described as stagnant
10.
Pre Industrial society was very violent: people fought more, and family feuds and homicides were commonplace and widely accepted
11.
Corporal punishment was used because keeping people in prison was too expensive
12.
Innovation in the fields of offence and defence: war
13.
Civil rights have never been the same for everyone, citizenship was a coveted status
14.
Quotes
15.
Take-home message
 
 
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