“There is properly no history, only biography...”
- Emerson

“Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards.”
- Kierkegaard

“What is the use of a book without pictures,”
said Alice

BC & AD or BCE & CE

This multi-cultural book uses the more considerate abbreviations of BCE and CE as a way of labeling dates. Christians may interpret the abbreviations as “Before the Christian Era” and “Christian Era,” while others may prefer to view them as “Before the Common Era” and “Common Era.”


My thanks go to my wife Sandra for her love, encouragement and practical support. She typed a large part of the handwritten manuscript.

I am indebted to two close friends who willingly gave me advice and many hours of their time:

Francis Gace, my sounding board and cheerleader. His critical intelligence, artist’s eye and intuitive grasp of what I was trying to accomplish were invaluable. It was his suggestion to turn my original intention of 60 quick sketches into more than 400, some of them, not so quick!

Charles de Haes, applied his worldly knowledge, language skills and legal precision to the almost completed project. With infinite patience he combed the stories offering suggestions, corrections and improvements.

Finally my gratitude goes to Steve Filmer for his professional graphic design input, the wonderful Darien (Connecticut) Library and the subject-matter experts who read sections of the book: Caitlin Augusta, Malcolm Brown, Michael Brown, Parker Buckles, Elizabeth Comiskey, Faye Gage, Frank Keen, John Luttrell, Abigail Liu, Liz Marcel, Sue Mattison, Tip de Lanoy Meijer, Kiran Tandon, Jane Wollmar, and Munir Zein.

This book is dedicated to:

My Girls: Marjorie and Nichola
My Boys: Chris, Deon, Roger and Stephen
My Grandchildren: Michael, Alexandra, William, Emily, Sebastian, Jack, Adriane , Louisa Sophia Hugo and those to come.

Copyright 2006 by Chris H. Filmer