Joseph Priestley's
New Chart of History

Scroll down to explore!

Chart of History -


Scroll down to learn the how to read the chart.

This image of A New Chart of History is taken from the The Library Company of Philadelphia


In Priestley's Charts, time is displayed by vertical lines, which range from 1200 B.C.E on the left to 1800 C.E. on the right. 100 year increments are depicted by a thin, vertical grey line.

Year 700 BC

Geography - places

Physical areas of land, or places, are represented on the chart by horizontal rows and generally represent what Priestley understood to be nations. Some of these places such as "Canada" or "Japan" remain familiar today, while others such as “Bithynia” may be less familiar.

Place: Scotland

Geography - regions

The places are grouped into regions. For example, the rows for the places called "Canada", "Nova Scotia", "Florida", "Chili", and "Brasil", are all grouped into a region called "America".

Region: Great Britain

Hegemony - Empire

Hegemony, or military dominance of one nation over others, is represented on the chart by polygons, the most important of which are also colored and sometimes inscribed in a larger script. Powerful empires such as those of the "English" and the "Romans" had control of many place-rows for many years.

Empire: The Roman Empire

Chart of History -

Comparison of Digital vs. Original

This section allows you to compare our procedurally created chart with Priestley's original.
Hover the pointer over the digital chart to reveal which empire was in power at a given place in a given region.
Use a mouse scroll wheel to zoom into the digital chart to see an area in more detail. Then click and drag to pan.
NOTE: The +/- zoom buttons are Beta and may not fully function, yet. Stay tuned for updates!

Original chart

Digital recreation

Interactive chart -

Discover who, where, and when

This section allows you explore the information stored in the chart.
Hover over the chart to reveal which empire was in power at a given place in a given region in a given year
Click on the chart to selecta specfic place and empire. The map will highlight the place you clicked on, and all other places under control of the same empire in that year.
Use the dropdown menus to view specific empires on that chart, or places on the map and chart.

Detailed chart exploration -

a tour of interesting details