Introduction. From the History of Humankind to Big History

Authors: Grinin, Leonid; Korotayev, Andrey
Almanac: History & Mathematics:Big History Aspects

Our Yearbook ‘History and Mathematics’ has already celebrated its 10th anniversary and has confidently entered its second decade. In this regard it will be quite reasonable to try to extend the scope of its research field. Therefore, this issue is designed in an unusual manner while still preserving the relevance for our approach (see about it below). It also makes sense to remind the reader of the various aspects that were touched upon in the previous issues.

The first issue of the Yearbook entitled ‘Analyzing and Modeling Global Development’ came out in 2006 (see Grinin, de Munck, and Korotayev 2006). This volume initiated a series of edited volumes dedicated to various aspects of the application of mathematical methods to the study of history and society. It comprised articles that apply mathematical methods to the study of various epochs and scales: from deep historical reconstruction to the pressing problems of the modern world. On the other hand, all the articles of this issue were dedicated to the analysis, periodization, or modeling of global development. It was shown that the mathematical modeling of historical macroprocesses suggests a fresh approach to the periodization issue. The authors studied these problems from different perspectives (technological, economic, demographic, sociostructural, cultural-psychological, linguistic). New quantitative insights on the dynamics of contemporary processes were presented. These insights allowed the authors to make a number of important forecasts on this basis.