Christian Daniel Beck (1757–1832) was, amongst other activities, a distinguished professor of classics at the University of Leipzig. In 1787–88 he published the first two volumes of a universal history, Anleitung zur Kenntnis der allgemeinen Welt- und Völkergeschichte für Studirende, taking the account up to the division of the Carolingian empire. This volume of 1790 is a kind of teaser for the remainder of the history, beginning with summaries and increasing in detail as it approaches Beck’s own time. Beck viewed world history as divided into ten “periods,” each of which consisted of a number of “epochs.” The passage quoted above appears in a discussion of fine arts in the sixth and final epoch (1739 to the present) of the tenth period (from the European discovery of America to the present). A further two volumes based on this plan followed in 1802 and 1807, ending with the discovery of America, but Beck seems never to have continued the history beyond that point in its comprehensive form.