The pageant of African history

HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello:

According to Longman Dictionary:

the pageant of something: a series of historical events that are interesting and important

Let's take "The pageant of African history" as an example.

To help me understand this phrase, someone suggested me to picture a sequence of African historical events as so many decorated floats in a passing procession.

I am picturing that. Does “pageant” imply that there are many interesting and diverse events in African history? Does it imply that African history is long?
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    To understand this figurative use of pageant it is best to start with the literal meaning. It implies that it is interesting. It doesn’t imply anything about the number of key events or about the duration of time covered
     

    HolyUnicorn

    Senior Member
    Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
    Thanks, Glasguensis and The Newt.

    Pageants are normally relatively long, colorful, and divided into segments. They're not normally "processions."
    I think you mean literally, right? Does it also apply figuratively: history is long, colorful and divided into events? Glasguensis thinks it only implies interesting. That is why I want a confirmation.
     

    HolyUnicorn

    Senior Member
    Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
    Thanks for all your help. I haven't provided enough context. That is the reason the interpretation may be subjective. But I do get the sense. :)
     
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