World Civilizations

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World Civilizations

World Civilizations


The beginnings of Western civilization can be traced back to the ancient Near East, where people in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed organized societies and created the ideas and institutions that we associate with civilization. Alexander and Steven (1990) mention the later Greeks and Romans, who played such a crucial role in the development of Western civilization, were themselves nourished and influenced by these older societies in the Near East. Around 3000 B.C., people in Mesopotamia and Egypt began to develop cities and wrestle with the problems of organized states. They developed writing to keep records and created literature (Alexander and Steven, 1990). They constructed monumental architecture to please their gods, symbolize their power, and preserve their culture for all time.

Summary of World Civilization from Mesopotamia to ancient Rome

World Civilizations notably Mesopotamian, Near Eastern, Hebrew, Greek and Roman civilizations developed the modes of living and the way of life-styles.

Mesopotamia is the ancient land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It covers modern day Iraq and parts of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Mesopotamian civilizations were the first in history to exist in well-populated and fixed settlements. As settlements became larger and more organized, they progressed politically and socially into city-states. They developed irrigation methods and invented the wheel and the plow. After they developed the first written language, economic transactions and legal codes were kept. Mesopotamian literature was recorded. Great architectural structures were built. In time, empires, kings, and innovative military establishments emerged. These advancements, along with scientific, mathematical, and communal ceremonies, are the legacies of the great Mesopotamian civilizations.

In words of Whittaker (2004) Mesopotamia was the heartland of emerging nations and empires that would control the Near East for centuries. Mesopotamia is a general name for a number of diverse ethnic groups that contributed to the culture of the region. The most well-known Mesopotamian civilizations include the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians (Whittaker, 2004). Other cultural groups may have been key players on the Mesopotamian stage, but none was as influential as these groups.

Rome and its vast literature and civilization formed the point of departure for scholarly investigation during the 19th century beginnings of anthropology, archaeology, and sociology. At the time, university admission required the knowledge of both Latin and Greek. This educational practice had begun during the Renaissance and was only dropped during the mid-1960s in Europe. For many, Greek and Roman civilizations were the first “alien” civilizations ...
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