The Four Ancient Civilizations Essay
The following 4 ancient civilizations all have very different types of development whether it be because the difference in geographical, economic or social location does not change the fact that these four civilizations have come (and some have not come) to present day extremely different from one another because of their different developmental patterns. Extremely early Egyptians began settling along the Nile during the Neolithic period. The Nile provided necessary resources such as water, wildlife, and the ability to grow crops that the new form of human settlement had become accustom to.
The Nile provided life for the Egyptians, but the desert around The Nile, was filled with nothing but death for humans. The greatest thing about this setup of having life within and death without was that the Egyptians could sustain themselves without much dependence on the outside world, and best of all, the desert protected them from invaders. In this way, Egyptians were not burdened with the thoughts of defending themselves from invasion or bartering their goods to get things they needed, they had natural protection and provision.With this in mind, you can see how the Egyptians were then able to spend less time thinking about many of the things that other civilizations think about, and spend more time thinking about other things such as art, math, language and other abstract ideas. Near the beginning of ancient Egypt’s history The Nile valley was practically unlivable. Eventually the land around the banks of the river was cleared and irrigated. By around 6000 BC society in the Valley had already progressed to organized agriculture and the construction of large buildings.
By at least 4000 BC cows were being herded, mortar was being used in the construction of buildings, and barley and emmer was being grown. During this time Egypt was divided into 2 kingdoms called Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. It is thought that sometime around 3150 BC King Menes brought Upper and Lower Egypt together into one kingdom. The Old Kingdom was the period of time when the pyramids were built.
This was from 2686 BC to 2134 BC. The Old Kingdom ended 2150 BC because of civil war and drought.From around 2160 to 2040 BC there was a time called The First Intermediate Period. During this time weak pharaohs with little control and civil war left Egypt disorganized and weak. From around 2040-1700 BC The middle Kingdom arose. During this time Egyptians began to worship Osiris. A man named Senusret began taking away power from local monarchs and began restoring much of the previous power of the pharaoh.
This process took place from about 1878 to 1843 BC. During the period of 1525 to 1512 BC Egypt extended is border into Syria.From 1353 to 1335 BC a pharaoh named Akhenaten came in and changed the primary religion from a polytheistic religion into a monotheistic religion, right after his death the next pharaoh, Tutankhamun changed religion back to the polytheism that it was before. In 525 BC Persia conquered Egypt; five years after this happened a canal was built that connected the Red Sea and The Nile.
In the year 404 BC Egypt rebelled against Persia and captured Egypt, around 60 years later Persia reclaimed Egypt. 110 years after that Alexander the Great took over Egypt and put one of his generals in charge.Cleopatra became the new ruler of Egypt from 51-30 BC. She and her general Marc Antony were defeated in 31 BC, immediately after this Rome took over Egypt. For the most part Egyptians followed different polytheisms that contained multiple gods, except for one span of time where the religion was changed to monotheism, this was quickly extinguished and the former polytheism was reinstated.
The language spoken during this time and for a very long time after was simply Egyptian. Though there we a few different writing forms. For example Hieroglyphs were used in ceremonial writings and on the walls and monuments of tombs.Other writings that were used in everyday life were hieratic script and Coptic. Now, for the Chinese.
In about 5,000 BC farming villages appeared in the Yellow River Valley. In about 2,500 BC East China and Central River Valleys both have farming villages. Many practice ancestral worship. From 2205 to 1766 BC is when China’s alleged first dynasty began ruling. From 1766 to 1122 BC is when the first provable dynasty comes into power. From about 1122 to 221 BC was when Confucius was born, and china had a sort of renaissance.
Arts and philosophy flourished.This was also when Confucianism and Taoism were formed. Transportation canals were built and methods of mediation and breathing techniques were developed.
From 221 to 206 BC is when the Chinese states unified and created the Great Wall. And finally from 206 BC to 220 AD Buddhism enters China and paper is invented. Throughout this time there are many variations in the typical culture, but primarily when Confucianism was discovered it was the main philosophy that governed much of ancient China. The Imperial courts were governed only by people who had mastered all of theConfucius texts.
Chinese Calligraphy was the primary form of writing for many years. Many other neighboring cultures were influenced by Chinese Calligraphy. China is also accredited with multiple inventions that we still use today. All sorts of useful things were invented in ancient China from paper to gunpowder to the noodle. The primary language that was spoken all throughout Chinese history was Mandarin, but this wasn’t the only language spoken, other languages that were spoken but not as commonly include Wu, Cantonese, and Min.Now on to India, in India from 2000 to 1000 BC the following major events took place, the Harappa and Mohenjodaro Communities formed and prospered.
Also during this time, the Dravidian traditions were established in south India. From 1000 BC to 600 BC the Aryans migrated to the Indian subcontinent, the Vedas and the Mahabharata were written. Hinduism expanded and the caste system was established.
From 600 to 400 BC the birth and enlightenment of both Gautama Buddha and Lord Mahavira took place. Bimbisara of Magadha took control of India and the popularity of Jainism began to rise.During the period from 400 BC to 0 BC several things happen, but I would like to point out that yet again Alexander the Great invades and conquers yet another thriving country, and if you read about other ancient histories, you will a lot of the time see the same pattern involving Alexander the Great and his conquest of the civilization you are reading about. So as for the “great” at the end of his name, I think he deserved it. Anyways, after Alexander’s invasion of India Chandra Gupta Maurya became the ruler. An Indian Empire was established and Buddhism began to be widespread.
Hinduism was the primary religion before Buddhism and Jainism arose to challenge it. The art and literature evolved over time in India just like in any other culture. They had art forms like paintings, sculptures and mosaics. India was very adept in math. They invented the number system and came up with the number 0. India civilizations had some of the best town and city planning. Some of the languages that were spoken by ancient Indians were Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit. One thing I thought was neat about the ancient Indians was hat many times someone’s primary language depended upon which religion they followed.
For example, the Pali was spoken by the Buddhists, and the Prakrit was spoken by the Jains. TO THE ROMANS!!!!!! Now in comparison to the previous three civilizations Rome isn’t that old and they were nowhere near as peaceful. To follow the history of war is to follow the history of Rome.
Rome was founded around 753 BC. In 509 BC the first republic was established. Ok, here we go with the wars, in 406 BC Rome attacks the city of Veii and wins.Next in 390 BC Gaul takes Rome, they are then paid off to leave. Years later Rome starts the first Samnite War. Then Latin peoples begin to not like Rome taking over many of their previous lands, so they revolt and start the Latin War in 340 BC. Rome then participates in the Second Samnite War from 326 to 304 BC!! That’s a 22 year war! But are they done yet? Not even close! After that there was the Third Samnite War in 298 BC. Then the Pyrrhic War in 280 BC and the First Punic War from 264 to 241 BC, yet another war that lasted longer than 20 years.
Then, get this, about 23 whole years of peace, shocker right? So, after those 23 years of peace the Romans obviously had to make up for not fighting for so long, I mean come on, 23 years of peace? That is just way to long for the Romans. So, what do they do? They contest in more wars, that’s right as if 1 war wasn’t enough they first begin fighting the Second Punic War during 218 BC and while they were in the middle of fighting that war, the First Macedonian war begins in 214 BC, and did they lose either war? AS IF!!!! They stomped the Punic and warded off the Macedonians.Then comes the Second Macedonian War in 200 BC and the Third in 171 BC. Next they fight the Third Punic War in 149 BC while at the same time fighting the Fourth Macedonian War. This seems to be the final war for ancient Rome. After this there are only political disputes and social skirmishes.
Things like the Social war in 91 BC to Spartacus’s slave revolt in 73 BC are some of the more prominent events that happen after the wars. Eventually Julius Caesar moves up within the government and eventually becomes a sort of dictator.He began his political career around 65 BC, defeats Pompey (couldn’t leave that final war out) and was finally stabbed to death by his fellow noblemen in 44 BC. Life in ancient Rome revolved around the city of Rome, its famous seven hills, and its monumental structures such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon.
The city also had multiple theatres, taverns and brothels. Religion was a very big part of the daily lives of Romans. They believed that there were several gods and that the gods controlled their lives.They spent much of their time worshiping the gods. Some of the gods were Jupiter, Mars, Diana and Minerva.
The main spoken language in the Roman Empire was Latin. This was also the written language. There were different dialects of Latin and when writing it the order of the words didn’t matter as much as it did in other languages. It was primarily about adding prefixes and suffixes to root words. As you can see all of these civilizations differ greatly in their cultures, histories, religions and languages.For example the Indians and the Egyptians relied mainly on physical barriers to prevent them from invasion.
Whereas China used diplomacy and Rome used…invasion to prevent…invasion… Ya, kind of backwards, but it seemed to work for them. Romans, Indians and Egyptians all had religions that focused on gods whereas China seemed more focused on philosophy and the “Self”. All of the civilizations had multiple forms of complex art and had some conflict at some point or another; it’s just that the Romans had more conflict than the other three combined.Today it is evident that all of them are obviously still different. For example the Roman Empire isn’t even existent anymore, the same goes for the power that Egypt had as well. India and China are both still very evident though, and as for why, well, it’s hard to say, but it seems likely that they are both thriving today because they didn’t completely rely on one natural source of water or anything for that matter like the Egyptians, and they weren’t always fighting with anyone and everyone, obviously this seems to have been Rome’s. All in all they were all very advanced, strong and thoughtful civilizations that helped develop the world into what it is now.Work Citedhttp://www.
ancientindia. co. uk/staff/resources/background/bg8/home. html http://www. history. co.
uk/shows/rome-rise-and-fall-of-an-empire/season-1/timel ine. html http://eawc. evansville.
edu/ http://www. mrdonn. org/ancienthistory. html http://www. archaeologychannel. org http://www.
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