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The Rise of Man

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Pages: 256

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Claude Reignier Conder

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III CIVILISATION L Ancient History (3000 B.C. to 300 A.D.).—The history of man is like the history of the earth on which he dwells. It has its times of sunshine and of storm, its great floods and ebbs, its volcanic outbursts and its slow imperceptible secular changes. Nations are born and grow old, like men : and, as in geological so in historical progress, the earliest ages are the longest and the least complex in development. We are apt to regard history from an exclusively European standpoint, and to fix our attention solely on later events which affected our own destiny. To understand aright the origin of civilisation we must turn to Asia, where we find Akkadian dominance for at least a thousand years to be the most important feature. That age was followed by fifteen hundred years of Semitic progress, before the time when—for five centuries—Persia and Greece occupy the scene. Five more centuries represent Roman empire, followed by a thousand yea1 during which Europe was struggling for mastery. H is only during the last four hundred years that the centre of civilisation has shifted from the old horfe of its birth to the new home in Western Europe. We have no history before the appearance of written records in Asia, and no chronology before the foundation of Babylon in 2250 B.c. We should be careful to distinguish what is actually proved from that which is conjectured, and contemporary evidence from thebeliefs of later writers. If we are to believe the Babylonians of the sixth century B.c., the ancient Akkadian civilisation endured for some two thousand years before the growth of any Semitic power. But Sargina, " the founder king," who ruled from Persia to the Mediterranean, is only a dim traditional figure.1 The Akkadian empire may have endured for a third of the ...  


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