(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

CLIMATE AND HUMAN HISTORY
in
The new millennium dawned favourably enough- Egyptian civil-
ization, borne along on its own momentum, reached new successes.
Beautiful temples of stone, and the pyramids, with their astounding
exactitude and colossal size, date from its earliest centuries* Mathe-
matics and astronomy take their rise; the State is run by a regular
bureaucracy. A little later, in Mesopotamia, King Sargon comes on
the scene, the first of the great conquerors to build an empire with
armies.
For armies were another new invention. The primitive hunters
had doubtless fought, but it had probably never been organized fight-
ing; and the early food-gatherers and cultivators seem to have been
peaceable on the whole. There was assuredly never any Golden Age
of Peace, as Perry and other enthusiasts imagine, but the early ages of
human life were probably on the whole peaceful, because deliberate
and organized warfare was not necessary and did not pay. War
began as settled man quarrelled over his property and his privileges.
The idea of war soon spread to the less civilized peoples who fringed
the settled lands; and it became possible for these peoples to practise
war efficiently because they had passed from the state of hunters to
that of nomads, disciplined herdsmen, and horsemen. The horse
must have been domesticated on the steppes somewhere before 3000
B.C. A little later, drought began, and the nomads, lacking food at,
home, poured down on the settled lands with their horses. These
were as terrible an innovation in warfare then as were the tanks in the
wars of our own day some 4500 years later; and both Egypt and
Mesopotamia were overrun and their civilization put in peril.
Meanwhile the pressure of population, of climatic changes, of in-
vasions in the rear, forced the grain-growers out in all directions. Not
till about 3000 B.C. did any settle on the continent of Europe; but
well before the close of the succeeding millennium they had spread
over its greater part, to Thrace, to Germany, to Belgium, to France,
And the push was felt by sea as well as by land. The whole Mediter-
ranean became a great trade-lake, and the ^Egean sailors had reached
the Atlantic at latest by 2200 B.C. At the same time a great wave of
migration spread eastward, and a new culture reached northern
India and right across to China, which thus seems to have received
the first rude germs of her culture. It is possible that the American
continent also received its first dose of civilization during this period,
by a migration over the land-bridge where now are the Bchriug
Straits.
59