Ancient Civilizations And How They Relate To

Today Essay, Research Paper

When we study our past, we see what was and what could have been. Different times, different cultures, and their issues were often not so very different then our own in present days. If we pay enough attention to the past, and it s lessons, the future can be better.

As we look toward the future, we must also look backward. History shows us man s failures and successes. If we hope to succeed in the future, we must listen to the lessons of the past.

Back in Egyptian times, people struggled with many things; some of which we are still struggling with today. One example is women s status in the community and their equality with men. Back then, women were almost like slaves. It seems that they almost did more than the men. Still today, some men think that women should stay home only to cook and clean. Other men just want women to sit there and look pretty. So, as you can see, women s equality I definitely one ongoing struggle that will hopefully one day be settled.

Another struggle that is still here somewhat today is that of social classed and some people not being accepted. If you look at it, there are still social classes: upper class, middle class, and lower class. Even the government uses these terms. Also, someone might not marry someone because of how much money they have. So, social classes are another ongoing struggle.

There are many struggles that have not gone away in the last 5,000 years. Who knows, maybe in another 5,000 years they will still be struggling with these problems also. We really have no way of knowing what will happen in the future.

The Egyptians of the primitive past came up with many useful inventions that are still around today. One of the inventions that the Egyptians were very well known for was the 365 day calendar. They divided a year into 12 months, with three seasons: the Nile flood season, the planting season, and the harvest season. This was the basis for our modern calendar. Another important invention that they came up with was the system of hieroglyphics. These were pictograms of pictures of objects, and there were also ideograms, or a picture that symbolizes an idea or action. This discovery was very important because I it was the first type of real communication from the past.

Another important discovery was geometry. This invention came about when the Egyptian farmers devised methods of surveying lands out of necessity. When annual floods wasted away boundary markers, farmers had to re-measure their fields. The need to survey land led to the development of mathematics, particularly geometry: which we use a great deal of today.

The Egyptians invented techniques to build impressive stone monuments. The engineering of temples and pyramids was s precise that each block fit perfectly into the next one. This has taught us a lot about building the great buildings we have today.

The Egyptians also came up with many important medical discoveries. Although Egyptian doctors relied heavily on magic, they made scientific inquiries. By studying the human body, doctors learned to perform surgeries. The Egyptians were very unique people who actually came up with more inventions and discoveries then we thought. The primitive past was the stepping stone to where we are now. We have taken what they knew and added on to make a very sophisticated society.

The Egyptians solved a lot of problems for us. Before the Egyptians, if there was an important date or event to remember, you had to keep track of the days by the rise and fall of the sun and moon. As said before, the Egyptians invented the 365 day calendar so that if there was something important that you had to remember, all you had to do was mark it on the calendar. It was a lot easier to keep track of the days and remember things.

The Egyptians also made it a lot easier to communicate. Before, you had to make movements and use sigh language to communicate. Then people learned how to talk. After the Egyptians, people had a new way of communication. Before the Egyptians, if you were sick with the flu or a cold, there was no way to cure you and you usually died. Then, the Egyptians invented new ways to cure sicknesses so if you got a cold or fly, there was a lot less of a chance for you to die because there were ways to cure you. Also the Egyptians came up with easier and better ways of transportation. Because of this, people could get where they needed or wanted in a much more comfortable fashion.

The Egyptian civilization made quite a few mistakes. They took in slaves who were mostly prisoners that were captured in a war or battle. The nobles and pharaohs were the most wealthy people, therefore, they had the majority of the slaves. The slaves were forced by their owners to work in labor gangs. The pharaohs increased taxes in order to pay for a tomb or pyramid to be built. The pyramids were very expensive to build so only the rich could afford them. The tax increase caused a huge peasant revolt which resulted in civil wars killing many people and destroying many cities and towns.

These civil wars also destroyed a lot of farm land and cattle. This caused a major upset in farming and trade. The peasants were forced to pay over half of each harvest to government tax collectors. Not only were the peasants required to farm for the government, but they were also required to work on palaces and temples, clear irrigation channels, and serve in the army.

I think that the Egyptian civilization is best remembered for a lot of things. One thing the Egyptians are remembered for are there pyramids. Pyramids held the tombs of the different pharaohs. To build a pyramid, the Egyptians used winding ramps of earth and brick to haul sleds loaded with limestone blocks that weighed over two tons each. The inside of the pyramid contained treasures for the pharaoh in the after life.

The Egyptians were also known for mummification. Mummification is where the Egyptians preserved and wrapped up the bodies. Mummification preserved the Egyptian bodies well. Scientists are able to tell the health problems of the Egyptians because the bodies were so well preserved.

One other thing the Egyptians were remembered for is medicine. The Egyptian doctors learned how to do surgery by studying the preserved bodies. The Egyptians wrote down how to do successful surgeries on papyrus paper. These are some of the things that the Egyptians are remembered for.

Though they didn t have the advantages the Egyptians had, the people of the Fertile Crescent had some problems as well as some great discoveries and great people like those of Egypt.

I think that the people of the Fertile Crescent struggled with many ideas and concepts. One of the things that these people struggled with was their government. There were three main cities called: Ur, Erech, and Kish. Each city was independent, with its own government and ruler. They were also all city-states, which are large towns or cities with a surrounding countryside cooperate for mutual defense. Each city-state worshipped its own god or goddess as well as other gods. Since each city-state was so different, and independently ran: they were constantly at war with each other, mostly fighting over control.

Another thing that the people of the Fertile Crescent struggled with was their communication system. As it was coming along pretty well, it still had a few problems. Mainly, only the rich people knew how to read and write, which wasn t fair to people who had less money. The main system of writing was cuneiform that consisted of wedge shaped symbols. But since it was so new, not many people knew and understood it.

Another thing that they struggled with was the conflicts between groups of people. For example, the prophets scolded the Hebrews for wickedness, laziness, and worshipping one god, referring that the prophets were just messengers from God. So basically, the prophets were jealous that the Hebrews believed that God was of the highest and that he had messengers.

One more struggle coming from the Fertile Crescent was the Code of Hammurabi. Although this was the first effort by an empire to record all of its laws, the punishments were extremely harsh. Hammurabi s motto was, An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. For example, a man who blinded another was punished by loosing an eye, and if a house collapsed and killed the owner, the builder was put to death. These were very severe punishments, but since these laws were posted on a stone column, in the middle of the village, so at least the people knew the laws.

This civilization helped man progress a lot with different inventions. One of thing Sumerians invented was the wheel. They either invented the wheel or borrowed it from earlier settlers. They were the first people known to use it.

Another invention was the wheeled cart. The wheeled cart enabled merchants to engage in long distance trade. The Sumerians also made many improvements in farming. They built irrigation systems to have water flow through the plains.

The Sumerians invented the writing called cuneiform. This is when the Sumerians used a sharpened reed instrument called a stylus, to make symbols on tablets of wet clay. Cuneiform was spread across the Fertile Crescent by traders and conquering armies.

The Sumerians also were one of the first people to use iron for spears and battle axes. Using these iron weapons this improved the armies. It gave the armies an advantage over enemies armed with softer bronze spears. The Phoenicians improved the alphabet. Their alphabet had 22 symbols. Each symbol represented a single consonant. These are some of the things that this civilization invented.

The tribes in the Fertile Crescent were not remembered for many things because they spent most of their time fighting amongst themselves. The only things that they are remembered for are: the two rivers that their town was between, a few inventions, their constant fighting, and the Code of Hammurabi. The Greeks called their valley Mesopotamia which means, land between two rivers. The two rivers they were between were the Tigris and Euphrates which could overflow at anytime.

Some of the inventions that the tribes of the Fertile Crescent are remembered for are the wheel, the modification of the written language, and a money economy. The wheel was invented by the Sumerians. This allowed merchants to become involved in long distance trade. They used them on their chariots. Scribes wrote down religious texts, treaties and laws. Also, they recorded property holding, contracts, and business deals. They were able to accomplish all of this because they modified the alphabet so that there were symbols for each sound that was heard. They used 22 symbols in all. The tribes had the first money economy. They used coins to purchase goods and were able to put value on each item that was sold.

The Fertile Crescent tribes were constantly fighting. They fought frequently amongst themselves. Who knows how many more things they could have been remembered for, had there not been so much fighting between the tribes. The Code of Hammurabi was a great step toward organized government. Hammurabi was one of the great rulers of ancient times. He believed in the saying, An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. If your blinded a man, you got one of your eyes poked out. If a building collapsed and killed someone, the builder was killed. These are just a few examples. The reason that he is best remembered is because he carved all of the laws into a big column that stood in the center of town for all to see. This allowed all of the people to see the laws and have no excuse for not following them.

The people of the Fertile Crescent were remembered for many things. Some things as small as fighting and rivers, to as important as the first step to organized government So as you can see, these people may not be remembered for many things, but what they are remembered for is great.

The people and government of the Fertile Crescent made their share of mistakes. One of the mistakes they made was their city-state government. The mistake made in the city-state government was that the priests had complete control over the people of the city. This was because it was believed that the priests were the only mortals that could communicate with the gods of the land. Because of this belief, the people gave the priests whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it. If they didn t, it was believed that the priests could tell the gods to take something away from the people or make something bad happen. For example, if the priest asked for one half of the peoples crops that season and he didn t get what he wanted, he could take away the sun and then the people would give him what he wanted. This was not good because in this form of government, all the control and power was with the priests and the people, rich of poor, had no say in what happened.

Hammurabi s Code changed this way of life in a few ways. In a bad way, it had very severe punishments. Hammurabi s quote was, An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The punishments that went along with Hammurabi s law were extremely harsh and severe, but they worked. The mistake in this law were punishments. The people were also constantly at war which was another mistake of the people of the Fertile Crescent.

This civilization solved many problems for us. If they had not solved these problems, then we would still have these same problems today.

One thing that they fixed for us was the alphabet. They took it from the Egyptians and modified it. There were now 22 symbols, each representing a single sound. This civilization also invented the wheel. Where would we be without it today? The people in the Fertile Crescent were the first people to make providence s. Each one was ruled by a governor; who collected taxes and administrated uniform laws. Along with the governors, the king sent inspectors who reported back to the king. Another thing that this civilization solved for us was being able to accurately tell how long a year was. They were able to tell this within a few minutes.

One of the biggest problems that they solved for us was that of a money economy. Instead of always trading for goods, this civilization invented and produced coins because trade wasn t always so good. You had to have something that the other person wanted. So now, on could get goods with coins instead of trading, and values could be set on how much these items were worth. On the coins were pictures of dead rulers. As you can see, this is one of the biggest problems that this civilization solved for us.

Many problems were solved for us by this civilization. Without them being solved, we would still have many more problems than we have today. The Fertile Crescent and its good as well as its bad side. They had some very good ideas, but they had to struggle to improve them. Unlike the people of the Fertile Crescent, the Greeks did not have many problems, but they did come up with some brilliant ideas that has helped us out tremendously.

The Greeks did not struggle with many things during their time, but we are struggling with even less of these things now.

One struggle the Greeks had that we still have today is battling deadly diseases. In Athens, the whole town was struck with the plague. There is still no known cure for this wretched disease. IT started in your head, moved to your chest, then to the stomach (if you were one of the few who survived this stage), then it moved to the bowels, and for the very select who lived through this stage, they often suffered loss of fingers and toes. We have the HIV virus, with no known cure either. The HIV virus destroys the immune system so that the slightest of colds could result in death. Many people are dying of this disease. This ongoing struggle of disease is probably on one of the greatest struggles that both the Greeks and the U.S. are still struggling with today.

I think that the Greeks came up with many inventions and ideas that helped man progress. In all the main accomplishments that the Greeks had, government had to be one of their greatest. The Greeks came up with many types of government that included a monarchy, a tyranny, a democracy, and a direct democracy. A monarchy is a government headed by a king or queen. A tyranny is a government headed by a single individual who seizes power by force. A democracy is a government in which citizens have ruling power, and a direct democracy is a government in which citizens participate directly rather than through representatives.

Another idea that the Greeks learned was the Phoenician alphabet. The Greeks had many forms of paintings, poems, and other forms of entertainment. They had frescoes, which were huge wall paintings. They also had a new form of poetry called lyric poetry. They had forms of entertainment such as tragedies, which were dramas that focused on the suffering of a major character and usually ended in a disaster and they had comedies that were plays in which poets ridiculed people, ideas, and social customs.

Another great idea that the came up with was a phalanx. This is a massive formation of heavily armed foot soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder. This was a great idea that definitely helped the armies. Obviously, the Greeks came up with many useful inventions, discoveries, and ideas that all help us today.

This civilization solved many problems for us. During the Hellinistic Age, the Greeks developed new scientific theories. One astronomer figured out the Earth s diameter accurately. The Greeks also improved geometry. Their methods are still being used today. Greek physicians discovered how blood circulates through the veins and arteries. They also learned how to perform surgery using anesthetics. Another Hellenistic scientist solved problems for us by inventing the catapult. The catapult could hurl stones at enemy forts. This helped out the armies in their battles tremendously.

The Greeks made quite a few mistakes. The women had no political or legal rights. They had to take care of the men and children. The men were sent to live at military barracks at the young age of seven. The discipline at these barracks was brutal. The boys had no shoes and very little clothing, even in winter. This was meant to teach them self discipline and to fend for themselves, but it was done in a very harsh fashion. The men were then married when they were twenty, but they still had to stay in military barracks. The women also had to endure very harsh and strict discipline to learn to defend Sparta.

Ostracism was another mistake made by the Greeks. Ostracism was a form of punishment by the Greed government. Cleisthenes tried to extend the power of citizens further. Ostracism was the exile of a citizen from a city. If the citizens thought a person was a threat to Athens then they could vote to see whether the person would be banned from the city. If the person received 6,000 of these votes, then they would be banished from Athens for ten years. The way people voted was by writing the persons name on a piece of pottery.

The Greek civilization is best remembered for different things. One thing it is remembered for is their different philosophers. Philosophers are seekers of wisdom. Socrates was well known for being a philosopher. Another thing the Greeks were remembered for is Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great conquered the largest empire the would had ever seen. Alexander s empire started from Nicaea and went past the Aegean Sea towards Mesadonia.

The Greeks also had a very famous blind poet named Homer. He wrote his poems based on stories that had been passed on by earlier generations. Without Homer s poems, we wouldn t know about the Trojan War. The Greeks have been remembered for many different things. They had a very intelligent civilization.

The Romans, like the Greeks, didn t struggle with very many problems, but they did have a few that needed to be solved. The Romans are remembered for accomplishing great things, as were the Greeks. The two civilizations had a lot in common and they helped our society a lot.

One struggle the Romans had that we still have today is our social conditions. There was a division between the rich and the poor, the poor depended on the government to where the rich were generally born rich and always stayed in the upper class. They also had a problem with inflation, which is where they made too much new money to where after a period of time became worthless, just like the United States did back in the 1800 s.

They also had problems with other civilizations that wanted their land and their trade. Just like today where we have problems with other countries and nations. They also had problems with religion. People would discriminate other people for who or what they believe in. Just like the Israelis and the Palestinians. Religion would cause controversy which could cause a war or a riot to break out. The poor and oppressed found hope in god who loved people regardless of their place in society and their religion. Equality, human dignity, and above all, the promise of eternal life of comforting teachings; and still to this day this holds true.

They used to struggle with government like law reforms and corruption in government which we still have problems with today. Such as: crooked cops, mayors, government agents, and also politicians. They also had economic and social problems caused by wars, riots, and other tragedies. They also had assassinations of important people and figures like emperors and big time merchants and traders. Just like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., who have all been assassinated here in the United States not that long ago.

The Romans depended on trade and commerce as we now depend on trade. The Roman s navy protected merchants and travelers on the seas and Roman legions protected them on land, just like we have a navy and an army to protect us.

The Romans did not invent many new things or ideas because they copied most of there things off of other civilizations. Though, there were a few new inventions and ideas they came up with.

One new invention is aqueducts, which carried water from the reservoirs that were in the countries, to the cities. These aqueducts were made out of stone and were canal shaped. Aqueducts were tunneled through valleys and mountains. Another invention was a medical encyclopedia which was written by a Greek physician. This encyclopedia was used up until the 1400 s. Also the Romans government had the first republic. A republic means that all citizens voted for elected leaders who would represent the people and rule under there name. The Roman republic lasted almost 500 years.

In this time, Rome went from a city-state to a world power. Although the Romans did not have many inventions and discoveries, the ones that they did have were key to there civilization.

The Romans introduced building materials such as concrete t build elaborate coliseums, bridges supported by arches, and domes built with many arches put together. They built roads, aqueducts, and ect., ect. Aqueducts held and transported water from rivers and lakes to cities and towns where they needed the water most to plant crops, much like the irrigation systems we have now.

The Romans also collected many words which was like an early encyclopedia or dictionary. One of the Romans greatest achievements was law. Under Roman law, when you were tried, you were innocent until proven guilty; much like the system we have today. Judges were supposed to base their decisions on evidence presented in a court; not by if he was a different religion. They also followed standard procedures to guarantee a fair hearing for both the defendant and plaintiff in a dispute. Today you can see the Roman goddess of justice. She is blindfolded and holds a scale in each hand as a symbol of balanced judgment.

The Romans perfected a logical style of writing. Roman writers adapted Greek literary forms such as: lyric poetry and drama, and also the art of persuading an audience. Rome also produced Historians which were people who talked of the past.

From the humble beginnings, Christianity spread for several reasons. Because God loved people regardless of their place in society. As Christianity gained in strength, eventually, Christians developed an efficient church organization. The church also maintained unity among it s members.

This civilization made a few mistakes. One mistake is the political causes. The Roman citizens expected the emperors to look after them but since the empire was so big, they were not very efficient. When the emperors broke up, Rome did not have any capable leaders. A lot of generals wanted the throne, which caused many civil wars in Rome. Unemployment was also a big mistake. Everyone who was unemployed depended on the emperor to provide bread. When there was a shortage of grain, then many riots would break out.

Another mistake this civilization made was having slaves. The slaves worked until they were to old or weak to work for a profit. Using slaves undermined small farmers and then destroyed small businesses because rich people employed slaves rather then free workers. Some people thought that the hard work was fit only for slaves.

The Romans did not have very many soldiers. The soldiers that they did have lacked discipline and patriotism of armies of the Roman Republic. Because of this, the Roman soldiers were no match for the Germans, who were very well trained. As you can see, the Romans had a few problems and they made mistakes.

The Romans were remembered for a number of things. One of the most famous things that the Romans did and are remembered greatly for, is establishing a republic. The first republic was established in 509 BC, when the Romans overthrew the Etruscan king. By 250 BC some wealthy families began to import tutors for their children s education. In other words, they began international education. First, all the children were tutored personally and their father supervised the education. Then, the children of the very rich families began to attend private schools. The schools strongly pushed history, which the children recited out loud. The children also learned practical skills such as: reading, writing, and public speaking.

Rome is also known for it s large empire. Roman armies conquered parts of Spain, Macedonia, and Greece. As the empire grew, Rome subdued many states that Alexander the Great had conquered. By 44 BC, Rome controlled a vast empire of diverse peoples. Rome is known for their great leaders as well. Some of them were Julius Caesar and Gnaws Pampey. Pampey led his legions in a series of successful campaigns in Asia Minor, Syria, and Palestine. Caesar had won victories in Spain and had attracted a large following in Rome.

In conclusion, these civilizations are different in the ways of culture but modified each others new ideas and inventions, which is why we have many of the things we have today. Without these civilizations, we wouldn t have any of the things we have today. A few examples are: the wheel, the alphabet, and several new types of government. We owe a great deal of gratitude to these ancient civilizations.


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