World Civilizations

Egyptian Civilization

It is one of the world's longest continuous civilizations. In 300 BC Upper and Lower Egypt were united,
beginning a period of cultural glory and native rulers that lasted nearly 3,000 years. Historians have divided the history of Egypt into the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, spanning 31 dynasties and lasting to 322 BC. The highlight of the Old Kingdom was the building of the pyramids of Giza. The Middle kingdom saw Egypt develop into a great power. Massive temples and tombs, such as Tutenkhamun's were built during the New Kingdom.

Another classification is the pyramid age (3490-2500 BC), the Feudal Age (about 1800 BC), the New
Empire (about 1150 BC). In the fourth and third millennium, the Pharaohs held supreme power. The Egyptians studied nature with great care. They were aware of five planets. They divided the day-night cycle into twelve hours. They also developed a system of writing called hieroglyphics.

Mesopotamian Civilization

Mesopotamia was the ancient region between Tigris and Euphrates in South-West Asia, roughly corresponding to modern Iraq. It was the site of one of the earliest human civilizations, resulting from the
development of irrigation in the 6th millennium BC and the extreme fertility of the irrigated land.

Sumerians settled in the lower parts of Tigris and Euphrates valley between 5000 and 4000 BC. Its seat
was the city of Mesopotamia, founded by the Sumerians Babylonia gained supremacy in the 18th Century BC and was followed by others, notably the Assyrians. Later ruled by the Persians Greek and Romans,
Mesopotamia gradually lost its distinctive cultural traditions.

Mesopotamia bears the stamp of clay as does no other civilization, and nowhere in the world but in
Mesopotamia and the regions over which its influence was diffused was clay used as the vehicle for writing. They also created mythological and historical epics like the famous 'Creation' and 'Flood Epics'. The most impressive work of the Babylonians is the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' containing their main myths.

Chinese Civilization

The first documented dynasty was the Shang (c. 1523-c. 1020 BC), when bronze casting was perfected.
The Zhou dynasty (c. 1030-221 BC) was the age of Chinese Classical Literature, in particular Confucian
and Lao Tzu. China was unified by Qin Shihuangdi, whose tomb near Xlan contains the famous terracotta
army. The majority of the great wall was built by the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). The Ran dynasty established in 206 BC and ruled until AD 220. The Ran dynasty developed the empire, a bureaucracy based on Confucianism, and also introduced Buddhism. China then split into three kingdoms (Wei, Shu and Wu). Tang dynasty (618-907) was a golden era of artistic achievement, especially in poetry and fine art.

Genghis Khan conquered most of China in the 1210s and established the Mongol empire. Kubla
Khan founded the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), a period of dialogue with Europe. The Ming dynasty
(1368-1644) restablished Chinese rule and is famed for its fine porcelain. The Manchu Qing dynasty
(1644-1912) began by vastly extending the empire.

Greek Civilization

The earliest urban society in Greece was the palace-centered Minoan civilization. It reached its
height on Crete c. 2000 BC. It was succeeded by the mainland Mycenaen civilization, which arose
c. 1600 BC following a wave of Indo-European invasions. A second wave of invasions in c. 1200 BC, destroyed the Bronze Age cultures, paving the way for a dark age. Classical Greece began to emerge (c. 750 BC) as a collection of independent city-states including Sparta and Athens.

The civilization reached its heights, after repelling the Persians at the beginning of the 5thcentury
BC and began to decline after the civil strife of the Peloponnesian war. The Greek city-states were taken
over by Philip II of Macedon in 388 BC. Greek culture was spread by Philip's son Alexander the Great
throughout his empire. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans conquered Greek city-states.

The Greeks were the first political scientists and democrats in the world. Greece occupies a great place in the history of world civilization. The outstanding philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were the products of this civilization. The Greeks also built many temples. Homer's 'Iliad' and 'The Odyssey' are also Greece's great gifts to the world.

Roman Civilization

Rome is situated on the river Tiber in Italy. Etruscan traders occupied this city and made it the largest and most important cities of central Italy. Between 338 and 169 B.C., the Romans dominated the
Mediterranean world. Between 167 B.C. and 14A.D. much of the land was conquered, the republic was brought to an end and the Roman Empire was established. The rise of Caesar is a remarkable event in the Roman history. After Caesar, Octavian brought the republic to an end.

The ancient Romans worshipped their family deities. Galen, a physician, completed an encyclopedia of medicine. Caesarian Operation, first tried at the birth of Caesar became popular. In the fourth century after Christ, Theodosius made Christianity the religion of the state.


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