The history of the Ancient world

Ancient East.

Geographic and ethnographic conditions of ancient history

Ancient centers of culture

Countries, which previously only appeared large state and people were made the first major advances in education, were Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. All these four countries present some similarities. First, they are approximately the same distance from the equator (to the S. and se. from 30° N. lat.), i.e. lie in the same climatic zone. Secondly, it is the countries that are currently famous for their great fertility. In hot climates easily meet all human needs, and the fertility of the soil creates an excess, which the inhabitants of these countries from the very beginning could use to improve his life. This fertility of the named countries are obliged exclusively flowing through them major rivers, that their periodic feeding spills and moisturize the soil. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the oldest part of India or China the essence of riverine lowlands, valleys of rivers such as the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, the Indus and the Ganges or the Blue river (Yangtze Jiang), and that is also a common feature of all of the oldest historical countries. It is very natural that in such places, especially early became skopljaetsja a lot of people, and that was the first condition for the formation of any significant States. On the other hand, the residents of these riverine lowlands too in very early times were forced to unite among themselves for common work, as in every country should be able to use the bottling of its main river, in order not to let the water do devastation, or to keep the water in times of drought. With these objectives, the inhabitants of these countries had to build dam and dig channels, which, in addition to the known art, it was required and the overall organization works, forcing the population to join forces under a common leadership.

The geographical divisions of the ancient countries

Called riverine lowland, lying in the same latitudes, were, however, cut off one from the other by vast spaces of barren deserts or impassable mountains [1] . These were as if totally separated from each other oases, resulting in each of these countries could lead first only quite isolated life. China in the far East is the most remarkable example of the centuries-old division with the other historical countries. Special historical world presents itself and India, separated on the one hand, from China’s number of high Sierras, the other from Mesopotamia the mountains and deserts. So were not separated from each other only in Egypt and Mesopotamia, these in fact large oases in the enormous desert of North Africa and southwest Asia. It is between the upper Euphrates and the lower Nile was convenient for the movement of trade caravans and conquering armies of Syria, which is quite early and became a kind of connecting link between Egypt and Mesopotamia. At that time, as China and India were doomed to centuries of separation, between the valleys of the Nile, on the one hand, the Tiger and the Euphrates, on the other, have established closer communication, which was captured and between them lay Syria. A very important circumstance was the fact that its Western edge was adjacent Syria to the Mediterranean.

Periods of sea and river civilizations

The earliest period, when the main centers of historical life were riverine lowlands of North Africa and South Asia, can be called the period of river civilizations. Born in the valleys of large rivers, the culture is spread out among neighbors, encompassing more and more areas. During this period, people have not used the sea for intercourse with more distant lands. Within each historical ancient country the main way of communication was her river, and between different countries was found the most convenient way through deserts and mountains; along these ways was an active caravan trade. For the period of river civilizations and caravan trade was followed by a period of civilizations of the sea and navigation, the main center which in ancient times was the Mediterranean sea. This period is especially important civilization became those who contributed specifically to the development of seafaring and Maritime trade; these conditions were coastal situation of the country and, moreover, in close neighborhood to the old cultural countries, development of the coastline, good harbours, the proximity and the abundance of Islands, existence in the country of forests needed for shipbuilding, etc.

The importance of the Mediterranean sea

Mediterranean sea in particular satisfy all these conditions. None of the inland seas not so deep Erivan in the mainland, like the Mediterranean sea (Adriatic, Black sea and the Azov sea), and none has such razvitoy coastline, particularly due to its two Central peninsulas – the Balkan and the Apennine. Similarly, nowhere is there such a mass of Islands, at sea, mainly in its Eastern part. This same Eastern part, in addition, adjacent to the oldest cultural countries. At the South-Eastern corner of the Mediterranean were Egypt and Syria, which was Mesopotamia. Syria not only was land on the way from the Nile valley to the plain of the Tigris and Euphrates, but also the intermediary between the Mediterranean sea and countries that lay from him to the East. In Syria was, further, a narrow coastal strip, which bore the special name of Phoenicia, which, due to its proximity to Egypt and Mesopotamia, and with plenty of good harbours and the wealth ship in the forest, became the first marine in history. Quite naturally, the main role “in the history of marine civilization belonged to the first Eastern Mediterranean sea, but later in the historical life began to develop and on the shores of its Western part. Through it was introduced to the world history and Europe, primarily for its two great southern peninsulas, far from crashing into its waters. Of these two peninsulas before was to become the centre of the historical life of the one to the East (now called Balkan). The southern part of this Peninsula was Greece, one of the most historic countries of the ancient world, owes its importance as a particularly favorable position to its on the Mediterranean sea.

Another Peninsula, the Apennine, where there was the Roman state, participated in a common historical life later, but also became one of the most important centers. Thanks to the sailing, all the shores and Islands of the Mediterranean sea gradually became part of the ancient historical world.

Racial relationships of the ancient peoples

The peoples of the ancient world belonged to different races in the same country at different times and sometimes simultaneously lived peoples are not one and the same race. Actually in ancient times occurred the great migration of peoples (migration), accompanied or annihilation by aliens in the land, or by mixing them with them into one nation. The main races of antiquity were Hamitic Negroes, which constituted the original population of Egypt, the white race dominant in the South-Western Asia and southern Europe, and geltokia the Mongols, who created the Chinese civilization. The most important role in the history, Dating back to ancient times, was played by the peoples of the white race, which by their language and some other signs are Semites and Aryans [2]. The first peoples of these two groups, got its name from the biblical Shem (or Sam for a different pronunciation), was inhabited chiefly Mesopotamia, Syria with Phoenicia and Palestine, and Arabia, so this branch of the white race belonged, and who lived in Palestine were Jews. But in many places this territory the Semites found a more early population (kushits), partly destroyed, partly displaced or with which mingled by marriage. Outside these limits we find Semites in Asia Minor (on the southern slope of the Taurus), one time on the island of Cyprus, in Egypt, whose population was apparently a mix Khamitov with the Semites, and in some places on the shores of the Mediterranean (Phoenician colony). Much more space is occupied by peoples of Aryan origin, who are called by the name of Arya (i.e. noble), which was determined to be the oldest people of this tribe, who occupied India. The original homeland of the Aryans is not known (it was looking for and in Asia, and in Europe), but already in very ancient times they began to settle and on the East and West. In the East they occupied India, namely the Indus country first, then the basin of the Ganges, and the shores of the Peninsula (Dean). The other part of the Aryans inhabited an extensive country, lying between India on the one hand, and Mesopotamia on the other, namely Ariana with a mussel on South from the Caspian sea and Persia on the North of the Persian Gulf. (In the South the Aryans were in contact here with the sea only in the Persian Gulf). Further, the Aryan population received Armenia (between Mesopotamia and the Caucasus present) and a large part of Asia Minor. Finally, among the Aryan peoples in ancient times belonged in Europe, the inhabitants of the Balkan and Apennine peninsulas (Greeks and Romans), and also inhabitants of Gaul with part of Spain and British Isles (Celts). The Germanic and Slavic peoples, in ancient times the history is still remained unknown, also Aryans. Thus the Aryans settled in the vast territory from the valley of the Ganges in the East to Ireland in the West why they are also called Indo-Europeans.

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