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Western Civilization Paper





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Western Civilization

Civilization began to emerge about 5,500 years ago with the oldest civilization, which took place in Mesopotamia. Western civilization is tracked from the ancient Near East where Mesopotamians and Egyptians formed organized societies, created the ideas and institutions associated with civilizations. In around 3000 B.C., people in Mesopotamia and Egypt started forming cities and organized states. This was the period when people started writing in order to keep historical records and they created literature. Many things started evolving including monumental architecture meant for pleasing their gods. In addition, new developments evolved in the sectors of politics, military, social and religion to tackle cases of human existence and organizations. During this period, numerous achievements were achieved including agriculture whereby people started constructing ditches for irrigation construction and industries began to emerge. This type of agriculture is still practiced in the modern society especially in areas where there is low rainfall to support agriculture.

Civilization in Egypt evolved after civilization in Mesopotamia, which was by the beginning of 15000 B.C. Many strange and mysterious things started happening in Egypt including the pyramid and the Sphinx mysteries, videos and television programs were developed. Moreover, the remarkable monuments were built and the Egyptian high decree of technical skills of astronomy was attained during the third millennium B.C. Astronomy played vital roles in determining hours and night. New people identified as the Indo-Europeans led to the creation of the Hittite monarchy as the Egyptian and Mesopotamia civilizations creative impulse began to diminish. The Egyptians were weakened after the sea people weakened the Hittite empire. This created a vacancy for power that led to the emergence of petty monarchies and city-states. In near East, more systems that are sophisticated emerged and larger territorial states were created too around 3000 B.C. The Assyrians and Persians created their own kingdoms but the Persian kingdom owned much of the administrative organization in the Near East. People were allowed to practice their own religious beliefs, customs and their own methods of doing business.

Civilization in Hebrew came after the Egyptian civilization. It was drafted by great monarchies of Egyptians, Babylonians and the Sumerians above all the ancient civilizations, Hebrews exerted influence in the western society together with the western intellectual customs. The Semitic speaking people of Hebrew first appeared in Mesopotamia and the family of Abraham was native to Sumer. The Hebrews migrated from Mesopotamia to Canaan and then later went to Egypt. The Hebrews started calling themselves the Israelites, who were descendants of Abraham’s family. This is comparable with Christianity in the modern society who beliefs that they are the descendants of Abraham and God’s soldiers. Israelites meant God’s soldiers and they were enslaved by Pharaoh who was the Egyptian king in 1250BC. Their leader Moses led them through Egypt to Sinai Peninsula in an exodus journey. After wandering in Sinai, they decided to go back to Canaan but they faced many threats from the Philistines. Later after the 10th century, the Israelite Kingdom was created by King David and his son Solomon thus led to economic progress. New cities emerged such as Jerusalem, which was built by Solomon for honoring God.

Civilization in Greek lasted from sixth to eighth B.C., with the rise of the Byzantine period that was followed by Justinian. The Greeks contributed many things to the western civilization especially in philosophical areas, mathematics, and sciences. Consequently, they contributed greatly in the art and architectures. The philosophers of the Greek were great thinkers who were strong-minded in seeking the truth and among them were Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Moreover, many schools of thoughts emerged during the Hellenic civilization and the Geo-Romans period. Many people such as the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians contributed to the development of Hellenic philosophy during the Alexander the Great around 336BC. Economic and social divisions emerged after the death of Alexander the Great and educational ideals were adopted. The Hellenic world became the world of Christians and the philosophical thoughts were used in Christianity thoughts. Breaking through the Near East, the Greece developed a self-governing polis based on political unit and religious institutions. The polis founded beliefs of law, which spread to Athens. At this period, Athens became a democracy based on ideas of isonomy. The practices of aristocrats dominated in politics and isonomy ideas led the Athens through the golden period of wisdom and civic mindedness.

The Roman Empire was the post-republican era of the ancient roman civilization of autocratic form of government, having territorial holdings in Europe and Mediterranean. Roman civilization shifted from kingdoms to oligarchic republic and increased to autocratic empire. By then, Julius Caesar became the Roman Empire for more than twenty years and the Romans managed to do away with Greek culture, philosophy under his guidance. The Roman Republic era lies between 508 BC and it consolidated its power within and abroad especially during the Macedonian and Punic wars. The Roman Empire started to expand and reached to the greatest extent under Emperor Trajan’s regime. Its profound development in religion, culture, laws, governmental forms and philosophy led to its expansionism globally. It quickly became Christianity and a new religious phenomenon evolved. The republic of Roma was weakened by several civil wars. Several events took place that marked the republic to empire. The Roman constitution was a set of guidelines that were passed through a particular pattern. The constitution was not formal like the constitution of the modern society, which is formal and written but the Roman constitution was largely unwritten and evolving constantly. However, it is similar with the modern constitution of the states because they both have separation of powers, quorum requirements, term limits and regular elections. The Roman Empire gave way to the constitution, which in turn became a republic but this took a quite gradual change.

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