Civilization: The Ancient Near-East to the Renaissance

Roughly ten thousand years ago humans began to settle in permanent communities. Scientists believe that about five thousand years ago the first civilizations were pioneered. Kagan defines civilization as a stage in the evolution of organized society that has among its characteristics urbanism, long-distance trade, writing systems, and accelerated technological and social development (8). All civilizations varied in their ways of life, and as these civilizations developed it became necessary to devise and implement rules regulating acceptable social organization. From the ancient Near-East around 1000 B.C.E, to the Renaissance in Italy in twelfth century C.E., people have been trying to ...

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lives, and kings were believed to have been hand picked by the gods. “The Code of Hammurabi” was a code of law thought to have been handed directly to king Hammurabi from the god Marduk or Shamash (scholars do not agree on which). According to the Primary Source Reader, this code was a compilation of traditions, customs, and royal edicts that helped define the nature of political authority for people (1). The three most extensive portions of the code, and therefor most important aspects of society, speak of marriage and family; land tenure and commerce.
Ancient Egypt enjoyed far less conflict than Mesopotamia because it was united by its one great river, the Nile. Society dwelled around and along the length of the river. Pharaohs were the god-kings of ancient Egypt and thought to be divine. They held much of the power and resources. “Nomarchs” were regional governors who handled smaller local districts called “nomes” (Kagan 16). Egyptians were devoted to many gods and goddesses ...

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the state rather than protect individuals. Kagan says, “Civic responsibility entailed honoring the state's deities, participating in political life, and serving in the army (49)”. Just as there was no known sacred text of Greek religion, there was also no actual document of written law. Rather, customary laws of tradition were passed down through generations. The two greatest philosophers of Greece, Plato and Aristotle, had opposing ideas of how government should be run. Plato was known for his belief that all things were governed by universal principles or “forms”, and for his vision of an ideal state where philosophers ruled as kings. In his commentary of Plato's The Allegory of the ...

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Added: 3/15/2011 08:01:17 PM
Submitted By: exitcomputer
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2380
Pages: 9

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