Civilization: Wikis


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Midtown New York City. Cities characterize human civilization.
The Great Sphinx in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza at the Giza Necropolis, is the most recognizable symbol of the Ancient Egyptian civilization.
The Great Wall of China, built from the 5th century BC, has become the symbol of the Chinese civilization.

Civilization is the process of civilizing or becoming civil.[1] A civilized society is often characterized by advanced agriculture, long-distance trade, occupational specialization, and urbanism. Aside from these core elements, civilization is often marked by any combination of a number of secondary elements, including a developed transportation system, writing, standards of measurement (currency, etc.), contract and tort-based legal systems, great art style, monumental architecture, mathematics, sophisticated metallurgy, and astronomy.



"Civilization" is often used as a synonym for the broader term "culture" in both popular and academic circles.[2] Every human being participates in a culture, defined as "the arts, customs, habits... beliefs, values, behavior and material habits that constitute a people's way of life".[3] However, in its most widely used definition, civilization is a descriptive term for a relatively complex agricultural and urban culture. Civilizations can be distinguished from other cultures by their high level of social complexity and organization, and by their diverse economic and cultural activities.

In an older but still frequently used sense, the term "civilization" can be used in a normative manner as well: in societal contexts where complex and urban cultures are assumed to be superior to other "savage" or "barbarian" cultures, the concept of "civilization" is used as a synonym for "cultural (and often ethical) superiority of certain groups." In a similar sense, civilization can mean "refinement of thought, manners, or taste".[4] This normative notion of civilization is heavily rooted in the thought that urbanized environments provide a higher living standard, ecompassed by both nutritional benefits and mental potentialities.

In his book The Philosophy of Civilization, Albert Schweitzer, one of the main philosophers on the concept of civilization, outlined the idea that there are dual opinions within society; one regarding civilization as purely material and another regarding civilization as both ethical and material. He stated that the current world crisis was, then in 1923, due to a humanity having lost the ethical conception of civilization. In this same work, he defined civilization, saying:

It is the sum total of all progress made by man in every sphere of action and from every point of view in so far as the progress helps towards the spiritual perfecting of individuals as the progress of all progress.

In the sixth century, the Roman Emperor Justinian oversaw the consolidation of Roman civil law. The resulting collection is called the Corpus Juris Civilis. In the 11th century, professors at the University of Bologna, Western Europe's first university, rediscovered Corpus Juris Civilis, and its influence began to be felt across Western Europe. In 1388, the word civil appeared in English meaning "of or related to citizens".[5] In 1704, civilization began to mean "a law which makes a criminal process into a civil case." Civilization was not used in its modern sense to mean "the opposite of barbarism" — as contrasted to civility, meaning politeness or civil virtue — until the 18th century.

According to Emile Benveniste (1954[6]), the earlist written occurrence in English of civilization in its modern sense may be found in Adam Ferguson's An Essay on the History of Civil Society (Edinburgh, 1767 - p. 2):

Not only the individual advances from infancy to manhood, but the species itself from rudeness to civilization.

It should be noted that this usage incorporates the concept of superiority and maturity of "civilized" existence, as contrasted to "rudeness", which is used to denote coarseness, as in a lack of refinement or "civility".

Huntington's map of world civilizations(1996).

Before Benveniste's inquiries, the New English Dictionary quoted James Boswell's conversation with Samuel Johnson concerning the inclusion of Civilization in Johnson's dictionary:

On Monday, March 23 (1772), I found him busy, preparing a fourth edition of his folio Dictionary... He would not admit civilization, but only civility. With great deference to him I thought civilization, from to civilize, better in the sense opposed to barbarity than civility, as it is better to have a distinct word for each sense, than one word with two senses, which civility is, in his way of using it.

Benveniste demonstrated that previous occurrences could be found, which explained the quick adoption of Johnson's definition. In 1775 the dictionary of Ast defined civilization as "the state of being civilized; the act of civilizing"[6], and the term was frequently used by Adam Smith in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)[6]. Beside Smith and Ferguson, John Millar also used it in 1771 in his Observations concerning the distinction of ranks in society[6].

As the first occurrence of civilization in French was found by Benveniste in the Marquis de Mirabeau's L'Ami des hommes ou traité de la population (written in 1756 but published in 1757), Benveniste's query was to know if the English word derived from the French, or if both evolved independently — a question which needed more research. According to him, the word civilization may in fact have been used by Ferguson as soon as 1759[6].

Furthermore, Benveniste notes that, contrasted to civility, a static term, civilization conveys a sense of dynamism. He thus writes that

[i]t was not only a historical view of society; it was also an optimist and resolutely non theological interpretation of its evolution which asserted itself, sometimes at the insu of those who proclaimed it, and even if some of them, and first of all Mirabeau, still counted religion as the first factor of 'civilization.[6][7]

Another source of the word may relate to chivalry: a set of rules of engagement, originally for knights in warfare, but later expanded to cover conduct of knighthood or nobility. The English 'chivalry' comes from the French 'chevalier': a horseman. England and France would therefore have given rise to the terms at similar times.


26th century BC Sumerian cuneiform script in Sumerian language, listing gifts to the high priestess of Adab on the occasion of her election. One of the earliest examples of human writing.

Social scientists such as V. Gordon Childe have named a number of traits that distinguish a civilization from other kinds of society.[8] Civilizations have been distinguished by their means of subsistence, types of livelihood, settlement patterns, forms of government, social stratification, economic systems, literacy, and other cultural traits.

All human civilizations have depended on agriculture for subsistence. Growing food on farms results in a surplus of food, particularly when people use intensive agricultural techniques such as irrigation and crop rotation. Grain surpluses have been especially important because they can be stored for a long time. A surplus of food permits some people to do things besides produce food for a living: early civilizations included artisans, priests and priestesses, and other people with specialized careers. A surplus of food results in a division of labour and a more diverse range of human activity, a defining trait of civilizations.

Civilizations have distinctly different settlement patterns from other societies. The word civilization is sometimes defined as "a word that simply means 'living in cities'".[9] Non-farmers gather in cities to work and to trade.

Compared with other societies, civilizations have a more complex political structure, namely the state. State societies are more stratified than other societies; there is a greater difference among the social classes. The ruling class, normally concentrated in the cities, has control over much of the surplus and exercises its will through the actions of a government or bureaucracy. Morton Fried, a conflict theorist, and Elman Service, an integration theorist, have classified human cultures based on political systems and social inequality. This system of classification contains four categories:

  • Hunter-gatherer bands, which are generally egalitarian.
  • Horticultural/pastoral societies in which there are generally two inherited social classes; chief and commoner.
  • Highly stratified structures, or chiefdoms, with several inherited social classes: king, noble, freemen, serf and slave.
  • Civilizations, with complex social hierarchies and organized, institutional governments.[10]

Economically, civilizations display more complex patterns of ownership and exchange than less organized societies. Living in one place allows people to accumulate more personal possessions than nomadic people. Some people also acquire landed property, or private ownership of the land. Because a percentage of people in civilizations do not grow their own food, they must trade their goods and services for food in a market system, or receive food through the levy of tribute, redistributive taxation, tariffs or tithes from the food producing segment of the population. Early civilizations developed money as a medium of exchange for these increasingly complex transactions. To oversimplify, in a village the potter makes a pot for the brewer and the brewer compensates the potter by giving him a certain amount of beer. In a city, the potter may need a new roof, the roofer may need new shoes, the cobbler may need new horseshoes, the blacksmith may need a new coat, and the tanner may need a new pot. These people may not be personally acquainted with one another and their needs may not occur all at the same time. A monetary system is a way of organizing these obligations to ensure that they are fulfilled fairly.

These ten Indus glyphs were discovered near the northern gate of Dholavira, India.

Writing, developed first by people in Sumer, is considered a hallmark of civilization and "appears to accompany the rise of complex administrative bureaucracies or the conquest state."[11] Traders and bureaucrats relied on writing to keep accurate records. Like money, writing was necessitated by the size of the population of a city and the complexity of its commerce among people who are not all personally acquainted with each other.

Aided by their division of labor and central government planning, civilizations have developed many other diverse cultural traits. These include organized religion, development in the arts, and countless new advances in science and technology.

Cultural identity

"Civilization" can also describe the culture of a complex society, not just the society itself. Every society, civilization or not, has a specific set of ideas and customs, and a certain set of items and arts, that make it unique. Civilizations have even more intricate cultures, including literature, professional art, architecture, organized religion, and complex customs associated with the elite. Civilization is such in nature that it seeks to spread, to have more, to expand, and the means by which to do this.

Nevertheless, some tribes or people remained uncivilized even to this day (2009). These cultures are called by some "primitive," a term that is regarded by others as pejorative. "Primitive" implies in some way that a culture is "first" (Latin = primus), and as all cultures are contemporaries, today's so-called primitive cultures are in no way antecedent to those we consider civilized. Many anthropologists use the term "non-literate" to describe these peoples. In the USA and Canada, where people of such cultures were the original inhabitants before being displaced by European settlers, they use the term "First Nations." Generally, the First Nations of North America had hierarchical governments, religion, a barter system, and oral transmission of their traditions, cultures, laws, etc. Respect for the wisdom of elders and for their natural environment[citation needed] (7th Generation decision-making) sustained these cultures for over 10,000 years.

The civilized world has been spread by invasion, genocide, religious conversion the extension of bureaucratic control and trade, and by introducing agriculture and writing to non-literate peoples. Some non-civilized people may willingly adapt to civilized behaviour. But civilization is also spread by force: if a non-literate group does not wish to use agriculture or accept a certain religion it is often forced to do so by the civilized people, and they usually succeed due to their more advanced technology and higher population densities. Civilizations often use religion to justify their actions, claiming for example that the uncivilized are "primitive," savages, barbarians or the like, which should be subjugated by civilization.

The intricate culture associated with civilization has a tendency to spread to and influence other cultures, sometimes assimilating them into the civilization (a classic example being Chinese civilization and its influence on Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and other nearby countries. Many civilizations are actually large cultural spheres containing many nations and regions. The civilization in which someone lives is that person's broadest cultural identity.

Many historians have focused on these broad cultural spheres and have treated civilizations as single units. One example is early twentieth-century philosopher Oswald Spengler,[12] even though he uses the German word "Kultur," "culture," for what we here call a "civilization." He said that a civilization's coherence is based around a single primary cultural symbol. Civilizations experience cycles of birth, life, decline and death, often supplanted by a new civilization with a potent new culture, formed around a compelling new cultural symbol.

This "unified culture" concept of civilization also influenced the theories of historian Arnold J. Toynbee in the mid-twentieth century. Toynbee explored civilization processes in his multi-volume A Study of History, which traced the rise and, in most cases, the decline of 21 civilizations and five "arrested civilizations." Civilizations generally declined and fell, according to Toynbee, because of the failure of a "creative minority", through moral or religious decline, to meet some important challenge, rather than mere economic or environmental causes.

Samuel P. Huntington similarly defines a civilization as "the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species." Besides giving a definition of a civilization, Huntington has also proposed several theories about civilizations, discussed below.

Complex systems

Another group of theorists, making use of systems theory, looks at a civilization as a complex system, i.e., a framework by which a group of objects can be analyzed that work in concert to produce some result. Civilizations can be seen as networks of cities that emerge from pre-urban cultures, and are defined by the economic, political, military, diplomatic, and cultural interactions among them. Any organization is a complex social system, and a civilization is a large organization. Systems theory helps guard against superficial but misleading analogies in the study and description of civilizations.

For example, urbanist Jane Jacobs defines cities as the economic engines that work to create large networks of people. The main process that creates these city networks, she says, is "import replacement". Import replacement is the process by which peripheral cities begin to replace goods and services that were formerly imported from more advanced cities. Successful import replacement creates economic growth in these peripheral cities, and allows these cities to then export their goods to less developed cities in their own hinterlands, creating new economic networks. So Jacobs explores economic development across wide networks instead of treating each society as an isolated cultural sphere.

Systems theorists look at many types of relations between cities, including economic relations, cultural exchanges, and political/diplomatic/military relations. These spheres often occur on different scales. For example, trade networks were, until the nineteenth century, much larger than either cultural spheres or political spheres. Extensive trade routes, including the Silk Road through Central Asia and Indian Ocean sea routes linking the Roman Empire, Persian Empire, India, and China, were well established 2000 years ago, when these civilizations scarcely shared any political, diplomatic, military, or cultural relations. The first evidence of such long distance trade is in the ancient world. During the Uruk phase Guillermo Algaze has argued that trade relations connected Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran and Afghanistan.[13] Resin found later in the Royal Tombs of Ur it is suggested was traded northwards from Mozambique.

Many theorists argue that the entire world has already become integrated into a single "world system", a process known as globalization. Different civilizations and societies all over the globe are economically, politically, and even culturally interdependent in many ways. There is debate over when this integration began, and what sort of integration – cultural, technological, economic, political, or military-diplomatic – is the key indicator in determining the extent of a civilization. David Wilkinson has proposed that economic and military-diplomatic integration of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations resulted in the creation of what he calls the "Central Civilization" around 1500 BC.[14] Central Civilization later expanded to include the entire Middle East and Europe , and then expanded to a global scale with European colonization, integrating the Americas, Australia, China and Japan by the nineteenth century. According to Wilkinson, civilizations can be culturally heterogeneous, like the Central Civilization, or relatively homogeneous, like the Japanese civilization. What Huntington calls the "clash of civilizations" might be characterized by Wilkinson as a clash of cultural spheres within a single global civilization. Others point to the Crusades as the first step in globalization. The more conventional viewpoint is that networks of societies have expanded and shrunk since ancient times, and that the current globalized economy and culture is a product of recent European colonialism.

The fall of civilizations

There have been many explanations put forward for the collapse of civilization.

Edward Gibbon's work "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" began an interest in the Fall of Civilizations, that had begun with the historical divisions of Petrarch[15] between the Classical period of Ancient Greece and Rome, the succeeding Medieval Ages, and the Renaissance. For Gibbon:-

"The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight. The story of the ruin is simple and obvious; and instead of inquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it has subsisted for so long."[Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 2nd ed., vol. 4, ed. by J. B. Bury (London, 1909), pp. 173–174.-Chapter XXXVIII: Reign Of Clovis.--Part VI. General Observations On The Fall Of The Roman Empire In The West.] Gibbon suggested the final act of the collapse of Rome was the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD.

  • Theodor Mommsen in his "History of Rome", suggested Rome collapsed with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and he also tended towards a biological analogy of "genesis," "growth," "senescence," "collapse" and "decay."
  • Oswald Spengler, in his "Decline of the West" rejected Petrarch's chronological division, and suggested that there had been only eight "mature civilizations." Growing cultures, he argued, tend to develop into imperialistic civilizations which expand and ultimately collapse, with democratic forms of government ushering in plutocracy and ultimately imperialism.
  • Arnold J. Toynbee in his "A Study of History" suggested that there had been a much larger number of civilizations, including a small number of arrested civilizations, and that all civilizations tended to go through the cycle identified by Mommsen. The cause of the fall of a civilization occurred when a cultural elite became a parasitic elite, leading to the rise of internal and external proletariats.
  • Joseph Tainter in "The Collapse of Complex Societies" suggested that there were diminishing returns to complexity, due to which, as states achieved a maximum permissible complexity, they would decline when further increases actually produced a negative return. Tainter suggested that Rome achieved this figure in the 2nd Century AD.
  • Jared Diamond in his 2005 book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" suggests five major reasons for the collapse of 41 studied cultures: environmental damage, such as deforestation and soil erosion; climate change; dependence upon long-distance trade for needed resources; increasing levels of internal and external violence, such as war or invasion; and societal responses to internal and environmental problems.
  • Peter Turchin in his Historical Dynamics and Andrey Korotayev et al. in their Introduction to Social Macrodynamics, Secular Cycles, and Millennial Trends suggest a number of mathematical models describing collapse of agrarian civilizations. For example, the basic logic of Turchin's "fiscal-demographic" model can be outlined as follows: during the initial phase of a sociodemographic cycle we observe relatively high levels of per capita production and consumption, which leads not only to relatively high population growth rates, but also to relatively high rates of surplus production. As a result, during this phase the population can afford to pay taxes without great problems, the taxes are quite easily collectible, and the population growth is accompanied by the growth of state revenues. During the intermediate phase, the increasing overpopulation leads to the decrease of per capita production and consumption levels, it becomes more and more difficult to collect taxes, and state revenues stop growing, whereas the state expenditures grow due to the growth of the population controlled by the state. As a result, during this phase the state starts experiencing considerable fiscal problems. During the final pre-collapse phases the overpopulation leads to further decrease of per capita production, the surplus production further decreases, state revenues shrink, but the state needs more and more resources to control the growing (though with lower and lower rates) population. Eventually this leads to famines, epidemics, state breakdown, and demographic and civilization collapse (Peter Turchin. Historical Dynamics. Princeton University Press, 2003:121–127).
  • Peter Heather argues in his book The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians[16] that this civilization did not end for moral or economic reasons, but because centuries of contact with barbarians across the frontier generated its own nemesis by making them a much more sophisticated and dangerous adversary. The fact that Rome needed to generate ever greater revenues to equip and re-equip armies that were for the first time repeatedly defeated in the field, led to the dismemberment of the Empire. Although this argument is specific to Rome, it can also be applied to the Asiatic Empire of the Egyptians, to the Han and Tang dynasties of China, to the Muslim Abbasid Caliphate, and others.
  • Bryan Ward-Perkins, in his book The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization[17] shows the real horrors associated with the collapse of a civilization for the people who suffer its effects, unlike many revisionist historians who downplay this. The collapse of complex society meant that even basic plumbing disappeared from the continent for 1,000 years. Similar Dark Age collapses are seen with the Late Bronze Age collapse in the Eastern Mediterranean, the collapse of the Maya, on Easter Island and elsewhere.
  • Arthur Demarest argues in Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization[18], using a holistic perspective to the most recent evidence from archaeology, paleoecology, and epigraphy, that no one explanation is sufficient but that a series of erratic, complex events, including loss of soil fertility, drought and rising levels of internal and external violence led to the disintegration of the courts of Mayan kingdoms which began a spiral of decline and decay. He argues that the collapse of the Maya has lessons for civilization today.
  • Jeffrey A. McNeely has recently suggested that "A review of historical evidence shows that past civilizations have tended to over-exploit their forests, and that such abuse of important resources has been a significant factor in the decline of the over-exploiting society."[19]
  • Thomas Homer-Dixon in "The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization", considers that the fall in the energy return on investments; the energy expended to energy yield ratio, is central to limiting the survival of civilizations. The degree of social complexity is associated strongly, he suggests, with the amount of disposable energy environmental, economic and technological systems allow. When this amount decreases civilizations either have to access new energy sources or they will collapse.


Civilization has been criticized from a variety of viewpoints and for a variety of reasons. Some critics have objected to all aspects of civilization; others have argued that civilization brings a mixture of good and bad effects.

Some environmentalists like Derrick Jensen[20] criticize civilizations for their exploitation of the environment. Richard Hienberg argues [2] that through intensive agriculture and urban growth, civilizations tend to destroy natural settings and habitats, and deplete the resources on which they depend. This is sometimes referred to as "dominator culture"[21]. Proponents of this view believe that traditional societies live in greater harmony with nature than civilizations; people work with nature rather than try to subdue it. The sustainable living movement is a push from some members of civilization to regain that harmony with nature.

Primitivism is a modern philosophy totally opposed to civilization. Primitivists accuse civilizations of restricting human potential, oppressing the weak, and damaging the environment. They wish to return to a more primitive way of life which they consider to be in the best interests of both nature and human beings. Leading proponents are John Zerzan and Derrick Jensen, whereas a critic is Roger Sandall.

However, not all critics of past and present civilization believe that a primitive way of life is better. Some have argued that many negative aspects of current 'civilized' nations can be overcome. Karl Marx, for instance, argued that the beginning of civilization was the beginning of oppression and exploitation, but also believed that these things would eventually be overcome and communism would be established throughout the world. He envisioned communism not as a return to any sort of idyllic past, but as a new stage of civilization. Conflict theory in the social sciences also views the present form of civilization as being based on the domination of some people by others, but does not judge the issue morally.

Given the current problems with the sustainability of industrial civilization, some, like Derrick Jensen, who posits civilization to be inherently unsustainable, argue that we need to develop a social form of "post-civilization" as different from civilization as the latter was from pre-civilized peoples.



Old World

Map of the Fertile Crescent.

New World

Caral of the Norte Chico, the oldest known civilization in the Western Hemisphere.

Classical Antiquity

Karl Jaspers, the German historical philosopher, proposed that the ancient civilizations were affected greatly by an Axial Age in the period between 600 BC-400 BC during which a series of male sages, prophets, religious reformers and philosophers, from China, India, Iran, Israel and Greece, changed the direction of civilizations forever[22]. Julian Jaynes proposed that this was associated with the "collapse of the bicameral mind", during which subconscious ideas were recognized as simply subjective, rather than being voices of spirits. William H. McNeill proposed that this period of history was one in which culture contact between previously separate civilizations saw the "closure of the oecumene", and led to accelerated social change from China to the Mediterranean, associated with the spread of coinage, larger empires and new religions. This view has recently been championed by Christopher Chase-Dunn and other world systems theorists.

Civilizations affected by these developments include

  • African Civilizations
  • Middle Eastern Civilizations
  • East Asian Civilizations
  • The Civilizations of South East Asia
  • Central Asian Civilization
  • European Civilizations
  • Meso-American Civilizations

Since the voyages of discovery by European explorers of the 15th and 16th century, another development has occurred whereby which European forms of government, industry, commerce and culture have spread from Western Europe, to the Americas, South Africa, Australia, and through colonial empires, to the rest of the planet. Today it would appear that we are all parts of a planetary industrializing world civilization, divided between many nations and languages, save for a few uncontacted people.

See also



  1. ^,
  2. ^ "Civilization" (1974), Encyclopaedia Britannica 15th ed. Vol. II, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 956.
  3. ^ "Culture", Wiktionary, [1]. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Civilization" (2004), Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition, Merriam-Webster, Inc., 226.
  5. ^ "Civil", Merriam-Webster, 226.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Émile Benveniste, "Civilization. Contribution à l'histoire du mot" (Civilization. Contribution to the history of the word), 1954, published in Problèmes de linguistique générale, Editions Gallimard, 1966, pp.336-345 (translated by Mary Elizabeth Meek as Problems in general linguistics, 2 vols., 1971)
  7. ^ Benveniste (French): Ce n'était pas seulement une vue historique de la société; c'était aussi une interprétation optimiste et résolument non théologique de son évolution qui s'affirmait, parfois à l'insu de ceux qui la proclamaient, et même si certains, et d'abord Mirabeau, comptaient encore la religion comme le premier facteur de la "civilization".
  8. ^ Gordon Childe, V., What Happened in History (Penguin, 1942) and Man Makes Himself (Harmondsworth, 1951)
  9. ^ Tom Standage (2005), A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Walker & Company, 25.
  10. ^ Beck, Roger B.; Linda Black, Larry S. Krieger, Phillip C. Naylor, Dahia Ibo Shabaka, (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. ISBN 0-395-87274-X. 
  11. ^ Pauketat, 169.
  12. ^ Spengler, Oswald, Decline of the West: Perspectives of World History (1919)
  13. ^ Algaze, Guillermo, The Uruk World System: The Dynamics of Expansion of Early Mesopotamian Civilization" (Second Edition, 2004) (ISBN 978-0-226-01382-4)
  14. ^ Wilkinson, David, The Power Configuration Sequence of the Central World System, 1500-700 BC (2001)
  15. ^|Petrarch
  16. ^ ISBN 0195159543
  17. ^ ISBN 0192807285
  18. ^ ISBN 0521533902
  19. ^ McNeely, Jeffrey A. (1994) "Lessons of the past: Forests and Biodiversity" (Vol 3, No 1 1994. Biodiversity and Conservation)
  20. ^ Jensen, Derrick, (2006), "Endgame, Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization", (Seven Stories Press, ISBN 1-58322-730-X)
  21. ^ Eisler, Riane "The Chalice and the Blade"
  22. ^ Tarnas, Richard (1993) "The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View" (Ballatine Books)


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  • Clash of Civilizations and information on other civilizations, Discussion and news surrounding the clash and concepts such as dialog, equality, acceptance etc between civilizations.
  • BBC on civilization
  • Wiktionary: civilization, civilize
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  • Lansing, Elizabeth (1971). The Sumerians: Inventors and Builders. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-036357-9. 
  • Lee, Ki-Baik (1984). A New History of Korea. trans. Edward W. Wagner, with Edward J. Shultz. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-61575-1. 
  • McGaughey, William (2000). Five Epochs of Civilization. Minneapolis: Thistlerose Publications. ISBN 0-9605630-3-2. 
  • Nahm, Andrew C. (1983). A Panorama of 5000 Years: Korean History. Elizabeth, N.J.: Hollym International. ISBN 0-930878-23-X. 
  • Oliphant, Margaret (1992). The Atlas of the Ancient World: Charting the Great Civilizations of the Past. London: Ebury. ISBN 0-09-177040-8. 
  • Rogerson, John (1985). Atlas of the Bible. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-1206-7. 
  • Sandall, Roger (2001). The Culture Cult: Designer Tribalism and Other Essays. Boulder, Colo.: Westview. ISBN 0-8133-3863-8. 
  • Sansom, George (1958). A History of Japan: To 1334. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0523-2 (1996 reprint). 
  • Southworth, John Van Duyn (1968). The Ancient Fleets: The Story of Naval Warfare Under Oars, 2600 B.C.–1597 A.D.. New York: Twayne. 
  • Thomas, Hugh (1981). An Unfinished History of the World (rev. ed.). London: Pan. ISBN 0-330-26458-3. 
  • Yap, Yong; and Arthur Cotterell (1975). The Early Civilization of China. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-399-11595-1. 
  • A. Nuri Yurdusev, International Relations and the Philosophy of History: A Civilizational Approach (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).
  • Beck, Roger B.; Linda Black, Larry S. Krieger, Phillip C. Naylor, Dahia Ibo Shabaka, (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. ISBN 0-395-87274-X. 


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane. ~ Fukuzawa Yukichi, Bunmeiron no Gairyaku [An Outline of a Theory of Civilization] (1875)

A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society or culture group characterized by dependence upon agriculture, long-distance trade, state form of government, occupational specialization, urbanism, and class stratification. Aside from these core elements, civilization is often marked by any combination of a number of secondary elements, including a developed transportation system, writing, standards of measurement (currency, etc.), formal legal system, great art style, monumental architecture, mathematics, sophisticated metallurgy, and astronomy.


  • The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
  • If civilisation has got the better of barbarism when barbarism had the world to itself, it is too much to profess to be afraid lest barbarism, after having been fairly got under, should revive and conquer civilisation. A civilisation that can thus succumb to its vanquished enemy, must first have become so degenerate, that neither its appointed priests and teachers, nor anybody else, has the capacity, or will take the trouble, to stand up for it. If this be so, the sooner such a civilisation receives notice to quit the better. It can only go on from bad to worse, until destroyed and regenerated (like the Western Empire) by energetic barbarians.
  • The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead (1862)
  • One of the effects of civilisation is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives that would have perished in barbarous lands.
    • Francis Galton, Hereditary talent and character, MacMillan's Magazine, 12, 157-166; 318-327 (1865)
  • There is a steady check in an old civilisation upon the fertility of the abler classes: the improvident and unambitious are those who chiefly keep up the breed. So the race gradually deteriorates, becoming in each successive generation less fit for a high civilisation.
    • Francis Galton, (p.414), Hereditary Genius, London: MacMillan (1869)
  • We civilised men do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick .... There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands... Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man itself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
    • Charles Darwin, p. 501, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, London: MacMillan (1871)
  • In its broad sense, civilization means not only comfort in daily necessities but also the refining of knowledge and the cultivation of virtue so as to elevate human life to a higher plane... It refers to the attainment of both material well-being and the elevation of the human spirit, [but] since what produces man’s well-being and refinement is knowledge and virtue, civilization ultimately means the progress of man’s knowledge and virtue.
    • Fukuzawa Yukichi, Bunmeiron no Gairyaku [An Outline of a Theory of Civilization] (1875)
  • Moreover, the argument for national polity, for Christianity, and for Confucianism... are also insufficient to bolster people’s hearts. What, then, will? I say there is one thing: namely, to establish our goal and advance toward civilization... The way in which to preserve this independence cannot be sought anywhere except in civilization.
    • Fukuzawa Yukichi, Bunmeiron no Gairyaku [An Outline of a Theory of civilization] (1875)
  • Christianity destroyed for us the whole harvest of ancient civilization, and later it also destroyed for us the whole harvest of Mohammedan civilization. The wonderful culture of the Moors in Spain, which was fundamentally nearer to us and appealed more to our senses and tastes than that of Rome and Greece, was trampled down (—I do not say by what sort of feet—) Why? Because it had to thank noble and manly instincts for its origin—because it said yes to life, even to the rare and refined luxuriousness of Moorish life! ... The crusaders later made war on something before which it would have been more fitting for them to have grovelled in the dust -- a civilization beside which even that of our nineteenth century seems very poor and very "senile".
  • In one of my last conversations with Darwin he expressed himself very gloomily on the future of humanity , on the ground that in our modern civilisation natural selection had no play and the fittest did not survive... It is notorious that our population is more largely renewed in each generation from the lower than from the middle and upper classes.
Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours? ~ G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)
  • Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours?
  • You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn.
  • Let me make one more remark suggested by this trial and by others. There is no accepted test of civilization. It is not wealth, or the degree of comfort, or the average duration of life, or the increase of knowledge. All such tests would be disputed. In default of any other measure, may it not be suggested that as good a measure as any is the degree to which justice is carried out, the degree to which men are sensitive as to wrong-doing and desirous to right it?
    • Sir John MacDonell, Historical Trials, chapter 7, p. 148 (1927)
  • Break the skin of civilization and you find the ape, roaring and red-handed.
  • I believe, like you, that civilization is a natural and inevitable consequence, whether good or evil I am not prepared to state.
    • Robert E. Howard in a letter to H. P. Lovecraft (c. August 1930)
  • Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph. ~ Robert E. Howard, "Beyond the Black River" (1935)
  • Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.
  • The realization of justice is, in the actual state of things, a matter of life or death for society and for civilisation itself.
  • A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.
    • Will Durant, Caesar and Christ, Epilogue, p. 665 (1944)
  • Yet somehow our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members.
  • People sometimes tell me that they prefer barbarism to civilisation. I doubt if they have given it a long enough trial. Like the people of Alexandria, they are bored by civilisation; but all the evidence suggests that the boredom of barbarism is infinitely greater.
    • Kenneth Clark, Ch. 1: The Skin of Our Teeth, Civilisation (1969)
  • The convention by which the great events in biblical or secular history could be enacted only by magnificent physical specimens, handsome and well-groomed, went on for a long time — till the middle of the nineteenth century. Only a very few artists — perhaps only Rembrandt and Caravaggio in the first rank — were independent enough to stand against it. And I think that this convention, which was an element in the so-called grand manner, became a deadening influence on the European mind. It deadened our sense of truth, even our sense of moral responsibility.
  • We are so much accustomed to the humanitarian outlook that we forget how little it counted in earlier ages of civilisation. Ask any decent person in England or America what he thinks matters most in human conduct: five to one his answer will be "kindness." It's not a word that would have crossed the lips of any of the earlier heroes of this series. If you had asked St. Francis what mattered in life, he would, we know, have answered "chastity, obedience and poverty"; if you had asked Dante or Michelangelo, they might have answered "disdain of baseness and injustice"; if you had asked Goethe, he would have said "to live in the whole and the beautiful." But kindness, never. Our ancestors didn't use the word, and they did not greatly value the quality — except perhaps insofar as they valued compassion.
  • It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.
  • I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
In the vastness of the Cosmos there must be other civilizations far older and more advanced than ours. ~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1990 Update)
  • In the vastness of the Cosmos there must be other civilizations far older and more advanced than ours.
    • Carl Sagan, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1990 Update), Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica, 0 min 45 sec
  • Since, in the long run, every planetary society will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring — not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive.
  • We have designed our civilization based on science and technology and at the same time arranged things so that almost no one understands anything at all about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster.
    • Carl Sagan, interview with Anne Kalosh (1995)
  • Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.
  • Russian Ambassador: Civilization is an illusion; a game of pretend. What is real is the fact that we are still animals driven by primal instincts. Civilization crumbles whenever we need it most. In the right situation, we are all capable of the most terrible crimes. Imagine a world where this was no so; imagine a world where every crisis did not result in new atrocities, where every newspaper is not full of war and violence. This is to imagine a world where human beings cease to be human.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CIVILIZATION. The word "civilization" is an obvious derivative of the Lat. civis, a citizen, and civilis, pertaining to a citizen. Etymologically speaking, then, it would be putting no undue strain upon the word to interpret it as having to do with the entire period of human progress since mankind attained sufficient intelligence and social unity to develop a system of government. But in practice "civilization" is usually interpreted in a somewhat narrower sense, as having application solely to the most recent and comparatively brief period of time that has elapsed since the most highly developed races of men have used systems of writing. This restricted usage is probably explicable, in part at least, by the fact that the word, though distinctly modern in origin, is nevertheless older than the interpretation of social evolution that now finds universal acceptance. Only very recently has it come to be understood that primitive societies vastly antedating the historical period had attained relatively high stages of development and fixity, socially and politically. Now that this is understood, however, nothing but an arbitrary and highly inconvenient restriction of meanings can prevent us from speaking of the citizens of these early societies as having attained certain stages of civilization. It will be convenient, then, in outlining the successive stages of human progress here, to include under the comprehensive term "civilization" those long earlier periods of "savagery" and "barbarism" as well as the more recent period of higher development to which the word "civilization" is sometimes restricted.

Adequate proof that civilization as we now know it is the result of a long, slow process of evolution was put forward not long after the middle of the 19th century by the students of palaeontology and of prehistoric archaeology. A recognition of the fact that primitive man used implements of chipped flint, of polished stone, and of the softer metals for successive ages, before he attained a degree of technical skill and knowledge that would enable him to smelt iron, led the Danish archaeologists to classify the stages of human progress under these captions: the Rough Stone Age; the Age of Polished Stone; the Age of Bronze; and the Age of Iron. These terms acquired almost universal recognition, and they retain popularity as affording a very broad outline of the story of human progress. It is obviously desirable, however, to fill in the outlines of the story more in detail. To some extent it has been possible to do so, largely through the efforts of ethnologists who have studied the social conditions of existing races of savages. A recognition of the principle that, broadly speaking, progress has everywhere been achieved along the same lines and through the same sequence of changes, makes it possible to interpret the past history of the civilized races of to-day in the light of the present-day conditions of other races that are still existing under social and political conditions of a more primitive type. Such races as the Maoris and the American Indians have furnished invaluable information to the student of social evolution; and the knowledge thus gained has been extended and fortified by the ever-expanding researches of the palaeontologist and archaeologist.

Thus it has become possible to present with some confidence a picture showing the successive stages of human development during the long dark period when our prehistoric ancestor was advancing along the toilsome and tortuous but on the whole always uprising path from lowest savagery to the stage of relative enlightenment at which we find him at the so-called "dawnings of history." That he was for long ages a savage before he attained sufficient culture to be termed, in modern phraseology, a barbarian, admits of no question. Equally little in doubt is it that other long ages of barbarism preceded the final ascent to civilization. The precise period of time covered by these successive "Ages" is of course only conjectural; but something like one hundred thousand years may perhaps be taken as a safe minimal estimate. At the beginning of this long period, the most advanced race of men must be thought of as a promiscuous company of pre-troglodytic mammals, at least partially arboreal in habit, living on uncooked fruits and vegetables, and possessed of no arts and crafts whatever - nor even of the knowledge of the rudest implement. At the end of the period, there emerges into the more or less clear light of history a largebrained being, living in houses of elaborate construction, supplying himself with divers luxuries through the aid of a multitude of elaborate handicrafts, associated with his fellows under the sway of highly organized governments, and satisfying aesthetic needs through the practice of pictorial and literary arts of a high order. How was this amazing transformation brought about?

If an answer can be found to that query, we shall have a clue to all human progress, not only during the prehistoric but also during the historic periods; for we may well believe that recent progress has not departed from the scheme of development impressed on humanity during that long apprenticeship. Ethnologists believe that an answer can be found. They believe that the metamorphosis from beast-like savage to cultured civilian may be proximally explained (certain potentialities and attributes of the species being taken for granted) as the result of accumulated changes that found their initial impulses in a half-dozen or so of practical inventions. Stated thus, the explanation seems absurdly simple. Confessedly it supplies only a proximal, not a final, analysis of the forces impelling mankind along the pathway of progress. But it has the merit of tangibility; it presents certain highly important facts of human history vividly: and it furnishes a definite and fairly satisfactory basis for marking successive stages of incipient civilization.

In outlining the story of primitive man's advancement, upon such a basis, we may follow the scheme of one of the most philosophical of ethnologists, Lewis H. Morgan, who made a provisional analysis of the prehistoric period that still remains among the most satisfactory attempts in this direction. Morgan divides the entire epoch of man's progress from bestiality to civilization into six successive periods, which he names respectively the Older, Middle and Later periods of Savagery, and the Older, Middle and Later periods of Barbarism.

Savagery and barbarism. The first of these periods, when mankind was in the lower status of savagery, comprises the epoch when articulate speech was being developed. Our ancestors of this epoch inhabited a necessarily restricted tropical territory, and subsisted upon raw nuts and fruits. They had no knowledge of the uses of fire. All existing races of men had advanced beyond this condition before the opening of the historical period. The Middle Period of Savagery began with a knowledge of the uses of fire. This wonderful discovery enabled the developing Fire. race to extend its habitat almost indefinitely, and to F include flesh, and in particular fish, in its regular dietary. Man could now leave the forests, and wander along the shores and rivers, migrating to climates less enervating than those to which he had previously been confined. Doubtless he became an expert fisher, but he was as yet poorly equipped for hunting, being provided, probably, with no weapon more formidable than a crude hatchet and a roughly fashioned spear. The primitive races of Australia and Polynesia had not advanced beyond this middle status of savagery when they were discovered a few generations ago. It is obvious, then, that in dealing with the further progress of nascent civilization we have to do with certain favoured portions of the race, which sought out new territories and developed new capacities while many tribes of their quondam peers remained static and hence by comparison seemed to retrograde.

The next great epochal discovery, in virtue of which a portion of the race advanced to the Upper Status of Savagery, was that of the bow and arrow, - a truly wonderful implement.

The possessor of this device could bring down the p g fleetest animal and could defend himself against the most predatory. He could provide himself not only with food but with materials for clothing and for tent-making, and thus could migrate at will back from the seas and large rivers, and far into inhospitable but invigorating temperate and sub-Arctic regions. The meat diet, now for the first time freely available, probably contributed, along with the stimulating climate, to increase the physical vigour and courage of this highest savage, thus urging him along the paths of progress. Nevertheless many tribes came thus far and no further, as witness the Athapascans of the Hudson's Bay Territory and the Indians of the valley of the Columbia.

We now come to the marvellous discovery that enabled our ancestor to make such advances upon the social conditions of his forbears as to entitle him, in the estimate of his remote descendants, to be considered as putting savagery behind him and as entering upon the Lower Status of Barbarism. The discovery in question had to do with the practice of the art of making pottery (see Ceramics). Hitherto man had been possessed of no permanent utensils that could withstand the action of fire. He could not readily boil water except by some such cumbersome method as the dropping of heated stones into a wooden or skin receptacle. The effect upon his dietary of having at hand earthen vessels in which meat and herbs could be boiled over a fire must have been momentous. Various meats and many vegetables become highly palatable when boiled that are almost or quite inedible when merely roasted before a fire. Bones, sinews and even hides may be made to give up a modicum of nutriment in this way; and doubtless barbaric man, before whom starvation always loomed threateningly, found the crude pot an almost perennial refuge. And of course its use as a cooking utensil was only one of many ways in which the newly discovered mechanism exerted a civilizing influence.

The next great progressive movement, which carried man into the Middle Status df Barbarism, is associated with the domestication of animals in the Eastern hemisphere, Domestic . and with the use of irrigation in cultivating the soil and of adobe bricks and stone in architecture in the Western hemisphere. The dog was probably the first animal to be domesticated, but the sheep, the ox, the camel and the horse were doubtless added in relatively rapid succession, so soon as the idea that captive animals could be of service had been clearly conceived. Man now became a herdsman, no longer dependent for food upon the precarious chase of wild animals. Milk, procurable at all seasons, made a highly important addition to his dietary. With the aid of camel and horse he could traverse wide areas hitherto impassable, and come in contact with distant peoples. Thus commerce came to play an extended role in the dissemination of both commodities and ideas. In particular the nascent civilization of the Mediterranean region fell heir to numerous products of farther Asia, - gums, spices, oils, and most important of all, the cereals. The cultivation of the latter gave the finishing touch to a comprehensive and varied diet, while emphasizing the value of a fixed abode. For the first time it now became possible for large numbers of people to form localized communities. A natural consequence was the elaboration of political systems, which, however, proceeded along lines already suggested by the experience of earlier epochs. All this tended to establish and emphasize the idea of nationality, based primarily on blood-relationship; and at the same time to develop within the community itself the idea of property, - that is to say, of valuable or desirable commodities which have come into th40ssession of an individual through his enterprise or labour, and which should therefore be subject to his voluntary disposal. At an earlier stage of development, all property had been of communal, not of individual, ownership. It appears, then, that our mid-period barbarian had attained - if the verbal contradiction be permitted - a relatively high stage of civilization.

There remained, however, one master craft of which he had no conception. This was the art of smelting iron. When, ultimately, his descendants learned the wonderful Iron. secrets of that art, they rose in consequence to the Upper Status of Barbarism. This culminating practical invention, it will. be observed, is the first of the great discoveries with which we have to do that was not primarily concerned with the question of man's food supply. Iron, to be sure, has abundant uses in the same connexion, but its most direct and obvious utilities have to do with weapons of war and with implements calculated to promote such arts of peace as housebuilding, road-making and the construction of vehicles. Wood and stone could now be fashioned as never before. Houses could be built and cities walled with unexampled facility; to say nothing of the making of a multitude of minor implements and utensils hitherto quite unknown, or at best rare and costly. Nor must we overlook the aesthetic influence of edged implements, with which wood and stone could readily be sculptured when placed in the hands of a race that had long been accustomed to scratch the semblance of living forms on bone or ivory and to fashion crude images of clay. In a word, man, the "tool-making animal," was now for the first time provided with tools worthy of his wonderful hands and yet more wonderful brain.

Thus through the application of one revolutionary invention after another, the most advanced races of men had arrived, after long ages of effort, at a relatively high stage of development. A very wide range of experiences had enabled man to evolve a complex body politic, based on a fairly secure social basis, and his brain had correspondingly developed into a relatively efficient and stable organ of thought. But as yet he had devised no means of communicating freely with other people at a distance except through the medium of verbal messages; nor had he any method by which he could transmit his experiences to posterity more securely than by fugitive and fallible oral traditions. A vague symbolization of his achievements was preserved from generation to generation in myth-tale and epic, but he knew not how to make permanent record of his history. Until he could devise a means to make such record, he must remain, in the estimate of his descendants, a barbarian, though he might be admitted to have become a highly organized and even in a broad sense a cultured being.

At length, however, this last barrier was broken. Some race or races devised a method of symbolizing events and ultimately of making even abstruse ideas tangible by means of Writing. graphic signs. In other words, a system of writing was developed. Man thus achieved a virtual conquest over time as he had earlier conquered space. He could now transmit the record of his deeds and his thoughts to remote posterity. Thus he stood at the portals of what later generations would term secure history. He had graduated out of barbarism, and become in the narrower sense of the word a civilized being. Henceforth, his knowledge, his poetical dreamings, his moral aspirations might be recorded in such form as to be read not merely by his contemporaries but by successive generations of remote posterity. The inspiring character of such a message is obvious. The validity of making this great culminating intellectual achievement the test of "civilized" existence need not be denied. But we should ill comprehend the character of the message which the earlier generations of civilized beings transmit to us from the period which we term the "dawning of history" did we not bear constantly in mind the long series of progressive stages of "savagery" and ",barbarism" that of necessity preceded the final stage of "civilization" proper. The achievements of those earlier stages afforded the secure foundation for the progress of the future. A multitude of minor arts, in addition to the important ones just outlined, had been developed; and for a long time civilized man was to make no other epochal addition to the list of accomplishments that came to him as a heritage from his barbaric progenitor. Indeed, even to this day the list of such additions is not a long one, nor, judged in the relative scale, so important as might at first thought be supposed. Whoever considers the subject carefully must admit the force of Morgan's suggestion that man's achievements as a barbarian, considered in their relation to the sum of human progress, "transcend, in relative importance, all his subsequent works." Without insisting on this comparison, however, let us ask what discoveries and inventions man has made within the historical period that may fairly be ranked with the half-dozen great epochal achievements that have been put forward as furnishing the keys to all the progress of the prehistoric periods. In other words, let us sketch the history of progress during the ten thousand years or so that have elapsed since man learned the art of writing, adapting our sketch to the same scale which we have already applied to the unnumbered millenniums of the prehistoric period. The view of world-history thus outlined will be a very different one from what might be expected by the student of national history; but it will present the essentials of the progress of civilization in a suggestive light.

Without pretending to fix an exact date, - which the historical records do not at present permit, - we may assume that the most advanced race of men elaborated a system of glyphic and syllabic symbols; and the Babylonian syllabics continued in vogue throughout western Asia for a long time. after the Phoenician alphabet had demonstrated its intrinsic superiority.

Similarly the art of Egyptian and Assyrian and Greek was but the elaboration and perfection of methods that barbaric man had practised away back in the days when he was a cave-dweller. The weapons of warfare of Greek and Roman were the spear and the bow and arrow that their ancestors had used in the period of savagery, aided by sword and helmet dating from the upper period of barbarism. Greek and Roman government at their best were founded upon the system of genies that barbaric man had profoundly studied, - as witness, for example, the federal system of the barbaric Iroquois Indians existing in America before the coming of Columbus. And if the Greeks had better literature, the Romans better roads and larger cities, than their predecessors, these are but matters of detailed development, the like of which had marked the progress of the more important arts and the introduction of less important ancillary ones in each antecedent period. The axe of steel is no new implement, but a mere perfecting of the axe of dripped flint. The Iliad represents the perfecting of an art that unnumbered generations of barbarians practised before their camp-fires.

Thus for six or seven thousand years after man achieved civilization there was rhythmic progress in many lines, but there came no great epochal invention to usher in a new ethnic period. Then, towards the close of what historians of to-day are accustomed to call the middle ages, there appeared in rapid sequence three or four inventions and a great scientific discovery that, taken together, were destined to change the entire aspect of European civilization. The inventions were gunpowder, the mariner's compass, paper and the printing-press, three of which appear to have been brought into Europe by the Moors, whether or not they originated in the remote East. The scientific discovery which must be coupled with these inventions was the Copernican demonstration that the sun and not the earth is the centre of our planetary system. The generations of men that found themselves (r) confronted with the revolutionary conception of the universe given by the Copernican theory; (2) supplied with the new means of warfare provided by gunpowder; (3) equipped with an undreamed-of guide across the waters of the earth; and (4) enabled to promulgate knowledge with unexampled speed and cheapness through the aid of paper and printing-press - such generations of men might well be said to have entered upon a new ethnic period. The transition in their mode of thought and in their methods of practical life was as great as can be supposed to have resulted, in an early generation, from the introduction of iron, or in a yet earlier from the invention of the bow and arrow. So the Europeans of about the 15th century of the Christian era may be said to have entered upon the Second or Middle Status of civilization.

The new period was destined to be a brief one. It had compassed only about four hundred years when, towards the close of the 8th century, James Watt gave to the world the perfected steam-engine. Almost contem orane - p g p ously Arkwright and Hargreaves developed revolu tionary processes of spinning and weaving by machinery. Meantime James Hutton and William Smith and their successors on the one hand, and Erasmus Darwin, Francois Lamarck, and (a half-century later) Charles Darwin on the other, turned men's ideas topsy-turvy by demonstrating that the world as the abiding-place of animals and man is enormously old, and that man himself instead of deteriorating from a single perfect pair six thousand years removed, has ascended from bestiality through a slow process of evolution extending over hundreds of centuries. The revolution in practical life and in the mental life of our race that followed these inventions and this new presentation of truth probably exceeded in suddenness and in its far-reaching effects the metamorphosis effected at any previous transition from one ethnic period to another. The men of the igth century, living now in the period that may be termed the Upper Status writing not less than six thousand years before the beginning of the Christian era. Holding to the terminology already suggested for the earlier periods, we may speak of man's position during the ensuing generations as that of the First or Lowest Status of civilization. If we review the history of this period we shall find that it extends unbroken over a stretch of at least four or five thousand years. During the early part of this period such localized civilizations as those of the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Babylonians and the Hittites rose, grew strong and passed beyond their meridian. This suggests that we must now admit the word "civilization" to yet another definition, within its larger meaning: we must speak of "a civilization," as that of Egypt, of Babylonia, of Assyria, and we must understand thereby a localized phase of society bearing the same relation to civilization as awhole that a wave bears to the ocean or a tree to the forest. Such other localized civilizations as those of Phoenicia, Carthage, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, the Sassanids, in due course waxed and waned, leaving a tremendous imprint on national history, but creating only minor and transitory ripples in the great ocean of civilization. Progress in the elaboration of the details of earlier methods and inventions took place as a matter of course. Some nation, probably the Phoenicians, gave a new impetus to the art of writing by developing a phonetic alphabet; but this achievement, remarkable as it was in itself, added nothing fundamental to human capacity. Literatures had previously flourished through the use of hiero of civilization, saw such changes effected in the practical affairs of their everyday lives as had not been wrought before during the entire historical period. Their fathers had travelled in vehicles drawn by horses, quite as their remoter ancestors had done since the time of higher barbarism. It may be doubted whether there existed in the world in the year 1800 a postal service that could compare in speed and efficiency with the express service of the Romans of the time of Caesar; far less was there a telegraph service that could compare with that of the ancient Persians. Nor was there a ship sailing the seas that a Phoenician trireme might not have overhauled. But now within the lifetime of a single man the world was covered with a network of steel rails on which locomotives drew gigantic vehicles, laden with passengers at an hourly speed almost equalling Caesar's best journey of a day; over the land and under the seas were stretched wires along which messages coursed from continent to continent literally with the speed of lightning; and the waters of the earth were made to teem with gigantic craft propelled without sail or oar at a speed which the Phoenician captain of three thousand years ago and the English captain of the 18th. century would alike have held incredible.

There is no need to give further details here of the industrial revolutions that have been achieved in this newest period of and civilization, since in their broader outlines at least Social political they are familiar to every one. Nor need we dwell organiza- upon the revolution in thought whereby man has for tion. the first time been given a clear inkling as to his origin and destiny. It suffices to point out that such periods of fermentation of ideas as this suggests have probably always been concomitant with those outbursts of creative genius that gave the world the practical inventions upon which human progress has been conditioned. The same attitude of receptivity to new ideas is pre-requisite to one form of discovery as to the other. Nor, it may be added, can either form of idea become effective for the progress of civilization except in proportion as a large body of any given generation are prepared to receive it. Doubtless here and there a dreamer played with fire, in a literal sense, for generations before the utility of fire as a practical aid to human progress came to be recognized in practice. And - to seek an illustration at the other end of the scale - we know that the advanced thinkers of Greece and Rome believed in the antiquity of the earth and in the evolution of man two thousand years before the coming of Darwin. We have but partly solved the mysteries of the progress of civilization, then, when we have pointed out that each tangible stage of progress owed its initiative to a new invention or discovery of science. To go to the root of the matter we must needs explain how it came about that a given generation of men was in mental mood to receive the new invention or discovery.

The pursuit of this question would carry us farther into the realm of communal and racial psychology - to say nothing of the realm of conjecture - than comports with the purpose of this article. It must suffice to point out that alertness of mind - that all mentality - is, in the last analysis, a reaction to the influences of the environment. It follows that man may subject himself to new influences and thus give his mind a new stimulus by changing his habitat. A fundamental secret of progress is revealed in this fact. Man probably never would have evolved from savagery had he remained in the Tropics where he doubtless originated. But successive scientific inventions enabled him, as has been suggested, to migrate to distant latitudes, and thus more or less involuntarily to become the recipient of new creative and progressive impulses. After migrations in many directions had resulted in the development of divers races, each with certain capacities and acquirements due to its unique environment, there was opportunity for the application of the principle of environmental stimulus in an indirect way, through the mingling and physical intermixture of one race with another. Each of the great localized civilizations of antiquity appears to have owed its prominence in part at least - perhaps very largely - to such intermingling of two or more races. Each of these civilizations began to decay so soon as the nation had remained for a considerable number of generations in its localized environment, and had practically ceased to receive accretions from distant races at approximately the same stage of development. There is a suggestive .lesson for present-day civilization in that thought-compelling fact. Further evidence of the application of the principle of environmental stimulus, operating through changed habitat and racial intermixture, is furnished by the virility of the colonial peoples of our own day. The receptiveness to new ideas and the rapidity of material progress of Americans, South Africans and Australians are proverbial. No one doubts, probably, that one or another of these countries will give a new stimulus to the progress of civilization, through the promulgation of some great epochal discovery, in the not distant future. Again, the value of racial intermingling is shown yet nearer home in the long-continued vitality of the British nation, which is explicable, in some measure at least, by the fact that the Celtic element held aloof from the Anglo-Saxon element century after century sufficiently to maintain racial integrity, yet mingled sufficiently to give and receive the fresh stimulus of "new blood." It is interesting in this connexion to examine the map of Great Britain with reference to the birthplaces of the men named above as being the originators of the inventions and discoveries that made the close of the 18th century memorable as ushering in a new ethnic era. It may be added that these names suggest yet another element in the causation of progress: the fact, namely, that, however necessary racial receptivity may be to the dynamitic upheaval of a new ethnic era, it is after all individual genius that applies its detonating spark.

Without further elaboration of this aspect of the subject it may be useful to recapitulate the analysis of the evolution of civilization above given, prior to characterizing it from another standpoint. It appears that the entire period of human progress up to the present may be divided into nine periods which, if of necessity more or less arbitrary, yet are not without certain warrant of logic. They may be defined as follows: (r) The Lower Period of Savagery, terminating with the discovery and application of the uses of fire. (2) The Middle Period of Savagery, terminating with the invention of the bow and arrow. (3) The Upper Period of Savagery, terminating with the invention of pottery. (4) The Lower Period of Barbarism, terminating with the domestication of animals. (5) The Middle Period of Barbarism, terminating with the discovery of the process of smelting iron ore. (6) The Upper Period of Barbarism, terminating with the development of a system of writing meeting the requirements of literary composition. (7) The First Period of Civilization (proper) terminating with the introduction of gunpowder. (8) The Second Period of Civilization, terminating with the invention of a practical steam-engine. (9) The Upper Period of Civilization, which is still in progress, but which, as will be suggested in a moment, is probably nearing its termination.

It requires but a glance at the characteristics of these successive epochs to show the ever-increasing complexity of the inventions that delimit them and of the conditions of life that they connote. Were we to attempt to characterize in a few phrases the entire story of achievement thus outlined, we might say that during the three stages of Savagery man was attempting to make himself master of the geographical climates. His unconscious ideal was, to gain a foothold and the means of subsistence in every zone. During the three periods of Barbarism the ideal of conquest was extended to the beasts of the field, the vegetable world, and the mineral contents of the earth's crust. During the three periods of Civilization proper the ideal of conquest has become still more intellectual and subtle, being now extended to such abstractions as an analysis of speech-sounds, and to such intangibles as expanding gases and still more elusive electric currents: in other words, to the forces of nature, no less than to tangible substances. Hand in hand with this growing complexity of man's relations with the external world has gone a like increase of complexity in the social and political organizations that characterize man's relations with his fellow Nine periods of progress. men. In savagery the family expanded into the tribe; in barbarism the tribe developed into the nation. The epoch of civilization proper is aptly named, because it has been a time in which citizenship, in the narrower national significance, has probably been developed to its apogee. Throughout this period, in every land, the highest virtue has been considered to be patriotism, - by which must be understood an instinctive willingness on the part of every individual to defend even with his life the interests of the nation into which he chances to be born, regardless of whether the national cause in which he struggles be in any given case good or bad, right or wrong. The communal judgment of this epoch pronounces any man a traitor who will not uphold his own nation even in a wrong cause - and the word "traitor" marks the utmost brand of ignominy.

But while the idea of nationality has thus been accentuated, there has been a never-ending struggle within the bounds of the nation itself to adjust the relations of one citizen to ality another. The ideas that might makes right, that the strong man must dominate the weak, that leadership politan- in the community properly belongs to the man who is physically most competent to lead - these ideas were a perfectly natural, and indeed an inevitable, outgrowth of the conditions under which man fought his way up through savagery and barbarism. Man in the first period of civilization inherited these ideas, along with the conditions of society that were their concomitants. So throughout the periods when the oriental civilizations of Egypt and Babylonia and Assyria and Persia were dominant, a despotic form of government was accepted as the natural order of things. It does not appear that any other form was even considered as a practicality. A despot might indeed be overthrown, but only to make way for the coronation of another despot. A little later the Greeks and Romans modified the conception of a heaven-sent individual monarch; but they went no further than to substitute a heaven-favoured community, with specially favoured groups (Patricii) within the community. With this, national egoism reached its climax; for each people regarded its own citizens as the only exemplars of civilization, openly branding all the rest of the world as "barbarians," fit subjects for the exaction of tribute or for the imposition of the bonds of actual slavery. During the middle ages there was a reaction towards individualism as opposed to nationalism: but the entire system of feudalism, with its clearly recognized conditions of over-lordship and of vassaldom, gave expression, no less clearly than oriental despotism and classical "democracy" had done, to the idea of individual inequality; of divergence of moral and legal status based on natural inheritance. Thus this idea, a reminiscence of barbarism, maintained its dominance throughout the first period of civilization.

But gunpowder, marking the transition to the second period of civilization, came as a great levelling influence. With its aid the weakest peasant might prove more than a match for the most powerful knight. Before its assaults the castle of the lord ceased to be an impregnable fortress. And while gunpowder thus levelled down the power of the mighty, the printing-press levelled up the intelligence, and hence the power and influence of the lowly. Meantime the mariner's compass opened up new territories beyond the seas, and in due course men of lowly origin were seen to attain to wealth and power through commercial pursuits, thus tending to break in upon the established social order. In the colonial territories themselves all men were subjected more or less to the same perils and dependent upon their own efforts. Success and prominence in the community came not as a birthright, but as the result of demonstrated fitness. The great lesson that the interests of all members of a community are, in the last analysis, mutual could be more clearly distinguished in these small colonies than in larger and older bodies politic. Through various channels, therefore, in the successive generations of this middle period of civilization, the idea gained ground that intelligence and moral worth, rather than physical prowess, should be the test of greatness; that it is incumbent on the strong in the interests of the body politic to protect the weak; and that, in the long run, the best interests of the community are conserved if all its members, without exception, are given moral equality before the law. This idea of equal rights and privileges for all members of the community - for each individual "the greatest amount of liberty consistent with a like liberty of every other individual" - first found expression as a philosophical doctrine towards the close of the 18th century; at which time also tentative efforts were made to put it into practice. It may be said therefore to represent the culminating sociological doctrine of the middle period of civilization, - the ideal towards which all the influences of the period had tended to impel the race.

It will be observed, however, that this ideal of individual equality within the body politic in no direct wise influences the status of the body politic itself as the centre of a localized civilization that may be regarded as in a sense antagonistic to all other similarly localized civilizations. If there were any such influence, it would rather operate in the direction of accentuating the patriotism of the member of a democratical community, as against that of the subject of a despot, through the sense of personal responsibility developed in the former. The developments of the middle period of civilization cannot be considered, therefore, to have tended to decrease the spirit of nationality, with its concomitant penalty of what is sometimes called provincialism. The history of this entire period, as commonly presented, is largely made up of the records of international rivalries and jealousies, perennially culminating in bitterly contested wars. It was only towards the close of the epoch that the desirability of free commercial intercourse among nations began to find expression as a philosophical creed through the efforts of Quesnay and his followers; and the doctrine that both parties to an international commercial transaction are gainers thereby found its first clear expression in the year 1776 in the pages of Condillac and of Adam Smith.

But the discoveries that ushered in the third period of civilization were destined to work powerfully from the outset for the breaking down of international barriers, though, of course, their effects would not be at once manifest. Thus the substitution of steam power for water power, besides giving a tremendous impetus to manufacturing in general, mapped out new industrial centres in regions that nature had supplied with coal but not always with other raw materials. To note a single result, England became the manufacturing centre of the world, drawing its raw materials from every corner of the globe; but in so doing it ceased to be self-supporting as regards the production of food-supplies. While growing in national wealth, as a result of the new inventions, England has therefore lost immeasurably in national self-sufficiency and independence; having become in large measure dependent upon other countries both for the raw materials without which her industries must perish and for the foods to maintain the very life of her people.

What is true of England in this regard is of course true in greater or less measure of all other countries. Everywhere, thanks to the new mechanisms that increase industrial efficiency, there has been an increasing tendency to specialization; and since the manufacturer must often find his raw materials in one part of the world and his markets in another, this implies an ever-increasing intercommunication and interdependence between the nations. This spirit is obviously fostered by the new means of transportation by locomotive and steamship, and by the electric communication that enables the Londoner, for example, to transact business in New York or in Tokio with scarcely an hour's delay; and that puts every one in touch at to-day's breakfast table with the happenings of the entire world. Thanks to the new mechanisms, national isolation is no longer possible; globe-trotting has become a habit with thousands of individuals of many nations; and Ofent and Occident, representing civilizations that for thousands of years were almost absolutely severed and mutually oblivious of each other, have been brought again into close touch for mutual education and betterment. The Western mind has learned with amazement that the aforetime Terra Incognita of the far East has nurtured a gigantic civilization having ideals in many ways far different from our own. The Eastern mind has proved itself capable, in self-defence, of absorbing the essential practicalities of Western civilization within a single generation. Some of the most important problems of world-civilization of the immediate future hinge upon the mutual relations of these two long-severed communities, branched at some early stage of progress to opposite hemispheres of the globe, but now brought by the new mechanisms into daily and even hourly communication.

While the new conditions of the industrial world have thus tended to develop a new national outlook, there has come about, as a result of the scientific discoveries already referred t o a no less significant broadening of the mental and spiritual horizons. Here also the trend is away from the narrowly egoistic and towards the cosmopolitan view. About the middle of the 19th century Dr Pritchard declared that many people debated whether it might not be permissible for the Australian settlers to shoot the natives as food for their dogs; some of the disputants arguing that savages were without the pale of human brotherhood. To-day the thesis that all mankind are one brotherhood needs no defence. The most primitive of existing aborigines are regarded merely as brethren who, through some defect or neglect of opportunity, have lagged behind in the race. Similarly the defective and criminal classes that make up so significant a part of the population of even our highest present-day civilizations, are no longer regarded with anger or contempt, as beings who are suffering just punishment for wilful transgressions, but are considered as pitiful victims of hereditary and environmental influences that they could neither choose nor control. Insanity is no longer thought of as demoniac possession, but as the most lamentable of diseases.

The changed attitude towards savage races and defective classes affords tangible illustrations of a fundamental transformation of point of view which doubtless represents the most important result of the operation of new scientific knowledge in the course of the 19th century. It is a transformation that is only partially effected as yet, to be sure; but it is rapidly making headway, and when fully achieved it will represent, probably, the most radical metamorphosis of mental view that has taken place in the entire course of the historical period. The essence of the new view is this: to recognize the universality and the invariability of natural law; stated otherwise, to understand that the word "supernatural" involves a contradiction of terms and has in fact no meaning. Whoever has grasped the full import of this truth is privileged to sweep mental horizons wider by far than ever opened to the view of any thinker of an earlier epoch. He is privileged to forecast, as the sure heritage of the future, a civilization freed from the last ghost of superstition - an Age of Reason in which mankind shall at last find refuge from the hosts of occult and invisible powers, the fearsome galaxies of deities and demons, which have haunted him thus far at every stage of his long journey through savagery, barbarism and civilization. Doubtless here and there a thinker, even in the barbaric eras, may have realized that these ghosts that so influenced the everyday lives of his fellows were but children of the imagination. But the certainty that such is the case could not have come with the force of demonstration even to the most clear-sighted thinker until 19th-century science had investigated with penetrating vision the realm of molecule and atom; had revealed the awe-inspiring principle of the conservation of energy; and had offered a comprehensible explanation of the evolution of one form of life from another, from monad to man, that did not presuppose the intervention of powers more "supernatural" than those that operate about us everywhere to-day.

The stupendous import of these new truths could not, of course, make itself evident to the generality of mankind in a single generation, when cpposed to superstitions of a thousand generations' standing. But the new knowledge has made its way more expeditiously than could have been anticipated; and its effects are seen on every side, even where its agency is scarcely recognized. As a single illustration, we may note the familiar observation that the entire complexion of orthodox teaching of religion has been more altered in the past fifty years than in two thousand years before. This of course is not entirely due to the influence of physical and biological science; no effect has a unique cause, in the complex sociological scheme. Archaeology, comparative philology and textual criticism have also contributed their share; and the comparative study of religions has further tended to broaden the outlook and to make for universality, as opposed to insularity, of view. It is coming to be more and more widely recognized that all theologies are but the reflex of the more or less faulty knowledge of the times in which they originate; that the true and abiding purpose of religion should be the practical betterment of humanity - the advancement of civilization in the best sense of the word; and that this end may perhaps be best subserved by different systems of theology, adapted to the varied genius of different times and divers races. Wherefore there is not the same enthusiastic desire to-day that found expression a generation ago, to impose upon the cultured millions of the East a religion that seems to them alien to their manner of thought, unsuited to their needs and less distinctly ethical in teaching than their own religions.

Such are but a few of the illustrations that might be cited from many fields to suggest that the mind of our generation is becoming receptive to a changed point of view that augurs the coming of a new ethnic era. If one may be permitted to enter very tentatively the field of prophecy, it seems not unlikely that the great revolutionary invention which will close the third period of civilization and usher in a new era is already being evolved. It seems not over-hazardous to predict that the air-ship, in one form or another, is destined to be the mechanism that will give the new impetus to human civilization; that the next era will have as one of its practical ideals the conquest of the air; and that this conquest will become a factor in the final emergence of humanity from the insularity of nationalism to the broad view of cosmopolitanism, towards which, as we have seen, the tendencies of the present era are verging. That the gap to be covered is a vastly wide one no one need be reminded who recalls that the civilized nations of Europe, together with America and Japan, are at present accustomed to spend more than three hundred million pounds each year merely that they may keep armaments in readiness to fly at one another's throats should occasion arise. Formidable as these armaments now seem, however, the developments of the not very distant future will probably make them quite obsolete; and sooner or later, as science develops yet more deadly implements of destruction, the time must come when communal intelligence will rebel at the suicidal folly of the international attitude that characterized, for example, the opening decade of the 10th century. At some time, after the first period of cosmopolitanism shall be ushered in as a tenth ethnic period, it will come to be recognized that there is a word fraught with fuller meanings even than the word patriotism. That word is humanitarianism. The enlightened generation that realizes the full implications of that word will doubtless marvel that their ancestors of the third period of civilization should have risen up as nations and slaughtered one another by thousands to settle a dispute about a geographical boundary. Such a procedure will appear to have been quite as barbarous as the cannibalistic practices of their yet more remote ancestors, and distinctly less rational, since cannibalism might. sometimes save its practiser from starvation, whereas warfare of the civilized type was a purely destructive agency.

Equally obvious must it appear to the cosmopolite of some generation of the future that quality rather than mere numbers must determine the efficiency of an). given community. Race suicide will then cease to be a bugbear; and it will no longer be considered rational to keep up the census at the cost of propagating low orders of intelligence, to feed the ranks of paupers, defectives and criminals. On the contrary it will be thought fitting that man should become the conscious arbiter of his own racial destiny to the extent of applying whatever laws of heredity he knows or may acquire in the interests of his own species, as he has long applied them in the case of domesticated animals. The survival and procreation of the unfit will then cease to be a menace to the progress of civilization. It does not follow that all men will be brought to a dead level of equality of body and mind, nor that individual competition will cease; but the average physical mental status of the race will be raised immeasurably through the virtual elimination of that vast company of defectives which to-day constitutes so threatening an obstacle to racial progress. There are millions of men in Europe and America to-day whose whole mental equipment - despite the fact that they have been taught to read and write - is far more closely akin to the average of the Upper Period of Barbarism than to the highest standards of their own time; and these undeveloped or atavistic persons have on the average more offspring than are produced by the more highly cultured and intelligent among their contemporaries. "Race suicide" is thereby prevented, but the progress of civilization is no less surely handicapped. We may well believe that the cosmopolite of the future, aided by science, will find rational means to remedy this strange illogicality. In so doing he will exercise a more consciously purposeful function, and perhaps a more directly potent influence, in determining the line of human progress than he has hitherto attempted to assume, notwithstanding the almost infinitely varied character of the experiments through which he has worked his way from savagery to civilization.

All these considerations tend to define yet more clearly the ultimate goal towards which the progressive civilization of past and present appears to be trending. The contemplation of this goal brings into view the outlines of a vastly suggestive evolutionary cycle. For it appears that the social condition of cosmopolite man, so far as the present-day view can predict it, will represent a state of things, magnified to world-dimensions, that was curiously adumbrated by the social system of the earliest savage. At the very beginning of the journey through savagery, mankind, we may well believe, consisted of a limited tribe, representing no great range or variety of capacity, and an almost absolute identity of interests. Thanks to this community of interests, - which was fortified by the recognition of blood-relationship among all members of the tribe, - a principle which we now define as "the greatest ultimate good to the greatest number" found practical, even if unwitting, recognition; and therein lay the germs of all the moral development of the future. But obvious identity of interests could be recognized only so long as the tribe remained very small. So soon as its numbers became large, patent diversities of interest, based on individual selfishness, must appear, to obscure the larger harmony. And as savage man migrated hither and thither, occupying new regions and thus developing new tribes and ultimately a diversity of "races," all idea of community of interests, as between race and race, must have been absolutely banished. It was the obvious and patent fact that each race was more or less at rivalry, in disharmony, with all the others. In the hard struggle for subsistence, the expansion of one race meant the downfall of another. So far as any principle of "greatest good" remained in evidence, it applied solely to the members of one's own community, or even to one's particular phratry or gens.

Barbaric man, thanks to his conquest of animal and vegetable nature, was able to extend the size of the unified community, and hence to develop through diverse and intricate channels the application of the principle of "greatest good" out of which the idea of right and wrong was elaborated. But quite as little as the savage did he think of extending the application of the principle beyond the bounds of his own race. The laws with which he gave expression to his ethical conceptions applied, of necessity, to his own people alone. The gods with which his imagination peopled the world were local in habitat, devoted to the interests of his race only, and at enmity with the gods of rival peoples. As between nation and nation, the only principle of ethics that ever occurred to him was that might makes right. Civilized man for a long time advanced but slowly upon this view of international morality. No Egyptian or Babylonian or Hebrew or Greek or Roman ever hesitated to attack a weaker nation on the ground that it would be wrong to do so. And few indeed are the instances in which even a modern nation has judged an international question on any other basis than that of self-interest. It was not till towards the close of the 19th century that an International Peace Conference gave tangible witness that the idea of fellowship of nations was finding recognition; and in the same recent period history has recorded the first instance of a powerful nation vanquishing a weaker one without attempting to exact at least an "indemnifying" tribute.

But the citizen of the future, if the auguries of the present prove true, will be able to apply principles of right and wrong without reference to national boundaries. He will understand that the interests of the entire human family are, in the last analysis, common interests. The census through which he attempts to estimate "the greatest good of the greatest number" must include, not his own nation merely, but the remotest member of the human race. On this universal basis must be founded that absolute standard of ethics which will determine the relations of cosmopolite man with his fellows. When this ideal is attained, mankind will again represent a single family, as it did in the day when our primeval ancestors first entered on the pathway of progress; but it will be a family whose habitat has been extended from the narrow glade of some tropical forest to the utmost habitable confines of the globe. Each member of this family will be permitted to enjoy the greatest amount of liberty consistent with the like liberty of every other member; but the interests of the few will everywhere be recognized as subservient to the interests of the many, and such recognition of mutual interests will establish the practical criterion for the interpretation of international affairs.

But such an extension of the altruistic principle by no means presupposes the elimination of egoistic impulses - of individualism. On the contrary, we must suppose that man at the highest stages of culture will be, even as was the savage, a seeker after the greatest attainable degree of ?iency. comfort for the least necessary expenditure of energy.

The pursuit of this ideal has been from first to last the ultimate impelling force in nature urging man forward. The only change has been a change in the interpretation of the ideal, an altered estimate as to what manner of things are most worth the purchaseprice of toil and self-denial. That the things most worth the having cannot, generally speaking, be secured without such toil and self-denial, is a lesson that began to be inculcated while man was a savage, and that has never ceased to be reiterated generation after generation. It is the final test of progressive civilization that a given effort shall produce a larger and larger modicum of average individual comfort. That is why the great inventions that have increased man's efficiency as a worker have been the necessary prerequisites to racial progress. Stated otherwise, that is why the industrial factor is everywhere the most powerful factor in civilization; and why the economic interpretation is the most searching interpretation of history at its every stage. It is the basal fact that progress implies increased average working efficiency - a growing ratio between average effort and average achievement - that gives sure warrant for such a prognostication ashas just been attempted concerning the future industrial unification of our race. The efforts of civilized man provide him, on the average, with a marvellous range of comforts, as contrasted with those that rewarded the most strenuous efforts of savage or barbarian, to whom present-day necessaries would have been undreamed-of luxuries. But the ideal ratio between effort and result has by no means been achieved; nor will it have been until the inventive brain of man has provided a civilization in which a far higher percentage of citizens will find the life-vocations to which they are best adapted by nature, and in which, therefore, the efforts of the average worker may be directed with such vigour, enthusiasm and interest as can alone make for true efficiency; a civilization adjusted to such an economic balance that the average man may live in reasonable comfort without heart-breaking strain, and yet accumulate a sufficient surplus to ensure ease and serenity for his declining days. Such, seemingly, should be the normal goal of progressive civilization. Doubtless mankind in advancing towards that goal will institute many changes that could by no possibility be foretold; but (to summarize the views just presented) it seems a safe augury from present-day conditions and tendencies that the important lines of progress will include (I) the organic betterment of the race through wise application of the laws of heredity; (2) the lessening of international jealousies and the consequent minimizing of the drain upon communal resources that attends a military regime; and (3) an ever-increasing movement towards the industrial and economic unification of the world. (H.S.WI.)


- A list of works dealing with the savage and barbarous periods of human development will be found appended to the article Anthropology. Special reference may here be made to E. B. Tylor's Early History of Mankind (1865), Primitive Culture (1871) and Anthropology (1881); Lord Avebury's Prehistoric Times (new edition, 1900) and Origin of Civilization (new edition, 1902); A. H. Keane's Man Past and Present (1899); and Lewis H. Morgan's Ancient Society (1877). The earliest attempt at writing a history of civilization which has any value for the loth-century reader was F. Guizot's in 1828-1830, a handy English translation by William Hazlitt being included in Bohn's Standard Library under the title of The History of Civilization. The earlier lectures, delivered at the Old Sorbonne, deal with the general progress of European civilization, whilst the greater part of the work is an account of the growth of civilization in France. Guizot's attitude is somewhat antiquated, but this book still has usefulness as a storehouse of f4cts. T. H. Buckle's famous work, The History of Civilization in England (1857-1861), though only a gigantic unfinished introduction to the author's proposed enterprise, holds an important place in historical literature on account of the new method which it introduced, and has given birth to a considerable number of valuable books on similar lines, such as Lecky's History of European Morals (1869) and Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe (1865). J. W. Draper's History of the Intellectual Development of Europe (1861) undertook, from the American stand-point, "the labour of arranging the evidence offered by the intellectual history of Europe in accordance with physiological principles, so as to illustrate the orderly progress of civilization." Its objective treatment and wealth of learning still give it great value to the student. Since the third quarter of the 19th century it may be said that all serious historical work has been more or less a history of civilization as displayed in all countries and ages, and a bibliography of the works bearing on the subject would be coextensive with the catalogue of a complete historical library. Special mention, however, may be made of such important and suggestive works as C. H. Pearson's National Life and Character (1893); Benjamin Kidd's Social Evolution (1894) and Principles of Western Civilization (1902); Edward Eggleston's Transit of Civilization (1901); C. Seignobos's Histoire de la civilisation (1887); C. Faulmann's Illustrirte Culturgeschichte (1881); G. Ducoudray's Histoire de la civilisation (1886); J. von Hellwald's Kulturgeschichte (1896); J. Lippert's Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit (1886); O. Henne-amRhyn's Die Kultur der Vergangenheit, Gegenwart and Zukunft (1890); G. Kurth's Origines de la civilisation moderne (1886), &c. The vast collection of modern works on sociology, from Herbert Spencer onwards, should also be consulted; see bibliography attached to the article Sociology. The historical method on which practically all the articles of the present edition of the Ency. Brit. are planned, makes the whole work itself in essentials the most comprehensive history of civilization in existence.

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010

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Box artwork for Civilization.
Developer(s) MicroProse Software
Publisher(s) MicroProse Software
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Turn-based strategy
System(s) MS-DOS, Windows, Mac OS, Amiga, Atari ST, SNES, N-Gage
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Followed by Civilization II
Series Civilization
This is the first game in the Civilization series. For other games in the series see the Civilization category.

Sid Meier's Civilization is a turn-based strategy computer game created by Sid Meier for MicroProse in 1991. The game's objective is " build an empire that would stand the test of time". The game begins in 4000 BC, and the players attempt to expand and develop their empires through the ages until modern and near-future times. It is also known simply as Civilization, or abbreviated to Civ or Civ I.

Table of Contents

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editCivilization series

Civilization · Civilization II (Conflicts in Civilization · Fantastic Worlds) · Test of Time · Civilization III (Play the World · Conquests) · Civilization IV (Warlords · Beyond the Sword) · Colonization · Civilization Revolution

Colonization · Alpha Centauri (Alien Crossfire) · Call to Power · II · CivCity: Rome


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Civilization may refer to:

  • Civilization (board game), a board game by Francis Tresham
  • Civilization (Microprose), a computer game created by Sid Meier for Microprose in 1991
  • Civilization II, a turn-based strategy game
  • Civilization III, a turn-based strategy computer game by Firaxis Games
  • Civilization IV, a turn-based strategy computer game released in 2005 and developed by lead designer Soren Johnson
  • Civilization: Call to Power, a PC turn-based strategy game developed by Activision
  • Civilization II: Test of Time, a turn-based strategy game similar to the best selling game Civilization II
  • Civilization III Conquests, the second and final expansion for the award-winning and best-selling computer game Sid Meier's Civilization III
  • Civilization III Play the World, the first expansion pack for the award winning game Sid Meier's Civilization III
  • Civilization IV: Warlords, the first official expansion pack of the critically-acclaimed turn-based strategy video game Civilization IV
  • Civilization Revolution, a version of the Civilization series created specifically for consoles.
This is a disambiguation page which serves to distinguish topics that share a common name.

Disambiguation pages are navigational aids which list other pages that might otherwise share the same title. If an article link referred to this page, you might want to go back and fix it to point directly to the intended page.

This article uses material from the "Civilization" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Civilization, or civilisation comes from the Latin word civis, meaning someone who lives in a town. We think of people as being civilized when they have organised themselves into a stable, efficient group, instead of operating separately or in small tribes. Beyond this, we would expect any civilization to be recognisable by its language, arts, architecture, education and intellectual achievements, government and ability to defend itself.

Although civilizations overlap in time and place, they are usually defined by where their population were gathered in largest number, or where their government was based when they were at their greatest power. For example the Roman Empire was governed from Rome. Their empire once stretched from the Scottish borders to North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. They had their own language, Latin, which became the preferred method of communication among educated people until long after their civilization had vanished. Today lawyers and politicians, doctors and scientists, scholars and others still use Latin in the course of their everyday work, even though the Roman civilization died out more than 1,500 years ago. It is said that William Shakespeare excelled at Latin. Latin is still taught in some schools. We still admire and copy Roman architecture, use Roman numerals to count certain things, use the names of Roman gods to mark the days and months of our calendars, name the constellations in the sky by the same names that the Romans used and we model our Western political constitutions and structures on Roman models (Senate, Governor, election, tribunal, justice, vote, census, even the word Constitution, are all Latin words, their meaning unchanged in thousands of years).

The Roman civilization lasted almost 1000 years, but the Ancient Egyptian civilization was far older and lasted far longer. The Romans and Egyptians fought each other in battle and two of their mightiest leaders, the Roman Anthony and the Egyptian Cleopatra formed an alliance that might have united their two empires.

=Dictionary Definitions

= 1. An advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences,an advanced state of moral conduct, the extensive use of record-keeping, including writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions.

2. The type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: Maya civilization; the civilization of ancient Rome.

3. The act or process of civilizing or reaching a civilized state.

4. Cultural or intellectual refinement; good taste.

5. Modern society with its conveniences: "We returned to civilization after camping in the mountains".krc:Цивилизация


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