Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries.
How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that the Rest lacked, allowing it to surge past all other competitors.
Yet now, Ferguson shows how the Rest have downloaded the killer apps the West once monopolized, while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside clashes (and fusions) of civilizations, Civilization: The West and the Rest recasts world history with force and wit. Boldly argued and teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.
The pope wanted it, Montesquieu used it, and the Nazis pilfered an Italian noble's villa to get it: the Germania, by the Roman historian Tacitus, took on a life of its own as both an object and an ideology. When Tacitus wrote a not-very-flattering little book about the ancient Germans in 98 CE, at the height of the Roman Empire, he could not have foreseen that the Nazis would extol it as "a bible," nor that Heinrich Himmler, the engineer of the Holocaust, would vow to resurrect Germany on its grounds. But the Germania inspired—and polarized—readers long before the rise of the Third Reich. In this elegant and captivating history, Christopher B. Krebs, a professor of classics at Harvard University, traces the wide-ranging influence of the Germania over a five-hundred-year span, showing us how an ancient text rose to take its place among the most dangerous books in the world.
Fifty generations ago, the cultural empire of the Celts stretched from the Black Sea to Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. In six hundred years, the Celts had produced some of the finest artistic and scientific masterpieces of the ancient world. In 58 BC, Julius Caesar marched over the Alps, bringing slavery and genocide to Western Europe. Within eight years the Celts of what is now France were utterly annihilated, and in another hundred years the Romans had overrun Britain. It is astonishing how little remains of this great civilization.
While planning a bicycling trip along the Heraklean Way, the ancient route from Portugal to the Alps, Graham Robb discovered a door to that forgotten world―a beautiful and precise pattern of towns and holy places based on astronomical and geometrical measurements: this was the three-dimensional “Middle Earth” of the Celts. As coordinates and coincidences revealed themselves across the continent, a map of the Celtic world emerged as a miraculously preserved archival document.
Robb―“one of the more unusual and appealing historians currently striding the planet” (New York Times)―here reveals the ancient secrets of the Celts, demonstrates the lasting influence of Druid science, and re-charts the exploration of the world and the spread of Christianity. A pioneering history grounded in a real-life historical treasure hunt, The Discovery of Middle Earth offers nothing less than an entirely new understanding of the birth of modern Europe.
The Inca Empire was established in the 13th century and was the world’s largest empire in the early 16th century. It was created as the last chapter of the Andean civilization, and scientists say it was one of the five civilizations in the world that were pristine. That is to say that they were indigenous, not just a derivative from other civilizations. Based on the Andean mountain range, at its peak it covered modern day Peru, large parts of Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and central Chile and small parts of southwest Columbia. Estimates say that 40.000 Incas had governed over 10 million subjects that spoke 30 different languages. Its last stronghold would be conquered by the Spanish Empire in 1572, ending the reign of the largest empire in the world at the time. Its capital was the city of Cusco, and its greatest leader was the ninth Sapa Inca, which meant son of the sun god, well known today as Pachacuti.
The History of The Incas and Their Amazing Empire
The Great Inka Road- Smithsonian
Terry Hunt & Carl Lipo finally resolved the Eco-cide that brought about the demise of Easter Island. After years of painstaking field research the resolution isn't apocalyptic as other authors have sought. Previous historians, geologists, and adventurers have tried to uncover the madness of how the inhabitants of this Island collapsed. Both Hunt & Lipo have brought extravagant mythology to an end; the Island didn't fall from civil war, but the inadvertant introduction of European germs was a factor. Human excess isn't a culprit either, the forests that collapsed introducing climate, soil erosion had its origin in the introduction of Polynesian rats that ate the seen saplings of indigenous plants, introducing ecocide. It only took decades, not centuries, but once started it was quick and lethal.
"The Statues that Walked" is now out from Free Press and it is great reading. Both archeologists have served their discipline well in finally putting to rest the demise of Easter Island.
Easter Island Statue Project:
Explore Easter Island Digitally
Easter Island History
Rapa- Nui People of Easter Island
Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq, Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.
The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire.
Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with western parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In AD 226, the eastern regions of Mesopotamia fell to the Sassanid Persians. The division of Mesopotamia between Roman (Byzantine from AD 395) and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines. A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene, Osroene, and Hatra.
Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. It has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history, including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops and the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture".- WIKIPEDIA
FULL AUDIO LECTURE- KHANACADEMY.COM
By 1914 the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and they pulled the Middle East along with them into one of the most destructive conflicts in human history.
In The Fall of the Ottomans, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region's crucial role in the conflict. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast-moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies' favor.
The postwar settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands, laying the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia, The Fall of the Ottomans is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Great War and the making of the modern Middle East.
First peoples in the Americas my have included European as well as Asian lineage. @nicholaswade.
A European contribution to Native American ancestry could explain two longstanding puzzles about the people’s origins. One is that many ancient Native American skulls, including that of the well-known Kennewick man, look very different from those of the present day population. Another is that one of the five mitochondrial DNA lineages found in Native Americans, the lineage known as X, also occurs in Europeans. One explanation is that Europeans managed to cross the Atlantic in small boats some 20,000 years ago and joined the Native Americans from Siberia.
Dr. Willerslev thinks it more likely that European bearers of the X lineage had migrated across Siberia with the ancestors of the Mal’ta culture and joined them in their trek across the Beringian land bridge.
The film tracks a team of archeologists, scientists and historians as they travel throughout the Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to search for the true “Atlantean” civilization — and a possible location for the mother city, the lost city itself, using cutting-edge technology and Plato’s ancient writings as a virtual treasure map to lead the way.
PEOPLE can exclusively reveal a sneak peek at the documentary, in which Jacobovici travels to the Pillars of Hercules, the ancient name given to a point that flanks the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, to investigate what just might be a startling discovery.
“This legendary diver in these parts, that they nicknamed The Panther, shot this video footage,” Jacobovici tells Cameron via Skype. “When I got images of it at the beginning, I thought: ‘This is a joke.’ ”
“But when I looked at still frame grabs, it looks like an underwater Nuragic [site],” he continues. “It’s big — it’s got pillars, it’s got steps, it’s got circles. It’s the Hollywood version of Atlantis, and it’s supposed to be right here, where we are.”
As for how that scene pans out? Stay tuned to find out — but one thing’s for sure, and it’s that Cameron believes exploring myths — and what we can learn from them — is important.
“That’s how the ruins of Troy were found!” Cameron tells PEOPLE. “With Plato, we have only fragments from Critias and Timaeus, but yet this fragmentary story has intrigued people for the 2,400 years since he wrote it.”
“When I’m not doing my day job as a Hollywood movie guy, I’m doing my other job as an ocean explorer,” he continues. “The payoff is that in the course of searching for Atlantis and exploring the possible sites, we came up with some pretty good evidence that there was in fact a ship-based trading culture outside the so-called Pillars of Hercules, which is the Strait of Gibraltar, just off the coast of Spain. That’s pretty big.”
There is one historic event that fits Plato’s tale remarkably well.
It’s the story of the eruption of the volcano Thera (now called Santorini) in 1650BC.
Archaeologists in recent decades have uncovered the remains of an ancient settlement there belonging to the then remarkably advanced Minoan civilization.
Among the ruins they found a map. It shows a palace on an island in the middle of volcanic caldera (a large volcanic crater).
The fallout of the eruption, and its subsequent tsunamis, are believed to have triggered the collapse of the entire civilization as it engulfed much of northern Crete.
Into the ruins marched tribes of Greeks - the predecessors of the great nations of Sparta, Corinth and Athens.
So the idea that the disaster that destroyed the Minoans may have somehow wound its way through the centuries down to Plato certainly seems enticing. Though unsubstantiated.