This book is an expanded version of The Rhythms of History, the book that made macro-History into a semi-quantitative Science. New features include: 1. an appendix showing how the history of Mayan civilization conforms to the book''s Theory of Civilizations including the latest information from the newly discovered hieroglyphic texts at Dos Pilas, Guatemala; 2. an appendix on the sub-Saharan African civilization, Great Zimbabwe, showing it fits the theory; 3. a comparison of the theory with Toynbee''s observations showing the many new features resulting from a quantitative theory; 4. numerous historic pictures and illustrations of the civilizations of Mankind including a number of newly found pictures from the nineteenth century; 5. a chapter describing the potentially disturbing implications of patterns in civilizations - Are we free? ? and the implications for the Philosophy of History; and 6. expanded comments in many sections such as the sections on the future of Humanity, the role of China, and the Islamic - West conflict. The book begins with a hard hitting, "tell it like it is" chapter on the current international situation with statements such as: "The United States and Western civilization is now engaged in a small Vietnam-style war on a global scale at the time of this writing. This war is still in the early stages of development. ... The attack on the World Trade Center by Muslim terrorists may have the same significance for Western civilization that the Gothic invasion of Rome itself in the prime of the Empire (the First Century AD) had for the future of Rome. They may be a premonition of things to come - not necessarily soon but perhaps in a few centuries. The Goths returned three centuries later and remained as permanent conquerors. ... Over the long term the West must free itself from a dependence on Muslim oil. Muslim oil revenues are the fuel for the development of weapons of mass destruction by Iran and Iraq. In the future they will supply the revenues of an expansionist Islam. ... As the silk trade looted the Roman Empire of its gold and reduced its economy, the trade in oil is looting the West of its prosperity and freedom of action. The rise and fall of oil prices has a significantly greater effect on the American and world economy than the raising and lowering of interest rates by central banks. " The book then describes a theory of civilizations that led to these observations. Currently unfolding events seem to be fulfilling the predictions which were made last year (including the new North Korean threat that seems to be consistent with a predicted breakdown in Japan ? North Korea will create major problems with Japan. As this is being written Japan is moving Aegis destroyers nearer to North Korea and preparing for defense.) THE EVENTS DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK, AND ITS PREDECESSOR, APPEAR TO BE HAPPENING AS PREDICTED LAST YEAR. According to Theory of Civilizations the basis of civilizations was laid with a genetic mutation (found by Ding et al) 40,000 years ago that created bold enterprising individuals who became the leadership group of civilizations: a group that Toynbee called the "creative minority." When the world''s climate became warmer and more stable 10,000 years ago the seeds of civilizations began to germinate. Thus the origin of civilizations is tied to human genetics. The book then shows that a long-term social behavior pattern of mankind (based on four generation trends) causes civilizations to develop and "oscillate" in patterns of routs and rallies. Civilizations rise and fall due to their internal human dynamics. The theory of civilization is developed using equations and 68 diagrams that show a close detailed match between the theory and the actual history of all known Asian, European and African civilizations over the last 5,500 years. The theory projects the future of today''s civilizations (including the future of Western and Islamic civilizations). It also successfully describes the interaction of barbarians and civilizations, the interaction of two civilizations, the impact of modern technology on civilizations (it accounts for the Luddite reaction to the Industrial Revolution), the impact of major environmental events on civilizations (e.g. the collapse of Minoan civilization due to a volcanic eruption), and the disintegration of civilizations. It also accounts for the tremendous growth phases seen in many civilizations such as the building of the great pyramids in Egyptian civilizations. Based on the theory fifteen new civilizations are identified including new prehistoric Chinese and Egyptian civilizations. Having shown the success of the theory for earth civilizations it considers the form of extraterrestrial civilizations and calculates their impact on Western civilization should contact be established. The book also shows the need for the colonization of space and nearby planets if mankind is to progress in the future. The book analyzes the impact of the lengthening life spans of mankind on the future of civilizations. Predictions are made for the "state of the world" for 2050 and 2100. A detailed understanding the past enables the theory of civilizations to make predictions for the future. Defining Progress to be the sum of the world''s civilizations the book shows that Progress seems to be approximately linearly increasing over the last 5,500 years. A plot of Progress appears on the book''s cover (shown on this web page) together with the contributions of each civilization to Progress. (The vertical order of the civilizations in the plot is arbitrary. Older civilizations tend to be lower in the plot.) The book is a tour de force that makes History a Science rather than a collection of random events. It is the first detailed mathematical treatment of history. Although the book contains mathematics it is intended for the general reader as well as the mathematically inclined. There are copious verbal descriptions of the theory as well as many figures plotting the theory versus historical events. A qualitative, descriptive theory of civilizations is also presented that is like a "Dow Theory of Civilizations."
In Civilizations, Felipe Fernández-Armesto once again proves himself a brilliantly original historian, capable of large-minded and comprehensive works; here he redefines the subject that has fascinated historians from Thucydides to Gibbon to Spengler to Fernand Braudel: the nature of civilization. To Fernández-Armesto, a civilization is "civilized in direct proportion to its distance, its difference from the unmodified natural environment"...by its taming and warping of climate, geography, and ecology. The same impersonal forces that put an ocean between Africa and India, a river delta in Mesopotamia, or a 2,000-mile-long mountain range in South America have created the mold from which humanity has fashioned its own wildly differing cultures. In a grand tradition that is certain to evoke comparisons to the great historical taxonomies, each chapter of Civilizations connects the world of the ecologist and geographer to a panorama of cultural history. In Civilizations, the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is not merely a Christian allegory, but a testament to the thousand-year-long deforestation of the trees that once covered 90 percent of the European mainland. The Indian Ocean has served as the world's greatest trading highway for millennia not merely because of cultural imperatives, but because the regular monsoon winds blow one way in the summer and the other in the winter. In the words of the author, "Unlike previous attempts to write the comparative history of civilizations, it is arranged environment by environment, rather than period by period, or society by society." Thus, seventeen distinct habitats serve as jumping-off points for a series of brilliant set-piece comparisons; thus, tundra civilizations from Ice Age Europe are linked with the Inuit of the Pacific Northwest; and the Mississippi mound-builders and the deforesters of eleventh-century Europe are both understood as civilizations built on woodlands. Here, of course, are the familiar riverine civilizations of Mesopotamia and China, of the Indus and the Nile; but also highland civilizations from the Inca to New Guinea; island cultures from Minoan Crete to Polynesia to Renaissance Venice; maritime civilizations of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea...even the Bushmen of Southern Africa are seen through a lens provided by the desert civilizations of Chaco Canyon. More, here are fascinating stories, brilliantly told -- of the voyages of Chinese admiral Chen Ho and Portuguese commodore Vasco da Gama, of the Great Khan and the Great Zimbabwe. Here are Hesiod's tract on maritime trade in the early Aegean and the most up-to-date genetics of seed crops. Erudite, wide-ranging, a work of dazzling scholarship written with extraordinary flair, Civilizations is a remarkable achievement...a tour de force by a brilliant scholar.
This collection of over 80 papers discusses the development and modifications of the classifications of civilizations, which members of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations have been discussing through the 1970s and '80s. This book is significant because it brings together the thinking of dozens of scholars on the identification of the qualities and behavior of civilizations. Co-published by arrangement with the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations.
A collection of essays by social theorists, historical sociologists and area specialists in classical, biblical and Asian studies. The contributions deal with cultural transformations in major civilizational centres during the "Axial Age," the middle centuries of the last millennium BCE, and their long-term consequences.
Annotation. This collection of essays provides an analysis of the dynamics of Civilizations. The processes of globalization and of world history are described from a comparative sociological point of view in a Weberian tradition. These essays were written between 1974 and 2002 by one of the most eminent sociologists of today.
Volume II presents an account of various population movements and cultural exchanges in Central Asia between 700 B.C. and 250 A.D. Important nomadic tribal cultures such as the Kushans emerged during this period. Contacts between the Mediterranean and the Indus Valley were reinforced by the campaigns of Alexander the Great and, under his successors, the progressive syncretism between Zoroastrianism, Greek religion and Buddhism gave rise to a new civilization instituted by the Parthians, known for its artistic creations. Under Kushan rule, Central Asia became the crossroads of a prosperous trade between the Mediterranean and China along the Silk Route.
Uniquely, critically interrogates the concept of 'civilization' by asking whether it is still valid in the globalized world economy of the twenty-first century. Includes case studies on the Arab world, Islam, China and Japan.
Ancient Civilizations offers a comprehensive and straightforward account of the world’s first civilizations and how they were discovered, drawing on many avenues of inquiry including archaeological excavations, surveys, laboratory work, highly specialized scientific investigations, and both historical and ethnohistorical records. This book covers the earliest civilizations in Eurasia and the Americas, from Egypt and the Sumerians to the Indus Valley, Shang China, and the Maya. It also addresses subsequent developments in Southwest Asia, moving on to the first Aegean civilizations, Greece and Rome, the first states of sub-Saharan Africa, divine kings and empires in East and Southeast Asia, and the Aztec and Inka empires of Mesoamerica and the Andes. It includes a number of features to support student learning: a wealth of images, including several new illustrations; feature boxes which expand on key sites, finds, and written sources; and an extensive guide to further reading. With new perceptions of the origin and collapse of states, including a review of the issue of sustainability, this fifth edition has been extensively updated in the light of spectacular new discoveries and the latest theoretical advances. Examining the world’s pre-industrial civilizations from a multidisciplinary perspective and offering a comparative analysis of the field which explores the connections between all civilizations around the world, this volume provides a unique introduction to pre-industrial civilizations in all their brilliant diversity. It will prove invaluable to students of Archaeology.
This timely and original volume fills the gaps in the existing theoretical and philosophical literature on international relations by problematizing civilization as a new unit of research in global politics. It interrogates to what extent and in what ways civilization is becoming a strategic frame of reference in the current world order. The book complements and advances the existing field of study previously dominated by other approaches – economic, national, class-based, racial, and colonial – and tests its key philosophical suppositions against countries that exhibit civilizational ambitions. The authors are all leading international scholars in the fields of political theory, IR, cultural analysis, and area studies who deal with various aspects of the civilizational arena. Offering key chapters on ideology, multipolarity, modernity, liberal democracy, and capitalism, this book extends the existing methodological, theoretical, and empirical debates for IR and area studies scholars globally. It will be of great interest to politicians, public opinion makers, and all those concerned with the evolution of world affairs.