Western Civ 1 upload Essay

Submitted By philaw2
Words: 870
Pages: 4

Western Civ. 1

Around 3200 B.C., in ancient Egypt, life stemmed from the great Nile River. Without the river, Egypt could not have existed as an organized civilization. As the historian Herodotus said, “Egypt is solely the gift of the Nile.” We know this to be true because Egypt was mostly desert and the river bought much needed water to nurture plants that fed the pharaoh and his subjects. The Egyptian civilization contributed many things, mainly: Nubian gold, advancements in the art of war, a strong system of social hierarchy, and many new manners of irrigation. To the north of Egypt were the civilizations of the Fertile Crescent. The first of these civilizations was ancient Sumer. Both Egypt and Sumer were polytheistic societies that believed in an afterlife. However, the Egyptians believed that the afterlife could either be happy or torturous depending on how you lived your life on earth, while the Sumerian believed that the afterlife was dreadful and gloomy no matter what path you took while living. This could be because life for the people of the Fertile Crescent, which was much more difficult then those of the Egyptians. The civilizations that followed in Mesopotamia included the following: Akkad, Babylon, Hittites, Assyrians, and the Persians. Akkad bought the first known empire, Babylon, the first set of codified laws that are still known today, the Hittites knew the secret of iron working, and the Assyrians were a vicious war-like people. The Persians were the strongest of the group and created a system of coined money, dividing his empire with governor like officials, and a new age of thinking. Much later, around 1750 B.C., a new civilization arose in the Aegean Sea. These people were the Minoans, named after the mythological figure, King Minos. The Minoans settled on an island called Crete in the lower Aegean and their capitol was Knossos and the royal family lived in its great and wonderful palace. The Minoans were also polytheistic and worshiped bulls and a mother like goddess. Later, in the Greek mainland, two new city-states began to arise. Athens and Sparta. Athens was located in Attica and Sparta was located to the south on the Peloponnesus peninsula. Attica and Peloponnesus are connected by a simple straight in the Mediterranean Sea. While Sparta was a more war based society, Athens was were culture and arts flourished. Athens was named after the goddess Athena who was the Greek goddess of wisdom. Sparta’s society was based upon military values and strength. Someone once said, “Spartans are willing to doe for their city because the have no reason to live.” This is true, because Spartans saw the honor of their army and city as the first priority. Everything else was second to the Spartans. While these two city-states did not usually get along, they would unite in times of war that threatened all of Greece. The perfect example is the Persian War. Starting in 490 B.C. and ending in 479 B.C., the Persian war set Persians against Greeks in a bloody war. Darius and his son, Xerxes, commanded Persian forces during the war and generals such as Leonidas, Themistocles, and Pericles led the Greeks. Greece won its first battle at Marathon and another at Salamis. However, the war ended after an attack on Asia Minor where the Persians surrendered. The next war that plagued Greece was the Peloponnesian War that began in 431