Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ancient Cultures and their Attractions

It is not possible to endeavor upon any serious inquisition into ancient cultures without being influenced by their attractions.

The inquisitor must always recognize this, and be aware of the nature and significance of these attractions. They vary between cultures, in the case of ancient Greek or Roman civilization being oriented toward visualization of historical subjects and study of the contemporary literature.

In studying other ancient cultures, it may be necessary to shift one's perspective very far back toward spiritual aspects. In antiquity life was governed by spirituality to a degree almost impossible to imagine now. No one then ever did anything without giving thought to how the spirits would receive it. That was an incredibly ancient perspective dating back to the far distant times when our ancestors were not classified as being "homo sapiens" but instead as our much earlier ancestors.

Perhaps the first evidence of human culture that then emerged, apart from the use of tools and the effect that had upon daily life, was cohabitation. Our remote ancestors gathered together in their lives to survive and to prosper,  They also evolved communications skills for those purposes.

Eventually the sum of their skills became noticeable in the historical record. In European history this trends to being the transition from "hunter gatherer" to pastoral society. At some point after 8000 b.c. humanity, in certain areas, started to effectively cultivate the land and in that process began civilization.

Ancient civilizations in the Near East centered in the rivers of the Tigris,  Euphrates and the Nile. These defined a "fertile crescent" whose cultivation supported their societies.

These societies became noticeable as a result of their activities,  beginning recorded history. Ultimately and through many milennia, that has resulted in history significant to us.

These ancient societies of the "fertile crescent" and nearby areas coalesced into urban centers important  under the Roman Empire. They became the cities of the Roman Provincial Coinage.



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