Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Motley of Nations

Blogging Will Durant’s History of Civilization

Outside of the main civilizations of the ancient history of the Middle East, Egypt, Sumeria/Babylon/Assyria/Persia, there circles a confusing medly of peoples. Some were barbarians; some were civilizations; some were half and half. Durant tries to make sense of them.

The Hittites settled in the area of modern Turkey (called “Asia Minor”). They used the plentiful deposits to move from the bronze to the iron age. They were suppanted by the Phrygians, who were conquered by the Lydians.

To their east and north of Iraq lies the region of the Armenians, a very ancient people, indeed.

From the Semitic peoples (originating from Arabia) there came the Phoenicians who occupied the lands north of Palestine.

Sadly, in this catch-all chapter, Ethiopia gets mentioned in just 4 disconnected pages from the book’s index – like the treatment the USA got in the last two volumes of the series.

Durant's Brief Outline
  1. The Indo-European Peoples
  2. The Semitic Peoples
- From Book One, The Near East, Chapter XI. A Motley of Nations.
I believe that this series is one of the great works of modern history literature. Its material is essential knowledge.

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