Civilization  

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The history of civilization is the history of a long warfare between the dangerous and powerful forces of the id, and the various systems of taboos and inhibitions which man has erected to control them. --Sex in History (1964) -- Gordon Rattray Taylor


"We do not know whether the study of the humanities, of the noblest that has been said and thought, can do very much to humanize. We do not know; and surely there is something rather terrible in our doubt whether the study and delight a man finds in Shakespeare make him any less capable of organizing a concentration camp." --"To Civilize Our Gentlemen" (1965) by George Steiner


"[There has been no] carry-over from civilization to civility, from humanism to the humane."-- In Bluebeard's Castle (1971), p. 79 by George Steiner

 This page Civilization is part of the Ancient Greece series.   Photo: western face of the Parthenon
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This page Civilization is part of the Ancient Greece series.
Photo: western face of the Parthenon
This page Civilization is part of the Ancient Rome series. Illustration: Antichita Romanae (1748) by Piranesi
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This page Civilization is part of the Ancient Rome series.
Illustration: Antichita Romanae (1748) by Piranesi
The Great Sphinx by Maxime Du Camp, 1849, taken when he traveled in Egypt with Gustave Flaubert.
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The Great Sphinx by Maxime Du Camp, 1849, taken when he traveled in Egypt with Gustave Flaubert.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Civilization or civilisation is a kind of human society or culture; specifically, a civilization is usually understood to be a complex society characterized by the process of state formation, the practice of agriculture and settlement in cities. Compared with less complex cultures, members of a civilization are organized into a diverse division of labour and an intricate social hierarchy. The term civilization is often used as a synonym for culture in both popular and academic circles.

Contents

History

Early civilizations

Antiquity (Axial Age)

Karl Jaspers, the German historical philosopher, proposed that the ancient civilizations were affected greatly by an Axial Age in the period between 800 BC-200 BC during which a series of male sages, prophets, religious reformers and philosophers, from China, India, Iran, Israel and Greece, changed the direction of civilizations forever. William H. McNeill proposed that this period of history was one in which culture contact between previously separate civilizations saw the "closure of the oecumene", and led to accelerated social change from China to the Mediterranean, associated with the spread of coinage, larger empires and new religions. This view has recently been championed by Christopher Chase-Dunn and other world systems theorists.

Medieval to Early Modern

Contemporary

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Civilization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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