|The Western Experience 7e Chambers/Hanawalt/Rabb/Woloch/Grew|
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- Explain what you think prompted people to initiate the first civilizations. How do you explain the development of civilizations in different places during the same period of time?
- What advantages do people get from civilization? What do they lose? Use examples from Egyptian and Near Eastern civilizations in your answer.
- Given the historical conditions of the time, if you were a Persian king in the year 550, how would you organize your empire? Why?
- In "The First Civilizations," the nature and beginnings of Western civilization in the Near East and Egypt are examined. The development of agriculture in these river valleys was the crucial step allowing greater numbers of people to support themselves, enabling the production of surplus food, facilitating specialization, and stimulating the growth of more complex societies. These changes were furthered through the growth of cities and imperial expansion, consolidating the transition to civilized conditions. Early civilizations discovered different ways to deal with the problems of how people relate to each other and to divine forces. Some of the peoples in this area—such as the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Persians—developed large and long-lasting societies; while others, such as the Israelites, left a more influential religious and ethical heritage.
- In "The Forming of Greek Civilization," the focus will shift north to Greece, where a highly urbanized and extraordinarily sophisticated civilization developed.
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