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Chapter 1: The Roots of Western Civilization

| Chapter Summary | Chapter Outline | Critical Thinking Questions | Review Questions: Multiple Choice | Review Questions: True-False | The Big Picture | Essay Questions | Map Exercises | A Closer Look | Using the Internet | Biography Questions | Guide to Further Research | Chapter in Perspective |

Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the rise of civilizations in the Middle East over a period of three thousand years and the contributions that these cultures and empires made to Western civilization. In Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean, we see the development of agriculture and technology accompanied by the emergence of great cities and stratified societies. Art, religion, warfare, law, and, most importantly, writing gained sophistication as these ancient cultures interacted with each other. The ideas of the earliest civilizations were taken up by the cultures that followed. Writing was crucial because it facilitated this process of cross-fertilization.


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