Money and Monetary Policy in Early Times: Volume 38 (The History of Civilization)

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Islamic History and Civilization Studies and Texts. Editors: Hinrich Biesterfeldt and Wadad Kadi. Islamic History and Civilization. Studies and Texts covers the world of Islam, from the time of its earliest appearance until the pre-modern period, and from its western to its eastern frontiers. The series provides space for analytical studies of themes, issues, dynasties, regions, or personages, annotated translations and text editions, as well as conference proceedings related to the history and the intellectual, literary, artistic, and cultural traditions of Islam.

The series published an average of eight volumes per year over the last 5 years. ISSN: View PDF Flyer. Volume Publication Date: 24 Dec By: Boaz Shoshan. Publication Date: 28 Nov By: Omid Ghaemmaghami. Essays in Honour of Professor Donald P. Editor s : Sami G. Editor s : Jamal J. Elias and Bilal Orfali. Publication Date: 24 Oct Scribes, Libraries and Market.

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Publication Date: 25 May Essays in Honour of Harald Motzki. Publication Date: 05 Sep Aided by their division of labour and central government planning, civilizations have developed many other diverse cultural traits. These include organized religion , development in the arts , and countless new advances in science and technology.

Philosophy of Money and Finance (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Through history, successful civilizations have spread, taking over more and more territory, and assimilating more and more previously-uncivilized people. Nevertheless, some tribes or people remain uncivilized even to this day. These cultures are called by some " primitive ", a term that is regarded by others as pejorative. Specifically, as all of today's cultures are contemporaries, today's so-called primitive cultures are in no way antecedent to those we consider civilized.

Anthropologists today use the term " non-literate " to describe these peoples. Civilization has been spread by colonization , invasion , religious conversion , the extension of bureaucratic control and trade , and by introducing agriculture and writing to non-literate peoples. Some non-civilized people may willingly adapt to civilized behaviour. But civilization is also spread by the technical, material and social dominance that civilization engenders.

Assessments of what level of civilization a polity has reached are based on comparisons of the relative importance of agricultural as opposed to trade or manufacturing capacities, the territorial extensions of its power, the complexity of its division of labour , and the carrying capacity of its urban centres. Secondary elements include a developed transportation system, writing, standardized measurement, currency, contractual and tort -based legal systems, art, architecture, mathematics, scientific understanding, metallurgy , political structures and organized religion. In a modern-day context, "civilized people" have been contrasted with indigenous people or tribal societies.

Every society, civilization or not, has a specific set of ideas and customs, and a certain set of manufactures and arts that make it unique. Civilizations tend to develop intricate cultures, including a state -based decision making apparatus, a literature , professional art , architecture , organized religion and complex customs of education , coercion and control associated with maintaining the elite.

The intricate culture associated with civilization has a tendency to spread to and influence other cultures, sometimes assimilating them into the civilization a classic example being Chinese civilization and its influence on nearby civilizations such as Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Many civilizations are actually large cultural spheres containing many nations and regions.

The civilization in which someone lives is that person's broadest cultural identity. Many historians have focused on these broad cultural spheres and have treated civilizations as discrete units. Early twentieth-century philosopher Oswald Spengler , [32] uses the German word Kultur , "culture", for what many call a "civilization".

Spengler believed a civilization's coherence is based on a single primary cultural symbol. Cultures experience cycles of birth, life, decline and death, often supplanted by a potent new culture, formed around a compelling new cultural symbol. Spengler states civilization is the beginning of the decline of a culture as "the most external and artificial states of which a species of developed humanity is capable".

This "unified culture" concept of civilization also influenced the theories of historian Arnold J. Toynbee in the mid-twentieth century. Toynbee explored civilization processes in his multi-volume A Study of History , which traced the rise and, in most cases, the decline of 21 civilizations and five "arrested civilizations". Civilizations generally declined and fell, according to Toynbee, because of the failure of a "creative minority", through moral or religious decline, to meet some important challenge, rather than mere economic or environmental causes.

Samuel P. Huntington defines civilization as "the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species". Huntington's theories about civilizations are discussed below. Another group of theorists, making use of systems theory , looks at a civilization as a complex system , i. Civilizations can be seen as networks of cities that emerge from pre-urban cultures and are defined by the economic, political, military, diplomatic, social and cultural interactions among them. Any organization is a complex social system and a civilization is a large organization.

Systems theory helps guard against superficial but misleading analogies in the study and description of civilizations. These spheres often occur on different scales. For example, trade networks were, until the nineteenth century, much larger than either cultural spheres or political spheres. Extensive trade routes, including the Silk Road through Central Asia and Indian Ocean sea routes linking the Roman Empire , Persian Empire , India and China, were well established years ago, when these civilizations scarcely shared any political, diplomatic, military, or cultural relations.

The first evidence of such long distance trade is in the ancient world.


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Many theorists argue that the entire world has already become integrated into a single " world system ", a process known as globalization. Different civilizations and societies all over the globe are economically, politically, and even culturally interdependent in many ways. There is debate over when this integration began, and what sort of integration — cultural, technological, economic, political, or military-diplomatic — is the key indicator in determining the extent of a civilization. David Wilkinson has proposed that economic and military-diplomatic integration of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations resulted in the creation of what he calls the "Central Civilization" around BCE.

According to Wilkinson, civilizations can be culturally heterogeneous, like the Central Civilization, or homogeneous, like the Japanese civilization. What Huntington calls the "clash of civilizations" might be characterized by Wilkinson as a clash of cultural spheres within a single global civilization. Others point to the Crusades as the first step in globalization. The more conventional viewpoint is that networks of societies have expanded and shrunk since ancient times , and that the current globalized economy and culture is a product of recent European colonialism.

The notion of world history as a succession of "civilizations" is an entirely modern one. In the European Age of Discovery , emerging Modernity was put into stark contrast with the Neolithic and Mesolithic stage of the cultures of the New World , suggesting that the complex states had emerged at some time in prehistory. Gordon Childe defined the emergence of civilization as the result of two successive revolutions: the Neolithic Revolution , triggering the development of settled communities, and the Urban Revolution. At first, the Neolithic was associated with shifting subsistence cultivation, where continuous farming led to the depletion of soil fertility resulting in the requirement to cultivate fields further and further removed from the settlement, eventually compelling the settlement itself to move.

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In major semi-arid river valleys, annual flooding renewed soil fertility every year, with the result that population densities could rise significantly. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10, BCE, with civilizations developing from 6, years ago. This area has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history including the invention of the wheel , the development of cuneiform script, mathematics , astronomy and agriculture.

The 8. This " urban revolution " marked the beginning of the accumulation of transferrable surpluses, which helped economies and cities develop. It was associated with the state monopoly of violence, the appearance of a soldier class and endemic warfare, the rapid development of hierarchies, and the appearance of human sacrifice. The civilized urban revolution in turn was dependent upon the development of sedentism , the domestication of grains and animals and development of lifestyles that facilitated economies of scale and accumulation of surplus production by certain social sectors.

The transition from complex cultures to civilizations , while still disputed, seems to be associated with the development of state structures, in which power was further monopolized by an elite ruling class [42] who practised human sacrifice. A parallel development took place independently in the Pre-Columbian Americas , where the Mayans began to be urbanised around BCE, and the fully fledged Aztec and Inca emerged by the 15th century, briefly before European contact. The Bronze Age collapse was followed by the Iron Age around BCE, during which a number of new civilizations emerged, culminating in a period from the 8th to the 3rd century BCE which Karl Jaspers termed the Axial Age , presented as a critical transitional phase leading to classical civilization.

This view has recently been championed by Christopher Chase-Dunn and other world systems theorists. A major technological and cultural transition to modernity began approximately CE in Western Europe , and from this beginning new approaches to science and law spread rapidly around the world, incorporating earlier cultures into the industrial and technological civilization of the present. Civilizations have generally ended in one of two ways; either through being incorporated into another expanding civilization e.

As Ancient Egypt was incorporated into Hellenistic Greek, and subsequently Roman civilizations , or by collapse and reversion to a simpler form, as happens in what are called Dark Ages. There have been many explanations put forward for the collapse of civilization. Some focus on historical examples, and others on general theory. Political scientist Samuel Huntington has argued that the defining characteristic of the 21st century will be a clash of civilizations.

He argues that this ignores the many others identities that make up people and leads to a focus on differences. Politically associated with over-reach, and as a result of the environmental exhaustion and polarization of wealth between rich and poor, he concludes the current system is fast arriving at a situation where continuation of the existing system saddled with huge deficits and a hollowed-out economy is physically, socially, economically and politically impossible.

The corrosion of these pillars, Jacobs argues, is linked to societal ills such as environmental crisis, racism and the growing gulf between rich and poor. Cultural critic and author Derrick Jensen argues that modern civilization is directed towards the domination of the environment and humanity itself in an intrinsically harmful, unsustainable, and self-destructive fashion. Therefore, civilizations inherently adopt imperialist and expansionist policies and, to maintain these, highly militarized, hierarchically structured, and coercion-based cultures and lifestyles.


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The Kardashev scale classifies civilizations based on their level of technological advancement, specifically measured by the amount of energy a civilization is able to harness. The Kardashev scale makes provisions for civilizations far more technologically advanced than any currently known to exist see also: Civilizations and the Future and Space civilization. The Acropolis in Greece , directly influencing architecture and engineering in Western , Islamic and Eastern civilizations up to the present day, years after construction.

The Temples of Baalbek in Lebanon show us the religious and architectural styles of some of the world's most influential civilizations including the Phoenicians , Babylonians , Persians , Greeks , Romans , Byzantines and Arabs. The Roman Forum in Rome, Italy, the political, economic, cultural and religious centre of the Ancient Rome civilization, during the Republic and later Empire , its ruins still visible today in modern-day Rome.

While the Great Wall of China was built to protect Ancient Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of nomadic groups, over thousands of years the region of China was also home to many influential civilizations. Virupaksha Temple at Hampi in India. The region of India is home and center to major religions such as Hinduism , Buddhism , Jainism and Sikhism and has influenced other cultures and civilizations, particularly in Asia.

The current scientific consensus is that human beings are the only animal species with the cognitive ability to create civilizations. A recent thought experiment, however, has considered whether it would "be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record" given the paucity of geological information about eras before the quaternary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Complex state society.

For the album by Stellastarr, see Civilized album. For other uses, see Civilization disambiguation. Further information: Cultural area. See also: History of the world.

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Main article: Axial Age. Further information: Modernity. This section is in list format, but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this section , if appropriate. Editing help is available. July Main article: Societal collapse. See also: Global catastrophic risk. See also: Silurian hypothesis. Civilizations portal. The Evolution of Urban Society. Transaction Publishers. Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge. Cengage Learning. A Short History of Progress. House of Anansi. An Invitation to Anthropology. Berghahn Books.

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