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Comparing Two Ancient Civilisations: Ancient Egypt vs. Mesopotamia

Comparing Two Ancient Civilisations: Ancient Egypt vs. Mesopotamia


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In this video, we are comparing Ancient Egypt vs. Mesopotamia in all sorts of different aspects. We will be looking at the similarities and differences between the geography of the two regions, the phenomena of the flooding Nile vs. the flooding Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and how the geography and cultures within the regions worked differently in expansion and conquest. We look at the single unified culture of the Ancient Egyptians, their art, architecture and religious beliefs in comparison to the ever-changing political and cultural climate of Mesopotamia, a region rife with conquests and new dominant empires. This video will also explore the social structure of the numerous Mesopotamian cultures vs. the strict social hierarchy of Ancient Egypt, and the similarities between the pantheon of gods, and the differences in their beliefs for the afterlife.

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The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:
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Early African civilisations: Ancient Egypt, Nubia and Swahili

The ancient Egyptian civilisation grew for thousands of years intact because the Nile River Valley and Mediterranean and Red Sea border kept foreigners and their ideas away.

The Nile River was very important to Egyptian civilisation. The Nile provided a communication and trade route across a huge and harsh land. Yearly flooding of the Nile nourished the dry surrounding farms. People had always built their homes in towns and cities along the banks of the Nile. The earliest inhabitants of this region were Stone-Age hunter-gatherers who found the area rich in wildlife. Big shifts in climate led to the change from the nomadic way of life to one of settled farming communities.

The Nile is the biggest river in Africa. The river comes from the meeting of three rivers from Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia. It starts in south (Upper) Egypt and ends at the country's northern border with the Mediterranean Sea (Lower Egypt).

The ancient Greeks saw Egypt as a gift of the Nile. Egypt's existence was made possible by the river. The ancient Egyptians settled on the narrow strip of rich alluvial soil along both banks of the Nile. This strip provided good agricultural soil. Egyptians always lived close to the Nile as it was an abundant water source providing protection against the surrounding harsh desert environment.

Egypt was split into two regions. These were the higher ground and narrower river valleys in the south and the flat flood plains in the north by the sea. Another natural boundary, the Red Sea, extends roughly parallel to the Nile lies to the East. These two seas ensured that the Egyptians were the only people of the ancient world able to control both western and eastern foreign trade.

Egyptian Pyramids. Image source

The majority of buildings were built using sun-dried bricks made from river clay. These walls lasted long because they were protected from weathering by an external stone face. There are many kinds of stone in Egypt, and it was the first region in the ancient Middle East to develop a monumental stone architecture.

The Egyptian nation was stretched along a very long river. Boats were used for transporting goods and allowing communication. These were made from imported wood, because there were no forests and trees to be found nearby.

Egypt has only spring and summer seasons. Rain is rare and the climate is warm and pleasant. The large farming population was freed up during the flood months. The ruling group was able to use these people on massive building projects.

The triangular shape of the pyramids shows the control of one person over many.

Ancient Egyptian religion remained mostly the same over thousands of years. Although the Egyptians claimed to be monotheistic (believing in one God), in practice they were polytheistic (worshipping many Gods). Religion was organised by powerful priests. The Pharaoh or king was considered to be God's second in command. In this way the ancient Egyptian beliefs supported the political and social way of life at the time.

Egyptians had a very long ritual for the after-life. This included the embalming( preserving) of bodies to be put into a special room or tomb inside huge structures such as the pyramids.. Kings and nobles were the only people who could afford this ritual. It led to the creation of the monuments of ancient Egypt, like the famous pyramids.

Using the food cultivated by a favourable climate and forced labour, the Pharaohs financed huge pyramids that would eventually contain their embalmed bodies and worldly riches for the after-life. A very large staff of trained craftsmen and an army of peasant, slave and prisoners of war built these pyramids during the flood period in summer.

Social structure

Ancient Egyptians are said to be the first people to have a dictator. Social relations and work instructions were determined by priests and scribes under a powerful Pharaoh, who played the role of god, king and high priest. The Pharaoh owned all land and controlled the country with an iron fist.

A day in the life of an Egyptian (click here).

The royal family, priests and those in charge of the management of the people were all free from hard work. These people's children automatically inherited the same position of privilege. This privileged group made a huge contribution in their studies of mathematics and the development of writing (on clay and papyrus).

The civilisation of Nubia

King Sabacus. Image source

The civilisation of Nubia lay in today's Sudan south of Egypt. Much is known about Egyptian civilisation but few people know about a civilisation that ruled Egypt for as many as a hundred years. The black race pharaohs in Egyptian history were actually Nubian or Sudanese kings. The two civilisations lived side by side for a long time and share many similarities. Nubia had pyramids similar to ones in Egypt. There are 223 pyramids in Sudan, over half the number of those in Egypt. The Nubian civilisation was known as the Ta Seti kingdom and its kings ruled Egypt in 712-657 BC as the 25th dynasty. It is believed that the first Nubian king to rule Egypt was Sabacus. After Egypt regained independence from the Nubians, the Nubian civilisation continued for 1000 years in Sudan.

This sculpture below was for a Nubian Ruler. The Nubian rulers in Egypt were known as powerful rulers and their power can be seen in the monuments built for them by the Egyptians.

Nubian Ruler. Image source

The Nubian kingdom was advanced with a written language. Nubia culture existed in a harsh environment with little rain. The River Nile could not support large numbers of people as it did in Egypt. However, the region was rich in gold, ivory, and ebony.

The Nubian people converted to Christianity in the year 540. The influence of Christianity can be seen in the buildings and culture. Christian religious books were translated into the Nubian language. The Nubians also wrote down their laws, letters and other documents. These writings are a precious record of this culture and language. It is also believed that because of this early conversion to Christianity, the Nubians were among the first people to spread the faith in Europe. Before converting to Christianity, the Nubian religion was similar to that practised in Egypt. For example, they also believed in war gods like the one below.

The Nubian rulers grew weaker as time passed and in the 15th century the kingdom finally dissolved.

The Arabs took over the region bringing with them their own culture. However, in some areas of southern Egypt and northern Sudan the Nubian people kept their culture and traditions until the present day.

An example of Nubian writing and the lion headed war god Image source

Map showing the location of Swahili civilization in Africa. Image source

The Swahili civilisation lay on the east African coast, from Mogadishu in the North towards Sofala (today Beira) and Inhambane in the South. This civilisation existed from around 100 A.D. Swahili civilisation came about through the mixing of the original local people with foreigners with whom they traded, especially the Arabs. The cultures of many groups blended together to form a new language and culture, called ‘Swahili’ by the Arabs. It means ‘people of the coast’ in Arabic. They were called this because they lived in the coastal towns, which made it easy for them to trade with the Arabs who came across the ocean in boats to trade. Unlike the Egyptians and Nubians, the Swahili people did not build a single kingdom or empire to rule all the Swahili people and coastal towns. These coastal towns or city-states were independent from each other and they sometimes competed for control of trade. The Swahili people also traded with other African kingdoms like Mapungubwe in southern Africa.

Swahili Mosque at Lamu Island North Of Mombasa, Kenya. Image source

A traveller's handbook, the Periplus, written by a Roman traveller between 40 and 70 A.D, gives some picture of what Swahili people and their lives were like. It describes the ports that were visited, the goods traded and what the coastal traders were like. The Periplus was written to show the people of Rome that there were many trading opportunities with East Africa. This information was useful for writing the history of the Swahili people before Islamic scholars put together their records on the Swahili people.

Trade with the Arabs and the immigration of Arab people to the East coast influenced the area. Stone-wall buildings can be found that follow Arabic Asian designs. These are different from the buildings found further inland. These buildings combined African and Arabic building styles. Many Swahili rulers adopted Islamic religion and political titles like ‘Sultan’. They used Islam and the new Swahili language to unite the people and create a new culture unique to the East coast of Africa. Like the Egyptians and Nubian heritages, the Swahili people also wrote down their history. As a result, we are able to learn the history of the Swahili from these writings.

Image: City of Mogadishu. Image source

The Swahili civilisation came to an end after the Portuguese conquest in the early 1500s. In conquering Swahili towns, the Portuguese destroyed and looted many buildings. The Portuguese were searching for gold and ivory and knew that the Eastern coast was rich in these. Ivory and gold was used to decorate buildings in Swahili coastal towns. Despite Portuguese conquest, Swahili culture and traditions are still practised today.


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Hello friends! Welcome to a new Happy Learning video.
As you can see in the images, today we are going to talk about pyramids, mummies and
pharaohs. Today, we are going to travel to Ancient Egypt.
Egypt is a country that still exists today, situated in North Eastern Africa, but what we call Ancient Egypt is a civilisation that started more than 5.000 years ago and lasted for approximately three thousand years.
Its origins commences with Pharaoh Narmer, also known as the Scorpion King, who in 3200 B.C. funded this country at the Nile’s bank.
The river Nile is the largest river in Africa and was the most important existing thing for egyptians, since they depended on its water to survive.
Their whole civilisation and cities rose from the river's bank.
The Nile was so important because Egypt is a country surrounded by desert, and cultivations could only take place at its shores. But it wasn’t only used for agriculture, the river was also used to fish and hunt. And they also used it, as a great road to transport goods or large stone blocks, used for their constructions.
All of this is why the Nile was considered to be a God.
Actually, Ancient Egyptians had hundreds of Gods. Some had a human’s body and an animal’s head, like the Goddess Bastet, who had a lion’s head, or God Anubis, and his jackal head.
But the most important of all, was Ra, God of Sun, who had a falcon’s head.
The pharaohs were Ancient Egypt’s Kings. There where many pharaohs over 3000 years, but the most famous one was Tutankamon. Ancient Egyptians believed in life after death, and therefore they were buried with their belongings: furniture, vases, clothes and even food. They believed that this way these things could be used in their next life. As pharaohs had the greatest power, they wanted to have the best tombs. And they got them! These tremendous pyramids were built for pharaohs tombs. Inside them, there are many tunnels, chambres and secret passageways.
When they died, pharaohs and some noblemen’s bodies were mummified to preserve their bodies after death. These are the famous mummies.
Mummies were placed in a sarcophagus, luxurious coffins that were covered in beautiful drawings and hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics were the mysterious Egyptian writings. Their meaning was a mystery for thousands of years, but thanks to archaeologists, we can translate them and partly understand what they want to say.
The truth is everything in Ancient Egypt’s circle fascinates me.
You already know, that discovering the future makes us understand the present, and improve the future.
Goodbye friends! And don’t forget to subscribe to Happy Learning Tv!

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In which John covers the long, long history of ancient Egypt, including the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, and even a couple of intermediate periods. Learn about mummies, pharaohs, pyramids and the Nile with John Green.

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Before the Pyramids: The Origins of Egyptian Civilization with Emily Teeter

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This exhibit of artifacts from the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods (ca. 4000-2685 BC), documents the birth of the most fundamental aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization — architecture, hieroglyphic writing, a belief in the afterlife, and allegiance to a semi-divine king — more than 1,000 years before the pyramids were built. Joining the 140 objects from the permanent collection of the Oriental Institute are the Battlefield Palette and a statue of the Second Dynasty king Khasekhem, two masterworks of Egyptian art from the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University.

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The Origins of Waqf

It is well known that philanthropic endowments have a history considerably older than Islam and it is also very likely that Islam may have been influenced by earlier civilisations. Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome as well as the pre-Islamic Arabs certainly knew of such endowments (Laum, 1914 Rockwell, 1909 Rostowzew Othman, 1982 Duncan-Jones, 1982). The extent to which Islamic waqfs were influenced by these ancient institutions and the extent to which they were the product of the genius of Islam, is a question that is still not resolved. Roman, Byzantine, but also Mesopotamian, Sasanid, Jewish and Buddhist influences have been accepted as plausible (Köprülü, 1942: 10-11 Coing, 1981: 272-274). Latest research is more decisive and points to the Sasanid law as the most likely source (Arjomand, 1998: 110-111). Thus, we have a fairly clear situation: Muslims were urged strongly to endow their assets in the service of mankind and they knew how to do it from the earlier civilisations, which had dominated the region in which they had found themselves (Crecelius, 1995: 249).

At this point the reader may be impressed by the ability of Islam to borrow from other civilisations. This ability may well have originated with a tradition attributed to Prophet Muhammad:

&ldquoAbu Hurairah reported Allah&rsquos messenger as saying: A word of wisdom is the lost property of a believer, he can take it wherever he finds it, because he is more entitled to it.&rdquo (al-Tirmidhi, 1992: 2687)

Although waqf is not specifically mentioned therein, the concept of wealth re-distribution is strongly emphasised in the Qur&rsquoan (2:215, 264, 270, 280). Moreover, there is definitive evidence that many great personalities of Islam had endowed their properties for charitable purposes. A hadith narrated again by Abu Hurairah most probably accounts for the origin of this institution in the world of Islam:

&ldquoAbu Hurairah reported Allah&rsquos messenger as saying: When a man dies, all his acts come to an end, but three: recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people benefit), or a pious offspring, who prays for him&rdquo (Muslim, 1992: bab3, hadith 14).

Although the classical sources have, traditionally, taken into consideration each one of these good deeds, sawabs, separately, we prefer to combine them. For it will be argued here that such a combination constitutes the very essence of the Islamic waqfs. Thus, Muslims needed an institution that would enable them to perform all three of these good deeds. The waqf fitted the criteria. It indeed, assures ongoing, recurring charity for many years, even centuries, after the death of the founder it can finance scholars whose lasting works will benefit mankind for a long period and the sawabs, good deeds, that accrue to them would be shared by the waqf &rsquos founder who had provided for their sustenance in the first place. Finally the management of the waqf can be entrusted to the offspring of the founder so that while, on the one hand, careful and loyal management is assured, on the other, the offspring would pray for the deceased since, thanks to his waqf, he or she is not destitute.

Although Muslims may have been encouraged to borrow ideas from other civilisations without any hesitation, as the aforementioned hadith suggests, the actual process of borrowing was not simple. For, whatever institution was borrowed, it had to be moulded and re-shaped to conform to the basic teachings of Islam. There were substantial differences in the opinions of the early great jurists concerning the structure and judicial framework of the waqf. While Imam Shafi&rsquoi had objections to certain aspects of the institution, among the Hanafis, Imam Abu Yusuf differed from his mentors. Without going into details, it can be argued, in general, that Imams Shafi`i and Abu Yusuf wanted to expand the waqfs and therefore facilitated their foundation, but others preferred to restrict this institution.

The basic problem pertained to the Islamic law of inheritance: since a founder could entrust the management of his waqf to any one of his offspring and thus initiate a de facto primogeniture, this could violate the basic principles of Islamic law, which promulgates a distribution of property among all the inheritors. Consequently, most of the jurists found it very difficult to sanction the waqfs.

But for reasons that will be explained below, the Muslim society needed this institution. So the great jurists ended up tolerating it. The turning point came when Abu Yusuf observed how important these institutions had become during his pilgrimage and introduced new legislature, which facilitated the establishment of foundations. The institution of waqf thus emerged after the death of the Prophet and its legal structure was firmly established during the second half of the second century (Köprülü, 1942: 4).

At this point we need to explain how a system, which did not originate in Islam, not specifically mentioned in the Qur&rsquoan and objected to initially by many of the eminent jurists, was embraced so enthusiastically and developed to such a phenomenal dimension. There can be two explanations, historical and economic. Let us first consider the former: the great Islamic conquests had enriched the Muslim world beyond any imagination achieving the economic preconditions for the emergence of this institution. We have to remember, moreover, the emphasis attached in the prophetic traditions on the importance of doing good and charitable deeds. Since wealth in Islam is considered an important source of trial, the natural tendency among the Muslim rich to do good deeds as a preparation for the hereafter can be easily understood. Thus, it is for these historical reasons that although not mentioned in the Qur&rsquoan specifically, and objected to initially, the waqf has been embraced so enthusiastically.

But this is not all economic theory also has its own explanation of why the waqf system was needed. Indeed, according to the theory there were compelling reasons for the waqf system to emerge. We have seen above that under the conditions of rational behaviour, public goods would tend to be under produced. This dilemma pertaining to the creation of public goods promotes a demand for the creation of non-market institutions.

This &ldquodemand for the creation of non-market institutions&rdquo may also explain why the waqf became so popular and widespread in most of the Muslim world. The theory explains, furthermore, the universality of the waqfs or waqf-like non-market institutions. After all, as briefly mentioned above, endowments are known not only in the Muslim world but also in the West and other great civilisations (Salamon and Anheier, 1997 Geremek 1994 Coing, 1981, Crecelius, 1995). In the remainder of this section, evidence for this argument pertaining to three cases: England, Spain and South Africa, will be provided.

Source: Murat Cizakca, A History of Philanthropic Foundations: The Islamic World From the Seventh Century to the Present. Republished with permission.


The Qingming Festival: Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day

The Qingming Festival is held one hundred and four days after the winter solstice, and is known as the ‘pure bright festival’, ‘tomb-sweeping day’ and ‘ancestors day’. For over 2,500 years, this festival has been a day for Chinese people to visit the tombs of their ancestors to care for and clean them, which can involve literally or figuratively sweeping them.

The traditions Qingming Festival/ Tomb Sweeping Day/ Pure Bright Festival has merged with the cold food festival and is derived from the legendary history of the day, which took place over 2,500 years ago. According to Chinese folklore, the story between Prince Chong'er (who would become Duke Wen of Jin), and his loyal defender Jie Zitu is the basis for the festival today, which is a day to show respect to your ancestors, and many people still only eat cold food.

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Ancient African Civilizations

Ancient African Civilizations: North

Recorded in the Neolithic rock, known as petroglyphs, and the megaliths in the Sahara Desert in Libya give light to the premature hunter-gatherer culture established in the dry prairies of North Africa during the Ice Age. The region where the Sahara is located was originally a great place for agriculture (around the year 4000 BC). Nevertheless, after the desertification of the Sahara, the establishment in North Africa was concentrated in the Nile Valley, where the Egyptian nomads settled the foundation of the Ancient Egyptian culture. Archeological discoveries show that the primitive tribes lived along the Nile long before Pharaoh rule began. Organized agriculture appeared around the year 6000 BC.

The oldest evidence of written history in Africa comes from Ancient Egypt, and the Egyptian calendar continues to be used as the primary source to date cultures of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in the region.

Ancient African Civilizations

Around the year 3100 BC, Egypt was unified under the first known Pharaoh, Narmer, who inaugurated the first of the 31 dynasties that divide Ancient Egyptian history into three phases: Ancient Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom. The Pyramids of Giza (close to Cairo), which were constructed during the 4th dynasty, gave faith to the power of religion and Pharaoh rule. The Great Pyramid, which is a tomb to the Pharaoh Keops (also known as Jufu), is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World that is in great condition. Ancient Egypt reached its height economically and territorially in the New Kingdom period (1567- 1085 BC).

The importance of Ancient Egypt in the development of the rest of Africa has been debated. Past western scholars generally saw Egypt as a Mediterranean civilization with little impact on the rest of Africa. Recent studies, however, have started to discredit this notion. Some have argued that various Ancient Egyptians, like the Badarians, probably migrated toward the north from Nubia. Meanwhile, others talk of a movement of great numbers of people around the Sahara before the beginning of the desertification. Whatever the origin of any people or civilization, it seems reasonably certain that the predynastic communities of the Nile Valley were essentially indigenous culturally, receiving little influence from external sources on the continent during the centuries preceding the beginning of historic times.

Just before the desertification of the Sahara, the communities that developed south of Egypt in what is known today as Sudan were fully a part of the Neolithic Revolution and they had a lifestyle between sedentary and semi-nomadic, being able to domesticate plants and animals. Megaliths found on Nabta Beach are examples of what probably were the first archaeo-astronomical instruments in the world, some 1000 years before the Stonehenge. This complexity, as was observed in Natba Beach and expressed through different levels of authority in within the society around the place, possibly settled the foundation for such a Neolithic social structure in Nabta as that of the Ancient Kingdom of Egypt. The inhabitants belonging to “group A”, who inhabited modern day North Sudan and were contemporaries of predynastic Naqada in High Egypt, were responsible for what could have been one of the oldest known kings in the Nile Valley, which the Egyptians called Ta-Seti (Land of the Arch). Their disappearance with the rise of dynastic Egypt later permitted the rise of kings like Kush, Kerma, and Meroe, which in conjunction they understood what is occasionally called Nubia. The last of them could have seen the final, devastating hit given by the leader of the growing reign in Ethiopia, Ezana of Aksum, effectively carrying the classical Nubian civilizations to their end.

Separated by the “sea of sand”, the Sahara, Northern African, and Sub-Saharan African have been connected by the fluctuating Tran-Saharan commercial routes. The histories of the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans in North Africa can be followed across the texts about the Roman Empire and of their provinces in the Maghreb, such as Mauritania, Africa, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, Egypt, etc.

The regions around the Mediterranean were colonized and populated by the Phoenicians before the year 1000BC. Carthage, founded around the year 814 BC, grew quickly until it was unmatched in the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians submitted to the Berber tribes, which constituted the greater part of the local population, becoming the dominating part of the inhabitable regions of North Africa and finding a source of immense prosperity in trade.

For the first millennium BC, ironworking had been introduced in North Africa and rapidly started to expand across the Sahara towards the northern regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Metallurgy started to become common in Western Africa in 500 BC, possibly after being introduced to the Carthaginians. Ironwork was established fully around 500 BC in Eastern and Western Africa, despite that in other regions, this activity wasn’t discovered until the first centuries of out era. Some copper objects originating in Egypt, in North Africa, Nubia, and Ethiopia have been found in Western Africa, dating around 500 BC, suggesting that the commercial connections had already been established in that epoch.

The Greeks founded the city of Cyrene in Ancient Libya around 631 BC. Cyrenaica was changing into a flourishing colony, even though being surrounded by deserts had little to no influence over the interior of Africa. The Greeks, however, they exercised a strong influence over Egypt. The city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC and under the command of the Ptolemaic Hellenistic dynasty, he made attempts to penetrate south and, from this, obtained some information about Ethiopia.

Between the years 500 BC and 500 AD approximately, the Garamantes Civilization (possibly the ancestors of the Tuaregs) existed in what is today is the Libyan Desert.

The three powers, Cyrenaica, Egypt, and Carthage would end up being displaced by the Romans. After the centuries of rivalry with Rome, Carthage finally fell in 146 BC. Within a little more than a century, Egypt and Cyrene were incorporated into the Roman Empire. Under the dominion of Rome, the populated portions of the region were very prosperous. Despite that Fezzan was occupied by them, the Romans found the Sahara to be an impenetrable barrier. Nubia and Ethiopia were taken, but an expedition sent by Nero to uncover the beginning of the Nile failed. The greater extension of Mediterranean geographic knowledge of Africa was shown in the writings of Ptolemy (2nd Century), who predicted the existence of great water aquifers in the Nile, that commercial posts along the coast of the Indian Ocean in places as south as Rhapta (Tanzania) and he had heard of the Niger river.

The interaction between Asia, Europe, and North Africa during this period was significant. Some important effects include the diffusion of a classical culture around the coasts of the Mediterranean, the continued fighting between Rome and the Berber tribes, the introduction of Christianity in the whole region, and the cultural effects of the churches in Tunez, Egypt, and Ethiopia. The classical era came to an end with the invasion and conquest of the Roman provinces in Africa by the Vandals in the 5th century. The power of the region returned the following century to the Byzantine empire.

Ancient African Civilizations: East

Around the year 3000 BC, agriculture arose independently in Ethiopia with crops like coffee, teff, finger millet, sorghum, barley, and ensete. The donkeys also were domesticated independently in the Ethiopian and Somalian region, but the majority of the domesticated animals came there from the regions around Sahel and the Nile. Some crops also were adopted in other regions in this epoch, between them one should mention the pearl millet, cowpea, peanut, cotton, watermelon, and gourd, same that started to be cultivated in Western Africa like the Sahel region while finger millet, pea, lentil, and flax were being settled in Ethiopia.

Ancient Ethiopian scripts

Ethiopia had a different, past culture with a historically intermittent contact with Eurasia after the diaspora of hominids towards the exterior of Africa. They conserved a unique language, culture, and cultivation system. The cultivation system was adopted in the mountainous areas to the north and it wasn’t applied to any cultivation in other regions. The most famous member of this system of cultivation was the coffee, but one of the most useful plants was the sorghum, a grain from arid soil teff was everywhere in the region.

Ethiopia had a centralized government for many millennia and the King of Aksum, which developed there, had created a powerful merchant empire with trade routes that went to places as far away as India.

Historically, the Swahili people were found in places as north as Mogadishu, Somalia, and as south as the Ruvuma river in Mozambique. Although it was once believed that they were the descendants of Persian colonists. Ancient Swahili is now recognized by most historians, historical linguistics, and archaeologists as a Bantu people.

Ancient African Civilizations: West

Through the year 3000 BC agriculture started to rise up independently in the tropical regions of Western Africa, where the African yams and oil palms were domesticated. No animal species were domesticated independently in these regions, although domestication propagated there from the region around Sahel and the Nile. Also, there were adopted crops of other regions in this epoch, such as the pearl millet, cowpea, groundnut, cotton, watermelon, and gourd, starting to be cultivated in Western Africa as in Sahel.

Ancient African Civilizations: Central

Around the year 1000 BC, the Bantu migrants had reached the region of the Great Lakes in East Africa. In the middle of that millennium, the Bantus also had settled in regions where Modern day Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo are today. One of the major events in central Africa occurred during this period. It involved the establishment of the Kanem-Bornu Empire in what is today Chad. The Kanem Empire flourished in the later centuries, laying the basis for the emergence of future large states in the Sahel region.

Ancient African Civilizations: South

The history of South Africa is still largely a mystery due to their isolation from other cultures on the continent. In 500 BC, this isolation came to an end with the settlement of the Bantu migrants in modern day Zambia. To the southeast, the Khoisans, also known as Bushmen, began the domestication of livestock and changed their hunter-gatherer lifestyle that had been the dominant style in the region since the beginning of time. The Bantus had arrived in South Africa, serving as the basis for the appearance.


John Considine (ed.). 2019. The Cambridge World History of Lexicography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marc Gandarillas, John Considine (ed.). 2019. The Cambridge World History of Lexicography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., International Journal of Lexicography, 2021, ecab005, https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/ecab005

The Cambridge World History of Lexicography (henceforth referred to as The Cambridge WHL), edited by renowned lexicographer John Considine, seeks to provide a comprehensive approach to world lexicography from a historical perspective. The volume is divided into four parts or overarching themes, each of which covers a particular period or tradition within the history of world lexicography: (1) The Ancient World, (2) The Pre-Modern World, (3) The Modern World Continuing Traditions, and (4) The Modern World: Missionary and Subsequent Traditions.

The Cambridge WHL may likely not have been an easy task to embark on. There is a myriad of factors that need to be jointly considered, on both the geographical and historical axes. More specifically.


Watch the video: Weltgeschichte Das alte Ägypten, Indien und Mesopotamien Hörbuch (September 2022).


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