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Preface: There comes a time in a man's life when he must throw all caution to the wind and resolve himself to set to sea, for life on shore no longer holds for him promise of coin nor the tender arms of a cherished lady female of the fairer sex. He must then to put his fate before the mast, trusting that that which Demeter could not provide to him, that Poseidon shall. He must rig the mizzen topsail and haul on the taffrail log and swab the deck, holding only the salty sea in his heart as he flies before the wind. He must look to the compass for guidance as he catches the ocean currents and navigate by the stars. He must launch his harpoon true and follow his white whale wherever it may lead. In fair Verona, we lay our scene- A much needed invocation of the Muses Sing, O Muses, of the dawn of Civilization Whose mighty men did great deeds of valor Whose great works are known to the ages Who did so work woe to those who failed to rise And we ask thy favor on as this epic unwinds Fully clad this bard in armor made of bronze Send him out to slaughter all who would keep him from the task you set before him, to salt the earth upon which the unrighteous draw succor, and put to flight their women and do great iniquities to the beasts of their field. For verily it shall be said, that your humble servant and disciple, spun the words given As Penelope spun wool, waiting for her beloved Odysseus to return to his divinely denied Ithaca Guidest thou my hand! Give me the strength to Endure all dangers, fight all manner of monsters, To bring death to the innocent and destruction to those who flee in terror and know not why. Abandon all hope, ye who enter this tome. 1. Setting the Scene. According to geneticists that study these things, all people have a recent african ancestry. Down South, we're much too polite to just say that. They actually mean recent as in a hundred thousand years ago. This only really works if you were around for the dinosaurs, or if your mind works like a female mind does1. There are competing theories and there is some evidence to suggest that some races had archaic alternate hominid admixture to genes, but it's rude to bring that up too. How would you like it if you were at a social gathering and someone brought up that you had non african ancestry and that pretty much all of you non africans include genomes that are of Neanderthal origin, likely due to interbreeding that occurred in Northern Africa or the Middle East prior to large scale migration to other parts of the world? Early Modern Humans and Neanderthals getting their freak on is not the kind of subject that you're allowed to just bring up in mixed company. If you would like a visual aid for the preceding sentence, it's likely that these Neanderthals were men and these Early Modern Humans were women. It's possible that there were other sleeping arrangements made, but given that no modern populations contain Mitochondrial DNA, no living person's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was a Neanderthal. Taking that into account, I guess a Neanderthal woman could sleep with a Early Modern Human man, then they only produced sons and those sons ran off and joined the Early Modern Human gene pool. That seems unlikely though. Mothers usually end up taking the kids when things don't work out between the parents, and Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans had a strictly sexual relationship. This means that Early Modern Human Man has a wild night of sweaty sex with Neanderthal Woman, they wake up the next morning really regretting it, Early Modern Human Man runs off and invents agriculture and cities and killing other Early Modern Human Men with clubs and Neanderthal Woman runs off back to her wandering hunter gatherer Neanderthal tribe, bears a son and that son probably doesn't survive to adulthood because he's hanging out with a bunch of strong Neanderthals that play pretty darned rough, whereas he's got a slightly smarter brain and a shoulder that can pivot more freely to show for it on his end. In other words, those Neanderthals probably ganged up and wiped the nerd out. So it makes more sense for Early Modern Human Woman to get it on with Neanderthal Man. They make the hominid with two backs together, Neanderthal Man runs off back to his life of hunter gathering sexing up whatever wanders into his path and seems reasonably female, and Early Modern Human Woman wanders back and raises her half Neanderthal Child in the Cradle of Civilization. This Child can be either a boy or a girl, because if it's a girl that girl can only pass on her mother's mtDNA anyway. Either way, somewhere in the range of 1-4%(possibly up to 8% in some cases) of non african people's dna usually has Neanderthal DNA in it. Either that's one half Neanderthal child doing a lot of sex and a lot of quarter neanderthal children doing a lot of sex and a lot of one eighth neanderthal children doing a lot of sex and a lot of one 16th neanderthal children doing a lot of sex and a lot of one thirty-secondth neanderthal children doing a lot of sex and keeping it in about that range so that p. much everyone has a little neanderthal in them(quite literally), or this happened a couple times and these half neanderthal children shared the workload around. At this point in the narrative, it's important to emphasize that throughout recorded history, and as much as we've been able to surmise about unrecorded history, people have been having sex and producing other people. It never seems to end. In addition to the Neanderthals, there's another hominid that likely contributed DNA to early modern humans that exists in humans today - the Denisovans. The Denisovans are famous for being scrupulously unfamous and not as cool as Neanderthals. Some of their genes are still bouncing around in people from Melanesia and a few other places in australia and southeast asia. So, what it comes down to is this. People start out in Africa. They begin the long journey out of Africa as soon as they know how. Hominids had been doing this since before the time of Early Modern Humans. Homo Erectus had figured it out, and the Neanderthals, and apparently the Denisovans. On their way out of Africa, there is a period of time when they had just exited and were willing to try new things. They carried on torrid affairs with Neanderthals, but pretty soon the Neanderthals got scairt clean off and ran off to europe. An interesting side note about the Neanderthals - they HAAAAAAAATED change, and they pretty much refused to do it. One of the hallmarks of the Neanderthals is that their stone tools show no technological development over the hundreds of thousands of years that they were making them. They figured out one way to make them, and they stuck to it. They also never developed societies. They made buildings for themselves out of mammoth bones and such, but their bands were always p. small. It's thought that this may have been because their brains just couldn't handle there being a lot of other Neanderthals to be around. Naturally, this put them at a disadvantage when confronting Early Modern Humans. They didn't really like just hanging out with other hominids, and they just made the same stone tools over and over again while Early Modern Human had begun the long process of developing their killing each other technology to the peak efficiency levels we experience today. As Humans moved into places previously inhabited by Neanderthal hunter gatherers, the Neanderthals were driven off. Pretty soon, Early Modern Humans had taken all the rly good quarries and agricultural areas and hunting grounds. It's hypothesized that this may've been an armed invasion, driving the Neanderthals out through force of arms. From what I know about people, this tracks. I like to think though that the Neanderthals had lived their little hunter gatherer groups way of life forever, and when Early Modern Humans showed up with their complex societies, they retreated in disgust. The Neanderthals didn't want to change, they didn't want to live in a society that would one day invent the wheel and hereditary monarchy and lateen sails and lolcats. They had figured out how to be happy, and it included none of those things. They went awandering out places that they could just be with their traditional little bands of Neanderthals. Now, the Neanderthals had no way of knowing that this was a terrible strategy. It had worked for thousands of years, just like their stone tool designs. As the ice ages drew to a close, the Neanderthals went out to live in the new lands that were being freed up from under the ice packs every day. Unfortunately for Neanderthals, people had gotten the same idea. This forced the Neanderthals to move even farther afield, but Early Modern Humans kept going until they filled everything up. As the Neanderthals fled, soon the only lands the Neanderthals could have to themselves ended up being lands that just didn't make very much food. You can't live like that forever. Of course we know this now, but the Neanderthals weren't that smart. The last place we see Neanderthals is in a sea cave in Gibraltar. They'd holed up there near the beach. I don't know if they did it for the reason people go to Gibraltar these days, but probably not. The Neanderthals probably never thought to invent flipping the bird at Spaniards. At any rate, for hundreds of thousands of years, Neanderthals had stayed true to themselves, never changing under all the pressure the world had to offer. This was a terrible survival strategy. Early Modern Humans knew that. They had changed whenever it suited them. The very last Neanderthal sat in his cave, looking out over the water for no reason at all. He probably had no idea where he was sitting was going to be hella famous one day. He had all the same tools his ancestors had used forever, and searched for food the very same way his ancestors did forever. Unfortunately, there wasn't as much food around as when his ancestors had gone looking. He probably starved to death. And that was the end of that. People now ruled the world all for themselves. 1 - seriously, honey? that was /literally/ fifty thousand years ago. STUDY QUESTIONS I) How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? II) Given the European alliance system prior to the outbreak of World War 1, was there any possibility for the tense conditions following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to be defused? III) Using only the information given in the first section, explain what effect the discovery of the New World had on the Economy of Europe in the 11th century. 2. Civilization takes root. If you notice one thing about people, it's that they're always up to something. But if you really think about it, they're pretty heavily into bipedal motion. This gave Early Modern Humans a huge advantage over animals that move quadrupedally. It takes half the effort and left their hands free for carrying stuff as they moved about. This pretty much enables all sorts of great migrations, and pretty soon there were early modern humans walking all over the world, following herds of big game and wiping them out for food as they went. It was a great system and enabled the habitable continents to become chock full of people quite early in human history. But the thing that really took Early Modern Humans to the next level was the invention of standing still. This is because while you can have all sorts of rich and wonderful cultures on the go, a Civilization requires a large portion of your population to be reasonably sedentary; but also not starve to death. Not starving to death is pretty key here. You're allowed to die of all sorts of other causes and still have a functioning civilization, but it's hard to keep up your member base if everyone's going hungry. The occasional famine is allowed, long term starvation is not. This necessitated the development of agriculture. There's some question as to whether cities came first or agriculture came first, but I feel like cities probably came first. Just try planting a patch of watermelons without a fence around them and see where that gets you. I'm thinking Early Modern Humans didn't have a firm sense of property rights and agriculture wouldn't've worked very well if there weren't large groups of Early Modern Humans waiting to beat them with Early Modern Human weapons if they stole their food. This led to a paradox though. Early hunter gatherers likely required about four hours a day to find all the food they needed in a day. That's not too bad and left all sorts of time for doing other things. Early agriculture, however, requires the agriculturalist to work all day long for his food. The benefit is that he can store up more than he can eat in a day and not go hungry in the winter, but the point stands that it requires a lot of work. It's really only worth doing if you're absolutely attached to your surroundings. Fortunately for Early Modern Humans, they were really great at inventing reasons to become attached to their surroundings. Holy Places hardly ever move and it's inconvenient to even try. This means that for Early Modern Humans entering Northern Africa and the Middle East, they encountered all sorts of Holy Places that no one had claimed yet.(There's a pretty good rule of thumb to remember about this - a civilization has holy places, a Great Civilization took their Holy Places away from someone else.) Once you find one you like, you have to build a city, once you build a city you have to find a way to feed it. This pretty much means agriculture. This pretty much means agriculture. There was also Pastoralism, but those people tended towards the nomadic still. Early civilizations likely did require trade between pastoral nomads and agriculturalists though. There's a great example early in the Bible of this. The story of Cain and Abel. Cain was an agriculturalist and built the first city ever. Abel was a pastoral nomad and God liked his sacrifices better. This is mirrored in the history of Mesopotamia to a degree - The Sumerians were agriculturalists that built tons of Great Cities and had the first Civilization in working order pretty quickly. The Akkadians were originally pastoralists and built the first civilization capable of conquering the Sumerians, which they did nearly as soon as it was an option. It's important to note that agriculture is not the only thing you need to run a proper civilization worth the name. It also needs to be near a river valley, preferably not in Subsaharan Africa, and it really needs a system of government, a system of taxation, religion(s), and weapons. The weapons don't need to be metal necessarily, but it helps if you're planning to fight high neolithic civilizations to have better weapons than them. The Aztecs and the Incas are both decent examples of civilizations that found effective ways to conquer nearby civilizations without the use of metal weaponry though, so I'm not saying it can't be done definitively. It's just easier for us all later on in school to learn about the Stone Age, the Copper Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. That's a nice, simple progression and the modern education system loves its nice simple progressions with as little nuance as possible. Early systems of government were pretty easy, and followed from the point about weapons and religion quite nicely. You had a King that was also at least partly a god whose godlike strength enabled him to rule over your civilization and beat up anyone else that tried to be King or conquer your civilization. Taxation was even easier to figure out. Once you figure out how to steal from other Early Modern Humans, it doesn't take you long to invent bull !@#$ reasons why it's ok to take their things. Especially if you're a God-King with access to metal weaponry and aren't too stingy with the violence. That's usually pretty convincing and not very many early peoples resorted to the libertarian argument in the face of it. Tax evasion back then wasn't like tax evasion now. If you didn't pay your taxes in some way, you were likely to end up missing body parts. The first taxes came in the form of forced labor or a tithe. Tithes were really easy in early agricultural societies - as soon as you harvest all your crops, you need a place to store them that will keep them safe from thieves and foreigners. In Early Egypt, this meant that you took them to the granaries under the protection of Pharoah, where he deducted a portion of your harvest for his use. He could use that grain to support building new cities and pyramids and to support big armies to keep order in his kingdom or wreak havoc in other people's kingdoms. It seems like a really great system if you're the one benefitting from it. It's good to bear in mind that in early civilizations, it didn't really matter what the common people wanted long as the God-King was happy. Unless there happened to be other folks thinking they could be God-King. Early Civilization was prone to having all kinds of wars, and civil wars weren't off the table, so to speak. But that's another matter altogether. To review, the key, defining characteristics of a good civilization are: staying in at least one place, not starving to death too much, taxes, oppression, and a method of dealing with foreigners that either sees their labor put to menial tasks for the greater civilization or being used as target practice for that civilization's military. STUDY QUESTIONS I) Gobekli Tepe: fun to say or a groundbreaking archeological find? II) Aren't all Archeological finds groundbreaking on some level? III) y'know, because they involve the actual breaking of ground? IV) GET IT????? 3. Warfare It's important to note the role that warfare played in early civilizations. The main difference to remember between civilized and uncivilized warfare was that in uncivilized warfare, dozens and scores of men would die violent deaths every year, whereas in civilized warfare, hundreds and thousands of men, women, and children would die violent deaths every year. It is because of civilization that we as a race were able to invent tools for killing each other that were greater than the pointy stick. But that took a while - the pointy stick in its various forms dominated civilized warfare for thousands of years. Warfare had a very important role in early civilizations because it was one of the easiest ways to make a tribal society become a civilized society. The tribal society would go awandering, come upon a well built civilization, and pretty soon decide that they wanted it for themselves. This happened a lot in early civilizations. It seems as though the more complex and historical your civilization is, the easier it is for horsemen to show up and completely dominate it. Civilization never really invented a good way of dealing with this problem until the advent of our own age, in which we have machine guns and barbed wire. Even now, it's hard to know if it would really work if the central asian hordes broke loose again. On the subject of pointy sticks, it's hard to overemphasize how many times this invention revolutionized warfare over and over again. Examples include the greek phalanx, the roman legion, medieval pikemen, horse archers of various tribes, the english longbowmen, and the list goes on. It's a devilishly simple answer to the question "what's a relatively low tech way I can kill my enemies" and in many ways we're very fortunate that civilizations never ran out of ways to make more. The spear, the arrow, the pike, the lance, the javelin, the dart, the pilum, and all their many variations ensured that even cultures without the benefit of civilization could give warfare a try. If you could find a stick and you could figure out a way to make at least one end of it sharp, you just got yourself a fighting chance. One of the great things about early civilized warfare is that was a good method of obtaining slaves. Slavery was a bona fide pillar of early civilization; nearly every culture kept them and a few even treated them well. Going off on a raid and capturing yourself a couple hundred slaves or so ensured that you were able to afford nice new pointy sticks and could afford to go on even more raids for slaves. The early vikings are a great example - they used to sail out, capture a bunch of christian slaves, find themselves a christian slave market and sell them for a nice profit. It was a great system because they hadn't invented the Emancipation Proclamation yet. It still works in some parts of the world, but is considered not as great a system these days. Social mores are prone to change rapidly. Slavery and rapine are out, back sassing your elders and taking hundreds of selfies is in. Civilization will never quite be what it once was. For many civilizations, this was also a great way to obtain human sacrifices. Early on, practically every civilization engaged in this in some form or another, then accused other civilizations of engaging in it by way of asserting their superiority over the other. Ancient slurs tended to gather around the kinds of human sacrifices your civilization took part in. So, a civilization that sacrifices captives to their gods could consider themselves superior to a civilization that sacrifices young children to their gods. A civilization that merely sacrifices their captives and doesn't drink their blood, too, could think they'd achieved another level of advancement. It was a great system for gauging how advanced your society was - in our own age, we've reached a point where we'll very nearly have human sacrifice phased out(or at least very rare) altogether by 2030. This is a triumph of Western Civilization. The thing that warfare was great at was wiping out civilizations that didn't have what it took to hack it. This might sound brutal at first, but it also sounds brutal at second. Once your civilization runs out of steam, it's going to be deleted and the barbarians are going to have a chance to start over. They won't maintain your aqueducts, they'll let your cities fall to ruin, they'll let your trade routes be forgotten, and they'll immediately start fighting each other over the leftover pieces of your once great empire. Just ask any of the royal families in Europe. Their ancestors did it better than just about anyone. Now that our civilizations have slaughter, ruin, slavery, human sacrifice, taxes, farming, and a lot of oppression, we're ready for technological advancement. We'll need domesticated animals, the wheel, the lateen sail, metallurgy, and industrial revolutions if we're really going to kick up civilization to a whole new level. STUDY QUESTIONS I) Would you rather fight a horse sized duck, or a hundred duck sized horses? II) Would you rather have a dozen Elite Longbowmen fully upgraded, or a half dozen fully upgraded Elite Cataphracts? Feel free to expound on how AoE2 has changed your life. III) Are you up to date on your shots? IV) Have you traveled abroad in the last 90 days? 4. Technological Revolutions. Technological progress gives a civilization a nice advantage. Domesticating animals is a good example. Civilizations with a lot of domesticated animals build more immunities up, because of the diseases they get from those animals. This is particularly stark when a civilization with a lot of large order mammalian domesticates comes in contact with a civilization that has none of them and has never been exposed to them before. They all die of smallpox and measles and mumps and ruebella and influenza and only give you syphillis for your trouble. Early domestications were likely by pure accident. Dogs probably came first. Eariy dogs followed Early Modern Humans around, feeding off their scraps. Early Modern Humans were busy knocking out a lot of the large order mammals they found, so left plenty of things for dogs to eat. Dogs got more nutrition, learned to behave certain ways to get more food, and pretty soon were properly domesticated. It really helps if the animals volunteer to be domesticated for you. Chickens and pigs do a pretty good job of this. Horses and cows are more difficult, but once humans set their mind to it, they had fantastic draft animals. This made agriculture much easier; yoke a couple oxen up and plough a field and you're able to plant a lot more than if you did it all by hand. This made it much easier for civilizations that had these domesticated animals to overpower civilizations that didn't. Another invention that completely remade the world was the Wheel. When you have a wheel, you can attach that wheel to a cart and carry things overland much easier. If you get really good at the wheel, you can make a chariot. The chariot pretty quickly dominated warfare because the horses that had been bred at the time were not big enough to ride just yet. Get them pulling your chariot and deck it out with archers and scythes and the like and you've just invented one of the most intimidating, least practical tools of warfare ever. It only works on flat ground and you can't turn it very well. You had better hope that your enemies want to line up right in front of you, which fortunately many Bronze Age armies did. Which brings us to Bronze and Iron. Bronze is the one you're 'sposda discover first, because it's fairly easy to melt and cast. You just need Copper and Tin and you can make it pretty easily. The trick is to make sure to put tin in it. If by some happenstance, you should put zinc in it and not tin, you've got brass and that's no good. You can use arsenic instead and it'll still be bronze, but that's not as popular if you have tin and tin has the advantage of not being toxic. Not poisoning yourself to death with your own metal tools was highly prized by ancient civilizations. Or, at the very least, the ones that got poisoned to death by their metal tools didn't last long enough to leave a lot of artifacts. If you don't leave artifacts or literature, you're not a very good civilization and you'll probably be forgotten, and not in a romantic way like Atlantis was forgotten. The problem with bronze is that even though it's easy to make, it's hard to find all the ingredients for. You need huge trade networks and all kinds of contact with other civilizations to keep your bronze making culture going. Iron is much easier to find because the Earth is practically made of the stuff. Nearly a third of the earth is made of Iron. It's everywhere you look, but more difficult to work than Bronze. Once you move your civilization from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age though, big bad things happen. Your old trade networks collapse, you get invaded by Horse Peoples, Sea Peoples, Warrior Peoples, and Whatever Other Kind of Peoples That Happen to Be Migrating About Peoples and your civilization suffers a Bronze Age Collapse. Cast Iron isn't as strong as cast bronze. You get to learn these things later on when you're making cannon and bells and the like. Bronze never actually died out, Iron was just so much more convenient because there's iron ore practically anywhere you want to build a civilization. Bear in mind, Iron's a much better deal when you forge it and add carbon. The major societal shift away from Bronze as a primary metal for tool making messed everyone up. The folks that mined the tin ore had had it pretty sweet for a long time, and it ended just like that. This is the great thing about technology and civilization. When you have a really good new technology, it puts everyone whose livelihood depended on old technology out of business. Just ask fletchers, or newspaper writers, or x rated video stores how the last five hundred years of technological advancement has improved their business prospects. Which brings us to the lateen sail. For those of yall who don't sail and have read up to here and have seen that term brought up before, here's your chance to find out what it is and why it changes everything. The lateen sail allows a ship to sail against the wind. This is very convenient because the wind doesn't generally blow exactly where you want to go, unless it does because you have a wandering soul. This completely remade trade routes, because instead of having to row somewhere if it wasn't downwind, you could just tack back and forth until you got there. This technology sounded the death knell for being uncivilized. Before, if you wanted to be uncivilized, you could hide upwind on some corner of the earth civilization couldn't find you at. Now, not only could civilization come find you, it could take all your gold and all your trade goods from you at gunpoint and sail back home. This is a Triumph for Civilization. STUDY QUESTIONS I) In what what way would you say has social media effected positive change in the Middle East, following the Crusades? Feel free to be verbose. II) If you could invent the wheel or the cell phone but not both, which would you choose and why? III) If you could uninvent the wheel or the cell phone but not both, which would you choose and why?