Ancient times, a history of the early world by James Henry Breasted - PDF ebook

Ancient times, a history of the early world - Illustrated.


Ancient times, a history of the early world

an introduction to the study of ancient history and the career of early man.

The book illustrates Ancient History the same as an encyclopedia with many illustrations, maps, fossils, and wonderful drawings.

Excerpt from the introduction:

In the selection of subject matter as well as in style and diction, it has been the purpose of the author to make this book sufficiently simple to be put into the hands of first-year high-school pupils. A great deal of labor has been devoted to the mere task of clear and simple statements and arrangements. While simple enough for first-year high-school work, it nevertheless is planned to interest and stimulate all students of high-school age.

 In dealing with each civilization a sufficient framework of political organization and of historical events has been laid down; but the bulk of the space has been devoted, to the life of man in all its manifestations — society, industry, commerce, religion, art, literature. These things are so presented as to make it clear how one age grows out of another, and how each civilization profits by that which has preceded it. 

The story of each great race or nation is thus clearly disengaged and presented in the period after period; but, nevertheless, the book purposes to present the career of man as a whole, in a connected story of expanding life and civilization from the days of the rudest stone hatchet to the Christian cathedrals of Europe, without a serious gap.

 Asymmetrical presentation of the career of man requires adequate space for the origins of civilization and the history of the Orient, as these two subjects have been revealed by the excavations and discoveries of the last two generations, especially the last twenty-five years. The reasons for devoting more than the customary space to these subjects in this book may therefore be briefly noted. 

 The length of the career of man discernible by us has been enormously increased at the present day by archaeological Furthermore, the value of the early oriental monuments as teaching material has as yet hardly been discerned. The highly graphic pictorial monuments and records of the East, when accompanied by proper explanations, may be made to convey to the young student the meaning and character of a contemporary historical source more vividly than anybody of ancient records surviving elsewhere. 

When adequately explained, such records also serve to dispel that sense of complete unreality that besets the young person in studying the career of ancient man. These materials have not been employed in our schools, because they have not been available to the teacher in the current textbooks. Finally, when we recall that the leading religion of the world — the one which still dominates Western civilization today — came to us out of the Orient; when we further remember that before it fell the Roman Empire was completely orientalized, it would appear to be only fair to our schools to give them books furnish- ing an adequate treatment of pre-Greek civilization. This does not mean to question for a moment the undeniable supremacy of Greek culture or to give it any less space than before. The author believes that no one who reads the chapters on Greece in this survey will gain the impression that Hellas has been sacrificed to Moloch — in other words, to her oriental predecessors. The author is convinced that the surviving monuments of the entire ancient world can be so visualized as to render ancient history a very real story even to young students and that these monuments may be made to tell their own story with great vividness. 

This method he has already introduced into the ancient-history chapters of Outlines of European History^ Part / where it has demonstrated its availability. The same method has been employed in illustrating this ancient history. The result has been a book somewhat larger than the current textbooks on ancient history, but the excess is due to the series of illustrations. The book actually contains a text of about five hundred pages, with a " picture book " of about two hundred Preface vii and fifteen pages. Teachers will do well to make the illustrations and accompanying descriptive matter part of each lesson. 

The references in the text to the illustrations, and the references to the text in the descriptive matter under the illustrations, if noted and used, will be found to -merge text and illustrations into a unified whole. It should be noted that all references to the text are by paragraph (§) except a few references by " Section." An elaborate system of maps has been arranged by the author for the purpose of bringing the successive epochs of history before the pupil in terms of geography. 

The underlying principle is the arrangement on the same plate of from two to four maps representing successive historical epochs- It is believed that these composite maps, called by the author sequence maps, will prove a powerful aid to the teacher.

 The author has not found it an easy task to turn from twenty-five years of research in a laboratory of ancient history, extending from g. university post in America to the frontiers of the oriental lands, and endeavor to summarize for youthful readers the facts" now discernible in the career of ancient man. Under these circumstances, the experience of my friend Professor James Harvey Robinson, who has done so much for the study of history in the schools of America, has been invaluable. The book owes a great deal to the inspiration of his unflagging interest and the helpfulness of his long experience in the art of simplification. It may be mentioned here that Professor Robinson's Medieval and Modern Times forms the continuation of this volume on ancient history. 

To my colleague Professor C. F. Huth also I am indebted for careful reading of the proofs, accompanied by unfailingly valuable counsel. To him, furthermore, I owe the excellent bibliography of Greece and Rome at the end of the volume. Mr. Robert I. Adriance, head of the history department of the East Orange high schools, has kindly read all the proofs. His discerning criticisms and wide knowledge have proved very valuable to the book, and his unfailing interest has been a great encouragement. viii Ancient Times It will be noticed that some of the author's treatment of the ancient world in Outlines of European History, Fart J, has been retained here. These portions had already been looked over by Mr. A. F. Barnard of the University High School of Chicago, and he has also very kindly read the proofs of the remainder of the volume. 


screenshot from the book

Some contents of the book:

I. Early Mankind in Europe
1. Earliest Man's Ignorance and Progress i
3. The Early Stone Age . ..... 5
3. The Middle Stone Age .... . . . . 9
4. The Late Stone Age .... . . . 14
11. The Story of Egypt: the Earliest Nile-Dwellers
AND THE Pyramid Age
5. Egypt and its Earliest Inhabitants 35
6. The Pyramid Age (about 3000 to 2500 B.C.) ... .49
7. Art and Architecture in the Pyramid Age . . .68
III. The Story of Egypt: the Feudal Age and the Empire
8. The Nile Voyage and the Feudal Age. 74
9. The Founding of the Empire . . 80
10. The Higher Life of the Empire ... . 86
1 1 . The Decline and Fall of the Egyptian Empire. 93
12. The Decipherment of Egyptian Writing by Champollion 97
IV. Western Asia: Babylonia
13. The Lands and Races of Western Asia . . . loo
14. Rise of Sumerian Civilization and Early Struggle of
Sumerian and Semite ... . . ... 107
15. The First Semitic Triumph -.: the Age of Sargon. 122
16. Union of Sumerians and Semites: the Kings of Sumer
and Akkad ... ... ..... 126
17. The Second Semitic Triumph: the Age of Hammurapi
and After ..128
V. The Assyrians and Chaldeans
18. Early Assyria and her Rivals . . 140
19. The Assyrian Empire (about 750 to 606 B.C.) 151
20. The Chaldean Empire: the Last Semitic Empire . . . 164

xii Ancient Times
VI. The Medo-Persian Empire
21. The Indo-European Peoples and their Dispersion. i?'
22. The Aryan Peoples and the Iranian Prophet Zoroaster 176
23. Rise of the Persian Empire: Cyrus i79
24. The Civilization of the Persian Empire (about 530
to 330 B.C.) 182
25. Persian Documents and the Decipherment of Cuneiform 189
26. The Results of Persian Rule and its Religious Influence 194
VII. The Hebrews and the Decline of the Orient
27. Palestine and the Predecessors of the Hebrews there 197
28. The Settlement of the Hebrews in Palestine and the
The United Hebrew Kingdom 200
29. The Two Hebrew Kingdoms 206
30. The Destruction of the Hebrew Kingdoms by Assyria
and Chaldea 210
31. The Hebrews in Exile and their Deliverance by the
32. Decline of Oriental Leadership; Estimate of Oriental
Civilization . . ... . .


VIII. The Dawn of European Civilization and the Rise
OF the Eastern Mediterranean World
33. The Dawn of Civilization in Europe ... 221
34. The ^gean World: the Islands . . . . . 22c
35. The Aegean World: the Mainland . . . ,,g
36. Modern Discovery in the Northern Mediterranean and
the Rise of an Eastern Mediterranean World 
IX. The Greek Conquest of the Aegean World
37. The Coming of the Greeks .... . _ ^,
38. The Nomad Greeks make the Transition to the Settled

X. Greek Civilization in the Age of the Kings
39. The Aegean Inheritance and the Spread of Phoenician
Commerce f
40. The Phoenicians bring the First Alphabet to Europe 270
41. Greek Warriors and the Hero Songs 271
42. The Beginnings and Early Development of Greek
Religion 276
XI. The Age of the Nobles and Greek Expansion in
THE Mediterranean
43. The Disappearance of the Kings and the Leadership.
of the Nobles 282
44. Greek Expansion in the Age of the Nobles .... 287
45. Greek Civilization in the Age of the Nobles . . 290
XII. The Industrial Revolution and the Age of theTyrants
46. The Industrial and Commercial Revolution .... 295
47. Rise of the Democracy and the Age of the Tyrants. 301
48. Civilization of the Age of the Tyrants 307
XIII. The Repulse of Persia
49. The Coming of the Persians 322


James Henry Breasted

Publication date:



Ancient times. civilizations- Greek Civilization - Egyptian Civilization- Encyclopedia of History

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