Philip Van Ness Myers.

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P. V. N. MYERS, A.M.

OF ATHENS. - Frontispiece.]


This volume is based upon my _Ancient History_ and _Mediæval and Modern
History_. In some instances I have changed the perspective and the
proportions of the narrative; but in the main, the book is constructed
upon the same lines as those drawn for the earlier works. In dealing with
so wide a range of facts, and tracing so many historic movements, I cannot
hope that I have always avoided falling into error. I have, however, taken
the greatest care to verify statements of fact, and to give the latest
results of discovery and criticism.

Considering the very general character of the present work, an enumeration
of the books that have contributed facts to my narration, or have helped
to mould my views on this or that subject, would hardly be looked for; yet
I wish here to acknowledge my special indebtedness, in the earlier parts
of the history, to the works of George Rawlinson, Sayce, Wilkinson,
Brugsch, Grote, Curtius, Mommsen, Merivale, and Leighton; and in the later
parts, and on special periods, to the writings of Hodgkin, Emerton, Ranke,
Freeman, Michaud, Bryce, Symonds, Green (J. R.), Motley, Hallam, Thiers,
Lecky, Baird, and Müller.

Several of the colored maps, with which the book will be found liberally
provided, were engraved especially for my _Ancient History_; but the
larger number are authorized reproductions of charts accompanying
Professor Freeman's _Historical Geography of Europe_. The Roman maps were
prepared for Professor William F. Allen's _History of Rome_, which is to
be issued soon, and it is to his courtesy that I am indebted for their

The illustrations have been carefully selected with reference to their
authenticity and historical truthfulness. Many of those in the Oriental
and Greek part of the work are taken from Oscar Jäger's _Weltgeschichte_;
while most of those in the Roman portion are from Professor Allen's
forthcoming work on Rome, to which I have just referred, the author having
most generously granted me the privilege of using them in my work,
notwithstanding it is to appear in advance of his.

Further acknowledgments of indebtedness are also due from me to many
friends who have aided me with their scholarly suggestions and criticism.
My warmest thanks are particularly due to Professor W.F. Allen, of the
University of Wisconsin; to Dr. E.W. Coy, Principal of Hughes High School,
Cincinnati; to Professor William A. Merrill, of Miami University; and to
Mr. D. H. Montgomery, author of _The Leading Facts of History_ series.

P. V. N. M.
July, 1889.






I. India and China.
1. India.
2. China.
II. Egypt.
1. Political History.
2. Religion, Arts, and General Culture.
III. Chaldæa.
1. Political History.
2. Arts and General Culture.
IV. Assyria.
1. Political History.
2. Religion, Arts, and General Culture.
V. Babylonia.
VI. The Hebrews.
VII. The Phoenicians.
VIII. The Persian Empire.
1. Political History.
2. Government, Religion, and Arts.


IX. The Land and the People.
X. The Legendary or Heroic Age.
XI. Religion of the Greeks.
XII. Age of the Tyrants and of Colonization: the Early Growth of
Sparta and of Athens.
1. Age of the Tyrants and of Colonization.
2. The Growth of Sparta.
3. The Growth of Athens.
XIII. The Græco-Persian Wars.
XIV. Period of Athenian Supremacy.
XV. The Peloponnesian War: the Spartan and the Theban Supremacy.
1. The Peloponnesian War.
2. The Spartan and the Theban Supremacy.
XVI. Period of Macedonian Supremacy: Empire of Alexander.
XVII. States formed from the Empire of Alexander.
XVIII. Greek Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting.
1. Architecture.
2. Sculpture and Painting.
XIX. Greek Literature.
1. Epic and Lyric Poetry.
2. The Drama and Dramatists.
3. History and Historians.
4. Oratory.
XX. Greek Philosophy and Science.
XXI. Social Life of the Greeks.


XXII. The Roman Kingdom.
XXIII. The Early Roman Republic: Conquest of Italy.
XXIV. The First Punic War.
XXV. The Second Punic War.
XXVI. The Third Punic War.
XXVII. The Last Century of the Roman Republic.
XXVIII. The Last Century of the Roman Republic (_concluded_).
XXIX. The Roman Empire (from 31 B.C. to A.D. 180).
XXX. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the West (A.D. 180-476).
XXXI. Roman Civilization.
1. Architecture.
2. Literature, Philosophy, and Law.
3. Social Life.





(From the Fall of Rome, A.D. 476, to the Eleventh Century.)

XXXII. Migrations and Settlements of the Teutonic Tribes.
XXXIII. The Conversion of the Barbarians.
XXXIV. Fusion of the Latin and Teutonic Peoples.
XXXV. The Roman Empire in the East.
XXXVI. Mohammed and the Saracens.
XXXVII. Charlemagne and the Restoration of the Empire in the West.
XXXVIII. The Northmen.
XXXIX. Rise of the Papal Power.

(From the opening of the Eleventh Century to the Discovery of America by
Columbus, in 1492.)

XL. Feudalism and Chivalry.
1. Feudalism.
2. Chivalry.
XLI. The Norman Conquest of England.
XLII. The Crusades.
1. Introductory: Causes of the Crusades.
2. The First Crusade.
3. The Second Crusade.
4. The Third Crusade.
5. The Fourth Crusade.
6. Close of the Crusades: Their Results.
XLIII. Supremacy of the Papacy: Decline of its Temporal Power.
XLIV. Conquests of the Turanian Tribes.
XLV. Growth of the Towns: The Italian City-Republics.
XLVI. The Revival of Learning.
XLVII. Growth of the Nations: Formation of National Governments
and Literatures.
1. England.
2. France.
3. Spain.
4. Germany.
5. Russia.
6. Italy.
7. The Northern Countries.



(From the Discovery of America to the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648.)

XLVIII. The Beginnings of the Reformation under Luther.
XLIX. The Ascendency of Spain.
1. Reign of the Emperor Charles V.
2. Spain under Philip II.
L. The Tudors and the English Reformation.
1. Introductory.
2. The Reign of Henry VII.
3. England severed from the Papacy by Henry VIII.
4. Changes in the Creed and Ritual under Edward VI.
5. Reaction under Mary.
6. Final Establishment of Protestantism under Elizabeth.
LI. The Revolt of the Netherlands: Rise of the Dutch Republic.
LII. The Huguenot Wars in France.
LIII. The Thirty Years' War.

(From the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, to the present time.)

LIV. The Ascendency of France under the Absolute Government of
Louis XIV.
LV. England under the Stuarts: The English Revolution.
1. The First Two Stuarts.
2. The Commonwealth.
3. The Restored Stuarts.
4. The Orange-Stuarts.
5. England under the Earlier Hanoverians.
LVI. The Rise of Russia: Peter the Great.
LVII. The Rise of Prussia: Frederick the Great.
LVIII. The French Revolution.
1. Causes of the Revolution: The States-General of 1789.
2. The National, or Constituent Assembly.
3. The Legislative Assembly.
4. The National Convention.
5. The Directory.
LIX. The Consulate and the First Empire: France since the Second
1. The Consulate and the Empire.
2. France since the Second Restoration.
LX. Russia since the Congress of Vienna.
LXI. German Freedom and Unity.
LXII. Liberation and Unification of Italy.
LXIII. England since the Congress of Vienna.
1. Progress towards Democracy.
2. Expansion of the Principle of Religious Equality.
3. Growth of the British Empire in the East.



1. Ancient Egypt
2. The Tigris and the Euphrates
3. Lydia, Media, and Babylonia, c. B.C. 550
4. Greece and the Greek Colonies
5. Greece in the 5th Century B.C.
6. Dominions and Dependencies of Alexander, c. B.C. 323
7. Kingdoms of the Successors of Alexander, c. B.C. 300
8. Italy before the Growth of the Roman Power
9. Mediterranean Lands at the Beginning of Second Punic War
10. Roman Dominions at the End of the Mithridatic War, B.C. 64
11. The Roman Empire under Trajan, A.D. 117
12. Roman Empire divided into Prefectures
13. Europe in the Reign of Theodoric, c. A.D. 500
14. Europe in the Time of Charles the Great, 814
15. The Western Empire as divided at Verdun, 843
16. Spanish Kingdoms, 1360
17. Central Europe, 1360
18. The Spanish Kingdoms and their European Dependencies under Charles V
19. Europe in the 16th and 17th Centuries
20. The Baltic Lands, c. 1701
21. Central Europe, 1801
22. Sketch Map of Europe showing Principal Battles of Napoleon
[Footnote: For the use of this map I am indebted to the courtesy
of Mr. D. H. Montgomery, author of "Leading Facts of French History."]
23. Central Europe, 1810
24. Central Europe, 1815
25. South-Eastern Europe according to the Treaty of Berlin, 1878
26. Europe in 1880



DIVISIONS OF HISTORY. - History is usually divided into three periods, -
Ancient, Mediæval, and Modern. Ancient History begins with the earliest
nations of which we can gain any certain knowledge, and extends to the
fall of the Roman Empire in the West, A.D. 476. Mediæval History embraces
the period, about one thousand years in length, lying between the fall of
Rome and the discovery of the New World by Columbus, A.D. 1492. Modern
History commences with the close of the mediæval period and extends to the
present time. [Footnote: It is thought preferable by some scholars to let
the beginning of the great Teutonic migration (A.D. 375) mark the end of
the period of ancient history. Some also prefer to date the beginning of
the modern period from the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, A.D.
1453; while still others speak of it in a general way as commencing about
the close of the 15th century, at which time there were many inventions
and discoveries and a great stir in the intellectual world.]

ANTIQUITY OF MAN. - We do not know when man first came into possession of
the earth. We only know that, in ages vastly remote, when both the climate
and the outline of Europe were very different from what they are at
present, man lived on that continent with animals now extinct; and that as
early as 4000 or 3000 B.C., - when the curtain first rises on the stage of
history, - in some favored regions, as in the Valley of the Nile, there
were nations and civilizations already venerable with age, and possessing
languages, arts, and institutions that bear evidence of slow growth
through very long periods of time before written history begins.
[Footnote: The investigation and study of this vast background of human
life is left to such sciences as _Ethnology, Comparative Philology_,
and _Prehistoric Archeology_.]

THE RACES OF MANKIND. - Distinctions in form, color, and physiognomy divide
the human species into three chief types, or races, known as the Black
(Ethiopian, or Negro), the Yellow (Turanian, or Mongolian), and the White
(Caucasian). But we must not suppose each of these three types to be
sharply marked off from the others; they shade into one another by
insensible gradations.

There has been no perceptible change in the great types during historic
times. The paintings upon the oldest Egyptian monuments show us that at
the dawn of history, about five or six thousand years ago, the principal
races were as distinctly marked as now, each bearing its racial badge of
color and physiognomy. As early as the times of Jeremiah, the permanency
of physical characteristics had passed into the proverb, "Can the
Ethiopian change his skin?"

Of all the races, the White, or Caucasian, exhibits by far the most
perfect type, physically, intellectually, and morally.

[Illustration: NEGRO CAPTIVES, From the Monuments of Thebes. (Illustrating
the permanence of race characteristics.)]

THE BLACK RACE. - Africa is the home of the peoples of the Black Race, but
we find them on all the other continents, whither they have been carried
as slaves by the stronger races; for since time immemorial they have been
"hewers of wood and drawers of water" for their more favored brethren.

THE YELLOW, OR TURANIAN RACE. - The term Turanian is very loosely applied
by the historian to many and widely separated families and peoples. In its
broadest application it is made to include the Chinese and other more or
less closely allied peoples of Eastern Asia; the Ottoman Turks, the
Hungarians, the Finns, the Lapps, and the Basques, in Europe; and (by
some) the Esquimaux and American Indians.

The peoples of this race were, it seems, the first inhabitants of Europe
and of the New World; but in these quarters, they have, in the main,
either been exterminated or absorbed by later comers of the White Race. In
Europe, however, two small areas of this primitive population escaped the
common fate - the Basques, sheltered among the Pyrenees, and the Finns and
Lapps, in the far north; [Footnote: The Hungarians and Turks are Turanian
peoples that have thrust themselves into Europe during historic times]
while in the New World, the Esquimaux and the Indians still represent the
race that once held undisputed possession of the land.

The polished stone implements found in the caves and river-gravels of
Western Europe, the shell-mounds, or kitchen-middens, upon the shores of
the Baltic, the Swiss lake habitations, and the barrows, or grave-mounds,
found in all parts of Europe, are supposed to be relics of a prehistoric
Turanian people.

Although some of the Turanian peoples, as for instance the Chinese, have
made considerable advance in civilization, still as a rule the peoples of
this race have made but little progress in the arts or in general culture.
Even their languages have remained undeveloped. These seem immature, or
stunted in their growth. They have no declensions or conjugations, like
those of the languages of the Caucasian peoples.

THE WHITE RACE AND ITS THREE FAMILIES. - The White Race embraces the
historic nations. This type divides into three families, - the Hamitic, the
Semitic, and the Aryan, or Indo-European (formerly called the Japhetic).

The ancient Egyptians were the chief people of the Hamitic branch. In the
gray dawn of history we discover them already settled in the Valley of the
Nile, and there erecting great monuments so faultless in construction as
to render it certain that those who planned them had had a very long
previous training in the art of building.

The Semitic family includes among its chief peoples the ancient
Babylonians and Assyrians, the Hebrews, the Phoenicians, and the Arabians.
We are not certain what region was the original abode of this family. We
only know that by the dawn of history its various clans and tribes,
whencesoever they may have come, had distributed themselves over the
greater part of Southwestern Asia.

It is interesting to note that the three great historic religions of the
world, - the Hebrew, the Christian, and the Mohammedan, - the three
religions that alone (if we except that of Zoroaster) teach a belief in
one God, arose among peoples belonging to the Semitic family.

The Aryan, or Indo-European, though probably the youngest, is the most
widely scattered family of the White Race. It includes among its members
the ancient Hindus, Medes, and Persians, the classic Greeks and Romans,
and the modern descendants of all these nations; also almost all the
peoples of Europe, and their colonists that have peopled the New World,
and taken possession of other parts of the earth.

MIGRATIONS OF THE ARYANS. - The original seat of the Aryan peoples was, it
is conjectured [Footnote: Some scholars seek the primitive home in
Europe], somewhere in Asia. At a period that cannot be placed later than
3000 B.C., the Aryan household began to break up and scatter, and the
different clans to set out in search of new dwelling-places. Some tribes
of the family spread themselves over the table-lands of Iran and the
plains of India, and became the progenitors of the Medes, the Persians,
and the Hindus. Other clans entering Europe probably by the way of the
Hellespont, pushed themselves into the peninsulas of Greece and Italy, and
founded the Greek and Italian states. Still other tribes seem to have
poured in successive waves into Central Europe. The vanguard of these
peoples are known as the Celts. After them came the Teutonic tribes, who
crowded the former out on the westernmost edge of Europe - into Gaul and
Spain, and out upon the British Isles. These hard-pressed Celts are
represented to-day by the Welsh, the Irish, and the Highland Scots. Behind
the Teutonic peoples were the Slavonic folk, who pushed the former hard
against the Celts, and, when they could urge them no farther to the west,
finally settled down and became the ancestors of the Russians and other
kindred nations.

Although these migratory movements of the various clans and tribes of this
wonderful Aryan family began in the early morning of history, some five
thousand or more years ago, still we must not think of them as something
past and unrelated to the present. These movements, begun in those remote
times, are still going on. The overflow of the population of Europe into
the different regions of the New World, is simply a continuation of the
prehistoric migrations of the members of the primitive Aryan household.

Everywhere the other races and families have given way before the advance
of the Aryan peoples, who have assumed the position of leaders and
teachers among the families of mankind, and are rapidly spreading their
arts and sciences and culture over the earth.

EARLY CULTURE OF THE ARYANS. - One of the most fascinating studies of
recent growth is that which reveals to us the customs, beliefs, and mode
of life of the early Aryans, while they were yet living together as a
single household. Upon comparing the myths, legends, and ballads of the
different Aryan peoples, we discover the curious fact that, under various
disguises, they are the same. Thus our nursery tales are found to be
identical with those with which the Hindu children are amused. But the
discovery should not surprise us. We and the Hindus are kinsmen, children
of the same home; so now, when after a long separation we meet, the tales
we tell are the same, for they are the stories that were told around the
common hearth-fire of our Aryan forefathers.

And when we compare certain words in different Aryan languages, we often
find them alike in form and meaning. Thus, take the word _father_. This
word occurs with but little change of form in several of the Aryan
tongues. [Footnote: Sanscrit, _pitri_; Persian, _padar_; Greek, _pater_;
Latin, _pater_; German, _vater_.] From this we infer that the remote
ancestors of the now widely separated Aryan peoples once lived together
and had a common speech.

Our knowledge of the prehistoric culture of the Aryans, gained through the
sciences of comparative philology and mythology, may be summed up as
follows: They personified and worshipped the various forces and parts of
the physical universe, such as the Sun, the Dawn, Fire, the Winds, the
Clouds. The all-embracing sky they worshipped as the Heaven-Father
(_Dyaus-Pitar_, whence Jupiter). They were herdsmen and at least
occasional farmers. They introduced the sheep, as well as the horse, into
Europe: the Turanian people whom they displaced had neither of these
domestic animals. In social life they had advanced to that stage where the
family is the unit of society. The father was the priest and absolute lord
of his house. The families were united to form village-communities ruled
by a chief, or patriarch, who was assisted by a council of elders.

IMPORTANCE OF ARYAN STUDIES. - This picture of life in the early Aryan
home, the elements of which are gathered in so novel a way, is of the very
greatest historical value and interest. In these customs and beliefs of
the early Aryans, we discover the germs of many of the institutions of the
classical Greeks and Romans, and of the nations of modern Europe. Thus, in
the council of elders around the village patriarch, political historians
trace the beginnings of the senates of Greece and Rome and the national
parliaments of later times.

Just as the teachings of the parental roof mould the life and character of
the children that go out from under its discipline, so have the influences
of that early Aryan home shaped the habits, institutions, and character of
those peoples and families that, as its children, went out to establish
new homes in their "appointed habitations."


BLACK RACE (Ethiopian, or Negro).
Tribes of Central and Southern Africa, the Papuans and the Australians.
(This group includes two great divisions, the Negroid and Australoid.)

YELLOW RACE (Turanian, or Mongolian).
(1) The Chinese, Burmese, Japanese, and other kindred peoples of Eastern
Asia; (2) the Malays of Southeastern Asia, and the inhabitants of many
of the Pacific islands; (3) the nomads (Tartars, Mongols, etc.) of
Northern and Central Asia and of Eastern Russia; (4) the Turks, the
Magyars, or Hungarians, the Finns and Lapps, and the Basques, in Europe;
(5) the Esquimaux and the American Indians. Languages of these peoples
are monosyllabic or agglutinative. (Note that the Malays and American
Indians were formerly classified as distinct races.)

WHITE RACE (Caucasian).
Hamitic Family
Semitic Family
Chaldæans (partly Turanian)
Canaanites (chiefly Semitic),
Aryan, or Indo-European Family
Indo-Iranic Branch
Græco-Italic Branch
Celtic Branch
Scots (Irish),
Teutonic Branch
High Germans,
Low Germans,
Slavonic Branch
Poles, etc.

The peoples of modern Germany are the descendants of various Germanic
tribes. The Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes represent the Scandinavian
branch of the Teutonic family. The Irish, the Welsh, the Scotch
Highlanders, and the Bretons of Brittany (anciently Armorica), in France,
are the present representatives of the ancient Celts. The French,
Spaniards, Portuguese, and Italians have sprung, in the main, from a
blending of the Celts, the ancient Romans, and the Germanic tribes that
thrust themselves within the limits of the Roman Empire in the West. The
English are the descendants of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (Teutonic
tribes), slightly modified by interminglings with the Danes and Normans
(also of Teutonic origin). (See _Mediæval and Modern History_, pp. 169-







THE ARYAN INVASION. - At the time of the great Aryan migration (see p. 4),
some Aryan bands, journeying from the northwest, settled first the plains
of the Indus and then occupied the valley of the Ganges. They reached the
banks of the latter river as early probably as 1500 B.C.

These fair-skinned invaders found the land occupied by a dark-skinned,

Online LibraryPhilip Van Ness MyersGeneral History for Colleges and High Schools → online text (page 1 of 57)