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The Americana: a universal reference library, comprising the arts ..., Volume 10 online

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1875; Dr. K. P. Battle, department of history Uni-
versity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, secretary; The
North Carolina Literary and Historical Society, Ra-
leigh; W. J. Peele, secretary; and The Trinity Histor-
ical Society, Durham; Dr. J. S. Bassett, secretary.

North Dakota. — The North Dakota Historical So-
ciety; incorporated 8 March 1895; Col. C. A. Lount-
berry, secretary, Fargo.

Ohio. — The Ohio State Archaeological and Histori-
cal Society, Columbus; incorporated 13 March 1885,
E. O. Randall, secretary. There are many local so-
cieties in Ohio: The Western Reserve Historical So-
ciety, Cleveland; The Fireland Historical Society, Nor-
walk; The Ohio Philosophical and Historical Society,
Cincinnati; and others.

Oklahoma Territory. — The Oklahoma Historical So-
ciety, founded by the Oklahoma Press Association at
Kingfisher, May 1893. By act of territorial legislature
21 Feb. 1895 it became trustee of the Territory " for
the care, collection and preservation of all kinds of
historical matter, and for the expending of any appro-
priation made by the Territory tor such historical pur-
poses, and located the society at the University build-
ing at Norman." In June 1901 the society accepted
the offer of the entire upper floor of the Carnegie
Library, Oklahoma City, pending the erection of a
capitol building. Lincoln McKinlay, president; Sidney
Clark, custodian.

Oregon. — The Oregon Historical Society, organized
17 December 1899; F. G. Young, secretary, University
of Oregon.

Pennsylvania. — The Historical Society of Pennsyl-
vania, Philadelphia; organized 1824: John W. Jordan,
librarian; Bucks County Historical Society, Doyles-
town; Montgomery County Historical Society, Norris-
town; York County Historical Society, York; Lancas-
ter County Historical Society, Lancaster; Wyoming
Historical and Geological Society, Wilkes-Barre; Wash-
ington County Historical Society, Washington; Leb-
anon County Historical Society, Heilman Dale; Chester
County Historical Society, West Chester; Delaware
County Historical Society, Chester; Berks County His-
torical Society, Reading; Tioga Point Historical Society,

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Athens; and the Presbyterian^ Baptist, and Methodist
Historical Societies, Philadelphia. .

Rhode Island. — The Rhode Island Historical So-
ciety, Providence: founded in 1822; The Newport His-
torical Society, Newport, R. I. .

South Carolina.— The South Carolina Historical So-
ciety, Charleston; organized 1855; Gen. Edward Mc-
Crady, president; A. S. Salley, Jr., secretary. m

South Dakota.— The Department of History in the
State of South Dakota; administered by the State His-
torical Society; was organized by act of legislature ai
Jan. 1903; located at Pierre; Doane Robinson, secre-

^Tennessee.— Tennessee Historical Society, Nash-
ville; Robert T. Quarles, corresponding; secretary.

Texas.— The Texas State Historical Society; or-
ganized 2 March 1897; Hon. John H. Reagan, Palestine,

PTe9 bfah.— The State Historical Society of Utah; or-
ganized 31 Dec. 1897; Salt Lake City.

Vermont.— The Vermont Historical Society, organ-
ized 1838; Montpelier; Joseph A. Deboer, recording

Virginia.— The Virginia Historical Society, Rich-
mond; organized 1 831; William G. Stanard, correspond-
ing secretary and librarian. .

Washington.— The Washington State Historical So-
ciety, Tacoma; Hon. Ezra Meeker, president; E. N.
Fuller, secretary. . . ™.,,i—

West Virginia. — State Historical Society, Charles-

Wisconsin.— The State Historical Society of Wis-
consin, Madison; organized 184?; re-organized 1853,
this latter date being considered the real date of organ-
ization. , «

Wyoming. — The Wyoming Historical Society; or*
ganized 1895; Robert Morris, secretary, Cheyenne.

Sydney H. Carney, Jr., M.D.

History is a record of events which have
occurred among mankind ; embracing an account
of the rise and fall of nations, and other great
mutations which have affected the political and
social condition of the human race. In a more
limited sense, history is a record of the progress
of mankind in civilization ; and, therefore, deals
especially with those nations which have per-
formed great achievements and exerted a com-
manding influence upon the fortunes of the
human race.

History is generally divided into three great
epochs — Ancient History, Mediaeval History,
and Modern History. Ancient History begins
with the first appearance of historic records, and
ends with the fall of the Western Roman Em-
pire 476 A.a Mediaeval History, or the History
of the Middle Ages, extends from the fall of
Rome 476 a.d., to the discovery of America 1492
a.d. Modern History embraces the period from
the discovery of America to the present time.
Sometimes, however, the world's history is di-
vided into only two great periods — Ancient and
Modern; Ancient History embracing the whole
period before the fall of Rome, 476 a.d., and
Modern History comprising the entire period
since that event.

The three sources of history are written
records, architectural monuments and fragmen-
tary remains. Several races of men have dis-
appeared from the globe, leaving no records in-
scribed upon stone or parchment. The existence
and character of these people can only be in-
ferred from fragments of their weapons, orna-
ments and household utensils, found in their
tombs or among the ruins of their habitations.
Among these races were the Lake-dwellers of
Switzerland; the prehistoric inhabitants of the
Age of Stone and the Age of Bronze of the
British Isles; the builders of the shell-mounds
of Denmark and India ; and the Mound-builders
of the Mississippi Valley.

The discovery of monuments of {jreat an-
tiquity has aided vastly in ascertaining the date
of ancient events. The Parian Marble, brought
to England from Smyrna by the Earl of Arundel,
contains a chronological arrangement of im-
portant events in Grecian history from the
earliest period to 355 b.c The Assyrian Canon,
discovered by Sir Henry Rawlinson, the great
English antiquarian, consists of a number of
clay tablets, constructed during the reign of
Sardanapalus, and containing a complete plan
of Assyrian chronology, verified by the record
of a solar eclipse which must have occurred
15 June 763 b.c. The Fasti Capitolini, discov-
ered at Rome, partly in 1547 and partly in 1817
and 1818, contains in fragmentary records a list
of Roman magistrates and triumphs from the
beginning of the Roman Republic to the close
of the reign of Augustus. The Rosetta Stone,
discovered by a French military engineer during
Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt in 1708, con-
tains inscriptions in the Greek and Egyptian
languages, the deciphering of which has led to
the discovery of a key to the meaning of the
hieroglyphic inscriptions on the Egyptian monu-
ments. The fragmentary writings of Sanchonia-
thon give us some light on Phoenician history ;
those of Berosus on Babylonia and Assyria;
Manetho's lists of the 30 dynasties of Egyptian
kings afford us valuable information ; and the
works of Herodotus, the * Father of History,*
have given us a graphic account of the ancient
nations — their annals, manners, and customs,
as well as a geographical description of the
countries which they inhabited.

Herodotus was the first of Grecian historians.
Other Greek writers of history were Thucy-
dides, the great philosophic historian; Xenophon,
the writer of charming historical romances;
Ctesias ; Diodorus Siculus ; Polybius ; and Plu-
tarch, the charming biographer of antiquity.
Ancient Rome produced Livy, Tacitus, Sallust,
and Cornelius Nepos, who have given us the
facts of Roman history. For the history of the
ancient Hebrews we are indebted to the books
of the Old Testament and the works of Jose-
ph i<s, the celebrated Jewish historian, who wrote
a complete history of his countrymen in Greek.
Among early Christian Church historians were
the Roman Eusebius and the Anglo-Saxon, the
Venerable Bede. The Frenchmen Comines and
Froissart were celebrated chroniclers of the
Middle Ages. The Italian Macchiavelli achieved
fame by his historical writings. Among mod-
ern historians have been many who have ac-
quired celebrity by their works. Such were the
great trio of British historians — Hume, Gibbon,
and Robertson, whose works have always been
regarded as standards. England has produced
many famous writers of history; such as Ma-
caulay, Carlyle, Grote, Thirlwall, Froude. Lin-
gard, Arnold, Allison, Freeman, Rawlinson,
Green, Knight, Merivale, Milman, Hallam, and
others. France produced Rollin, Voltaire,
Thiers, Guizot, Sismondi^ Mignet, Michelet,and
the brothers Thierry. Germany has given the
world a great ecclesiastical historian in the per-
son of Mosheim ; and a number of German his-
torians have given the world the benefit of their
scholarly researches, among whom we may men-
tion Niebuhr, Neander, Rotteck, Heeren, Schlos-
ser, Mommsen, Curtius, and Leopold von Rarike.
Among American historians the most renowned

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have been Hildreth, Prescott, Bancroft, Motley,
Lossing, and Parkman.

The origin of nations has been involved in
obscurity, which has only quite recently been
temoved by the diligent study and the patient
tesearch of modern European scholars. Investi-
gation into the affinities of the various languages
has given us some new knowledge upon this
interesting and important subject. Comparing
the languages of most of the modern European
nations with those spoken by the ancient Ro-
mans, Greeks, Medes, and Persians, and Hin-
dus, we observe that all these languages had a
common origin, entirely different from those
spoken by the ancient Chaldees, Assyrians,
Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Egyptians;
these latter being related to each other, but
not to those of the nations previously named.
The former of these languages are called Aryan,
the latter Semitic and Hamitic; while the Cen-
tral Asian Tartar nomads have a language called

The Aryan branch is called Japhetic, because
it has been supposed to be descended from
Japheth; while the Semitic branch is regarded
as the posterity of Shem, and the Hamitic
branch as the children of Ham. The name
Aryan means ^tiller of the soil ; wherein this
race has differed from the Turanian, or nomadic
races of Central Asia.

In the course of time nations became divided
into civilized and uncivilized, as their intellectual
development was furthered by talents and com-
merce, or retarded or cramped by dullness and
by isolation from the rest of mankind. Uncivi-
lized nations are either wild hordes under an
absolute and despotic chief who wields unlim-
ited power over his followers, or wandering
nomadic tribes, guided by a leader, who, as
father of the family, exercises the functions of
lawgiver, governor, judge and high priest.
Neither the wild hordes under their despotic
chiefs, occupying the unknown regions of Africa
(negroes), the steppes and lofty mountain
ranges of Asia, the primeval forests of America
(Indians), and the numerous islands of Oce-
anica (Malays), nor the nomadic races with
their patriarchal government, find any place in

The oldest civilizations were those found in
the Tigris- Euphrates and Nile valleys, in the
Hindu peninsula, and in the remote empire of
China. The exact origin of the ancient nations
and civilizations is lost in the dimness of their
remote antiquity. These regions were richly
endowed by nature with the resources necessary
for sustaining a dense population ; and the oldest
historic empires accordingly took their rise in
the rich alluvial lands watered by the Tigris and
the Euphrates in southwestern Asia and by the
Nile in northeastern Africa.

Historical Asia is southwestern Asia ; where
the great Hamitic and Semitic empires of Chal-
daea, Assyria, and Babylonia successively flour-
ished, in the Tigris-Euphrates valleys ; where
the Hebrews and the Phcenicans played their
respective parts in the world's historic drama ;
and where the Aryan race finally came upon the
scene in the appearance of the great Median
and Medo-Persian empires and the Graeco-Mace-
donian empire of Alexander the Great and his
successors, followed by the Parthian, Eastern
Roman, and new Persian empires ; after which

the Semitic race again prevailed in tue sudden
rise of. Mohammed's religion and the great em-
pire founded by his successors; followed by the
conquests of the Seljuk Turks from Tartary, the
two centuries of warfare between Christendom
and Islam for the possession of the Holy Land
as represented in the Crusades, the terrible
scourges of the conquering Mongol and Tartar
hordes of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane; and,
lastly, the rise of the now-decaying Mohamme-
dan empires of the Ottoman Turks and the
modern Persians.

Southern Europe was the seat of the greatest
two nations of antiquity — the Greeks and the
Romans — the former by their literature and
philosophy and their political freedom, and the
latter by their laws and political institutions
influencing all future European nations. The
other nations of ancient Europe were barbarians,
many of whom were conquered and civilized by
the Romans. The overflow of the Roman
dominion in the 5th century after Christ entirely
changed the current of European history by a
redistribution of its population through the
migrations and conquests of its vast hordes of
northern barbarians, who 14 centuries ago laid
the foundations of the great nations of modern
Europe. America and Ocean ica were wholly
unknown to the ancient inhabitants of the Old
World, and have only occupied the field of his-
tory since their discovery and settlement by
Europeans within the last four centuries.

The cradle of civilization — if not the cradle
of the human race — was the fertile alluvial Ti-
gris-Euphrates and Nile valleys, where, with the
dawn of civilization, flourished the old Chaldaean
and Egyptian empires — the most remote of his-
torical states of antiquity. History begins with
Egypt, the oldest of historical nations.

Asia is the birth-place of the great religions
and the home of absolute despotism. The two
great pantheistic religions — Brahmanism and
Buddhism ; also the great monotheistic religions

— Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism

— arose in Asia ; while Asiatic governments to-
day are what they have been from time imme-
morial — absolute monarchies, or despotisms ; ho
republic or constitutional monarchy ever having
flourished on Asiatic soil.

Europe, on the contrary, inhabited by the
progressive Aryan race, has carried political in-
stitutions to the highest state of development;
civil, political, and religious liberty having had
a steady growth. Asiatic civilization has been
stationary, while European civilization has been
progressive. The Asiatics are passive, submis-
sive, given to contemplative ease and disinclined
to active exertion. The Europeans are active,
energetic, vigilant and aggressive. Europe has
also colonized other portions of the globe; the
greater part of the present populations of North
and South America being the descendants of
Europeans who settled in the New World, and
drove away, or assimilated with, the aborigines :
while Europeans have also settled in portions
of Africa, Asia, and Oceanica. The Asiatics,
on the other hand, do not colonize.

History, Ancient. Objectively history is
a succession of past events connected with one
another as cause and effect; subjectively it is
a record of such events as determined by the
processes of investigation included in historical
method. The history of mankind treats not so

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much of individuals as of the progress and
decline of communities and states with espe-
cial reference to morality, religion, intelligence,
social organization, economic condition, refine-
ment and taste, government, and the peaceful
and military relations of governments to one
another (cf. Andrews, institutes of General
History,* p. 3). Strictly there are no periods;
the life of mankind flows continuously, never
wholly changing the direction of its current
at any definite time. But for the convenience of
study history is more or less arbitrarily divided
into periods, during each of which the resultant
of changes in the life of mankind, or of a par-
ticular part of it, is supposed to be a determi-
nable movement of progress or decline which
the historian takes as characteristic of the period.

The familiar division of general history into
ancient, mediaeval, and modern may be accepted
as the most practical, though it is exceedingly
difficult to define these long and complex ages.
Most obvious is the geographical characteristic.
Leaving out of account India and the farther
East, which have contributed little to the prog-
ress of the rest of the world, ancient history
has to do (1) with the fertile river-valleys ad-
joining the east end of the Mediterranean; (2)
with the Mediterranean basin itself; for the few
outlying countries which had a share in an-
cient history depended upon this area for their
civilization. Or taking race and religion as
the basis of division, we may define ancient
history as the development of pagan, non-Ger-
manic civilization; for with the thorough es-
tablishment of Christianity and the coming of
the Germans the Middle Age begins. Although
ancient history includes many nations and num-
berless movements of growth and decay, it shows
nevertheless remarkable unity. From simple
though diverse beginnings the various peoples
of the area above defined developed into the
one complex political and social organization
known as the Roman empire; and when with
the wreck of this system the ancient world
passed away, there began under new conditions
that fresh life of mankind which in its earlier
Stage we call mediaeval and in its more mature
growth modern.

History does not concern itself with ultimate
origins; it begins with man in the lowest con-
dition in which it actually finds him, and with
the help of anthropology, archaeology, and kin-
dred sciences it traces his improvement from that
point upward through the earlier known stages
of his existence. The prehistoric age, which
precedes contemporary written records, is taken
into account in so far as, by furnishing relative
beginnings, it affords an explanation of later
developments. Even when the historian reaches
the period of contemporary documents and lit-
erature, he continues to use all available aux-
iliary sciences, principally epigraphy, archaeol-
ogy, numismatics, philology, and geography. In
testing the genuineness and the historical value
of sources he makes use of critical principles
which are becoming more and more definite
and effective with the growth of historical
method into a science.

Nowhere has source material accumulated
so rapidly in recent years as in the Orient. As
a result of continued explorations there our
knowledge of Oriental life has been vastly in-
creased, and the beginnings of Oriental history
have been pushed much farther back into the

past. We are now able to study the Egyptians
of the paleolithic age (cf. Petrie, < History of
Egypt* (4th ed. i. p. 5 ff), although no date can
yet be assigned to that primitive culture, nor
have yet been discovered all the links which con-
nect it with the historic age. Beginning with
the earliest appearance of written records in the
Orient, we may divide ancient history into
the following periods :

I. The Dawn of Civilization; the old Egyp-
tian Kingdom and the Chaldean and Syrian
City-States, 5000-3000 B. C— Whether mankind
first emerged from the Stone Age in the val-
ley of the Nile or in that of the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers is disputed, and the date of
this event has not been even approximately de-
termined. There can be no doubt, however, that
early in the fifth millennium B.C. civilization in
both these regions had reached a comparatively
high development. People irrigated their fields,
built cities, in which they lived under kings,
and were acquainted with the elements of prac-
tical science as well as with the art of writing.
The Egyptian alphabet of this period was hiero-
glyphic, the Chaldean cuneiform. Egypt achieved
political unification under a monarch near the
beginning of the period; Chaldea and Syria
remained divided among rival city-states.

Through the most brilliant part of the pe-
riod the Egyptian capital was Memphis, whose
Pharaohs of the fourth dynasty (about 4000-
3725 B.C.) constructed the great pyramids at
Gizeh. This epoch is unique in the world's
history for the bold attempt to surpass nature
in the grandeur and strength of its buildings,
which at the same time indicate the high cen-
tralization in the hands of the monarch. The
people of Egypt, devoted to agriculture and the
industrial arts, were peace-loving, submissive to
authority, and intensely religious. Prominent
among the Chaldean cities were Ur, Nippur,
Agade (Accad), and Babylon, under independent
kings who strove with one another for the mas-
tery. In spite of their military occupation the
people, like the Egyptians, engaged their best
thought and energy in creating the elements of
civilization. Among their early achievements
were the science of astronomy, the calendar,
and a system of weights and measures, which
with some modifications afterward passed to
Europe. Early in the fourth millennium Chal-
dean civilization began to affect Syria.

II. The Middle Kingdom of Egypt; the P<h
litical Unification of Chaldea; the Neolithic
and JEneolithic Ages in Greece, about 3000-2000
B. C. — In the beginning of the period Thebes
supplanted Memphis as the political centre of
Egypt. The most brilliant dynasty was the
twelfth (about 2775-2550 b.c). The Pharaohs
of this family with a firm hand controlled the
feudal lords who since the sixth dynasty had
been growing strong over all Egypt, and to
whom most of the famous rock-graves of the
period belong. The same dynasty conquered
Ethiopia (Nubia), carried on a lively trade with
Syria, and had commerce with countries as tar
west as Crete. They built splendid temples, and
regulated the waters of the lower Nile by
means of a great reservoir in the Faytim. Their
utilitarian works contrast strikingly with the
grand though selfish idealism of the pyramid-
builders. Meanwhile in Chaldea the strife
among the cities continued till the whole coun-
try was unified under Babylon (2250 B.C.).

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In the industries both nations reached a
high stage of technical skill. The Egyptians
excelled in inlaid work, the Babylonians in the
engraving of gems. The architecture was mass-
ive, the Chaldean in brick, the Egyptian in stone.
The sculpture, too, though lacking grace, showed

freat strength. The literature was looked upon
y after ages as classic. In government we find
a centralized monarchy with a bureaucratic ad-
ministration regulated by written law (cf. the
Code of Hammurabi (q.v.), about 2250 B.C.).
The family was monogamic, and society was
definitely organized in classes. The prime mo-
tive power in life was religion, which, manip-
ulated by the priests, was already reducing the
activities of man to a system of conventions
and thus putting an end to originality.

In the region about the /Egean Sea the pe-
riod is represented by the first settlement at
Troy, of neolithic culture (3000-2500 B.C.),
and by the second or e burnt s city, which was
seneolithic (2500-2000 B.C.). Crete, in com-
munication with Egypt, seems to have taken
the lead in the civilization of this region.

III. The Earliest Empires and Their Strug-
gles; the Beginnings of Assyria, Phoenicia, and
the Hebrews; the Bronze Age in Greece, 2000-
1000 B. C. — After the twelfth dynasty Egypt
weakened; from the beginning of the second
millennium the Hyksos (q.v.) a barbarous peo-
ple from Asia, controlled the lower Nile val-
ley for several, possibly five, centuries. After
their expulsion the Egyptians became a con-
quering people. The eighteenth dynasty (about
1600-1325 b.c) extended their dominion on
the south to the centre of Ethiopia and on the
northeast to the Euphrates River. Cyprus and
the tf isles of the Great Sea" sent as tribute and
gifts -vases of Mycenaean manufacture.

Chaldea, ruled by Cossaean — Kassite —
Icings (1717-1140 B.C.), was not only unable
to prevent these conquests, but even lost her
hold upon Assyria, which now began a long

Online LibraryWilfrid RichmondThe Americana: a universal reference library, comprising the arts ..., Volume 10 → online text (page 156 of 185)