加载中…
个人资料
柳林风声
柳林风声
  • 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:171,069
  • 关注人气:173
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
相关博文
推荐博文
谁看过这篇博文
加载中…
正文 字体大小:

William H.McNeil,A World History,The summary of Part I

(2010-10-31 00:51:34)
标签:

文化

分类: 史译.史艺

作者:William H.McNeil;译者:连大历史,陈诚

(威廉.H.麦克尼尔,《世界史》,第四版,牛津大学出版社,纽约和牛津,1999,第一部分概览)

第一部分   世界主要古老文明的形成及概况,公元前500年之前

 

 概览

人类历史上第一件划时代的大事是食物生产的发展。它使人口大规模增殖成为可能,并为文明的形成准备了基础。采集与狩猎是在何时、何地并如何演变为种植农业和畜牧业的,这不能确定。最早和最重要的变化实例之一,发生在大约公元前8500年至前7000年间的中东。被现代学者复原的一些情况表明,通过人们的迁徙和借鉴,谷物耕作技术从中东那里扩散到了欧洲和印度,中国和非洲的部分地区。在美洲,亚洲季风区和西非,农业可能被视为独立的发明,尽管这还不能确定。

人类历史上第二个伟大的界标是,被我们称为“文明”的,需要熟练技术的复杂社会的产生。中东地区率先形成文明,这是没有争议的。人类最早的文明共同体成长于约前3500年至前3000年的幼发拉底—底格里斯河流域与尼罗河流域。印度河流域紧随其后。最初,文明格外受到地理环境的制约,只有在灌溉区才可以从同一块田地上年复一年的收获大量农作物。灌溉需要有大量的人们为挖沟和排水而进行必要的协作,由此形成了涵盖大量人口的社会组织,以及在复杂社会中的分工和各种专门人才,而农业的剩余产品可以供养他们。于是,文明形成于中东主要河流的冲积平原上,并且,直到很久之后,也没有到别处去。

初始文明出现的大约1000年之后,人类开始将文明扩展到天然雨水灌溉区。这时,犁的发明是重要的。它允许古代的农民利用畜力完成耕作任务,借以使个体农民生产的食物大大增加。这创造了可加以利用的农业剩余产品,如同之前只能在灌溉区被生产出来的那些一样。另外,文明需要有特色的社会状态。统治者不得不寻找一些方法迫使种植者缴出他们自己的剩余产品,以供养新的宫廷和宫殿群。一些重大的变化依靠海洋贸易而发生,就像克里特岛的统治者采集整个地中海沿岸的水果,并凭借这种贸易的利益维持其在克诺索斯的宫殿群。

草原牧民与战士们的初次领先引起了人类关系的第四次重大变化。这大约发生在公元前1700年之后。那时,战车技术在美索不达米亚的北部边缘地带被完善。战车给予那些懂得如何征服并利用马匹的战士们以领地。出现在草原上的大规模的马匹饲养中心,是这些中亚和乌克兰部落的,操印欧语的战士们所取得的首要优势。这些战士们乘着马拉战车,横扫整个欧洲,西亚和印度。另一些人则设法学得战车技术,也制服了中国黄河流域的农民。

在欧洲,印度和中国,先存的农业民族与土地上的新事物之间的互动,为三个全新和非常成功的文明形态的形成奠定了基础。它们发展的速度大抵相近。公元前500年,独特的欧洲文明在希腊形成;同样自具特色的印度文明出现在恒河流域;而在黄河中游地带,中华文明也展现出它自己的风采。

中东有着更加复杂的历史。战车的征服所造成的影响,在美索不达米亚和埃及是相当表面的。因为当地民族很快就学会了如何使用战车去驱逐让他们的入侵者。三个文明帝国在埃及、小亚和美索不达米亚北部建立起来,然后彼此争夺中东地区的霸权,直到一股新的蛮族侵略浪潮袭来。新来者以铁制(实际上铁是更柔软的武器)兵器加以装备。铜器时代的那些大帝国,在用新的、更充足的金属装备起来的部落民的攻击之下崩溃了。但再一次的蛮族征服的影响是短暂的,几个新的帝国出现了,并使整个古代中东地区的易变的政治统一达到顶峰,先后处于亚述和波斯的统治之下。

由于乱作一团的发展,埃及和美索不达米亚的文明被分隔开来,各种各样的“卫星”文明出现在天然雨水灌溉区周围,以及两个大河流域之间。它们全开始融入到一种全新的“中东大一体”的生活方式里。“中东世界观”的形成具有决定性的意义,它与国际化的文明很相称。这种“中东世界观”产生于犹太教,一种在公元前8至前6世纪,由先知塑造的宗教。犹太教与印度的佛教、中国的儒学和希腊的哲学一样,都是极为重要和打动人心的。它们也都在公元前6世纪之前形成了自己的最初特色。到公元前500年左右,古老文明的图景发展出四个清晰而显著的焦点,构成世界历史的最初阶段走到了尽头。

本书第一部分的目标是探索文明历史的最初阶段, 支配后世大多数人生活的主要的思想与行为模式就是在那时首次在人类的心灵与感情中打上了印记。

 

(William H.McNeil,A World History,fourth edition,Oxford University Press, New York&Oxford,1999,The summary of Part I)

PART   I

Emergence and Definition of the Major Old World Civilizations to 500 B.C.

  summary

THE first great landmark of  human  history was the development of food production. This permitted an enormous multiplication of human numbers,and laid the basis for the emergence of civilizations.How,when,and where hunting and gathering gave way to farming and pastoralism is uncertain.One of the earliest and most important instances of this transition took place in the Middle East,between about 8500 and 7000 B.C.Thence,through migrations and borrowings,few of which can be reconstructed by modern scholars,grain cultivation spread into Europe and India ,china,and parts of Africa.The Americas,monsoon Asia,and west Africa probably saw the independent invention of agriculture,though this is not certain.

The second great landmark in the mankind's history was the emergence of skilled and complex societies we call civilized.Here the primacy of the Middle East is undisputed.Man's earliest civilized communities developed in the valleys of the Tigris-Euphrates and the Nile between about 3500 and 3000 B.C.The Indus valley followed suit soon afterwards.At first civilized complexity required very special geographical conditions.Only on irrigated land could rich crops be harvested year after year from the same fields;and only where irrigation was needed did large numbers of men find it necessary to co-operate in digging and diking.An agricultural surplus that could support specialists,together with habits of social organization embracing large numbers of men,thus could and did emerge in the flood plains of the principal Middle Eastern rivers,and,until much later,not elsewhere.

About a thousand years thereafter,men began to extend civilized complexity to rain-watered land.The invention of the plow was here fundamental.It permitted ancient farmers to harness the strength of animals to the tasks of cultivation,and thereby allowed the individual farmer to increase his food production very substantially.This made available an agricultural surplus such as had previously been produced only on irrigated land.In addition,civilization demanded a distinctive social order.Rulers had to find ways to compel the cultivators to hand over their surplus crops in order to support the new courts and palace cities.A significant variation depended on sea trade,which allowed rulers of such an island as Crete to gather the fruits of the entire Mediterranean coastline and suetain a palace city at Knossos on the strength of trading profits.

A fourth great change in human relationships brought steppe pastoralists and warriors to the fore for the first time.This happened soon after 1700 B.C.,when techniques of chariot warfare were perfected somewhere along the northern fringes of Mesopotamia.Chariots gave dominion to warriors who knew how to tame horses,and since the central Asia,and India.Others,who had somehow acquired the techniques of chariot warfare,also conquered the peasants of the Yellow river vally in China.

In Europe,India,and China,interaction between pre-existing agricultural peoples and the new masters of the land laid the groundword for the emergence of three new and enormously successful styles of civilization.The pace of their development was roughly comparable,so that by 500 B.C. a distinctive European type of civilization had emerged in Greece;an equally distinctive Indian type of civilization had appeared in the Ganges river vally;and along the middle reaches of the Yellow river,Chinese civilization had liakewise asserted itself.

The Middle East had a more complicated history.The effect of the chariot conquest on Mesopotamia and Egypt was comparatively superficial,since local peoples soon learned how to use chariots to oust their conquerors.Three civilized empires,based in Egypt,Asia Minor,and northern Mesopotamia,then competed for supremacy in the Middle East until a new wave of barbarian invasion struck.The newcomers were equipped with iron (actually soft steel) weapons,and the great empires of the Bronze Age broke under the attack of tribesmen  armed with the mew and more abundant metal.But once again the effect of barbarian conquest was transitory.New empires arose,climaxing in the unstable political unification of the entire civilized area of the ancient Middle East,first under the Assyrians and then under the persians.

As a result of this tangled development, what had once been separate civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia,as well as various satellite civilizations that had arisen on rain-watered land around and between the two great river valleys,all began to merge into a new cosmopolitan Middle Eastern style of life.A decisive formulation of a  Middle Eastern wrold view appropriate to this cosmopolitan civilization took palce among the Jews,whose religion,as shaped by the prophets of the eighth to sixth centuries B.C.,was as vital and persuasive as the Buddhism of India,the Confucianism of China,or the philosophy of Greece,all of which also found their initial expression before the end of the sixth centuries B.C.With the clear and emphatic fourfold patterning of Old World civilization that thus came into focus by 500 B.C.,an initial,constitutive phase of world history came to a close.

The aim of Part I of this book will be to explore this initial period of civilized history,when the main patterns of thought and conduct that governed most men's lives in later ages printed themselves upon human minds and feelings for the first time.

 

 

 

0

阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...
发评论

    发评论

    以上网友发言只代表其个人观点,不代表新浪网的观点或立场。

      

    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有