Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail?

Author: Scott A. J. Johnson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1629582832

Category: Social Science

Page: 294

View: 742

This engaging volume critically examines previous theories of collapse of ancient complex societies and offers a new one, that of social hubris. The concept is evaluated through examination of ancient Egypt, Rome, Maya, and others.
Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail?

Author: Scott A J Johnson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781315512877

Category: Social Science

Page: 294

View: 541

Ideas abound as to why certain complex societies collapsed in the past, including environmental change, subsistence failure, fluctuating social structure and lack of adaptability. Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail? evaluates the current theories in this important topic and discusses why they offer only partial explanations of the failure of past civilizations. This engaging book offers a new theory of collapse, that of social hubris. Through an examination of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Roman, Maya, Inca, and Aztec societies, Johnson persuasively argues that hubris blinded many ancient peoples to evidence that would have allowed them to adapt, and he further considers how this has implications for contemporary societies. Comprehensive and well-written, this volume serves as an ideal text for undergraduate courses on ancient complex societies, as well as appealing to the scholar interested in societal collapse.
After Collapse

Author: Glenn M. Schwartz

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

ISBN: 0816529361

Category: Social Science

Page: 300

View: 933

From the Euphrates Valley to the southern Peruvian Andes, early complex societies have risen and fallen, but in some cases they have also been reborn. Prior archaeological investigation of these societies has focused primarily on emergence and collapse. This is the first book-length work to examine the question of how and why early complex urban societies have reappeared after periods of decentralization and collapse. Ranging widely across the Near East, the Aegean, East Asia, Mesoamerica, and the Andes, these cross-cultural studies expand our understanding of social evolution by examining how societies were transformed during the period of radical change now termed Òcollapse.Ó They seek to discover how societal complexity reemerged, how second-generation states formed, and how these re-emergent states resembled or differed from the complex societies that preceded them. The contributors draw on material culture as well as textual and ethnohistoric data to consider such factors as preexistent institutions, structures, and ideologies that are influential in regeneration; economic and political resilience; the role of social mobility, marginal groups, and peripheries; and ethnic change. In addition to presenting a number of theoretical viewpoints, the contributors also propose reasons why regeneration sometimes does not occur after collapse. A concluding contribution by Norman Yoffee provides a critical exegesis of ÒcollapseÓ and highlights important patterns found in the case histories related to peripheral regions and secondary elites, and to the ideology of statecraft. After Collapse blazes new research trails in both archaeology and the study of social change, demonstrating that the archaeological record often offers more clues to the Òdark agesÓ that precede regeneration than do text-based studies. It opens up a new window on the past by shifting the focus away from the rise and fall of ancient civilizations to their often more telling fall and rise. CONTRIBUTORS Bennet Bronson, Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Christina A. Conlee, Lisa Cooper, Timothy S. Hare, Alan L. Kolata, Marilyn A. Masson, Gordon F. McEwan, Ellen Morris, Ian Morris, Carlos Peraza Lope, Kenny Sims, Miriam T. Stark, Jill A. Weber, Norman Yoffee
The Collapse of Complex Societies

Author: Joseph Tainter

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 052138673X

Category: Social Science

Page: 268

View: 615

Twenty-four examples of societal collapse help develop a new theory to account for their breakdown. Detailed studies of the Roman, Mayan and Cacoan collapses clarify the processes of disintegration.
The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Author: Nicholas Hagger

Publisher: Iff Books

ISBN: 1846940109

Category: History

Page: 558

View: 666

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations, a sequel to The Light of Civilization, is a study of the history of civilizations. Nicholas Hagger describes religion as the basis for civilization. Saints, mystics, gurus, prophets, religious founders, it is these that drive history rather than kings and politicians. He outlines the patterns of the civilizations themselves, providing a unique interpretation of the dynamics of their origin, rise and collapse. Essential reading for students of history, it will interest all seeking to understand historical patterns and the direction in which our civilization is heading today.
Sustainable Policies and Practices in Energy, Environment and Health Research

Author: Walter Leal Filho

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030863043

Category: Science

Page: 639

View: 389

This book aims to give a contribution to a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of the cross-cutting issues on energy, environment and health research topics in the current world scenario, where nations all over the world are struggling to accomplish the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure sustainable patterns for all. This interdisciplinary implies a commitment between all fields of science, working together to provide knowledge that could result in the promotion of quality of life. At the present, it is evident that not all people benefit from sustainable policies and practices and the communication between health, energy, environmental and social problems is undeniable. A call for different views could be a pathway attracting universities, stakeholders, organizations and civil society to deeply discuss how one solution does not fit all societies. Few publications are coherently handling this matter. This book is expected to fill this gap and to develop an interest in a larger audience working in general sustainable development and cross-cutting issues. This book is produced by the European School of Sustainability Science and Research (ESSSR). It gives special emphasis to state-of-the-art descriptions of approaches, methods, initiatives and projects from universities, stakeholders, organizations and civil society across the world, regarding cross-cutting issues in energy, environment and health research.
Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith

Author: Philip Jenkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780197506370

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 123

One of the world's leading scholars of religious trends shows how climate change has driven dramatic religious upheavals. Long before the current era of man-made climate change, the world has suffered repeated, severe climate-driven shocks. These shocks have resulted in famine, disease, violence, social upheaval, and mass migration. But these shocks were also religious events. Dramatic shifts in climate have often been understood in religious terms by the people who experienced them. They were described in the language of apocalypse, millennium, and Judgment. Often, too, the eras in which these shocks occurred have been marked by far-reaching changes in the nature of religion and spirituality. Those changes have varied widely--from growing religious fervor and commitment; to the stirring of mystical and apocalyptic expectations; to waves of religious scapegoating and persecution; or the spawning of new religious movements and revivals. In many cases, such responses have had lasting impacts, fundamentally reshaping particular religious traditions. In Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith historian Philip Jenkins draws out the complex relationship between religion and climate change. He asserts that the religious movements and ideas that emerge from climate shocks often last for many decades, and even become a familiar part of the religious landscape, even though their origins in particular moments of crisis may be increasingly consigned to remote memory. By stirring conflicts and provoking persecutions that defined themselves in religious terms, changes in climate have redrawn the world's religious maps, and created the global concentrations of believers as we know them today. This bold new argument will change the way we think about the history of religion, regardless of tradition. And it will demonstrate how our growing climate crisis will likely have a comparable religious impact across the Global South.
Rituals, Collapse, and Radical Transformation in Archaic States

Author: Joanne M.A. Murphy

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000172737

Category: Social Science

Page: 226

View: 599

Rituals, Collapse, and Radical Transformation in Archaic States explores the role of ritual in a variety of archaic states and generates discussion on how the decline in a state’s ability to continue in its current form affected the practices of ritual and how ritual as a culture-forming dynamic affected decline, collapse, and regeneration of the state. Chapters examine ritual in collapsing and regenerating archaic states from diverse locations, time periods, and societies including Crete, Mycenean and Byzantine Greece, Mesopotamia, India, Africa, Mexico, and Peru. Underscoring similarities in a variety of archaic states in the role of ritual during periods of threat, collapse, and transformation, the volume shows how ritual can be used as a stabilizing or divisive force or a connecting medium between the present to the past in an empowering way. It also highlights the diversity of ritual roles and location in similar situations and illustrates how states in close proximity and sharing many cultural similarities can respond differently through ritual to stress and contrast the different response in rural and urban settings. Through detailed, cultural specific studies, the book provides a nuanced understanding of the diverse roles of ritual in the decline, collapse, and regeneration of societies and will be important for all archaeologists involved in the important notions of state "collapse" and "regeneration".
Unmasking the African Ghost

Author: Cyril Orji

Publisher: Fortress Press

ISBN: 9781506479446

Category: Religion

Page: 259

View: 867

The story of Africa is a ghost story with two plots. One is foreign or imported and the other indigenous or local. The foreign plot has its origin in colonial history. The indigenous plot is African in origin. But both plots end in the same place: African trauma and culture complex. These narratives create in modern Africa a splintered consciousness and the political and economic conditions that lead to physical and psychological violence. Unmasking the African Ghost is both a theological exploration of the reasons the political and economic systems in African countries have failed and a proposal for the paths toward recovery, anchored in the belief that Africa is a continent continuously trying to redefine its identity in the face of Eurocentrism. For the church in Africa to be a church at the service of its people, theology in Africa must take misery and oppression as the context for its reflections and its reconstruction of the social order. An African solution to African problems must be able to meet the needs of the time. It must look to the African past to draw from its riches--particularly the African sociopolitical ethic of ubuntu. It must also look ahead and draw from the best available sociopolitical system of modern states: liberal democracy. A hybrid of these two yields ubuntucracy. Ubuntucracy removes the ghosts of both Africa and its Western colonizers and begins a new story that can help Africa survive its double bind.
1177 B.C.

Author: Eric H. Cline

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691168388

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 818

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen? In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age—and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.
Climate Changes in the Holocene:

Author: Eustathios Chiotis

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 9781351260220

Category: Science

Page: 700

View: 427

This book highlights climate as a complex physical, chemical, biological, and geological system, in perpetual change, under astronomical, predominantly, solar control. It has been shaped to some degree through the past glaciation cycles repeated in the last three million years. The Holocene, the current interglacial epoch which started ca. 11,700 years ago, marks the transition from the Stone Age to the unprecedented cultural evolution of our civilization. Significant climate changes have been recorded in natural archives during the Holocene, including the rapid waning of ice sheets, millennial shifting of the monsoonal fringe in the northern hemisphere, and abrupt centennial events. A typical case of severe environmental change is the greening of Sahara in the Early Holocene and the gradual desertification again since the fifth millennium before present. Climate Changes in the Holocene: Impact, Adaptation, and Resilience investigates the impact of natural climate changes on humans and civilization through case studies from various places, periods, and climates. Earth and human society are approached as a complex system, thereby emphasizing the necessity to improve adaptive capacity in view of the anthropogenic global warming and ecosystem degradation. Features: Written by distinguished experts, the book presents the fundamentals of the climate system, the unparalleled progress achieved in the last decade in the fields of intensified research for improved understanding of the carbon cycle, climate components, and their interaction. Presents the application of paleoclimatology and modeling in climate reconstruction. Examines the new era of satellite-based climate monitoring and the prospects of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.