Free western civilization Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe
Free western civilization papers, essays, and research papers.
In 63 BCE, a conspiracy to overthrow the Republic was exposed by , and in 60 BCE the was formed and its three members, including , all came to violent ends; then the Roman civil wars began in earnest. The Second Triumvirate was formed in 43 BCE, and included and , of fame. After Augustus defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s fleet in the in 31 BCE, the Roman Republic ended and Rome became an empire, the greatest that humanity has known. At its height, it governed a quarter of humanity. From the to the , Rome as a republic or empire lasted for nearly two millennia. Its impact on Western Civilization, and hence the world, has been incalculable. There are far too many important lessons to be learned from the Roman experience than this essay can explore, but I will try to keep the lessons within this essay’s theme and purpose, which is humanity’s relationship to energy and our collective future.
Summary | The Greeks - History of Civilization
As the war continued, the Athenian hinterland was turned into a desert. Plato described the deforestation of , which remained barren until my lifetime, when the Greek government began to reforest it; many trees could only be planted by blasting holes in the limestone bedrock. When Attica's residents returned home after the Spartan occupation, they built their homes with a southern orientation to take advantage of sunlight, as wood was scarce. After five years of peace with Sparta subsequent to , Athens took to the offensive again and pretended to intervene in a war in Sicily to protect Ionian colonists, but they really did it to conquer Sicily and plunder its forests and other resources, and thereby build another naval fleet to conquer Sparta. The was a catastrophe for Athens, and it lost most of its navy. There were other setbacks and victories, but a starving and besieged Athens finally surrendered to the Spartans in 404 BCE. The environment around Athens could feed nothing but “bees,” and where wolves once abounded, not a rabbit could be found. As Athens slowly became the center of a wasteland, the changing perceptions could be seen in contemporary writing. When forests were plentiful in 700 BCE, Greek authors wrote of trees in pragmatic fashion or as impediments to progress. As the forests disappeared along with the ecosystems they supported, an ecological consciousness began to appear. Plato and Aristotle placed forests at the root of a civilization’s health, and . Conservation only became an idea when the environment had already been ruined by “progress." Numerous commentators of the day wrote about the connections between forests and a healthy water supply, and many clearly saw the relationship between deforestation, erosion, and desertification, including Plato. and his professional heir wrote about ecological ideas. Theophrastus could be considered the first ecological writer, and he had the beginnings of an ecosystems approach. He noted that when the region surrounding was deforested, it became dryer and warmer.