Ancient, Early Church, Middle Ages, and Renaissance Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Ancient, Early Church, Middle Ages, and Renaissance Civilizations to the Contemporary Western Civilization

Two primary civilizations had emerged to form the first civilization of mankind -- that of the Mesopotamia, and Egyptian civilizations. Although other important civilizations had been formed during the ancient times such as the Sumerian and Akkadian empires, the important contributions and use of innovations and progress of the three aforementioned civilizations had influenced and developed the Western Civilization of today, thus, the focus of this paper will be on the contributions of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization to the present civilization of mankind.

One of the primary contributions of the ancient civilization to the Western civilization is the development of a water irrigation system. Through the development of water irrigation system, the Mesopotamians were able to cultivate plants as their food, giving way to the development of agriculture. The need to establish laws regarding irrigation control and management as well as the growing prosperity of the Mesopotamian civilization gave way to the formulation of laws, and Mesopotamians began forming 'armies,' or a group of warriors to defend themselves from invaders who want to take-over their prosperous civilization. Through this, the legal and military systems, as well as technological innovation such as the water irrigation, and the development of agriculture became the major contributions of the Mesopotamian civilization to the Western civilization.

Egyptian, or the Nile civilization, also contributed numerous innovations to Western civilization, particularly in the area of religion and the arts. Since the Egyptian civilization had not encountered water problems in their agriculture because of the presence of Nile River (which does not flood at indefinite times, as contrasted by Mesopotamia's Tigris-Euphrates River), the Egyptians focused instead in other areas of study, such as the development of calendars, to monitor the time and number of days to avoid the event wherein Nile River will overflow; hieroglyphics was also developed as a form of communication, and eventually, writing; astronomy flourished as a science, and religion is encouraged, particularly the worship to many gods (polytheism) that will help improve Egyptian agriculture. Through the Egyptian civilization, calendars, astronomy, writing, and the practice of religion was further developed.

After the ancient civilization, mankind had developed more complex forms of organization, and along with the formation of complex organizations, there were different priorities to attend to. Of one particular development in the history of mankind is the reign of the Catholic Church in the world as it emerged to be the most important and fundamental organization after the fall of the Roman Empire. During the 5th century, Christianity became the focus of the society, and the Early Church Civilization developed.

In the Early Church civilization, the development of church communities became imperative for the society. The Church began developing a hierarchical organization, wherein the bishops became the leaders, while the priests are the bishop's subordinates. Aside from the Church hierarchy, Christianity was disseminated and implemented as the official religion of the people during the 5th century, especially in the Western part of the world. People began practicing the belief of unselfishness and shunned away the desire to progress and become materialistic in life; what they subsisted to is to do good on mankind, and believe that by doing so will give them a chance to live peacefully and happily in the afterlife.

The rise of the Catholic Church as a major religious organization also gave rise to the emergence of various political institutions that focuses on a centralized government, wherein an individual will become the primary leader of the society and its people. This form of governance is illustrated with…

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