Ancient History & Civilisation

Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization #1) - by Will Durant

Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization #1)

This is the classic reference on world history, recognized as the most comprehensive general history ever written, the result of four decades of work by Will and Ariel Durant -- a set that The New York Times called "a splendid, broad panorama of hereditary culture in words and images that the layman can fully understand." This series began as an effort to write a history on the nineteenth century, an undertaking that Will Durant realized could only be understood in terms of what had come before. So the Durants embarked on an encyclopedic survey of all civilization, ancient and modern, Occidental and Oriental.

The books:

Our Oriental Heritage (Volume 1): Will Durant opens his massive survey of civilized history with a sweeping look at the Orient: the Egyptians, who perfected monumental architecture, medicine and mummification; the Babylonians, who developed astronomy and physics; the Judeans, who preserved their culture in the immortal books of the Old Testament; and the Persians, who ruled the largest empire in recorded history before Rome.


The Life of Greece (Volume 2): Will Durant's survey of ancient Greece shows us the origins of democracy and the political legacy to the Western world; the golden age of Athens, its architecture, poetry, drama, sculpture and Olympic contests; the blossoming of philosophical thought amid a society still rooted in slavery and barbarism; and the mysterious lost island of Crete, land of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth.

Caesar and Christ (Volume 3): Spanning a millenium in Roman history, the third volume in the Durants' series shows us a world-conquering Roman army, undefeated, unafraid and...vegeterian; Hannibal, who transported an army of elephants over the Alps to invade Rome; Julius Caesar, who brought Western Europe under Roman rule; the life and Passion of Christ; and the struggle of the rising church.

The Age of Faith (Volume 4): Over 1,000 years, we meet the Christian ascetics and martyrs, including Simeon Stylites, who sat atop a pillar for 30 years, exposed to rain, sun, and snow, and rejoiced as worms ate his rotting flesh; the saints, including Augustine, the most influential philosopher of his age; Mohammed, the desert merchant who founded a religion that conquered one-third of the known world in two centuries; and the Italian poet Dante, whose sensibility marks the transition to the Renaissance.

The Renaissance (Volume 5): In this volume, Will Durant examines the economic seeds -- the growth of industry, the rise of banking families, the conflicts of labor and capital -- for Italy's emergence as the first nation to feel the awakening of the modern mind. He follows the cultural flowering from Florence to Milan to Verona and eventually to Rome, allowing us to witness a colorful pageant of princes, queens, poets, painters, sculptors and architects. We see humanity moved boldly from a finite world to an infinite one.

The Reformation (Volume 6): In Europe's tumultuous emergence from the Middle Ages, we encounter two rival popes fighting for control of a corrupt, cynical church; the Hundred Years' War and 13-year-old warrior Joan of Arc; Christopher Columbus' accidental discovery of the New World; and Martin Luther, who defied the pope and ultimately led Northern Europe into the age of individualism.

The Age of Reason Begins (Volume 7): In one of Europe's most turbulent centuries, Philip II of Spain sees his "invincible" armada suffer defeat at the hands of England; Elizabeth I of England receives assistance from explorer Walter Raleigh and pirate Francis Drake; and new appeals for reason and science are exemplified in the ideas of Copernicus, Galileo and Descartes.

The Age of Louis XIV (Volume 8): This installment is the biography of a period some consider the apex of modern European civilization. "Some centuries hence," Frederick the Great predicted to Voltaire, "they will translate the good authors of the time of Louis XIV as we translate those of the age of Pericles or Augustus." Those authors are lovingly treated here: Pascal and Fenelon, Racine and Boileau, Mme. de Sevigne and Mme. de La Fayette, and, above all, the philosopher-dramatist Moliere, exposing the vices and hypocrisies of the age.

The Age of Voltaire (Volume 9): A biography of a great man and the period he embodied. We witness Voltaire's satiric work in the salons and the theater as well as his banishment to England. With him we view the complex relationships between nobility, clergy, bourgeoisie and peasantry in the France of Louis XV. We explore the music of Bach and the struggle between Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa of Austria. And finally we hear an imaginary discussion between Voltaire and Pope Benedict XIV on the significance and value of religion.

Rousseau and Revolution (Volume 10): This volume ranges over a Europe in ferment, but centers on the passionate rebel-philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who contended with Voltaire for the mind of Europe. Rousseau condemned civilization as a disease, glorified the noble savage, proclaimed to the world with equal intensity his own love affairs and the natural rights of man, and became the patron saint of the French Revolution and social upheavals across the globe for two centuries.

The Age of Napoleon (Volume 11): The final volume. Napoleon is the archetypical hero, whose restless, ambitious, and intelligent mind dominated his age and has never ceased to fascinate the world he helped fashion. Yet even Bonaparte is dwarfed by the age that took his name. For, the Durants have re-created the life, the history, the arts, the science, the politics, the philosophy, the manners and the morality, the very spirit of the turbulent epoch that began with the French Revolution, ended with the fall of the emperor and ushered in the modern world.

Preface

Illustration Section

INTRODUCTION - THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CIVILIZATION

Chapter I: The Conditions of Civilization

Chapter II: The Economic Elements of Civilization

  I. FROM HUNTING TO TILLAGE

  II. THE FOUNDATIONS OF INDUSTRY

  III. ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION

Chapter III: The Political Elements of Civilization

  I. THE ORIGINS OF GOVERNMENT

  II. THE STATE

  III. LAW

  IV. THE FAMILY

Chapter IV: The Moral Elements of Civilization

  I. MARRIAGE

  II. SEXUAL MORALITY

  III. SOCIAL MORALITY

  IV. RELIGION

      1. The Sources of Religion

      2. The Objects of Religion

      3. The Methods of Religion

      4. The Moral Function of Religion

Chapter V: The Mental Elements of Civilization

  I. LETTERS

  II. SCIENCE

  III. ART

Chronological Chart: Types and Cultures of Prehistoric Man

Chapter VI: The Prehistoric Beginnings of Civilization

  I. PALEOLITHIC CULTURE

      1. Men of the Old Stone Age

      2. ARTS OF THE OLD STONE AGE

  II. NEOLITHIC CULTURE

  III. THE TRANSITION TO HISTORY

      1. THE COMING OF METALS

      2. WRITING

      3. LOST CIVILIZATIONS

      4. CRADLES OF CIVILIZATION

BOOK ONE - THE NEAR EAST

Chronological Table of Near Eastern History

Chapter VII: Sumeria

  I. ELAM

  II. THE SUMERIANS

      1. The Historical Background

      2. Economic Life

      3. Government

      4. Religion and Morality

      5. Letters and Arts

  III. PASSAGE TO EGYPT

Chapter VIII: Egypt

  I. THE GIFT OF THE NILE

      1. In the Delta

      2. Upstream

  II. THE MASTER BUILDERS

      1. The Discovery of Egypt

      2. Prehistoric Egypt

      3. The Old Kingdom

      4. The Middle Kingdom

      5. The Empire

  III. THE CIVILIZATION OF EGYPT

      1. Agriculture

      2. Industry

      3. Government

      4. Morals

      5. Manners

      6. Letters

      7. Literature

      8. Science

      9. Art

      10. Philosophy

      11. Religion

  IV. THE HERETIC KING

  V. DECLINE AND FALL

Chapter IX: Babylonia

  I. FROM HAMMURABI TO NEBUCHADREZZAR

  II. THE TOILERS

  III. THE LAW

  IV. THE GODS OF BABYLON

  V. THE MORALS OF BABYLON

  VI. LETTERS AND LITERATURE

  VII. ARTISTS

  VIII. BABYLONIAN SCIENCE

  IX. PHILOSOPHERS

  X. EPITAPH

Chapter X: Assyria

  I. CHRONICLES

  II. ASSYRIAN GOVERNMENT

  III. ASSYRIAN LIFE

  IV. ASSYRIAN ART

  V. ASSYRIA PASSES

Chapter XI: A Motley of Nations

  I. THE INDO-EUROPEAN PEOPLES

  II. THE SEMITIC PEOPLES

Chapter XII: JUDEA

  I. THE PROMISED LAND

  II. SOLOMON IN ALL HIS GLORY

  III. THE GOD OF HOSTS

  IV. THE FIRST RADICALS

  V. THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JERUSALEM

  VI. THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK

  VII. THE LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY OF THE BIBLE

Chapter XIII: Persia

  I. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE MEDES

  II. THE GREAT KINGS

  III. PERSIAN LIFE AND INDUSTRY

  IV. AN EXPERIMENT IN GOVERNMENT

  V. ZARATHUSTRA

  VI. ZOROASTRIAN ETHICS

  VII. PERSIAN MANNERS AND MORALS

  VIII. SCIENCE AND ART

  IX. DECADENCE

BOOK TWO - INDIA AND HER NEIGHBORS

Chronological Table of Indian History

Chapter XIV: The Foundations of India

  I. SCENE OF THE DRAMA

  II. THE OLDEST CIVILIZATION?

  III. THE INDO-ARYANS

  IV. INDO-ARYAN SOCIETY

  V. THE RELIGION OF THE VEDAS

  VI. THE VEDAS AS LITERATURE

  VII. THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE UPANISHADS

Chapter XV: Buddha

  I. THE HERETICS

  II. MAHAVIRA AND THE JAINS

  III. THE LEGEND OF BUDDHA

  IV. THE TEACHING OF BUDDHA

  V. THE LAST DAYS OF BUDDHA

Chapter XVI: From Alexander to Aurangzeb

  I. CHANDRAGUPTA

  II. THE PHILOSOPHER-KING

  III. THE GOLDEN AGE OF INDIA

  IV. ANNALS OF RAJPUTANA

  V. THE ZENITH OF THE SOUTH

  VI. THE MOSLEM CONQUEST

  VII. AKBAR THE GREAT

  VIII. THE DECLINE OF THE MOGULS

Chapter XVII: The Life of the People

  I. THE MAKERS OF WEALTH

  II. THE ORGANIZATION OF SOCIETY

  III. MORALS AND MARRIAGE

  IV. MANNERS, CUSTOMS AND CHARACTER

Chapter XVIII: The Paradise of the Gods

  I. THE LATER HISTORY OF BUDDHISM

  II. THE NEW DIVINITIES

  III. BELIEFS

  IV. CURIOSITIES OF RELIGION

  V. SAINTS AND SCEPTICS

Chapter XIX: The Life of the Mind

  I. HINDU SCIENCE

  II. THE SIX SYSTEMS OF BRAHMANICAL PHILOSOPHY

      1. The Nyaya System

      2. The Vaisheshika System Democritus in India

      3. The Sankhya System

      4. The Yoga System

      5. The Purva-Mimansa

      6. The Vedanta System

  III. THE CONCLUSIONS OF HINDU PHILOSOPHY

Chapter XX: The Literature of India

  I. THE LANGUAGES OF INDIA

  II. EDUCATION

  III. THE EPICS

  IV. DRAMA

  V. PROSE AND POETRY

Chapter XXI: Indian Art

  I. THE MINOR ARTS

  II. MUSIC

  III. PAINTING

  IV. SCULPTURE

  V. ARCHITECTURE

      1. Hindu Architecture

      2. “Colonial” Architecture

      3. Moslem Architecture in India

      4. Indian Architecture and Civilization

Chapter XXII: A Christian Epilogue

  I. THE JOLLY BUCCANEERS

  II. LATTER-DAY SAINTS

  III. TAGORE

  IV. EAST IS WEST

  V. THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT

  VI. MAHATMA GANDHI

  VII. FAREWELL TO INDIA

BOOK THREE - THE FAR EAST

A. CHINA

Chronology of Chinese Civilization

Chapter XXIII: The Age of the Philosophers

  I. THE BEGINNINGS

      1. Estimates of the Chinese

      2. The Middle Flowery Kingdom

      3. The Unknown Centuries

      4. The First Chinese Civilization

      5. The Pre-Confucian Philosophers

      6. The Old Master

  II. CONFUCIUS

      1. The Sage in Search of a State

      2. The Nine Classics

      3. The Agnosticism of Confucius

      4. The Way of the Higher Man

      5. Confucian Politics

      6. The Influence of Confucius

  III. SOCIALISTS AND ANARCHISTS

      1. Mo Ti, Altruist

      2. Yang Chu, Egoist

      3. Mencius, Mentor of Princes

      4. Hsün-tze, Realist

      5. Chuang-tze, Idealist

Chapter XXIV: The Age of the Poets

  I. CHINA’S BISMARCK

  II. EXPERIMENTS IN SOCIALISM

  III. THE GLORY OF T’ANG

  IV. THE BANISHED ANGEL

  V. SOME QUALITIES OF CHINESE POETRY

  VI. TU FU

  VII. PROSE

  VIII. THE STAGE

Chapter XXV: The Age of the Artists

  I. THE SUNG RENAISSANCE

      1. The Socialism of Wang An-shih

      2. The Revival of Learning

      3. The Rebirth of Philosophy

  II. BRONZE, LACQUER AND JADE

  III. PAGODAS AND PALACES

  IV. PAINTING

      1. Masters of Chinese Painting

      2. Qualities of Chinese Painting

  V. PORCELAIN

Chapter XXVI: The People and the State

  I. HISTORICAL INTERLUDE

      1. Marco Polo Visits Kublai Khan

      2. The Ming and the Ch’ing

  II. THE PEOPLE AND THEIR LANGUAGE

  III. THE PRACTICAL LIFE

      1. In the Fields

      2. In the Shops

      3. Invention and Science

  IV. RELIGION WITHOUT A CHURCH

  V. THE RULE OF MORALS

  VI. A GOVERNMENT PRAISED BY VOLTAIRE

Chapter XXVII: Revolution and Renewal

  I. THE WHITE PERIL

  II. THE DEATH OF A CIVILIZATION

  III. BEGINNINGS OF A NEW ORDER

B. JAPAN

Chronology of Japanese Civilization

Chapter XXVIII: The Makers of Japan

  I. THE CHILDREN OF THE GODS

  II. PRIMITIVE JAPAN

  III. THE IMPERIAL AGE

  IV. THE DICTATORS

  V. GREAT MONKEY-FACE

  VI. THE GREAT SHOGUN

Chapter XXIX: The Political and Moral Foundations

  I. THE SAMURAI

  II. THE LAW

  III. THE TOILERS

  IV. THE PEOPLE

  V. THE FAMILY

  VI. THE SAINTS

  VII. THE THINKERS

Chapter XXX: The Mind and Art of Old Japan

  I. LANGUAGE AND EDUCATION

  II. POETRY

  III. PROSE

      1. Fiction

      2. History

      3. The Essay

  IV. THE DRAMA

  V. THE ART OF LITTLE THINGS

  VI. ARCHITECTURE

  VII. METALS AND STATUES

  VIII. POTTERY

  IX. PAINTING

  X. PRINTS

  XI. JAPANESE ART AND CIVILIZATION

Chapter XXXI: The New Japan

  I. THE POLITICAL REVOLUTION

  II. THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

  III. THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION

  IV. THE NEW EMPIRE

Envoi: Our Oriental Heritage

Glossary of Foreign Terms

Bibliography of Books Referred to in the Text

Notes