What is Civilization?
During the first millennium BCE, civilization emerged in China, Central and South America, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. It was the first to involve cities and class systems. As the ancient world developed, it became dominated by an elite priestly class and a privileged ruling class.
In addition to being a social term, “civilization” is also a cultural one. It refers to a complex society that may have a writing system, a government, a centralized religious order, or a state-run economy. It also includes urban settlements and the arts, science, and technology that come with them. Unlike a nomadic culture, a civilization will usually have a specialized, professional class.
The word “civilization” originates from the Latin adjective civis. It means “inhabitant of a city.” During the early centuries of human history, people grouped into settlements and learned to make tools to help them in their endeavors. They dug irrigation ditches, developed implements for farming, and learned to build housing. They also learned to smelt metals and create pottery.
In the early centuries of civilization, there were no written records. The first civilizations arose in the Indus Valley region of modern Pakistan, the Huang He valley of China, and the Nile valley of Ancient Egypt. These areas were fertile and had access to the sea for trading and irrigation. These societies were far different from those of the Proto-Indo-Europeans of the steppe, who were sedentary.
During the first millennium, civilization grew into an empire that spread to most of the globe by 1900. Its leaders invented laws and regulations that created an artificial order. Eventually, Rome had to generate ever greater revenues to maintain armies and re-equip them. The Romans repeatedly defeated armies.
A civilization is a group of humans living together in a relatively harmonious manner. It is an advanced stage of social organization. It is also an opposite of barbarism. It is a culmination of the mind over matter that is characteristic of human nature. It is a concept that can be difficult to define.
A civilization is a society with a complex social structure that includes a class system. The class system is based on control of production and ownership. The upper class of government officials dominated the society and the lower class included farmers, craftspeople, and slaves. The political and religious hierarchies complement each other in the central administration of territorially organized states.
The main precondition for a civilization is agricultural surplus. This surplus comes from tools to grow crops and from tools used for transportation and communication. This allows a society to create money and free time for craftsmen. The surplus also provides food for non-agricultural workers. It is also a way to create a large market for traders.
As a result of the development of civilizations, many institutions emerged naturally. Among them are cities, a system of writing, and a specialized, professional class. All are important features of civilization. It is also important to note that a civilized society is generally more ordered than a less civilized one.