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The Abridged History of the Ancient World

Tag: History
I usually don't write about this stuff. In fact, this is the first post in the History section of The Dry Erase Board Nerd Paradise. However I have lately become sad at the lack of knowledge the average American has of his/her own country. But similarly, I've also noticed that many people in general (not just Americans) don't know much about the history of the world. Because it would be selfish to just write about America, I will now be writing something that everyone can benefit from: the abridged history of the world!

I will start with the ancient world.

The history below is crash-course style. These are the Big Facts that, as a human You Should Know. If you payed any attention at all in high school, you are excused.

Mesopotamia - The First Civilization

Roughly in 7000 BC, Civilization started in Iraq. The irony burns. This civilization was called Mesopotamia. Before them, humans were mostly nomadic moving from place to place. The Mesopotamians realized they could sit down and get comfortable. Since they weren't walking around all the time, they found the time to invent the first system of writing (Cuneiform) and the first modern system of laws (Hammurabi's Code). These are important.


Around 3150 BC, the people in the northeast corner of Africa decided to start their own club. Bam. We now have Egyptians. They are best known for (or at least should be) giving us the foundation of mathematics. With math, they could build cool little pyramids and other fancy dancy temples. However, these early math geeks got beaten up by the bigger bully civilizations constantly and spent most of their later years under the control of one civilization or another.


Around 800 BC, people around modern day Iran united together and declared themselves the Persians (aka the bad dudes in the movie 300). They built an empire that stretched from the Middle East all the way to India. That's big. In 331 BC, Alexander the great came in and snatched the empire up with only a few strategic military victories. And that was that. After Alexander the Great died and his empire fell apart, "Persia" still existed in a sense, but this is the end of the period of the Persian Empire that most historians care about.


Around 1100 BC, some nomads wandered onto the Balkan peninsula and set up camp. *POOF!* We now have Greeks. Probably the most well-known contribution of the Greeks (aside from pita bread) is Democracy. Greece was a loose collection of independent city-states. These city states included Sparta (the good guys in the movie 300) and Athens (the guys that came to help the Spartans but weren't as good fighters in the movie 300). Although they seemed like great buddies in the movie, the Greek states did squabble and attack each other frequently. Eventually, a Greek state up north called Macedon took over all of Greece and, under Alexander the Great, kicked everyone's ass on this side of the world.


As I was saying, Macedonia started out as a Greek State of Macedon, but eventually, after unifying all of Greece, Phillip II set out to conquer the world. But he got killed. So his son Alex, gave it a go, and did a great job, so the pompous bastard called himself "Alexander the Great" and renamed all the cities in his path to Alexandria. Understandably irritated, someone poisoned him, after which, the empire fell apart.


In the 700's BC, there was a city called Rome. After getting tired of being ruled over by several kings, they established a republic around 500 BC. This led them to realize they didn't have to take crap from anybody, and so they totally went trigger happy and conquered most of Europe, northern Africa, and bits of the Middle East. In the 3rd century AD, the empire was big but due to the lack of email, it was very unmanageable and began to fall apart into different factions. Most notably was the split of the empire into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire. The Western Roman empire crumbled on September 4th, 476 AD and is considered the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the Dark Ages...for Euro-centric history at least.

Source: A muddle of what I remember from high school and Wikipedia for specific dates.