Environmental History II – To the Rise of Cities
Sumeria and Egypt which were the cities of middle east that flourished on surpluses had a constant
tension between them and resorted to the idea of the “King of Gods.”
The different views on god : polytheistic (paganism) being someone who sees many gods and this
can be found in many cultures, monotheistic being someone who believes in one god was seen to
be developed in the west. Monotheistic religions are simple and converge into one source –one
power, one god.
Western tradition has a hierarchy of gods –polytheistic view on god. This was carried out initially
by the nomadic, tribal people. Hebrews who would eventually become Israelites.
Researchers believe that hebrews were the first tribal people of Assyrian empire (new name for
the Sumerian empire), because of the similarities seen in the Bible towards the Assyrian empire
itself—survival of a man who takes all animals into a boat and survives etc.
Hebrews eventually settle in the land of Israel and attacked the gods of already existing local
people, Canaanites. Hebrews attempted to place this hierarchical system into a one god system –
thus they established Judaism –Christianity which developed from Judiasm, fought against the
pagan gods of Rome and Greece –Islam – Mohammed (prophet) fought against the pagan gods of
the Arabian dessert.
In the Medterranean, the important trading empires were the Crete and Cyprus which mingled the
gods of Egypt and Sumeria with other gods and practices. Ionian philosophers (resided in Ionia ) ,
questioned about the existence of god –Thales : what is the world made of? , Pythagoras- numbers
and geometries ruled the universe. Focused on fundamental physical laws behind the diversity of
These reasons led dominance of West—Judiac , Graeco-Roman tradition in the Mediterranean
region being the most important in Mediterranean regions.
Environmental History III : Towards The Birth of Science And the Abstraction Or Nature
Everything in the Christian religion had its own resting place and the most graded things were
furthest from the earth which is the center of the universe.
Epicycles are subcircles that explain the variance between transparent circles of the universe thus
explaining the movement of planets.
The first modern machine was called the verge escapement which made it possible for people to
measure time ignoring factors as to where was one, what the weather was and what time of the
year it was.
Perspective lead to changes in how maps are drawn. Older maps were centered around Jerusalem,
whereas new maps were drawn according to longitude and latitude.