The Influence of the Ancient World on Later Societies:

For many years now people across the globe have developed, advanced and formed civilizations. A civilization is a society that is characterized by features like writing systems, developed social classes and growth of cities. Ancient civilizations like ancient Greece, Rome, classical China and Mesopotamia have made a lot of impact to the current society and way of living (Quinn, 2017).  The early inventions and contributions of the ancient times have molded the word that we live in today. We live to adore the input the people who lived in these ancient times brought. The effects are felt in our government systems, our law systems, education, transportation, communication and the general way of living. 

Childe, (2015) states that, in ancient times, Europe was under the power of strong empires. But over time, these empires collapsed. Some were due to the cost of war, others due to corrupt systems of governance. The fall of these territories left room for people to move in and look for regions to settle and start a new life. In order to gain access to a territory, these tribes had to clash with one another and prove their superiority. People were on the move all over the world 

People from different parts of the world came together for various reasons, others migrated to a different location due to natural disasters. They found themselves moving to regions occupied by different groups (Childe, 2015). Others moved to just expand their territories. Regardless of the reasons for movement and contact, the effects brought by were both positive and negative. Some of the main effects brought about by movement were, battles and wars, increased trade, intermarriages, development of other languages among many. 

It goes without saying that transition from modern world was taking shape. But it was not that easy. The transition was marked by battles and wars. The desire for power and control by an individual, or entire ethnic group. Some desired land and a territory to occupy. Others were seeking resources to control like water, gold mines among others (Quinn, 2017).  . Among these people, there was the extremist who developed a desire to kill or convert people into different religions or traditions. 

The negative effects were equality fatal. Death of large groups of people both soldiers and civilians, erosion of entire civilization or culture. There was a change in the way communities structured themselves. Laws and rules were changed, amendments made to some, constitutions written and memorandum of understanding between neighboring communities was necessary. Kings and royal family systems took shape (Quinn, 2017). Governments, groups and society leaders began emerging. A governing system was slowly coming into place to put people in shape, to guard their acquired spoils that they have claimed by force. Borrowing from Childe, (2015), it is atated that, with the emergence of governance, new ideas, technology and a system of belief were necessary to help and facilitate governance, communication and keep the peace. From these spread of new ideas, advanced weapons were created new methods of providing security and fighting techniques took shape. 

According to Young & Killick, (2017), anything good comes with its negative effects. The interaction of different ethnic groups facilitated the spread of different diseases among the people, animals, plants and the aquatic life. The environment was destroyed and polluted by the very own people. Natural resources were wasted and wildlife endangered. Policies had to be made by the responsible society leaders and the ruling government. Ways of preserving wildlife were initiated, forests destruction was put under control, and laws were effected against animal poaching and many more policies to safeguard the environment. Skilled doctors were brought together and found ways to develop medicines to counter the new diseases brought by new individuals and change of environment. 

Despite the conflict and wars that brought great changes and displacement of people and resources, there was a great reason why people came into contact with each other. Trade between societies. Trade was not just limited to the exchange of goods and services, but the exchange of ideas, beliefs, religion, and culture. For instance, the Christianity moved at a faster rate to other nations from the west because of the contact that had been initiated. Territories controlled by civilization expanded forming empires. The result made it possible for goods and service move too far distances improving trade (Childe, 2015). Access to minerals like gold and other natural resources like forests, wild animals, aquatic life and fertile were among the reasons why the territories grew. If an empire controlled a large territory of resources, trade expanded at a higher rate.

After Roman Empire fell, trade reduced drastically. The Roman forces that enforced the laws were not there to guard the traders with their goods. The large parts of Western Europe became very dangerous. Traders were robbed of their merchants and murdered on the way. In contrast, Eastern Europe prospered (Young & Killick, 2017). The Muslim sea traders’ were expanding into the Indian Ocean and beyond the Islamic and Arab states were flourishing. They began trading with Indies and China. But with time the barbarians robbers in Western Europe stopped and people felt safe again to trade. Population increased and towns’ emerged across the continent. People moved to these towns because they provided job opportunities. 

During this period, roads were built. Goods and services were now being quantified. As a result, trade expanded faster (Young & Killick, 2017). The famous Silk Road, a six kilometer long that connects Asia with Europe became important trade route between east and west. A safe passage was given by the Mongol rulers who protected the route and the traders. 

  Use of boats became a vital part in sea trade. It was a common part of the trade in ancient Egypt, Greece and Roman Empire.  However, trade in the sea grew in the second millennium. The ports became busy commercial centers forcing the nations around the world to open their sea routes. The main agenda was to increase and expand their territories too (Quinn, 2017). Finding the market faster and a quicker way of reaching the new markets was the primary function of the empires.  At this time trade along the silk, the highway was proving to be slow and more expensive (Childe, 2015). The power of Mongol empire had gone down and the traders’ were not protected anymore. So many opted to use sea routes, opening more ports and seaways to reach markets. Some of the seaways we enjoy today were as a result of these endeavors. 

 Europeans diversified their trade and found a new hobby of using their money. They began investing money in discovering virgin parts of the world or new ocean routes. However, they were not the only sailors exploring the deep parts of the world. The Arab and Chinese sailors were on the same discovery journey too. 

Childe, (2015), explains that people’s beliefs and way of life influenced how they lived, how they interacted with others and how they perceived the newcomers from far and beyond. Belief and personal values can be a strong force for change both positive and negative. In this time of movement, trade, and exploration, new ideas emerged, attitudes and more importantly, the belief system revolutionized the societies. For example, a change was evident in the law, the way people dress, the way people dress, the artistic representation and architecture, and many more.

  The belief system and its composition was the foundation on how the western and the Islamic world were built. The principles and the religious teaching of this beliefs are what directed the way of living. The clothes people wore, the type of job they did, the food they ate, the entertainment they engaged in were all centered within their religious beliefs. Christianity was centered on the teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. They believed that living according to the word written in the bible made sure a person’s soul would go to heaven and living a sinful life, meant eternal hell.

  In the medieval period, in Western Europe, a group of Christian believers calling themselves catholicm, were the only known Catholic Church. It was led by a roman pope, who played a great role in the lives of the Catholic believers from the poorest to the wealthiest. It was common to see people praying five times a day and attend mass every Sunday to praise the Lord. Churches, cathedrals, and places of worship were erected across the continent as they played a very important role in the lives of the people (Childe, 2015). These facilities provided education, spiritual guidance and health care to the communities. Because many people could not read and write, their perception of the word was shaped by the church teachings. This is still happening even today in the later generation. 

From a document by Young & Killick, (2017), Church support proved stronger and at the request of the pope, many people took up arms to fight religious wars described as crusades. The crusades was a war between Muslims and Christians to have access to main worship sites known as the holy land. These wars brought a significant effect on the European countries. 

 In all human civilization regardless of their geographical location, groups, people, and ideas have influenced the way people perceive the world. They may have participated in changing the way people were governed, the way they believed, their place in the society and so on. These significant groups and individuals were forward thinkers. They looked into the future and they took steps to shape the future (Quinn, 2017). They never feared to explore new ideas and methods of doing things. Above all, they were willing to take up challenges and risks to make sure they leave the world at a better place more than they found it. History records the people who took part in the western and Islamic world to bring about the change we see today (Childe, 2015). 


Childe, V. G. (2015). The urban revolution. In The city reader (pp. 54-62). Routledge.

Quinn, R. (2017). Guns, Germs & Steel: The Fate of Human Societies. Macat Library.

Young, S., & Killick, H. (2017). Religion and the Decline of Magic. Macat Library.

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