Of the four ancient civilizations, India and Egypt still exist. Why only China?
Liang Qichao wrote in “Pacific Song of the Twentieth Century” that “there are four ancient civilizations on earth: China, India, Egypt and Lesser Asia.”Asia Minor here refers to the birthplace of the two river basins, usually refers to Babylon, “four ancient civilizations” so gradually spread.At the same time, there is another popular saying that China is the only existing ancient civilization.Even Martin Jacques, a British professor, said that India and Egypt were among the four ancient civilizations, but why only China was recognized?Why is that?Why did some of the ancient civilizations disappear?Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt originated in the Fayoum region in the middle and lower Reaches of the Nile river in northeast Africa about 7,400 years ago.In 3150 BC, North and South Egypt were unified, the first unified country in the world. Egypt has a splendid civilization and magnificent architecture.The pyramids of Egypt, which are now famous, are a remnant of that period.The country fluctuated for more than 3,000 years, only gradually disappearing with the rise of the Arab Empire.Of course, ancient Egypt has been conquered more than once in its 3,000-year history.By the end of the 8th century BC, the Assyrian Empire, located on the side of the Kingdom of Mirren in Cuba, had expanded its power to conquer not only Ancient Babylon, but also ancient Egypt.It was not until 612 BC that the Assyrian empire was destroyed by a coalition of nations, which became the new Babylonian kingdom and the Kingdom of Egypt.In 553 BC, the Persian kingdom rose again, following the path of the Assyrian empire, conquering first Babylon and then Ancient Egypt.Unlike the Assyrian Empire, which briefly conquered ancient Egypt, the Persian Empire occupied ancient Egypt for more than 100 years, during which Egypt was only a province of the Persian Empire.Later, the Persian Empire internal turmoil, Egypt broke out against the Persian uprising, which gradually gained independence and freedom in the entanglements.However, Egypt had not been independent long before it was conquered by Macedonian empire in 332 BC and Roman Empire in 30 BC.The former dominated Europe, Asia and Africa for 300 years, while the latter was entrenched around the Mediterranean with a history of more than 600 years of rule.Under the rule of these two countries, the native culture of ancient Egypt had suffered a fatal blow, but the foreign culture had survived in the end.But the rise of the Arab Empire in the Middle East sounded the death knell for ancient Egypt.Unlike the Macedonian and Roman empires, the Arab Empires placed great emphasis on cultural assimilation, imposing Islamic civilization on the regions they conquered, including the lands of ancient Egypt.The Arab invasion in 641 AD led to the gradual Islamization of Egypt and the complete demise of ancient Egyptian civilization.In this case, Egypt survived, but did not inherit the cultural traditions of ancient Egypt, and was more like an Arab state.So of course it is not to take over the mantle of ancient Egyptian civilization.After talking about ancient Egypt, let’s take a look at Ancient Babylon.Babylonia has a history of more than 6,000 years. They invented cuneiform writing, established many slave states, and gradually established city-states.As one of the four ancient civilizations, Babylon mainly originated from the Tigris river and Euphrates River basin, to today’s area of Iraq.However, as we have mentioned above, The fate of Ancient Babylon was as bad as that of ancient Egypt, and even worse than ancient Egypt.After the decline of Sumerian civilization, the ancient city of Babylon rose gradually.In 2371 BC, the Akkadians established the kingdom of Akkadian in southern Mesopotamia, which later became the city of Babylon.Then in the 19th century BC, the destruction of the Sumerian third Dynasty of Ur, the establishment of the City of Babylon as the capital of the Kingdom of Babylon.In 1792 BC, Hammurabi united Mesopotamia.Soon afterwards came the famous Code of Hammurabi, one of the two great treasures of ancient Babylon’s civilization.As the first complete written code existing in the world, The Code of Hammurabi is of great significance to the formation of world law.As for another cultural treasure left by the Ancient Babylonians, of course, it is the famous hanging Gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.It is said that the king of Babylon had a very beautiful wife whose hometown was very far away.Because miss home, so she can not smile all the year round, the king of Babylon in order to win her happy, finally ordered the craftsmen of Babylon to build up the hanging garden.Of course, whether the hanging garden actually exists, and where it is today, is a mystery.All the truth has been annihilated in the long river of history, and annihilated together with that bright ancient civilization “Babylon”.In 824 BC to 539 BC, this country was repeatedly conquered by other countries, after the rise of the Persian Empire, but also directly wiped out the Ancient Babylonian kingdom, the ancient Babylonian civilization also died out.The middle of ancient India’s civilization is more legendary than that of ancient Egypt and Cuba.Some say it was caused by a massive flood, others by a large meteorite, and even a prehistoric nuclear explosion.So far, no answer has been forthcoming.Ancient Indian civilization originated in the Indus Valley, not in present-day India, but in Pakistan.This is one of the main reasons why many people say that India is not a continuation of ancient India, and another important reason is that the people who rule India today are not ancient Indians at all.According to relevant historical records, the culture of ancient India was quite developed.Around 2500 BC, the Ancient Indians invented well-ordered city-states, with distinct residential and commercial areas and a wide array of roads.It can be said that the cities of ancient India had a high level of civilization, which was unique in the world at that time, and it was worth marveling at.So why did ancient India disappear into history?Many people have speculated that the destruction of ancient Indian civilization was caused by foreign invasions, and that it was the Aryans who invaded ancient India.Around the 14th century BC, the Aryans began to move in all directions. Some occupied ancient India, others occupied the plateau of ancient Iran.Those who occupied the plateau of ancient Iran eventually merged with the local people to form what became the Persians, the mighty Persian Empire that conquered mighty Babylon and ancient Egypt.As for the group of people who occupied ancient India, it was later that they formed the distinctive indo-Aryan.To ensure Aryan rule in ancient India, they introduced the caste system, which divided people into four classes.The brahmans, The Kshatriyas, the Vaishas and the Shudras, and this rigid and rigid class system continued into later India.Why, then, is it generally accepted that India is not a continuation of ancient India?After the Aryans “dominated” India, they gradually formed a new Vedic culture and even established brahmanism.It can be said that in terms of culture and belief, the ancient Indian civilization gradually died out during this period, and India did not inherit anything at all.In this way, India is certainly not a successor to an ancient civilization.Ancient China Many people may think that ancient China can be inherited because it did not experience a strong enemy invasion, but the fact is not so.In 334 BC, The Macedonian Empire launched a war of aggression against the Eastern states, and finally established the Alexandrian Empire spanning three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa.At that time, The Empire of Alexander and qin were separated by only one western region. Although there was no direct war between the two states, it laid the potential for future instability.During the 600 years from the Western Han Dynasty to the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties, various ethnic minorities constantly established political power on the Land of China, and the whole China was a land of smoke.After many ethnic minorities established political power, they massacred the Han Chinese, so that the number of han Chinese was reduced to about four or five million at one time.In any case, this is a north-south confrontation in the region, not a real invasion.When the Arab Empire rose in the sixth century, defeating the Persian Empire and the Byzantine Empire to become a vast empire spanning Europe and Asia, it began to set its sights on the Tang Dynasty.The two sides then engaged in a fierce war of Talas in Central Asia.Gao xianzhi led a 30,000-strong Tang army against a 100,000-strong Arab army. Although she failed, she still showed great combat strength in such a outnumbered situation and briefly deterred the Intention of the Arabs to move east.After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, the Central Plains fell into turmoil, and the Islamic culture in the Arab Empire came back and soon entered Xinjiang region of China.And eventually began a 600-year rivalry between Buddhism and Islam, with the song dynasty unable to fight back.It was not until the Rise of Mongolia in the Yuan Dynasty that the Iron Knights of the East swept through Eurasia and cut off the enemies from the West, which is why we were able to live peacefully with the West from the Yuan Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.The Islamic civilization has given up the conflict of political power and turned to the existence of religion to try to control the affairs of the Central Plains dynasty.Even so, the Qing Dynasty was later invaded by Tsarist Russia, which occupied more than 1.5 million square kilometers of territory. After the Opium War, the world set off a frenzy to carve up China.During this period, China was in the most dangerous situation. Fortunately, the Chinese people were brave and unyielding and finally completed the transfer from ancient China to new China.From beginning to end, China has not become a colony of any other country, and our culture and customs have been preserved to the greatest extent.So we can proudly say that we are the only one of the four ancient civilizations that has survived.Then look further, what is the difference between ancient China and ancient Egypt and ancient Babylon in India?To make it through this long history?After studying, it is not difficult to find that ancient China can survive mainly due to four points.First, we have a unique and excellent geographical location.In ancient times when science and technology were not developed, natural environment could play an extremely important factor in war, and China was advantaged in this regard.China lies in East Asia, with the sea to its east and the vast Central Asian mountains to its west.Other nations who wanted to invade China either had to cross mountains or fight through desert gobi, which was a huge test for marching supplies.And because of this, ancient China was naturally exempt from many risks.Second, we have a long and far-reaching cultural heritage.In central Asia, West Asia and other maritime civilizations were difficult to invade, ancient China was faced with a confrontation between farming civilization and nomadic civilization.But no matter the success or failure of the confrontation, the advanced nature of the farming civilization has great attraction for the nomadic civilization.As a result, the nomads of the north were increasingly absorbed into the agrarian peoples of the south, and those who tried to encroach on us became part of us.Third, we have a close and solid unity of thought.Since the pre-Qin dynasty, unification has been the pursuit of all people. The Qin dynasty not only unified the export territory, but also unified the writing system and weights and measures.The thought of Confucian unity was profound and advanced, which paved the way in people’s hearts. The thought of eliminating all other schools of thought and worshiping Confucianism carried out in the Han Dynasty pushed this thought to its peak.This is exactly what the other three ancient civilizations did not have, perhaps the root cause of their difficult to inherit is no centripetal force.Fourth, the pursuit of justice and peace is the guarantee of the continuation of civilization.Influenced by the ideology of ethics for a long time, the ancient Chinese people pursued justice and peace, rather than aggression and war. That is why we opened the Silk Road for trade and Zheng He went to the Western Seas for friendly exchanges with other countries.Such a peaceful and friendly attitude can be said to guarantee the continuation of civilization, but the other three ancient civilizations were different. They had been in wars with foreign countries for a long time and had no lack of ambition for aggression, which finally brought bitter consequences.As Martin Jacques put it, “No matter how brilliant China’s economy may be, the accumulation of Chinese history and culture has ensured that China will not become more and more Western!”And the Chinese culture has a long history and continuity that no other country can match. Our national pride and confidence lies in our long history of civilization.