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The trouble with most historical tables, however, is that they are much too long and contain far too many facts for the average person.
It is as if our multiplication table, instead of stopping with twelve times twelve, or even ten times ten, went on to fifty times fifty.
Periclean Athens, the Rome of the Caesars, and Victorian Britain are classic examples.
Very broadly speaking, these centers of leadership have since 3000 B. swung westward and northward in a huge arc, from Egypt and Mesopotamia to Greece, Rome, western and central Europe, the United States. As we have taken pains to point out in this book, in the thousand years after the "fall" of the western Roman Empire, the Byzantines, the Slavs, and even perhaps the Moslems were in some ways quite as focal to western history as the medieval westerners.
1789 (June 1794 (July 1799 (N, 1823 Monr 1830 Revolut .^^^ /'A C'^ A History of Civilization A History Crane Brinton Mc Lean Professor of Ancient and Modern History, Harvard University John B. In Volume II we have reorganized Chapters 30 and 31 , which cover events since 1945, to stress the interaction of developments in the Western democratic world, the communist world, and the emerging states of the non- western world.
The great majority of the illustrations, both in color and in black and white, are new and have been selected with an eye to their freshness and their appropriateness in reflecting the changing climates and "styles" of human culture.
We wish to express special appreciation to the following gentlemen for their critiques of the third edition: William F. Bowen, Northern Illinois University; Gene Brucker, University of California at Berkeley; Elmer Louis Kayser, the George Washington University; Robert G. Silberstein, Univer- sity of Kentucky; and Bernard C. Finally, we wish to record our heavy debt to those with whom we have worked most closely; to the members of the Project Planning Department of Prentice-Hall, who have applied their skills and energies most generously and effectively; to Miss Gabriele Wunderlich, for her taste and resourcefulness in obtaining illustrative materials; to Vincent Kotschar, for his clear and pains- taking revision of the maps; and to our colleagues and our families whose sympathy, understanding, and aid mean that the authors' salute to them is no mere gesture but a response from the heart. But at present we know little more than this: though a few exceptional people can absorb and tap at will large stores of systematically arranged facts — say, the list of popes from St.
Peter on — most human beings cannot remember great systems of facts for very long unless they make fairly regular use of them.
We take as the main stream in the endpapers, as we do in this book, our western civiliza- tion with its sources in the river valleys of the ancient Near East.
Second, there is the concept of a specific region or nation as a leader, a center, a focal point of historic change in our own western civilization at a given period.