Sixty-four Events that Changed Human History
Ray Brown
Copyright 2015 EEASI Corporation

 

 

EASI Academy Academic Summer Camp
June 15th thru July 3rd


Table of Contents
A.     Preface and Introduction
B.     Through Writing it became Possible to Transmit Ideas across Space and Time and Establish Models of the Structure of Civilizations
1.      The Epic of Gilgamesh (around 2100 BCE) Initiated a Human Dialog Through the Use of Writing to Explore the Great Questions of Life and Communicate Those Questions to all Who Followed
2.      Hammurabi's Code Forever Changed How Humans Collectively Handled Conflicts and Disputes in Both Civil and Criminal Matters
C.     The Emergence of the Moral Philosophy Defined How Civilizations Would Determine Correct Character and Conduct
1.      The Emergence of Monotheism through Moses (1220 B.C.) Changed How Humans Thought About Correct Character and Conduct, and about their relationship to their External and Internal Worlds
2.      The Iliad (~800 BCE) set forth a moral code based on polytheism for Greeks to follow
3.      The Bhagavad-Gita (800-500 BCE) sets forth a vision of the good life as the pursuit of truth and presents a metaphor of life that allows each individual to make choices through the exercise of their free will.
4.      Buddha (526 B.C.) and Confucius (553 – 479 B.C.) Set Forth Enduring, but contrasting, Ideals of What it Means to Live the Good Life
5.      Socrates (470-399 BCE) through Plato asserts moral values that echo those of Homer and the Bhagavad-Gita raising the question of the relationship and influence of India on Greek Civilization and Values.
6.      Jesus (A.D. 36) Sets Forth an Alternative to Brutal Ancient Law
7.      Solon, in Order to Resolve a Financial Crisis in Athens, Formulated the First Concept of Democracy (594 B.C.) as the Best Possible Solution to that Crisis
8.      Hippocrates (430 B.C.) Establishes a Formal System of Medicine and Medical Ethics
D.     Literature Became the Voice Through Which the Enduring Questions of Life would be Explored, Shared and Communicated to Other Civilizations and Across Time
1.      Is Immortality Possible (Gilgamesh)
2.      Do Humans Have Free Will?(The Brothers Karamazov)
3.      What is Love?(The Symposium)
4.      What is Duty?(The Iliad)
5.      What is Reality? (Moby dick, Don Quixote)
E.     Leisure and Wealth Provides the Freedom to Imagine and Explore and has produced the most Significant Advances in Human Civilization
1.      The Flowering of Greek Thought
2.      The Renaissance laid the groundwork to Overthrow the Catholic Church, Transform Art, Literature and Music into  Instruments of Dialog concerning the Great Questions of Life, and Freed Science from the Grip of Aristotle.
3.      The Development of the Calculus Enabled Humans to Gain Control of Nature
4.      Scientific Revolution as a product of Wealth and Leisure
5.      The Industrial Revolution as a Product of Wealth and Leisure
F.      War becomes an Instrument of Religion
1.      Constantine Established Eastern Roman Empire (A.D. 312)
2.      Muhammad Rises in the East—The Hegira (A.D. 622)
3.      South and Central America became Catholic through the instrument of war
4.      Charlemagne Executes 5000 “Pagans”
G.     War is the most primitive manifestation of the evolutionary mechanism of survival of the fittest
1.      The world we live in is still a Darwinian environment
2.      Members of our species, as with all predators, seek to establish a social and cultural pecking order to determine who will have first choice in the acquisition and  control of material wealth, food, land, and reproductive rights
3.      Wars reshape the political, cultural and geographic landscape of humanity without necessarily improving the landscape
H.     The Cultural, Intellectual and Political Gene Pool of the Human Race has been Drastically Depleted by War, Pestilence and Natural Disaster
1.      Younger Dryas event resulted in mass extinctions of animal life, including humans perhaps leaving only 10,000 humans to repopulate the earth.
2.      A Tiny Flea Eradicates 25 Million Souls in One Year
3.      WWI killed over 16 million humans
4.      WWII Killed over 80 million
I.      Outrageous Arrogance is the Downfall of Empires
1.      Athens falls to Sparta
2.      The End of the Western Roman Empire occurs in 476 CE
J.      Unexpected Events had Unpredictable Outcomes
1.      The Aegean Armageddon (900 BCE)
2.      The City-State of Bologna Establishes the Concept of the University (1088) as the Formal Institution for Certification of Professional Skill
3.      Except for the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the world discovered by Columbus would be Spanish and would Speak the Language of Spain.
4.      A Little-known Girl of 9 Sets into Motion the Passion of a Man Who will Alter the Standards of Language and Literature for All who Follow (1320)
K.     Art, Printing and New Translations of the Bible Broke the Hold of the Roman Catholic Church on Western Civilization
1.      The Rediscovery of the Central Vanishing Point in Art Initiates the Establishment of a Mathematical View of the Natural World
2.      The Re-establishment of the Human as a Central Subject of Art by Michelangelo (1508 )Challenges with the Catholic Church's Doctrine that the Human is not a fitting subject of Art
3.      Erasmus publishes a Greek translation of the Bible (1516) that allowed Scholars to uncover the contradictions of the teaching of the church
4.      Luther’s View that the Bible should be interpreted by each individual for himself (1517) Seriously Undermined the Power of the Roman Catholic
5.      The Emergence in the Scientific Method Established Nature as the Source of Truth
L.      Sufficiently Conflicting Ideologies have been Settled by Wars
1.      Caesar Destabilizes the Republic of Rome by crossing the Rubicon (49 B.C.) in violating of Senate Rule
2.      The Defeat of Islam at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 assured that Europe would have a Judo-Christian Heritage
3.      The Battle of Lexington in 1775 made it impossible for the colonies to ever return to the rule of England
4.      The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 prevented the South from being recognized by England and France and doomed their hopes for secession and ultimately doomed slavery.
5.      Adam Smith (1776) and Karl Marx (1867) codified two opposing economic theories that could only be reconciled through War
6.      The Communist Revolution in Russia (1917) and in China (1934) inspired by Karl Marx Resulted in the death of over 100 million Humans.
7.      The Conflicting Views of Nationalism inspired the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Prussia and set into motion the dynamics that started World War I (1914)
8.      Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany (1933)
9.      September 11, 2001 was the result of the extreme conflict between the ideologies of the East and the West and is the starting point for the continuing conflict between the Judo-Christian world view and the Islamic World view
M.    Scientific Discoveries Transformed Western Civilization into a Culture that Relies on Science as the Standard of Truth
1.      The Debunking of the Catholic Disputatio by Bacon opened the gates through witch science consumed the west
2.      The Calculus was the Cornerstone of the Scientific Revolution (Newton and Leibniz, 1676).
3.      Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (~1800) and Charles Darwin (1859) Change the Course of Biological Science by asserting that all life evolved from a single source
4.      Louis Pasteur Changes Medical History (1885) by establishing the Germ theory of Disease
5.      The Genetic Theory of Inheritance (1909)
6.      The Cell Theory of Life
7.      Wright Brothers Initiate the Study and Exploitation of Aeronautical Science (1903)
8.      The Atomic Theory of Matter
9.      The Atomic Bomb Is Dropped (1945)
N.     The Unanticipated Consequences of Capitalism Changed the role of Government in the Economy
1.      Monopolies catapulted America into being the greatest industrial power in the world
2.      The Stock Market Crashed (1929)
3.      The Food Industry became a Model for Government Intervention in Business
4.      Franklin Roosevelt Becomes President (1933)
O.     Political assassinations have produced unanticipated results that were contrary to the objective of the assassination
1.      John F. Kennedy Is Assassinated (Friday November 22, 1963)
2.      Dr. King is Assassinated (Thursday, April 4, 1968)
P.     References
1.      The Birth of the Modern Mind, 24 lectures, Professor Alan Charles Kors
2.      The World was Never the Same, 36 lectures, Professor Rufus Fears
3.      Books that have Made History, 36 lectures, Professor Rufus Fears
4.      Great Scientific Ideas that Changed the World, 36 lectures, Professor Steven Goldman
5.      Foundations of Western Civilization I, 48 lectures, Professor Thomas Noble
6.      A Brief History of the World, 36 lectures, Professor Peter Sterns
7.      Life Lessons from the Great Books, 36 lectures, Professor Rufus Fears
8.      Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations, 36 lectures, Professor Brian Fagan
9.      People of the Earth, Brian Fagen, 12th Edition, 2007, Prentice Hall, New York
10.    The Odyssey of Homer, 12 lectures, Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
11.    The Iliad of Homer, 12 lectures, Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
12.    Ancient Greek Civilization, 24 lectures, Professor Jeremy Mclnerney
13.    Great Authors of the Western Literary, 84 lectures, Professors Vandiver, Heffernan, Nobel, Herzman, Heinzelman
14.    A History of Mathematics, Second Edition, 1991, Caro Boyer, John Wiley and Sons, New York
15.    The Genuine Works of Hippocrates, Hippocrates, Frances Kelly (translator), 1939, Williams and Wilkins Co, Baltimore
16.    The Rise of the New Physics, d’Abro, 1951, Dover, New York
17.    Foundations of Western Civilization II, 48 lectures, Professor Robert Bucholz
18.    Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 84 lectures, Professors Dalton, Kors, Kane, Staloff, Solomon, Adams, Shearmur, Higgins, Risjord, Kellner
19.    Understanding Genetics, 24 lectures, Professor David Sadava


Preface and Introduction

The entire fabric of human history is a consequence of how humans have changed their world view, perspectives and values over time.  Thus, it is the changes in thought that have define our history not the originators of those thoughts; and so, the events which have changed history have done so because of how our thinking led us to create those events.

Thoughts about life and our relationship to the world are the one truly distinguishing trait that humans share with each other, but do not share with other species.  The way a bird or an ant or a lizard functions has not changed over time. Birds 10,000 years ago operated in relation to their world just as the do today. Not so for humans. We change, and change dramatically, how we think and thus how we act and that has defined our history.

This paper presents a summary of sixty-four events that changed human history. In most cases, these events were the result of the efforts of a single individual demonstrating that, in fact, one person can change the world. The events are grouped into fourteen broad categories that are, by themselves, important milestones in the evolution of human thought.  

Chief among the thoughts that have changed history are those that have to do with our view of the world around us; our view of our place in the world; our view of the meaning of our lives; and, how we should work together as a society.

Changes in thought were not uniform. Human thought and belief differed between cultures and these differences resulted in cultural and political conflicts, some of which could only be resolved by violence.  

While the origins of the changes in thought will be mentioned, one must expect that if the originator of a world-view had not happened onto the ideas that they put forth, that someone else would have. So the emphasis is on the thoughts that changed history and not the specific individual who originated the thought.

The high-level themes of this course are organized into fourteen categories of human events:

  • The advent of writing
  • The formulation of moral philosophies
  • The emergence of literature as a tool to communicate across time and space
  • The impact of leisure and wealth on art, science  and history
  • How religion was transformed into an instrument of war
  • Wars as the manifestation of the Darwinian force of survival of the fittest
  • Disasters that depleted the human gene pool
  • The historical consequences of human arrogance
  • Unexpected Events that Produced Unexpected Consequences
  • The advent of printing and the transformative power of art
  • The collision of extreme ideologies
  • How scientific discovery determined the standard for Truth in the West
  • How capitalism impacted society and government
  • And how political assassinations produced unanticipated results that were contrary to the objective of the assassin.

Through Writing it became Possible to Transmit Ideas across Space and Time and Establish Models of the Structure of Civilizations  

The Epic of Gilgamesh (around 2100 BCE) Initiated a Human Dialog Through the Use of Writing to Explore the Great Questions of Life and Communicate Those Questions to all Who Followed

 What are the Great Questions of Life; the enduring questions that have been asked by every generation for over 4000 years? The first such question is examined in The Epic of Gilgamesh: is immortality possible? We still wrestle this question today; also The Epic of Gilgamesh established literature as a medium that could be used to communicate and conveyed ideas across cultures, generations, nations and time. In many cases the ideas communicated were shared experiences that give us a glimpse into the tragedies of others that we may not repeat the mistakes of others who came before us.

Hammurabi's Code Forever Changed How Humans Collectively Handled Conflicts and Disputes in Both Civil and Criminal Matters

Civilization originated in four river valleys starting around 3,500 BCE. The accumulation of large numbers of humans in a single location would lead to the outbreak of conflicts and disputes concerning land, food, property, agreements, accidents, injustices and so on. In order to have a civilized method of handling conflict, rules must be in place, respected and enforced. The first such set of rules of conduct that was inscribed in writing and "published" throughout a major metropolitan area was the code of the king of Babylon, Hammurabi around 1750 B.C. It is known as Hammurabi's Code of Law. The impact of the publication of Hammurabi's code was to change how all subsequent civilizations handled disputes.

 An important feature of the code was the principle of "an eye-for-an-eye". This brutal means of compensation and punishment is found in the Old Testament.  While the exact prescription of "an eye-for-an-eye" has passed with time, the inhumanity on which it was based still remains in some societies and cultures today. For example, the brutal mentality that supports the stoning of women for perceived adultery in the Middle East still endures today.

 Hammurabi's code established the divisions of civil and criminal law. About one-half of the Code deals with matters of contracts such as establishing the wages to be paid under various circumstances. Other provisions establish the liability of a contractor. A portion of the code addresses issues of family relationships. The law also states that the government is not "above the law".

 Depictions of Hammurabi can be found in the Unites States Supreme Court building and the House of Representatives.

The Emergence of the Moral Philosophy Defined How Civilizations Would Determine Correct Character and Conduct

 

Some of the Earliest Moral Questions addressed are: the existence of God or gods, fate, good and evil, the meaning of life, what is correct character and conduct, one's duty to their society, justice, love, beauty, courage, honor, ambition  and our relationship to nature. Early works used war as a metaphor for the struggle of life and the belief that life is constant conflict. This metaphor provides a fertile stage on which to raise the enduring questions of life. The varying answers to these questions have shaped the minds of human's ever since and have been the driving force behind human actions that were both good and evil.

The Emergence of Monotheism through Moses (1220 B.C.) Changed How Humans Thought About Correct Character and Conduct, and about their relationship to their External and Internal Worlds

The Iliad (~800 BCE) set forth a moral code based on polytheism for Greeks to follow

 

The actions of polytheistic gods with human qualities served as lessons on the question of correct character and conduct and the meaning of life

The Bhagavad-Gita (800-500 BCE) sets forth a vision of the good life as the pursuit of truth and presents a metaphor of life that allows each individual to make choices through the exercise of their free will.

 

Some lessons from the Bhagavad-Gita: Choices have consequences; that the spirit is pervasive in all things as is metaphorically presented by the plethora of gods; that we each have a duty in life to fulfill; that enlightenment requires achieving an understanding of life that transcends the material world.

Buddha (526 B.C.) and Confucius (553 – 479 B.C.) Set Forth Enduring, but contrasting, Ideals of What it Means to Live the Good Life

 

Socrates (470-399 BCE) through Plato asserts moral values that echo those of Homer and the Bhagavad-Gita raising the question of the relationship and influence of India on Greek Civilization and Values

Jesus (A.D. 36) Sets Forth an Alternative to Brutal Ancient Law

Solon, in Order to Resolve a Financial Crisis in Athens, Formulated the First Concept of Democracy (594 B.C.) as the Best Possible Solution to that Crisis

Hippocrates (430 B.C.) Establishes a Formal System of Medicine and Medical Ethics

Literature Became the Voice Through Which the Enduring Questions of Life would be Explored, Shared and Communicated to Other Civilizations and Across Time

Is Immortality Possible (Gilgamesh)

Do Humans Have Free Will?(The Brothers Karamazov)

What is Love?(The Symposium)

What is Duty?(The Iliad)

What is Reality? (Moby Dick, Don Quixote)


Leisure and Wealth Provides the Freedom to Imagine and Explore and has produced the most Significant Advances in Human Civilization

The Flowering of Greek Thought (600 BCE)

The Renaissance laid the groundwork to Overthrow the Catholic Church, Transform Art, Literature and Music into  Instruments of Dialog concerning the Great Questions of Life, and Freed Science from the Grip of Aristotle.

The Development of the Calculus Enabled Humans to Gain Control of Nature

Scientific Revolution as a product of Wealth and Leisure

The Industrial Revolution as a Product of Wealth and Leisure


 War becomes an Instrument of Religion

Constantine Established Eastern Roman Empire (A.D. 312)

Muhammad Rises in the East—The Hegira (A.D. 622)

South and Central America became Catholic through the instrument of war

Charlemagne Executes 5000 “Pagans”


War is the most primitive manifestation of the evolutionary mechanism of survival of the fittest

 The world we live in is still a Darwinian environment

Members of our species, as with all predators, seek to establish a social and cultural pecking order to determine who will have first choice in the acquisition and control of material wealth, food, land, and reproductive rights

Wars reshape the political, cultural and geographic landscape of humanity without necessarily improving the landscape


The Cultural, Intellectual and Political Gene Pool of the Human Race has been Drastically Depleted by War, Pestilence and Natural Disaster

Younger Dryas event resulted in mass extinctions of animal life, including humans perhaps leaving only 10,000 humans to repopulate the earth.

A Tiny Flea Eradicates 25 Million Souls in One Year

WWI killed over 16 million humans

WWII Killed over 80 million

The Communist Revolution killed over 100 million people


Outrageous Arrogance is the Downfall of Empires

Athens falls to Sparta

The End of the Western Roman Empire occurs in 476 CE


Unexpected Events had Unpredictable Outcomes

The Aegean Armageddon (900 BCE)

The City-State of Bologna Establishes the Concept of the University (1088) as the Formal Institution for Certification of Professional Skill

Except for the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the world discovered by Columbus would be Spanish and would Speak the Language of Spain.

A Little-known Girl of 9 Sets into Motion the Passion of a Man Who will Alter the Standards of Language and Literature for All who Follow (1320)

 


Art, Printing and New Translations of the Bible Broke the Hold of the Roman Catholic Church on Western Civilization

                            

The Rediscovery of the Central Vanishing Point in Art Initiates the Establishment of a Mathematical View of the Natural World

The Re-establishment of an accurate portrayal of the Human as a Central Subject of Art by Michelangelo (1508 ) Challenges the Catholic Church's Doctrine that the Human is not a fitting subject of Art

Erasmus publishes a Greek translation of the Bible (1516) that allowed Scholars to uncover the contradictions of the teaching of the church  

Luther’s View that the Bible should be interpreted by each individual for himself (1517) Seriously Undermined the Power of the Roman Catholic

The Emergence in the Scientific Method Established Nature as the Source of Truth


Sufficiently Conflicting Ideologies have been Settled by Wars

 

Caesar Destabilizes the Republic of Rome by crossing the Rubicon (49 B.C.) in violating of Senate Rule

The Defeat of Islam at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 assured that Europe would have a Judo-Christian Heritage

The Battle of Lexington in 1775 made it impossible for the colonies to ever return to the rule of England

The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 prevented the South from being recognized by England and France and doomed their hopes for secession and ultimately doomed slavery.  

Adam Smith (1776) and Karl Marx (1867) codified two opposing economic theories that could only be reconciled through War

The Communist Revolution in Russia (1917) and in China (1934) inspired by Karl Marx Resulted in the death of over 100 million Humans.

The Conflicting Views of Nationalism inspired the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Prussia and set into motion the dynamics that started World War I (1914)

Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany (1933)

September 11, 2001 was the result of the extreme conflict between the ideologies of the East and the West and is the starting point for the continuing conflict between the Judo-Christian world view and the Islamic World view


Scientific Discoveries Transformed Western Civilization into a Culture that Relies on Science as the Standard of Truth

 

The Debunking of the Catholic Disputatio by Bacon opened the gates through witch science consumed the west

The Calculus was the Cornerstone of the Scientific Revolution (Newton and Leibniz, 1676).

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (~1800) and Charles Darwin (1859) Change the Course of Biological Science by asserting that all life evolved from a single source

Louis Pasteur Changes Medical History (1885) by establishing the Germ theory of Disease

The Genetic Theory of Inheritance (1909)

The Cell Theory of Life

Wright Brothers Initiate the Study and Exploitation of Aeronautical Science (1903)

The Atomic Theory of Matter

The Atomic Bomb Is Dropped (1945)


The Unanticipated Consequences of Capitalism Changed the role of Government in the Economy

Monopolies catapulted America into being the greatest industrial power in the world

The Stock Market Crashed (1929)

The Food Industry became a Model for Government Intervention in Business

Franklin Roosevelt Becomes President (1933)

 


Political assassinations have produced unanticipated results that were contrary to the objective of the assassination

John F. Kennedy Is Assassinated (Friday November 22, 1963)

The death of Kenney destroyed the idealistic view that Americans had of their country

Dr. King is Assassinated (Thursday, April 4, 1968)

The Assassination of Dr. King eventually led to creation of the culture of the Lord of the Flies


References

The Birth of the Modern Mind, 24 lectures, Professor Alan Charles Kors

The World was Never the Same, 36 lectures, Professor Rufus Fears

Books that have Made History, 36 lectures, Professor Rufus Fears

Great Scientific Ideas that Changed the World, 36 lectures, Professor Steven Goldman

Foundations of Western Civilization I, 48 lectures, Professor Thomas Noble

A Brief History of the World, 36 lectures, Professor Peter Sterns

Life Lessons from the Great Books, 36 lectures, Professor Rufus Fears

Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations, 36 lectures, Professor Brian Fagan

People of the Earth, Brian Fagen, 12th Edition, 2007, Prentice Hall, New York

The Odyssey of Homer, 12 lectures, Professor Elizabeth Vandiver

The Iliad of Homer, 12 lectures, Professor Elizabeth Vandiver

Ancient Greek Civilization, 24 lectures, Professor Jeremy Mclnerney

Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition, 84 lectures, Professors Vandiver, Heffernan, Nobel, Herzman, Heinzelman

A History of Mathematics, Second Edition, 1991, Carl Boyer, John Wiley and Sons, New York

The Genuine Works of Hippocrates, Hippocrates, Frances Kelly (translator), 1939, Williams and Wilkins Co, Baltimore

The Rise of the New Physics, d’Abro, 1951, Dover, New York

Foundations of Western Civilization II, 48 lectures, Professor Robert Bucholz

Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 84 lectures, Professors Dalton, Kors, Kane, Staloff, Solomon, Adams, Shearmur, Higgins, Risjord, Kellner

Understanding Genetics, 24 lectures, Professor David Sadava