This first chapter provided a survey of the rise of Western European Civilization. The cultural heritage and identity of the modern world was described and explained as background for the present study. The contributions and achievements of the predecessors of modern civilization were also explained. Another purpose of this chapter was to point out all that came before the present has largely determined it. We are what we are because of our past. As a result, the contributions of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Sumer, and the other cultures of the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley were described. Civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean lands such as the Hebrews, Syrian, Phoenicians, and others whose accomplishments impacted history were given due credit. The achievements of the Greeks and Romans followed in the narrative including the impact of early Christianity.
Next, the era of the Medieval or Middle Ages was examined for its influence on the modern world followed by the significance of the Renaissance and Reformation attainments. At this point, one is ready to continue with the study of Modern European Civilization. As for the magnificent accomplishments of past societies and cultures of the Western tradition, the least one can do is remember them.
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