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Civilization: Definitions and Meaning

Civilization is a name used in different ways, including when referring to individuals who eat similar foods, live together, and speak a similar language. Many historians refer to Civilization as a group of people or animals that stay specifically mutually and engage in similar activities. According to Wiesner et al., historians established Civilization in 3000 BCE. Wiesner et al. view Civilization as a group of individuals with similar habits and dietary to survive. This essay focuses on civilization definitions and how historians of ancient eras could benefit from defining Civilization today. Historians could discover how and why civilizations recognized themselves and their connections with other cultures in antique times. Civilization denotes the state of people living and parallel together to comprehend the objectives and involvements of staying together in the present age.

Civilization meaning has changed severally in history, and today it is applied in different ways. Different authors and researchers have come up with different civilization meanings. However, Civilization’s meaning differs depending on the context ranging from historical to English context. Etymologically, Civilization relates to civitas or city, a Latin word that indicates why Civilization refers to city state-level communities, ignoring the nomadic individuals without permanent settlements and those who stay in rural settlements that lack state-level institutions (Wiesner et al. 1). It is famously applied to describe human communities with high technological and cultural development levels than many people regard as less advanced communities. However, this definition lacks clarity and subject and makes unacceptable assumptions in modern scholarship concerning how people and societies have evolved in their past.

People can use Civilization to label human communities that have not attained a particular complexity degree. More often, Civilization can imply similar activities like culture or regional beliefs involving one or more regions. Different forms of Civilization may involve different regions or cities, such as Mesoamerican Civilization, which includes the Aztec, Zapotec, Maya, Olmec, etc. Civilization is a conditional circumstance whereby people live and function together, jointly, and caringly to experience and produce the advantages of functioning and living understandingly and mutually.

Civilization also originates from ‘city,’ a Roman word that implies a community that includes cities and cities composed of people acting and living together, accommodating each other, and sharing equally. For instance, some of the machines and irrigation methods used in the past are still in use today, a clear indication of the continuous Civilization through sharing the past and current ideas (Wiesner et al. 6). Therefore, Civilization entails collaboration that opposes individualism’s ‘rugged independence’ with its modest existence of the rightest. Civilization includes mutual survival through joint accomplishment. Without Civilization, there will be no enhanced life quality: material abundance, security, culture, the arts, individual fulfillment, and happiness possibility. The forthcoming of manhood is Civilization since it facilitates sharing, communication, communism, and socialism.

Historians of Ancient Times Could Benefit from How We Define Civilization Today

Historians of ancient times could benefit from how we define Civilization today. In ancient times, several communities across the world had already established their cities, cultural interactions, political, military, and economic systems. Thus, historians could determine how and why such societies established themselves and their interactions with other societies (Wiesner et al. 3). Civilization refers to individuals living and coexisting together to realize the goals and experiences of living together in the current era. It could be benefit historians in their objective of examining how ancient societies were able to live and function together and the reasons that enabled them to coexist well, for example, the Roman empire, which existed for more than one thousand years.

In ancient times, several empires and cities developed in the due process of Civilization. Empires like the Roman Empire, the Mongol Empire, Athens, Roma, Ur, and Mari. The examination of the development of these cities and empires could be important to historians because they could try to study the reasons behind their success and the effectiveness of their leaders in enhancing their success. For instance, the Roman Empire collapsed due to corrupt and incompetent leaders, a mercenary army, and bankruptcy (Wiesner et al. 3). Hence, historians could be interested to know the chronological factors that led to the collapse of this empire. In addition, historians could be eager to know to what extent these factors led to the decline of the Roman Empire.

On top of that, ancient historians could benefit from the modern definition of Civilization. They could be interested in knowing the impacts of an ancient civilization on modern Civilization. For instance, they could try to identify whether the structure of ancient cities like Athens impacts the development of modern cities globally (Eaton 39). Factors such as; its strategic position, the dominance of key trade routes, and strong leadership enabled it to conquer rivals like Persia played an integral role in the growth of Roma (Eaton 40). Hence, ancient historians could try to investigate whether such factors still influence the development of cities in the contemporary world.

The success of the ancient cities and empires relied on the organization of their leaders. For instance, most of the ancient leaders catered for the needs of farmers, whereby they ensured enough water was available from the River Nile to aid in irrigation. In addition, the Roman empire had several empires that enhanced the success of the empire. Marcus Aurelius, Antoninus Pius, Hadrian, Trajan, Vespasian, Claudius, and Augustus. For instance, Emperor Augustus ruled from 27BC to 14AD, is regarded as the Roman Empire’s most successful leader. In his leadership, Augustus brought back peace and success and changed every aspect of Roman life. Hence, historians could compare the leadership styles of each emperor and deduce the most effective leader among them. In addition, they could compare with the success of other leaders from neighboring empires and conclude whether there were similarities and differences in their ruling styles.

Precisely, Civilization is a term used in diverse ways together with when denoting persons who take similar foods, animate composed, speak the comparable language, amongst others. Civilization can define human groups with high scientific and educational growth associated with people’s esteem as less innovative groups. Individuals may use Civilization to label human societies that have not achieved specific degrees by enhancing collaboration against individualism. On top of that, ancient times historians could benefit from the current civilization definition since different communities in the globe created their interactions, military, cultural, political, and economic norms in the past. Historians have a high chance of discovering why and how societies established themselves and associated in the past. Therefore, the past and present civilization definitions differ much since in the current era; Civilization entails accommodating and living together to achieve common goals.

Works cited

Eaton, D. (2019). World History Through Case Studies: Historical Skills in Practice. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Wiesner, Merry E., et al. (2012)” Discovering the Global Past: A Look at the Evidence.” Volume 1: To 1650.

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1. StudyKraken. "Civilization: Definitions and Meaning." January 17, 2023.


StudyKraken. "Civilization: Definitions and Meaning." January 17, 2023.


StudyKraken. 2023. "Civilization: Definitions and Meaning." January 17, 2023.


StudyKraken. (2023) 'Civilization: Definitions and Meaning'. 17 January.

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