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History of the World from the Earliest Historical Time to the Year 1898


A history of the world may well be prefaced by some account of the various races by whom the world is peopled. The three fundamental human types or families of mankind are the Caucasian, the Mongolian, and the Ethiopian. The Caucasians are now mainly represented in Europe and America; the Mongolians in Asia and the aborigines of Australasia; the Ethiopians in Africa and parts of Oceania. All existing members of the human race can be grouped around these types, or somewhere between them. The latest scientific investigation and classification have arranged mankind in these three families instead of in the former five, which were the Ethiopian (Negro), the Mongolian (Tartar), the Caucasian, the American (aboriginal), and the Malay or Malayo-Polynesian. The most modern classification is based upon comparison of various particulars or characteristic points, of which the chief are the colour and character of the skin, the hair, the features, the temperament, and the religion.

The Caucasians are marked by whitish, skin, long, silky hair, and mainly oval and regular features; by an imaginative, enterprising, and active disposition, with a high degree of development in science, art, and literature; and by monotheistic religions, provided with creeds founded on revelations, and having a priesthood of a mediatorial character, or else by the form of religion called Brahmanism.

The Mongolians have a skin rough in texture and yellowish in hue; hair dull black in colour, coarse and lank; large cheek-bones, narrow, almond-shaped, rather oblique eyes, small nose, and features broad and flat; and a sluggish, passive temperament, marked by much endurance, and mind fairly proficient in art and letters, but poor in science. Their religion is either polytheistic, or one involving spirit-worship (animism), and with a belief in visions and dreams, or else is Buddhistic.

The Ethiopic races are blackish or quite black in colour, with a cool, velvety skin, having a distinct odour; they have jet-black, short, woolly or frizzly hair; high cheek-bones, broad, flat nose, and thick lips. Their temperament is sensuous, cheerful, unintellectual, and fitful in its changes from gaiety to ferocity. They have no science, art, or literature worthy of the name. Their religion is non-theistic, but consists of nature-worship, with witchcraft and fetichism strongly marked.

The Ethiopic races are found, firstly, in Africa, southwards from the Sahara; the northern or Soudanese branch, down to about 5° north latitude, being negroes in the full sense, while the southern or Bantu family is composed of more or less mixed negro and negroid peoples. The Soudanese show, to a large extent, physical unity and linguistic diversity; the Bantus are remarkable for linguistic unity and physical diversity. To the Soudanese group belong the Mandingans, Haussas, Yorubas, Fantis, Bagirmis, Masais, and many more; the Bantus include the Zulu-Kaffirs, the Swahilis of the eastern coast, the Basutos, the Bechuanas, Barotses, Mashonas, and many more tribes of the Congo basin, the western coast, and South Africa. Secondly, an Oceanic division of the Ethiopics includes four branches: the Tasmanians, now extinct; the Australian aborigines, least like the other negro or negroid peoples, and now nearly extinct; the Papuans of New Guinea and the Eastern Archipelago; and the closely allied Melanesians of the New Hebrides, the Solomon Isles, Fiji, and New Caledonia. Both regions of the Ethiopic race contain dwarfish groups, Negritos or Negrillos (little negroes), such as the Akkas, Batwas, and Bushmen, in Africa, and the Simangs of Malacca and the Mincopies of the Andaman Isles.

The Mongolians include, firstly, the Mongolo-Tartars of Central and Northern Asia, parts of Russia, the Balkan Peninsula, and Asia Minor; secondly, the people of China proper, Japan, Indo-China, and Tibet; thirdly, the bulk of the inhabitants of Finland, Lapland Esthonia (a Baltic province of Russia), the Ural Mountains, the middle course of the Volga, Northern Siberia, and Hungary; fourthly, the Malayo-Polynesians of the Malay Peninsula, the Sunda groups, the Philippines, Formosa, Madagascar, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, and many scattered groups of islands in Eastern Polynesia; fifthly, the American Indians and the Eskimo.

The Caucasians are the inhabitants, in the main, of Southern and Western Asia, Europe, and North Africa, and of the whole New World and Australasia. This great, by far the greatest, historical race of mankind, as comprising the most highly civilised peoples, whose progress and achievements are the subjects of history in the highest sense, has three main branches. These are the Aryan or Indo-European; the Semitic; and the Hamitic. The Aryans comprise Hindus, Persians, Afghans, Beluchis, Armenians, Greeks (ancient and modern), Latin races (ancient), Teutons or Germans, Celts, Lithuanians, and Slavonians. The Semitic peoples are represented historically by the Hebrews, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Arabs, and occupy in the modern world Mesopotamia, Syria, Arabia, much of North Africa, and Abyssinia. The Karaites or Hamitic branch of the Caucasians include many dwellers in North and East Africa, as the Berbers of Mauritania, the Tuaregs of the Western Sahara, the Copts and Fellahin of Egypt, and mixed peoples of Galla-land and Somali-land. In ancient history, the descendants of Ham were nobly represented, as we shall see, by the Egyptians, the only great Hamitic nation. Among the Caucasians we must not forget those properly so called, as dwelling in or near the mountain-region whence the name is derived, containing some of the finest physical specimens of the human race—the Georgians, Circassians, Ossetians, Abkhasians or Abasians, Mingrelians, and others.

The first great fact of history, one to which no date can be assigned, is that known as " the Aryan migration." This event takes us back to a period long prior to all historical monuments save the convincing evidence imbedded, like fossils, in the strata of languages living and dead. The comparative philology of modern days, one of the grandest achievements of ingenuity and science, has proved that, in ages far beyond the earliest records deliberately made by mankind, a primitive race, our own forefathers, dwelt in some region of Central Asia, east of the Caspian Sea, and north of the Hindu Kush and of the ridge connecting that range with the Elburz Mountains. This race, before its members were parted by migration, had made a marked advance from the purely barbarous or savage state. They led a peaceful life, devoted mainly to pastoral and agricultural work. The family life, basis of all society and law, was firmly settled, with due reverence for its ties and duties, and with a recognition, by special names, of the degrees of relationship created by marriage. From the solitary family life in detached dwellings they had proceeded to the gathering of homesteads into villages and towns. The family had grown into the tribe, and the father, the family-head, had been developed into a primitive king. Progress in the arts of life was shown by the grinding of grain into meal, and the making of meal into bread; by the weaving of cloth and its sewing into garments; by the use of the metals gold and silver, and of a third metal which was probably iron; by wielding tools of hewn and polished stone; by building boats for use on rivers and lakes, the sea or ocean being yet to them unknown; and not least, by the naming of numbers as far as a hundred. Tall of stature, powerful in frame, white-skinned, fair-haired, and probably blue-eyed, this primitive race had minds open to all impressions, observant of nature's phenomena, and souls whose religion consisted in the worship of the beneficent Powers of Nature—the sky, light, fire, the sun, the earth, the waters, and the winds—and in an abhorrence, without any attempt at propitiation, of the harmful Powers, such as Darkness and Drought. Praise, thanksgiving, and prayers for help were the ritual of these simple and manly beings, along with sacrificial offerings to which their bright deities were bidden as guests and of which they partook as friends share in a feast at the house of a friend. The word Arya, in Sanskrit, a language derived from the original Aryan tongue, means "noble," "exalted," "venerable," and as the Caucasian presents us with the highest type among the three families of man, so the Aryan branch displays the noblest pattern of that highest type. This king of races claims of right the foremost place on history's page, as that which is most worthy of renown for energy, enterprise, and skill, and has reached the highest point of intellectual development, as manifested in science, literature, and art, and in the priceless possession of political freedom. A grand event came in the history of mankind when this Aryan race, obeying a law of movement found acting in all ages of the world, began to move from their ancestral abode, and started on their mission to fill, to conquer, and to civilise the Western world. In successive swarms they passed into Europe, and in their new region became ancestors of the Celts, the Italians, the Greeks, the Teutonic peoples, and the Slavonic tribes; at a later time the remnant of the primitive Aryans poured southwards, over the Himalayas and,the Hindu Kush Mountains, into the Punjab, to become the dominant race in the Ganges valley, while others became settlers in Persia, on the plateau whose modern name is Iran or Eran, a word akin to Arya.

Turning now to the earliest history based on records written, or engraved or stamped or painted on stone or brick, we find ancient history, ethnographically, lying in two divisions. The first comprises the Eastern peoples known as Egyptians (Hamitic): Babylonians, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Hebrews or Jews, Phrenicians, and Lydians, all Semitic; Hindus perhaps the Phrygians, and the Bactrians, Medes, and Persians, all Aryan; and the Parthians, Chinese, and Japanese, who are non-Caucasian. In this order, taking the Phrygians with the Lydians, and reserving the Hindus, Chinese, and Japanese for separate later treatment, we deal with the great Oriental empires. The second division, that of the Western peoples, includes the Celts, Greeks, Romans (Italians), and Teutons, all, as we have seen, of Aryan race.

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