Hum Hist handout 10

Hum Hist handout 10 - Human History Week 6, lecture 2 The...

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Human History Week 6, lecture 2 The ancient empires 2/9/10 A golden age? Huge increase in complexity of human organizations by 100 CE Partly driven by incorporation into empires and ensuing peace; partly warmer, wetter weather (the “Roman Warm Period” of 200 BCE-250 CE Warmer and moister in 100 CE than now More people were living longer, with more stuff, than ever before Around 14,000 BCE, typical hunter-gatherers captured about 4,000-5,000 kilocalories of energy per person per day By 1 century CE, in Roman Empire more like 31,0000 kcal/cap/day; in Han China, perhaps 27,000 (cf. today, 104,000 in Japan, 230,000 in USA) In 1776 the first great modern historian of antiquity, Edward Gibbon, wrote that “If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condit of the hum race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian [96 CE] to the accession of Commodus [180 CE]” Sense of aristocratic confidence in 2nd century CE: “When the emperor makes his imp
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Hum Hist handout 10 - Human History Week 6, lecture 2 The...

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