The Origins of Civilization Author:William H. McNeill & Jean W. Sedlar from the Preface: — This collection of readings concerns the origins of civilization in the ancient Orient. We begin with sample legends of creation that answered the naive and universal human question: How did the world begin? These stories stand as a sort of introduction to the entire survey of world history as well as to this particular book... more »: a reminder of the cosmic questions to which the study of world history must direct itself, implicitly if not explicitly.
The main portion of the volume is organized around two themes: the nature of kingship and the relationship between men and gods. One group of readings presents Mesopotamian views on these two questions; the second does the same for ancient Egypt.« less