December 8, 2021
Ancient Age or Antiquity, in the periodization of the historical periods of mankind, is the period that extends from the invention of writing (from 4000 BC to 3500 BC) until the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD). Although the criterion of the invention of writing as a marker between the end of prehistory and the beginning of history itself is the most common, scholars who place more emphasis on the importance of the material culture of societies have sought to rethink this division more recently. There is also no real consensus among historians about when the real end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages took place, as they consider that social and economic processes cannot be dated with the same precision as political facts. account that this periodization is related to the History of Europe and also of the Near East as a precursor of civilizations that developed in the Mediterranean, culminating in Rome. This view was consolidated with the positivist historiography that emerged in the 19th century, which made the writing of history a science and an academic discipline. If we rethink the criteria that define what Antiquity is in the rest of the world, it is possible to think of other criteria and guiding dates. In the case of Europe and the Near East, several peoples developed in the Ancient Age. The Sumerians in Mesopotamia were the civilization that gave rise to writing and urbanization, more or less at the same time as the Egyptian civilization. After that, in the 1st millennium BC, the Persians were the first to constitute a great empire, which was later conquered by Alexander the Great. The classical civilizations of Greece and Rome are considered to be the greatest shapers of current Western civilization. Also noteworthy are the Hebrews (first monotheistic civilization), the Phoenicians (lords of the sea and commerce and inventors of the alphabet), as well as the Celts, Etruscans and others. The study of history itself began in this period, with Herodotus and Thucydides, Greeks who began to question the myth, legend and fiction of historical fact, narrating the Medical Wars and the Peloponnesian War respectively. In America, the pre-Columbian era can be considered as Ancient Age, where the advanced civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas arose. However, some scholars consider that in other regions, such as what constitutes most of the territory of Brazil today, a good part of the Amerindian peoples had not yet constituted a similar level of social complexity and the classification of Prehistory for these societies would be more correct . In China, the Ancient Age ends around 200 BC, with the rise of the Chin dynasty, while in Japan it is only from the end of the Heian period, in 1185 AD, that we can speak of the beginning of the Japanese "Middle Ages". Some religions that still exist in the modern world originated at this time, including Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism and Judaism.