“Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. This iconic quote speaks a lot of truth, especially when it comes to awareness of human nature in general, both in an individual and a collective sense.
Learning from history isn’t about just memorizing dates, numbers, figures, and events. It’s about a lot more than that.
Studying ancient civilizations helps you understand aspects of human nature, which you previously would not have recognized, except by contrasting them to current conditions.
Long story short, you’re basically comparing the rising and falling trends of the past, to those of today. And in our opinion, the greater your sample size of ancient civilizations, the better!
Learning from history requires use of your imagination. You must learn to place yourself in the shoes of those individuals that you are reading about in history books.
Whether they be legendary kings, or even simple soldiers, you will not understand much about historical events without trying to place yourself in the shoes of a person who lived in those long ago times.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Trying to imagine yourself in an ancient civilization, requires you to understand the environment socially, economically, and aesthetically.
After all, when reading up on the Aztecs, images of suburban New York aren’t going to conjure up in your brain, are they?
That was the aesthetic part though. Socially, when trying to “travel back in time”, you also find yourself needing to understand the prevailing cultural norms that existed back then. This includes laws, religions, related festivals and ceremonies, and social dynamics between individuals.
Social dynamics play a great role in the methods taken up by people to adapt to their environments. For example, the democratic environment present in ancient Greece, is not similar at all to the ruling methods present in ancient Egypt.
You learned that history will always repeat itself, and it will do so in many shapes and colors, yet with similar themes.
Time travelling to the distant past, and moving along the axis of time, allows you to see certain patterns that emerge, which are a common aspect of the entire of human existence.
Here, we talk in general about the lifecycles of thoughts, beliefs, and nations. We talk primarily about the reasons for their rise and collapse.
What you will learn primarily from history, especially when you put yourself in the shoes of ancient civilizations, is that no society, man, or belief, lasts forever.
When you understand that everything that is born into existence is bound to perish, you start to gain a deeper appreciation for all lost items in history.
Understanding the patterns of history allows you to create better and constructive solutions, to help solve the issues that face humanity today. As we face the rise of intolerant social and religious forces, we must look at history to try and avoid these rising perils.
Learning and appreciating ancient history and ancient civilizations, allow you to combat the extremism present in our times.