Mini Review – Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant (Part 1)

Photo credit: @eruchdah

Why should you know history? It tells you how we got where we are today. Why we believe what we believe, why we do what we do. By learning about the past you can also avoid repeating itโ€™s mistakes โ€”- and itโ€™s f***ing fascinating!

This book is ambitious in scope, the series (11 volumes) even more so; trying to summarize the history of civilization itself. This first book alone is 1184 pages. One of many reason to make break this book down to several micro reviews!

My focus for this year will be Ancient Greece, but first I want to read up on the history leading up to it.

The first part of the book talks about the economical, political, mental and moral elements needed for the establishment of civilization.


๐Ÿ“ โ€œI do not have to think. I have plenty of meatโ€. Not planning for more than today in primitive life had its advantages. When planning for the future you pave the way for property and greed.

๐Ÿ“ Communism appears most commonly in the beginning of civilization. In times of dearth. Fear of starvation fuses the individual into the group. The dream Communism lurks in every modern society as a memory of a simpler and more equal life. โ€œWe remember its equality but forget the poverty!โ€

๐Ÿ“ About taxes: โ€œIt was better to pay bribe to one magnificent robber than to bribe them all.โ€

๐Ÿ“ Women not bearing children are shamed by men in societies that rely on high birth rates to compensate for high death rates.

๐Ÿ“ In primitive society delay between desire and fulfillment is not very long and therefore there is not need to idealize passion.

๐Ÿ“ โ€œWhere food is dear, life is cheap.โ€

๐Ÿ“ In simple days, men married for cheap labour and regular meals.

๐Ÿ“ Is it good to be a virgin or not upon marriage? What is shameful is totally dictated by culture.

๐Ÿ“ โ€œCivilization is not imperishable. It must be required anew by each generation.โ€

๐Ÿ“ โ€œMagic becomes science.โ€ Magicians needed to give the supernatural a push by using natural means. Stuff that works for real.. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ

Photo credit: @cinefile_25


Iโ€™m excited to be a student of history again. The world I see everyday makes more and more sense after each chapter I read. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“

5/5