600 B.C. to 550 B.C. | 550 B.C. to 500 B.C.
600 B.C. to 550 B.C.
550 B.C. to 500 B.C.
500 B.C. to 450 B.C.
450 B.C. to 400 B.C.
400 B.C. to 350 B.C.
350 B.C. to 300 B.C.
300 B.C. to 250 B.C.
250 B.C. to 200 B.C.
200 B.C. to 150 B.C.
150 B.C. to 100 B.C.
100 B.C. to 550 B.C.
50 B.C. to 0 A.D.
0 A.D. to 50 A.D.
50 A.D. to 100 A.D.
100 A.D. to 150 A.D.
150 A.D. to 200 A.D.
200 A.D. to 250 A.D.
250 A.D. to 300 A.D.
300 A.D. to 350 A.D.
350 A.D. to 400 A.D.
400 A.D. to 450 A.D.
450 A.D. to 500 A.D.
500 A.D. to 550 A.D.
550 A.D. to 600 A.D.
600 A.D. to 650 A.D.
650 A.D. to 700 A.D.
700 A.D. to 750 A.D.
750 A.D. to 800 A.D.
800 A.D. to 850 A.D.
850 A.D. to 900 A.D.
900 A.D. to 950 A.D.
950 A.D. to 1000 A.D.
1000 A.D. to 1050 A.D.
1050 A.D. to 1100 A.D.
1100 A.D. to 1150 A.D.
1150 A.D. to 1200 A.D.
1200 A.D. to 1250 A.D.
1250 A.D. to 1300 A.D.
1300 A.D. to 1350 A.D.
1350 A.D. to 1400 A.D.
1400 A.D. to 1450 A.D.
1450 A.D. to 1500 A.D.
1500 A.D. to 1550 A.D.
1550 A.D. to 1600 A.D.
1600 A.D. to 1650 A.D.
1650 A.D. to 1700 A.D.
1700 A.D. to 1750 A.D.
1750 A.D. to 1800 A.D.
1800 A.D. to 1850 A.D.
1850 A.D. to 1900 A.D.
1900 A.D. to 1950 A.D.
1950 A.D. to 2000 A.D.
The climate of this period was mainly cold and dry. This is the cold-dry
phase of the 100-year cycle.
The centers of the cold-dry periods are conspicuous turning points in
history. For the purpose of these charts, the long-time cycles are defined
as beginning and ending at or near the centers of the cold-dry phases. The
last cold phase of the 500-year cycle is always a very important time in
history, so it is convenient to define the 500-year cycle as running from
the center of one cold-dry phase to the center of the fifth one following.
There is another reason which supports this procedure. Every fifth cold
phase is usually a more severe one, located in the center of a period of
time during which climate has deteriorated--has become increasingly drier
and colder. The termination of the 5000year cycle marks a turning point in
the favorableness of climate.
NOTE that in this chart, at 575 B.C., we have the simultaneous
termination of a 500-year cycle, a 100-year cycle and a 1,000-year cycle.
Civilizations radically change at the end of each 500-year cycle, but
more especially at the end of the 1,000-year cycle.
This period in history marks the end of an epoch in the Ancient World.
The powerful and, in a way, brilliant empires of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete,
and finally Assyria--all of them around the Mediterranean or between it and
the Persian Gulf--had run their course. All of them were now in a state of
decline and disruption. No strong, healthy states existed anywhere, as far
as we know. The world was in one of its H dark ages." There was much
wandering of peoples from one region to another. Among these wandering
peoples were the Medes and the Persians, who were Indo-Europeans or
Caucasians like ourselves. Nineveh, the old capital of the Assyrians, fell
to the Medes in 612 B.C. Between them, these wandering hordes broke up the
decadent Assyrian civilization. A Semitic people, the Chaldeans, also came
upon the scene and made Babylon their capital. For the moment, they were the
prominent people of the Western World, and Nebuchadnezzar was their king.
But Nebuchadnezzar's rule was an unhappy one. A rebellious mood prevailed
everywhere. As the pages of this history open, at 600 B.C., the western
provinces of his empire were in revolt, especially the little kingdom of
Judea. Jerusalem paid for its unwillingness to submit by being destroyed,
and many of its people were carried off to Babylon as slaves. This happened
in the second decade of the century.
Greece, fortunately, had not been subjected to the Chaldean yoke, but all
during the first half of the century, 600-550 B.C., she was having troubles
of her own. This was a period of struggle between the underprivileged
classes, especially the farmers and small merchants and the nobility.
Coinage had just been substituted for the barter system in the economy of
the Greek City States, but only the rich could secure the coins. The poor
people had none. At the same time, the Greek people were quarreling among
themselves over religious problems, and those who 'went on pilgrimages to
the temples were oppressed.
In Athens, during this time, a famous nobleman and poet, Solon, was
greatly affected by the misery of the people and attempted to institute
reforms. He wanted more democratic laws but, while he was successful in
effecting many reforms, they did not go far enough.
A few years later, in an effort to prevent dictators from assuming power
again as they had done previously, the Greeks adopted the method of
ostracism. An official who attempted to usurp too much power could be
banished by the people. This was a democratic move. Democratic principles
grew rapidly during this 50-year period. Sparta, one of the most important
of the Greek City States, became a champion and protector of democratic
principles and promoted reforms among the cities of the Greek peninsula.
However, Sparta's government was socialistic compared with Athens.
Simultaneously in Italy, the Romans and Etruscans--then hardly better
than competing tribes--were quarreling and a legendary Roman king, Servius
Tullius, was assassinated.
Egypt, under a new and democratic ruler, Amasis II (Ahmose), became noted
for its cosmopolitan spirit; foreign scholars and men of commerce were
invited to go there and live. But Egypt, too, was in internal turmoil. The
armies disagreed on a new leader and were having trouble with the Ethiopians
to the south of them. In fact, Egypt was virtually in a state of political
collapse. The king had little effective power.
Bands of Celts were roaming over Italy at will. Carthage, near the
present city of Tunis, was having serious difficulties with native tribes
from the south. The Phoenician city of Cadiz on the southern shore of Spain
was having similar trouble. The land and the sea were infested with pirates
because there were no strong governments to keep them down.
There is evidence that Polynesian races migrated eastward into the East
Indies from the Asiatic mainland at about this time, and that wild Mongoloid
tribes, the Ainu, moved into southern Japan from the north and northwest,
disrupting the higher Japanese civilization. The Greeks were spreading out
too, extending their colonies farther and farther afield. Waves of Teutons
came out of Scandinavia.
So, all over the known world, a certain pattern of conditions prevailed
from 600-550 B.C. Governments were weak and crumbling; people were
rebellious against their governments and quarreling among themselves; they
were divided into hostile religious factions; strife prevailed between the
rich and the poor--the ruling and the underprivileged classes. Restlessness
was everywhere. Hordes were on th. march, migrating from one region to
another; savages were raiding the centers of civilization, and pirates were
raiding the commerce of the seas. There were no strong governments anywhere;
there was a lack of unity and an absence of loyalty to states everywhere
during this period.
Keep this pattern in mind and what the climatic conditions were during
this period. It was mostly cold and dry; that is, the great majority of the
countries of the earth, especially in the Temperate Zones. were colder and
drier than normal. We are in the cold phase of a world-wide climatic cycle,
and in the dry part of that cold phase. The cycle of which this cold-dry
phase is a part averages 100 years in length.
There is one very important fact to remember about Greek history during
this time. It is not only a fact, but a lesson which mankind has never
adequately learned even after the passage of 2500 years of time. The Greek
City States became prosperous and went through the most brilliant period of
their history because there originated within their society a sufficiently
large and powerful middle class which built up a private enterprise system.
This event was part of an industrial revolution which was now under way and
came to a climax later.
Before 600 B.C., Greek colonists had spread up and down the Mediterranean
and around the Black Sea. From the Black Sea they made contact with the
grain areas along the lower Danube River, and with the iron mines along the
southeastern coast of the sea. On the southern coast they had found a
friendly people in the Egyptians and had established trading centers there.
To the westward they had founded cities in Sicily. Syracuse became one of
the most powerful and one of the richest cities of the Greek world.
All of this led to a great increase of business and manufacturing in the
home cities. A large market opened up for Greek wares. New kinds of ships
were invented that enabled the Greeks to obtain control of the seas. Rugs
were imported from the Orient; grain, fish, and amber from the north;
bronzes from Italy. Athens became a great manufacturing center for pottery
which was decorated very beautifully. Pottery was for Athens what the
textile and woolen mills were for the United States.
The date 600 B.C. was as important to Greek history as was the middle of
the nineteenth century to our own history. It centered upon a period of
rapid commercial growth. It is well to remember that both of these dates
occurred in the middle of long, cold periods. Recall how in the
mid-nineteenth century our clipper ships were sailing all over the world.
With the dawn of the 500'5 B.C. it was evident that the character of the
ancient World was radically changing. Time does not permit a detailed
account of how the Ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Assyrian empires
differed from the Greek and Roman civilizations. The older civilizations
were preoccupied with religion, and everything was explained supernaturally.
When religion did not preoccupy them military conquests did. The new
1000-year period was to be based on rational thought and naturalistic
explanations. crude though they were. This meant that it would also be based
on new inventions, new types economy. new ways of living, new forms of
architecture and a new outlook on life.
The old ways of thinking, the old religions. the old techniques of
living, and the old political and economic patterns were now outmoded. In
other words. the Greek and Roman civilizations came into being as a result
of great revolutions and of a tremendous increase in the capacity of mankind
Another natural breaking point in history occurred 500 years later when t
here took place another very profound revolution--the birth of the Christian
Church. Five hundred years after that in fifth century, came another one of
the major breaks or turning points in history that happens only once in a
thousand years, namely, the fall of Rome and of all the other ancient
civilizations as well. This century marked the end of ancient times and the
beginning of Medieval history. The next turning point occurred in the tenth
century with the emergence of Feudalism. The next took place in the 15th
century at the end of another 1000 year period, when Medieval history ended
and the Modern world began. Institutions and ways of thinking once more
changed very drastically. Once more an old world died and a new one was
At the present moment we stand face to face with one of the 500-year land
marks of history, for a 500-year cycle is drawing to a close. Whether we
like it or not. or realize it or not, a great social and moral revolution is
under way, perhaps not quite but almost as profound as the revolution that
ushered in the Greek world in the sixth century B.C.
Suppose we look at a few of the striking parallels. (1) Just before the
long cold period had begun. in the latter part of the seventh century B.C.,
the dominating people of the Near East were the Assyrians. They had passed
through the second brilliant period of their history. While their last
ruler. Ashurbanipal (668-626 B.C.). was a scholar and had collected a great
library. the Assyrians' Empire was in the last stages of decline. During a
nation-falling type of war in 612 B.C., the capital of the empire, Nineveh,
fell to the Medes and the Chaldeans. The peoples of the entire 1 and
rejoiced when they heard the glad tidings, for the Assyrians had been the
"Nazis" of their day.
(2) But the Chaldeans correspond to the Russians. They set up their
capital in Babylonian and as overlords were hardly an improvement over the
-Nazi" Assyrians. Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned from 6044561 B.C., carried off
many Hebrews from Palestine to Jerusalem as captives, just as the Russians
are doing now with the Czecholsovakians and other peoples of Central Europe.
(3) The flare -up of the Chaldeans, although dramatic, was brief. They in
turn gave way to the Persians, who were democratic and benevolent in their
treatment of the native tribes. We can expect the present Russian control of
her many satellite states to be brief. Before long, democracy will win out
in the entire area of Central Europe.
(4) There was a great effort on the part of the underprivileged classes
of the 500's B.C. to free themselves and to secure an opportunity to
participate in government. The farmer constituted one of the underprivileged
groups, but historically of greater importance was the new business class.
or middle class, who were now beneficiaries of the budding industrial
revolution. These men had became prosperous in business and trade and were
now demanding a share in the government of the land, JUST AS LABOR TODAY IS
DEMANDING A GREATER SHARE IN THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD. AND IN THE
MANAGEMENT OF BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY.
Information from Weather Science Foundation.