The Horse and the Sword

The Horse and the Sword

The Horse and the Sword

The Horse and the Sword

Excerpt

It may not be out of place to point out here that the purpose of these volumes, 'The Corridors of Time', is less to provide a popular account of prehistoric times to those wholly new to the subject, than to help the serious student, who is not a specialist, to obtain a general view of the sequence of events in these far off times, and we have ventured to hope that even the specialist might by their help be enabled to see his own particular field of work in more correct perspective.

The old division of prehistoric times into the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages, though it has been of inestimable value during the last century in bringing a measure of order out of chaos, is now revealing signs of failure to meet the needs of to-day. This volume endeavours to show that the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age in Europe was a period of crisis, of far greater importance than the transition from the use of bronze to that of iron. Henceforth men on horseback, armed with swords, were to organize and govern the peasant communities of Europe and Asia; under their rule, civilization in Central Europe was to rise to a higher level, while the lands around the Western Baltic were to develop a fine display of craftsmanship.

The brilliant promise of these early civilizations in our continent was cut off by the advent of a cold and wet period; and the climatic change led, at the same time, to enlargement of the opportunities of the Mediterranean lands, better secured under these conditions from the effects of prolonged drought.

It was the arrival on the scene of the horse and the sword, it would appear, rather than the introduction of weapons of iron, that caused these great developments in the social structure of Europe: the severe crisis that followed some centuries later was in a great measure due to climatic change.

At this period legendary history begins to supplement the . . .

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