Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/788

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


relegate a tribe to barbarism which has the characteristics of bar- barism predominant ; but in so doing we make clan organization by kinship in the female line the deciding mark of savagery, and gentile organization by kinship in the male line the deciding mark of barbarism.


The cradle of civilization was rocked by the waves of the Mediterranean. Of the origin of one of the monarchies here established we have much history. In the Greek and Latin languages there is found a literature in which is recorded the development of the Hellenic and Latin tribes into a monarchy far beyond the shores of the Mediterranean, through Europe on the north and large portions of Asia and Africa on the south. Of the nature of the monarchies absorbed by Rome and of the nature of the tribes absorbed in northern Europe, we have com- paratively little data, but of the Hellenic and Latin tribes we have much history. By adding to this history the comparatively little-known history of the tribes that were amalgamated in the monarchies on the south, and the still less-known history of the tribes on the north that came under the dominion of Rome, and by interpreting this tribal history from the standpoint which modern civilization has gained by the study of savage and bar- baric peoples, we are able to reconstruct an outline of the history of the origin of the Roman empire.

As the Roman empire was founded on the inchoate monarchies into which the Hellenic and Latin tribes were developed, the literature of this transmutation is recorded in these languages. The modern European nations are in some sense the offspring of the Roman empire, and a family of these nations was developed.

After the fall of the Roman empire a period of centuries elapsed which are often called the Dark Ages. History which we may not stop to recount led to what is usually denominated the Revival of Learning. Then the younger nations sought in the

�� �