Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/342

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in rows one behind the other. The first man spears the lion, and when the wounded beast leaps at him, drops flat under the protection of his big shield, leaving the next man to repeat his stroke, and so on, until the lion is speared to death. This method of hunting is practised by the Masai to-day, and could only have been worked out by a people in a land where lions were abundant. But abundant lions imply abundant game, and that again means abundant vegetation. About 2000 B.C. the hardening of the climate in the central parts of the Old World, to which we have already referred, which put an end to elephants and lions in Asia Minor and Greece,[1] was turning the faces of the nomadic Aryan peoples southward towards the fields and forests of the more settled and civilized nations.

These Aryan peoples come down from the East Caspian regions into history about the time that Mycenæ and Troy and Cnossos are falling to the Greeks. It is difficult to disentangle the different tribes and races that appear under a multitude of names in the records and inscriptions that record their first appearance, but, fortunately, these distinctions are not needed in an elementary outline such as this present history. A people called the Cimmerians appear in the districts of Lake Urumiya and Van, and shortly after Aryans have spread from Armenia to Elam. In the ninth century B.C. a people called the Medes, very closely related to the Persians to the east of them, appear in the Assyrian inscriptions. Tiglath Pileser III and Sargon II, names already familiar in this story, profess to have made them pay tribute. They are spoken of in the inscriptions as the "dangerous Medes." They are as yet a tribal people, not united under one king.

About the ninth century B.C. Elam and the Elamites, whose capital was Susa, a people which possessed a tradition and civiliza-

  1. It is, at least, doubtful whether any change of climate expelled either lion or elephant from southeast Europe and Asia Minor; the cause of their gradual disappearance was—I think—nothing but Man, increasingly well armed for the chase. Lions lingered in the Balkan peninsula till about the fourth century B.C., if not later. Elephants had perhaps disappeared from western Asia by the eighth century B.C. The lion (much bigger than the existing form) stayed on in southern Germany till the Neolithic period. The panther inhabited Greece, southern Italy, and southern Spain likewise till the beginning of the historical period (say 1000 B.C.). — H. H. J.