The Humble Beginning of World Civilization
The world today is civilized with its people attaining the highest level of social development and organization that would have been made at this age. However, the journey to civilization as evidenced by world’s history was tough and mapped with various drawbacks. Looking at life at The Great City of Kinsay and the history of the Jews, it is clear that world civilization started from a humble and disagreement-filled beginning. Disagreements between people, malicious intentions, strict cultures, inhibition of free will, and stiff punishments for law offenders were the reason civilization began. Therefore, world civilization began at a point of retrogressive cultures, people’s self-interests, and strict laws that hindered people’s freedom.
In the ancient days, people were under strict rules. They were regulated in action right from how they behaved to the jobs they performed in their everyday activities. As a result, they did not have the freedom to choose what to do and what not to do. In The Glories of Kinsay by Marco Polo, it is clear that the city had twelve guilds that were of different crafts with each of them containing more than 12, 000 houses. Members of these houses were all workmen, and they worked under their masters. It is, therefore, clear that the whole city was made up of people that worked under the direction of their masters. They did not have the freedom to make the choices they wanted their operations.
Additionally, after a plague that occurred in Europe in 1348, a considerable number of Jews that lived along the shores of Lake Geneva were arrested. The arrests were made under the instructions of Amadeus VI and who was the Count of Savoy at the place. When they were arrested, the Jews were tortured as it was anticipated that they were responsible for the plague. Amadeus VI’s action indicates that people in the ancient times were devoid of freedom, and the power of a ruler was highly respected.
Before the world realized the civilization it enjoys today, the people in it were driven by self-interests. They were motivated by money to do their actions and constantly negated what they believed. In the city of Kinsay, the people there were idolaters yet they lived in a Christian setting that condemns such kind of behavior. From their daily activities that included working for their masters and trading items such as silk, they earned considerable amounts of money. Their being industrious is admirable because it made them interact with people of other regions outside the city to ensure the supply of silk was consistent. Additionally, it was mentionable in both genders, and they carried on their lives amidst it. Further, to add to their bad behaviors, they could eat meat from every unclean beast including the dogs. Both of these activities were a way to keep their wealth growing and to abide by the rules of the idols that they worshiped.
Further, the Jews that are described in The Jewish History are malicious; they rate their self-interest ahead of everything else as indicated by the confessions of Agimet. Though he was under a tight situation where he was being tortured to expose any detail that he knew, Agimet confessed that he was used by Pultus Clesis da Ranz to poison the water used by the people of Venice . He had been paid to carry poison with him and to pour it in all the wells that people of Venice drew their water from. Consequently, he agreed and in a short while after his trade affairs his visit, an epidemic that killed many people was reported. From Agimet’s action, it is clear that the people were money-oriented at the expense of human values, dignity, and morality.
Undoubtedly, people of the ancient time were under strict rules from the authorities. They were not involved in making laws and any time they did anything wrong they were severely punished. In the city of Kinsay, there were people that had been employed for purposes of overseeing peace both during the day and even at night . When the guards of patrol identified a person who had their lights on during unlawful hours, they would mark the house. The occupant would have to give a substantial reason before the magistrate for them to be set free.
The strict rules that regulated operation and free will of the people were also evident in the Jewish History. Many cities that had Jews wanted to eliminate them after they realized that these were the people that were behind the plague that killed a big number of people. In Zofingen and Berme, those Jews that admitted having carried out the poisoning were tortured. They burned them and wrote to other cities such as Basel, Freiburg, and Strasbourg requesting them also to burn the Jews in their land . When the leaders in these three cities refused to heed to the letter, people living in the cities demonstrated demanding that Jews should be burned. As a result, the leaders settled on expelling them (The Jews). As they were being burned, their wealth was confiscated, and those that repented were baptized. The rules were strict and allowed inhuman punishments.
The world that existed before civilization took shape was full of customs and rituals. People observed certain types of activities as a way of upholding social ties and reconnecting with the spirits. In the city of Kinsay, when a person was born, their date of birth and time had to be recorded so that on the day they would want to travel, the astrologers would use the details to determine if they would have good luck or bad during their movements. Also, when one of their members died, they wore hempen attires and performed a ceremony where they followed the corpse as they sung specific types of hymns and played instruments. After the ceremonies, they burned the body of the dead person. As they burned the body, they added items that represented wealth such as cloth of gold and caparisoned horses and believed that the dead person would have all that wealth with them wherever they will be. The customs were retrogressive, and they indicate a society that concentrated on things that did not matter.
In the case of the Jews, after their sending away from Strasbourg for a hundred years because of their act of killing other people through the poison, a memorial stone was constructed and placed strategically in the city. The stone and that was named The Epitaph of Asher aben Turiel was constructed as a way of remembering people that had died due to their Jewish origin and the act as a whole. Generations that would come later would read their names and their stories. In the city of Strasbourg, the magistrates agreed that Jews should be readmitted in the city even before the first twenty years of the one hundred that had been set elapsed. The construction of a memorial stone and the acceptance of the Jews back to the city showed customs and poor rules respectively. The rules were poor in the sense that the magistrates did not take long before they realized the unfairness of the one hundred year rule.
The ancient world before civilization was characterized by unjust rules, dictatorial leaderships, and retrogressive leaderships. People in the city of Kinsay were motivated by money into doing business and worshipping idols; they had customs of burning the dead and sending them off with material wealth. The people of Geneva and Strasbourg tortured the Jews; they killed them by setting them ablaze. The Jews accepted to be paid to poison the water of common wells hence causing a plague. The laws that had been put to put off the Jews were revoked after a memorial stone was constructed. It is, therefore, clear that world civilization started from humble beginnings.