Length of the Prehistoric Period.—It is of course quite impossible to reduce the prehistoric period to any definite number of years. There are, however, numerous bits of evidence that enable an anthropologist to make rough estimates as to the relative lengths of the different periods into which prehistoric time is divided. Gabriel de Mortillet, one of the most industrious students of prehistoric archaeology, ventured to give a tentative estimate as to the numbers of years involved in each period. He of course claimed for this nothing more than the value of a scientific guess. It is, however, a guess based on a very careful study of all data at present available. Mortillet divides the prehistoric period, as a whole, into four epochs. The first of these is the preglacial, which he estimates as comprising seventy-eight thousand years; the second is the glacial, covering one hundred thousand years; then follows what he terms the Solutreen, which numbers eleven thousand years; and, finally, the Magdalenien, comprising thirty-three thousand years. This gives, for the prehistoric period proper, a term of about two hundred and twenty-two thousand years. Add to this perhaps twelve thousand years ushering in the civilization of Egypt, and the six thousand years of stable, sure chronology of the historical period, and we have something like two hundred and thirty thousand or two hundred and forty thousand years as the age of man.

"These figures," says Mortillet, "are certainly not exaggerated. It is even probable that they are below the truth. Constantly new discoveries are being made that tend to remove farther back the date of man's appearance." We see, then, according to this estimate, that about a quarter of a million years have elapsed since man evolved to a state that could properly be called human. This guess is as good as another, and it may advantageously be kept in mind, as it will enable us all along to understand better than we might otherwise be able to do the tremendous force of certain prejudices and preconceptions which recent man inherited from his prehistoric ancestor. Ideas which had passed current as unquestioned truths for one hundred thousand years or so are not easily cast aside.

In going back, in imagination, to the beginning of the prehistoric period, we must of course reflect, in accordance with modern ideas on the subject, that there was no year, no millennium even, when it could be said expressly: "This being was hitherto a primate, he is now a man." The transition period must have been enormously long, and the changes from generation to generation, even from century to century, must have been very slight. In speaking of the extent of the age of man this must be borne in mind: it must be recalled that, even if the period were not vague for other reasons, the vagueness of its beginning must make it indeterminate.

Bibliographical Notes.—A great mass of literature has been produced in recent years dealing with various phases of the history of prehistoric man. No single work known to the writer deals comprehensively with the scientific attainments of early man; indeed, the subject is usually ignored, except where practical phases of the mechanical arts are in question. But of course any attempt to consider the condition of primitive man talies into account, by inference at least, his knowledge and attainments. Therefore, most works on anthropology, ethnology, and primitive culture may be expected to throw some light on our present subject. Works dealing with the social and mental conditions of existing savages are also of importance, since it is now an accepted belief that the ancestors of civilized races evolved along similar lines and passed through corresponding stages of nascent culture. Herbert Spencer's Descriptive Sociology presents an unequalled mass of facts regarding existing primitive races, but, unfortunately, its inartistic method of arrangement makes it repellent to the general reader. E. B. Tyler's Primitive Culture and Anthropology; Lord Avebury's Prehistoric Times, The Origin of Civilization, and The Primitive Condition of Man; W. Boyd Dawkin's Cave-Hunting and Early Man in Britain; and Edward Clodd's Childhood of the World and Story of Primitive Man are deservedly popular. Paul Topinard's Elements d'Anthropologie Generale is one of the best-known and most comprehensive French works on the technical phases of anthropology; but Mortillet's Le Prehistorique has a more popular interest, owing to its chapters on primitive industries, though this work also contains much that is rather technical. Among periodicals, the Revue de l'Ecole d'Anthropologie de Paris, published by the professors, treats of all phases of anthropology, and the American Anthropologist, edited by F. W. Hodge for the American Anthropological Association, and intended as "a medium of communication between students of all branches of anthropology," contains much that is of interest from the present stand-point. The last-named journal devotes a good deal of space to Indian languages.


1 (p. 34). Sir J. Norman Lockyer, The Dawn of Astronomy; a study of the temple worship and mythology of the ancient Egyptians, London, 1894.

2 (p. 43). G. Maspero, Histoire Ancie-nne des Peuples de l'Orient Classique, Paris, 1895. Translated as (1) The Dawn of Civilization, (2) The Struggle of the Nations, (3) The Passing of the Empires, 3 vols., London and New York, 1894-1900. Professor Maspero is one of the most famous of living Orientalists. His most important special studies have to do with Egyptology, but his writings cover the entire field of Oriental antiquity. He is a notable stylist, and his works are at once readable and authoritative.

3 (p. 44). Adolf Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, London, 1894, p. 352. (Translated from the original German work entitled Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben in Alterthum, Tilbigen, 1887.) An altogether admirable work, full of interest for the general reader, though based on the most erudite studies.

4 (p. 47). Erman, op. cit., pp. 356, 357.

5 (p. 48). Erman, op. cit., p. 357. The work on Egyptian medicine here referred to is Georg Ebers' edition of an Egyptian document discovered by the explorer whose name it bears. It remains the most important source of our knowledge of Egyptian medicine. As mentioned in the text, this document dates from the eighteenth dynasty—that is to say, from about the fifteenth or sixteenth century, B.C., a relatively late period of Egyptian history.

6 (p. 49). Erman, op. cit., p. 357.

7 (p. 50). The History of Herodotus, pp. 85-90. There are numerous translations of the famous work of the "father of history," one of the most recent and authoritative being that of G. C. Macaulay, M.A., in two volumes, Macmillan Co., London and New York, 1890.

8 (p. 50). The Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian, London, 1700. This most famous of ancient world histories is difficult to obtain in an English version. The most recently published translation known to the writer is that of G. Booth, London, 1814.

9 (p. 51). Erman, op. cit., p. 357.

10 (p. 52). The Papyrus Rhind is a sort of mathematical hand-book of the ancient Egyptians; it was made in the time of the Hyksos Kings (about 2000 B.C.), but is a copy of an older book. It is now preserved in the British Museum.

The most accessible recent sources of information as to the social conditions of the ancient Egyptians are the works of Maspero and Erman, above mentioned; and the various publications of W. M. Flinders Petrie, The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh, London, 1883; Tanis I., London, 1885; Tanis H., Nebesheh, and Defe-nnel, London, 1887; Ten Years' Diggings, London, 1892; Syria and Egypt from the Tel-el-Amar-na Letters, London, 1898, etc. The various works of Professor Petrie, recording his explorations from year to year, give the fullest available insight into Egyptian archaeology.


1 (p. 57). The Medes. Some difference of opinion exists among historians as to the exact ethnic relations of the conquerors; the precise date of the fall of Nineveh is also in doubt.

2 (p. 57). Darius. The familiar Hebrew narrative ascribes the first Persian conquest of Babylon to Darius, but inscriptions of Cyrus and of Nabonidus, the Babylonian king, make it certain that Cyrus was the real conqueror. These inscriptions are preserved on cylinders of baked clay, of the type made familiar by the excavation of the past fifty years, and they are invaluable historical documents.

3 (p. 58). Berosus. The fragments of Berosus have been translated by L. P. Cory, and included in his Ancient Fragments of Phenician, Chaldean, Egyptian, and Other Writers, London, 1826, second edition, 1832.

4 (p. 58). Chaldean learning. Recent writers reserve the name Chaldean for the later period of Babylonian history— the time when the Greeks came in contact with the Mesopotamians—in contradistinction to the earlier periods which are revealed to us by the archaeological records.

5 (p. 59) King Sargon of Agade. The date given for this early king must not be accepted as absolute; but it is probably approximately correct.

6 (p. 59). Nippur. See the account of the early expeditions as recorded by the director, Dr. John P. Peters, Nippur, or explorations and adventures, etc., New York and London, 1897.

7 (p. 62). Fritz Hommel, Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens, Berlin, 1885.

8 (p. 63). R. Campbell Thompson, Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon, London, 1900, p. xix.

9 (p. 64). George Smith, The Assyrian Canon, p. 21.

10 (p. 64). Thompson, op. cit., p. xix.

11 (p. 65). Thompson, op. cit., p. 2.

12 (p. 67). Thompson, op. cit., p. xvi.

13 (p. 68). Sextus Empiricus, author of Adversus Mathematicos, lived about 200 A.D.

14 (p. 68). R. Campbell Thompson, op. cit., p. xxiv.

15 (p. 72). Records of the Past (editor, Samuel Birch), Vol. III., p. 139.

16 (p. 72). Ibid., Vol. V., p. 16.

17 (p. 72). Quoted in Records of the Past, Vol. III., p. 143, from the Translations of the Society of Biblical Archeology, vol. II., p. 58.

18 (p. 73). Records of the Past, vol. L, p. 131.

19 (p. 73). Ibid., vol. V., p. 171.

20 (p. 74). Ibid., vol. V., p. 169.

21 (p. 74). Joachim Menant, La Bibliotheque du Palais de Ninive, Paris, 188o.

22 (p. 76). Code of Khamurabi. This famous inscription is on a block of black diorite nearly eight feet in height. It was discovered at Susa by the French expedition under M. de Morgan, in December, 1902. We quote the translation given in The Historians' History of the World, edited by Henry Smith Williams, London and New York, 1904, Vol. I, p. 510.

23 (p. 77). The Historical Library of Diodorus Siculus, p. 519.

24 (p. 82). George S. Goodspeed, Ph.D., History of the Babylonians and Assyrians, New York, 1902.

25 (p. 82). George Rawlinson, Great Oriental Monarchies, (second edition, London, 1871), Vol. III., pp. 75 ff.

Of the books mentioned above, that of Hommel is particularly full in reference to culture development; Goodspeed's small volume gives an excellent condensed account; the original documents as translated in the various volumes of Records of the Past are full of interest; and Menant's little book is altogether admirable. The work of excavation is still going on in old Babylonia, and newly discovered texts add from time to time to our knowledge, but A. H. Layard's Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) still has importance as a record of the most important early discoveries. The general histories of Antiquity of Duncker, Lenormant, Maspero, and Meyer give full treatment of Babylonian and Assyrian development. Special histories of Babylonia and Assyria, in addition to these named above, are Tiele's Babylonisch-Assyrische Geschichte (Zwei Tiele, Gotha, 1886-1888); Winckler's Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens (Berlin, 1885-1888), and Rogers' History of Babylonia and Assyria, New York and London, 1900, the last of which, however, deals almost exclusively with political history. Certain phases of science, particularly with reference to chronology and cosmology, are treated by Edward Meyer (Geschichte des Alterthum, Vol. I., Stuttgart, 1884), and by P. Jensen (Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, Strassburg, 1890), but no comprehensive specific treatment of the subject in its entirety has yet been attempted.


1 (p. 87). Vicomte E. de Rouge, Memoire sur l'Origine Egyptienne de l'Alphabet Phinicien, Paris, 1874.

2 (p. 88). See the various publications of Mr. Arthur Evans.

3 (p. 80). Aztec and Maya writing. These pictographs are still in the main undecipherable, and opinions differ as to the exact stage of development which they represent.

4 (p. 90). E. A. Wallace Budge's First Steps in Egyptian, London, 1895, is an excellent elementary work on the Egyptian writing. Professor Erman's Egyptian Grammar, London, 1894, is the work of perhaps the foremost living Egyptologist.

5 (P. 93). Extant examples of Babylonian and Assyrian writing give opportunity to compare earlier and later systems, so the fact of evolution from the pictorial to the phonetic system rests on something more than mere theory.

6 (p. 96). Friedrich Delitzsch, Assyrischc Lesestucke mit grammatischen Tabellen und vollstdndigem Glossar einfiihrung in die assyrische und babylonische Keilschrift-litteratur bis hinauf zu Hammurabi, Leipzig, 1900.

7 (p. 97). It does not appear that the Babylonians thcmselves ever gave up the old system of writing, so long as they retained political autonomy.

8 (p. 101). See Isaac Taylor's History of the Alphabet; an Account of the origin and Development of Letters, new edition, 2 vols., London, 1899.

For facsimiles of the various scripts, see Henry Smith Williams' History of the Art Of Writing, 4 vols, New York and London, 1902-1903.


1 (p. III). Anaximander, as recorded by Plutarch, vol. VIII-. See Arthur Fairbanks'First Philosophers of Greece: an Edition and Translation of the Remaining Fragments of the Pre-Socratic Philosophers, together with a Translation of the more Important Accounts of their Opinions Contained in the Early Epitomcs of their Works, London, 1898. This highly scholarly and extremely useful book contains the Greek text as well as translations.


1 (p. 117). George Henry Lewes, A Biographical History of Philosophy from its Origin in Greece down to the Present Day, enlarged edition, New York, 1888, p. 17.

2 (p. 121). Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, C. D. Yonge's translation, London, 1853, VIII., p. 153.

3 (p. 121). Alexander, Successions of Philosophers.

4 (p. 122). "All over its centre." Presumably this is intended to refer to the entire equatorial region.

5 (p. 125). Laertius, op. cit., pp. 348-351.

6 (p. 128). Arthur Fairbanks, The First Philosophers of Greece London, 1898, pp. 67-717.

7 (p. 129). Ibid., p. 838.

8 (p. 130). Ibid., p. 109.

9 (p. 130). Heinrich Ritter, The History of Ancient Philosophy, translated from the German by A. J. W. Morrison, 4 vols., London, 1838, vol, I., p. 463.

10 (p. 131). Ibid., p. 465.

11 (p. 132). George Henry Lewes, op. cit., p. 81.

12 (p. 135). Fairbanks, op. cit., p. 201.

13 (p. 136). Ibid., P. 234.

14 (p. 137). Ibid., p. 189.

15 (p. 137). Ibid., P. 220.

16 (p. 138). Ibid., p. 189.

17 (p. 138). Ibid., p. 191.


1 (p. 150). Theodor Gomperz, Greek Thinkers: a History of Ancient Philosophy (translated from the German by Laurie Magnes), New York, 190 1, pp. 220, 221.

2 (p. 153). Aristotle's Treatise on Respiration, ch. ii.

3 (p. 159). Fairbanks' translation of the fragments of Anaxagoras, in The First Philosophers of Greece, pp. 239-243.


1 (p. 180). Alfred William Bern, The Philosophy of Greece Considered in Relation to the Character and History of its People, London, 1898, p. 186.

2 (p. 183). Aristotle, quoted in William Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences (second edition, London, 1847), Vol. II., p. 161.


1 (p. 195). Tertullian's Apologeticus.

2 (p. 205). We quote the quaint old translation of North, printed in 1657.


1 (p. 258). The Geography of Strabo, translated by H. C. Hamilton and W. Falconer, 3 vols., London, 1857, Vol. I, pp. 19, 20.

2 (p. 260). Ibid., p. 154.

3 (p. 263). Ibid., pp. 169, 170.

4 (p. 264) Ibid., pp. 166, 167.

5 (p. 271). K. 0. Miller and John W. Donaldson, The History of the Literature of Greece, 3 vols., London, Vol. III., p. 268.

6 (p. 276). E. T. Withington, Medical History fron., the Earliest Times, London, 1894, p. 118.

7 (p. 281). Ibid.

8 (p. 281). Johann Hermann Bass, History of Medicine, New York, 1889.


(p. 298). Dion Cassius, as preserved by Xiphilinus. Our extract is quoted from the translation given in The Historians' History of the World (edited by Henry Smith Williams), 25 vols., London and New York, 1904, Vol. VI., p. 297 ff.

[For further bibliographical notes, the reader is referred to the Appendix of volume V.]