A Hundred Steps of History

June 19, 2008
By Logan Spangler, Joplin, MO

History, the version of the past people agree upon, or at least Napoleon Bonaparte thought so. I believe that we will never know everything that has happened in the past, or at least never truly know. Although, for now the version people agree upon will have to do. A hundred steps of history should suffice.
‘It all began…’ is how most people would start out, but sense there is much controversy about how it all began, I think we should skip to the first civilizations. Mesopotamia, located between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Lets call it step one, the land in which writing and numbers was conceived. Some believe it to be where Adam and Eve resided, but that’s not entirely agreed upon, so its not in my definition of history.

Babylon, located in Mesopotamia, is the final resting place of the famous Alexander the Great. Which brings us many steps forward. Alexander the Great is a man riddled with myth and legend. A man of great military might, Alexander the Great once ruled most of the known world. Known for a great cavalry and feared by all who apposed him, Alexander the Great thrust many steps into the path of history.

Rome, once the most powerful force the world had ever seen. With some of the worlds most powerful leaders and most famous historical figures, Rome, was the light and the darkness. Constantine, Julius, Augustus, you most likely have heard of them, were all leaders of the magnificent Rome. It was Rome that brought us the aqueduct, the coliseum, the bathroom, and even the coin operated machine. Yes, the Romans had technology that wasn’t used or discovered again for centuries. Rome was the pinnacle of both military and political might.

Rome has taken us numerous steps through history. Now I will take you where Rome left off, Britain. Towards the end of Rome they withdrew from a land called ‘Britannia’. Rome at one time controlled the whole southern half of what is Britain today. After the Romans left ,what was then Britannia, the what would now be called British, began. Although riddle with myths of Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, the beginnings of Britain are not so clear, which implies a jump over to medieval times.

The tales of glorious knights and fearful dragons is along way of from the true medieval era. It was a time entwined with plague, war, and death around every corner. It was a time of peasants and knights who lived under Lords who lived under Dukes and Counts who lived under the Royal family. Which means when the King decides to go on a crusade to Jerusalem, people went, whether they wanted to or not. In fact there was many crusades on Jerusalem most leading to nothing but death. The Medieval age was a dark one, but eventually things began to change.

Every once in a while things just get so far up or down that they must change direction. The very same thing happened with the Medieval age it just got so far down that it was forced to move up. The Renaissance, the last step of history that I will explore. Is the time that most people think of when they think of Western history. The shinning knight on horse back, the jousts, the sword fights, the damsels in the long dresses.

I do wish that the walk wasn’t too long. Only a hundred steps. Even though the leaders of history are known to be great even mythical at points, the true hero is you. You see, we are making history, you are making history. Today we have traveled a hundred steps of greatness, of history, the next step is yours.

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