What is a ‘civilization?’

Okay, gang—before we get started talking about Western Civilization, we should agree on what a ‘civilization’ is. I’m going to keep this kind of loose. Generally, a civilization is a big group of people—in cities, a country, or countries—who share government (a system of keeping law & order and protecting its people);


a religion (belief in a god or gods with a set of rituals and priests to perform them);









an economy (enough food for everyone plus some left over for trading);


a written language (symbols to communicate without speaking);


and art, science and technology (inventions that make life easier and more enjoyable).


Every civilization has a ‘culture’—its own way of living and doing things.

That’s it. A rough definition to understand what separates a civilization from simply a big group of people. Now we can start thinking about what Western Civilization is.

11 responses to “What is a ‘civilization?’

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