Presentation on theme: "Approaches to Ancient History Week 7: ecology & environment."— Presentation transcript:
Approaches to Ancient History Week 7: ecology & environment
Idealism and Materialism Idealism (e.g. Hegel, Weber): ideas shape material practices and hence history. Key examples: slavery and idealisation of leisure versus Protestant ethic and economic rationalism. Materialism (e.g. Marx): ideas are shaped by material conditions of existence. Men must be in a position to live in order to make history. Key examples: slavery shapes ideas about work, freedom, human nature etc.
Ecology and Environment Development of materialist perspective: underlying systems of production are biological needs and limits of human beings, nature of local environment and availability of resources. Impact of demography, disease, diet, distribution of resources, agricultural production etc. on ancient history. Determinism?
Theoretical Perspectives The Annales School; Fernand Braudel and La Longue Durée. Different speeds of historical change, different orders of importance. Setting the limits of the possible ? Ecology: the interaction of different populations with one another and with their environment. Both offer change of perspective, different ideas of significance; political overtones.