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James H. Breasted

The man who first gave history a recognized place in science was an ancient historian.

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Disapproval is a very important factor in all progress. There has really never been any progress without it.

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We of America are especially fitted to visualize and to understand the marvellous transformation of a wilderness into a land of splendid cities.

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Today the traveller on the Nile enters a wonderland at whose gates rise the colossal pyramids of which he has had visions perhaps from earliest childhood.

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To the present writer a careful study of the facts now available seems to leave no doubt that civilization was born at the southeast corner of the Mediterranean.

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It is this conception of the unity of the human career which is perhaps the greatest achievement of historical study, since it gained a place analogous to that of natural science.

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There was an age, however, when the transition from savagery to civilization, with all its impressive outward manifestations in art and architecture, took place for the first time.

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In the more recently disclosed field of history in the ancient Near East, however, there has been no such sense of responsibility displayed by historians either in Europe or America.

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It is the recognition of history as a record of human experience which has inevitably resulted in the inclusion of this conquest of civilization within the framework of a complete human history.

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This recognition of the earlier human background, now so obvious to us, did not come all at once, for the inclusion of history itself in university instruction is an event less than two centuries old.

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