Appendix D

Important Civilizations not reaching the highest rank












 Ottoman  (Turkey)

























 All dates AD

unless noted BC











* China

* Iran-NeoPersian


Indus River (Pakistan)

















* Aksum empire (Ethiopia)









 Carthage (Tunisia)














Peru (Inca)








1. Aztec









2. Maya










* Aksum was named by Mani (216–276) as one of the four great powers of his time along with Persia, Rome, and China. By the 1st century AD, Aksum was a major player in the commerce between the Roman Empire and Ancient India. The Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own currency, the state established its hegemony over the declining Kingdom of Kush and regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the Arabian peninsula, eventually extending its rule over the region with the conquest of the Himyarite Kingdom. Aksum became the first major empire to convert to Christianity.

Jesus, medieval kings, and today's Africa

Recently Van Sloan had a stimulating conversation with an Ethiopian mother/ electrical engineer working in Memphis TN. We talked about ways to encourage governments in Africa to be more responsive to the needs of their citizens. The example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples could be useful in largely Christian states like Ethiopia and South Africa. Here are further thoughts on topics we discussed:

In June 2014, an Internet article described how a former apartheid leader was seeking redemption - by washing the feet of those he wronged:

"Vlok was South Africa’s minister of law and order between 1986 and 1991—strange years when the white government felt desperate to maintain its hold on power, but also anxious to prove to the world it was humane. Paranoid and agitated, Vlok’s police resorted to dark, cloak-and-dagger tactics to dispose of apartheid’s enemies....Silently, Vlok handed the Bible to Chikane, pulled a rag and bowl out of his briefcase, slid off the chair onto his knees, and bowed his head. Finally, stutteringly, he asked Chikane, “Frank, please, would you allow me to wash your feet?”

In Europe's middle ages, the tradition of a leader washing feet of ordinary citizens became a powerful symbol of rulers as servants of the public. The Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople wash the feet of 12 poor men on Maundy Thursday; and it is still practiced in the royal palaces of Madrid, Munich and Vienna. Russian Czars and English kings till James II (died 1701) also washed feet. The 1964 movie "Becket" dramatized the moral victory of the Church over rulers. Europe was horrified in 1170 when England's king Henry II had his leading religious leader Becket murdered in a cathedral. The movie shows "A badly shaken Henry then undergoes a penance by whipping at the hands of Saxon monks. Henry, fresh from his whipping, publicly proclaims that Thomas Becket is a saint and that the ones who killed him will be justly punished."

A century earlier Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV trekked across the Alps in 1077 to beg for Pope Gregory VII's forgiveness. Only after three days of kneeling in the snow did the medieval ruler finally convince the Pontiff to welcome him back into the Catholic Church; Henry IV had been excommunicated for usurping the Pope's authority and appointing his own bishops. The dramatic mea culpa was a turning point in the centuries-long struggle between religious and royal leaders during the Middle Ages, and the image of Henry IV bowing before his spiritual rival is one that artists and writers later immortalized in paint and prose.

The government in Ethiopia today, like Henry IV, appoints the leaders of that nation's Christian church. But the ruler wouldn't bow in the snow to a Pope; instead church leaders follow what the government wants. That only started in 1974, when the new Marxist government in Ethiopia arrested church Patriarch Abuna Theophilos, and secretly executed him in 1979. From the start of the Coptic Church of Egypt and Ethiopia in early Christian years, the Patriarchs had always been independent of civil government.

As bastions of Christianity in Africa, the churches in Ethiopia and South Africa could lead the way towards better government on the continent. Following Jesus' example of washing his disciples' feet, the churches could emphasize the role of government officials as servants of the people (rather than an opportunity to enrich themselves). After some well-publicized foot washing by church officials, they could urge government officials to do the same. Church leaders should campaign for their full independence from government influence. Eventually, like Pope Francis, they should be able to speak freely on corruption, crime, favoritism, or other matters that affect the well-being of their church members.

The higher moral authority of Christianity and other religious organizations in Africa (compared to governments) could be a starting point for promoting greater democracy and a better life for all Africans.

The "struggle for recognition" among nations This notion from Hegel was used by Fukuyana in his book "The End of History." It indicates that countries will go to war over prestige issues as much as for economic gains. Like the alpha male in a wolf pack, nations seem to want to be recognized as the "top dog." This desire led to some bitter conflicts in the 20th century, where Germany, Russia, and Japan strove for the "top dog" recognition their nations had never received. The Ottomans were similarly greatly feared, until their defeat at Vienna in 1683. In earlier centuries, nations were not as aware of other leading civilizations in the world (particularly in the Americas and Africa). On a regional basis, however, the "struggle for recognition" seems to have played an important part in warfare and in the development of World Leadership Civilizations (as with Rome vs Carthage).

Go to: IQ's of 80 nations including the above and the areas of Leading Civilizations

Go to: outline of this World Civilizations section of the website

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