Ancient Wisdoms

9 items

The Story of the Nile

Without the Nile, Egypt may never have become one of the most extraordinary civilisations in history. John Baines assesses the great river as a physical, political and spiritual presence in Ancient Egyptian culture.

Food & Agriculture in Ancient Greece

The prosperity of the majority of Greek city-states was based on agriculture and the ability to produce the necessary surplus which allowed some citizens to pursue other trades and pastimes and to create a quantity of exported goods so that they could be exchanged for necessities the community lacked. Cereals, olives, and wine were the three most produced foodstuffs suited as they are to the Mediterranean climate. With the process of Greek colonization in such places as Asia Minor and Magna Graecia Greek agricultural practice and products spread around the Mediterranean.

The Fertile Crescent. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The Fertile Crescent

Fertile Crescent, the region where the first settled agricultural communities of the Middle East and Mediterranean basin are thought to have originated by the early 9th millennium BCE. The term was popularized by the American Orientalist James Henry Breasted.

The Book of Elegance in the Science of Agriculture

The author of this work, Abd al-Gani ibn Isma’il al-Nabulusi (1641–1731), is considered one of the most influential and prolific Syrian writers of his time. He was affiliated with the Sufi orders of the Naqšbandiyya and the Qādirīyya and produced an impressive number of works in the fields of mysticism, theology, and poetry. He traveled extensively in the Islamic world and recorded his adventures in narratives that touch upon his private mystical experiences and the intellectual milieu of the 18th-century Islamic centers. This manuscript contains a copy of al-Nabulusi's treatise on agriculture, which in turn is an abridged version of the Jāmi‘ farā’id al-malāha fī jawāmi‘ fawā’id al-filāhah (The collection of the duties of elegance in the various aspects of the interests of agriculture) by the Syrian author Radī al-Dīn al-Gazzī al‑‘Amirī (died 1529).

The original McCormick reaper, 1831. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. McCormick Reaper

The Mechanical Reaper by Cyrus McCormick

Cyrus Hall McCormick was born in 1809. He grew up on his family's 532-acre farm, "Walnut Grove", which was located north of Lexington, Virginia. As a boy, McCormick had a talent for both agriculture and inventing. At the age of 15, he invented a lightweight cradle for carting harvested grain (1824). Meanwhile, McCormick's father, Robert, was working in the farm's smithy on an invention of his own: a horse-drawn reaping machine. When Robert McCormick finally gave up on producing a working model, in the early fall of 1831, his son took over the challenge.