The Historians' History of the World in Twenty-Five Volumes, Volume 08 by Williams

Anonymous The Historians' History of the World in Twenty-Five Volumes, Volume 08 by Williams
Project Gutenberg
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If there is a region in the world which constrains its inhabitants to adopt a particular mode of life, that country is Arabia and the regions that border it on the north, the Sinaitic peninsula and the Syrian and Mesopotamian deserts. The great majority of the dwellers in these parts are forced to lead a nomadic life by the fact that the spots in which agriculture is possible are comparatively rare, and the infrequent rains, which only extend over limited areas, provide pasture for their flocks now in one part and now in another, but never for any length of time. The whole character of the Bedouin is conditioned by this nomadic mode of life (full of hardships and privations, though not laborious) with its constant struggles with competitors for the prime necessaries of life. The inhabitants of the oases, who are permanently settled in favoured spots, differ from the Bedouins in many respects, but are nevertheless strongly influenced by Bedouin modes of life and thought. Throughout this vast area life runs its course in perpetual change, yet remains in essentials ever the same. If one tribe perishes, migrates elsewhere, or turns to agricultural pursuits somewhere in the vicinity of the desert, its place is taken by another, which lives exactly as it had lived. The course of history, however, has shown that intellectual forces were existent in this desert race which seem to be lacking in others living under precisely similar conditions, such as the Berbers of the Sahara.

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