Gary Sweeney The Story of Civilization
Volume 1, Chapter 1, Paragraph 1
Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Four elements constitute it:economic provision, political organization, moral traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. It begins where chaos and insecurity end. For when fear is overcome, curiosity and constructiveness are free, and man passes by natural impulse towards the understanding and embellishment of life.
Volume 1, Chapter 1, Paragraph 2
Certain factors condition civilization, and may encourage or impede it. First, geological conditions. Civilization is an interlude between ice ages. At anytime the current of glaciation may rise again, cover with ice and stone the work of man, and reduce life to some narrow segment of the earth. Or the demon of earthquake, by whose leave we build our cities, may shrug his shoulders and consumer us indifferently.