Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1)” as Want to Read:
Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Our Oriental Heritage (قصة الحضارة #1)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  1,081 ratings  ·  131 reviews
This is the classic reference on world history, recognized as the most comprehensive general history ever written, the result of four decades of work by Will and Ariel Durant -- a set that The New York Times called "a splendid, broad panorama of hereditary culture in words and images that the layman can fully understand." This series began as an effort to write a history o ...more
Hardcover, 1047 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Fine Communications (first published 1935)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Our Oriental Heritage, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Our Oriental Heritage

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi AliReading Lolita in Tehran by Azar NafisiThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiFrom Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. FriedmanThree Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Best Middle East Nonfiction
43rd out of 272 books — 209 voters
John Adams by David McCullough1776 by David McCulloughThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanTeam of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
Best History Books
211th out of 1,557 books — 1,434 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tariq Alferis

..احب ان اعلم الخطوات التي سارها الإنسان في طريقه من الهمجية إلي المدنية " ..فولتير

.عندما يعتكف شخص معظم سنين عمره ليكتب تاريخ البشر من ماقبل التاريخ الي ماقبل القرن العشرين فهذا مايطلق عليه ....شئ كبير ياعمري ..!.

هنا في هذا الجزء وهو الاول من السلسله التاريخيه مدخل يعطي اضاءه على القيم الانسانيه والفكريه التي سادت وتطورت بين الحضارات المختلفه في كافة ارجاء الدنيا..تحدث عن العناصر الانسانية في العصور ماقبل التاريخ ..من فن وصناعة وزراعة والخ ..

يكمن التحدي فــ الاستمرار فــ قرءاة باقي السلسلة
Mohamed elbeshbeeshy
أعتقد أني سأتعلم كيف أمشي بهذا الكتاب
Yazeed Al-Mogren
كيف ظهر القانون؟ ماهي أسباب نشوء الدولة؟ كيف كان يتواصل البشر مع بعضهم البعض؟
هذا الكتاب يعود بك الى الماضي السحيق، عندما كان الإنسان الأول متجردًا من كل شي ليظهر لك كيف كان يتعامل مع بعض مايواجهه في حياته وكيف كان يطور من مهاراته لكي يتكيّف مع البيئة المحيطة به، مانشاهده الآن من تقدم علمي وتقني ومن حضارة تتبع أسلوب أخلاقي معين هي تراكمات لما كان يفعله أجدادنا الأولون، كل معلومات الكتاب قيمة وتستحق الاقتباس، كنت أبحث عن أفضل ترجمة لمجلدات قصة الحضارة ويبدو أن اصدار دار الجيل هي أفضل من قام بهذا ا
قصة الحضارة (1) – نشأة الحضارة

يحاول هذا الكتاب الافتتاحي استكناه الحضارة، ما هي؟ كيف بدأت؟ وهي مهمة صعبة جدا ً، ولا يمكن القطع فيها بشيء، فآثار الحضارة قديمة جدا ً، وما توصل إليه علماء الآثار ليس إلا لمحات متقطعة منها، فلذا امتلأ الكتاب بالافتراضات، كما لجأ ديورانت فيه إلى الاستشهاد بما كتبه علماء الانثروبولوجيا عن القبائل البدائية في القرنين الماضيين قبل تأثرهم بالحضارة الحديثة، وهو يفعل هذا مفترضا ً أن البشرية تطورت على مر القرون، ولكن بقيت جيوب معزولة لم تلحق بالركب الحضاري، فلذا تعتبر مثال ج
I read this first volume of The Story of Civilization off and on for over a year. It was my first successful attempt at reading history and taught me how to do so. I have to thank Will Durant for that. Finishing it was a triumph for me as a student of literature, the world, and life.

We all probably remember doing a unit in Social Studies on the cradle of civilization, Babylonia and all that. Boring but some cool pictures. My theory on the study of history during childhood is that we have our who
There are two main reasons why this book is a pure pleasure to read. First and foremost it is always extremely enjoyable to read a book written by someone with both extraordinary clarity of mind and superior skill of written word. Second, 'Our Oriental Heritage' is very accessible introduction to history of China, India and Japan, topics that were previously unknown to me.

It must however be said, that this is not a history book in traditional meaning of that term. The aim of Will Durant, as he c

قال الطبري لتلاميذة
أتنشطون لكتابة تاريخ العالم من آدم عليه السلام إلى وقتنا هذا؟
قالوا:كم يكون قدره؟
قال: ثلاثون ألف ورقة!
فقالوا: هذا مما تفنى الأعمار قبل تمامه!
قال: إنا لله، ماتت الهمم ..
و بدأ يملي عليهم تاريخ العالم مختصراً و الذى انتهى منة فى ما يقارب الثلاثة الاف صفحة!

تذكرت تلك القصة و انا اقراء مقدمة هذ العمل الموسوعى -الذى تقترب صفحاتة من الخمسة عشر الف صفحة- و التى يقول فيهل ويل ديورانت انها مغامرة لاتستند للعقل .. و ليذكرنى ايضاً بمقولة ت س اليوت
Only those who will risk going too far can
Andrew Obrigewitsch
All I can say is wow, this book is extremely enlightening and eye opening. It covers the formation of civilization of the human race. which started in Africa and Asia.

It was published in 1935, so if you are looking for the latest archaeological find on Egypt you won't find it here. But that's not what this book is about, this book is about exploring the development of the civilizing influenced on humanity, how cultures have risen and fallen and how human civilization has changed.

I highly recom
Antonio Nunez
For a long time I wanted to read Durant's History of Civilization. I was thrilled when it came out on audiobook and immediately dived in. This first volumen was a pleasure. It dealt with prehistory and the first great civilizations. I particularly enjoyed he section on India and Buddhism. I wasn't too familiar with the Indian civilization, but after reading this book I feel fairly conversant with it. The descriptions are luminous, characterization, even in an era without many known individuals, ...more
Erik Graff
Jul 14, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Durant fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
This volume of Durant's Story of Civilization is distinctive for being the most cursory, his aim having been to cover all prehistory, ancient civilizations before the Greeks and Asian civilizations--quite a task for just over a thousand pages! Besides being a skimming of the surface, this volume is also the most painfully dated as it only goes up to the mid-thirties. I kept on thinking of the impending world war and of the independence of India thereafter.

It is unfortunate that anyone approachin
Great book, written in the 1920s or 30s, before political correctness flavored all we see and hear. This book took an unemotional and fair look at the debt we owe ancient civilizations like Egypt, Sumeria, Assyria, China and so on. Really good.
My God . . . it's full of stars!

No really, this is one of the mandatory reads for anyone who wants to display affectations toward a liberal education. Incredible!
Durant is unmatched in the beauty and clarity of his prose, and in the piercing gaze through the mists of history. Yes, there are elements which are dated thanks to more recent research, and yes, his sections which close the book on China and Japan are probably best forgotten due to the poor availability of translations and understanding of cultures, especially from ancient China. But were I to engage in the silly game of "desert island" books, this single volume would contend for that honor.

Jan 14, 2008 Doug is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am taking this book slowly and hope to read most of Durant's books as the years go by.

One interesting insight: Durant says the greatest invention was the common noun. He then talks about many primitive societies that did not have separate words for colors or objects like a tree. So they had to come up with a completely different word for a red ash and a white ash. They didn’t have a word for “red,” “ash” or even “tree”. That got me thinking about how human beings think and that organization an
الكتاب فوق الرائع .. يصف تطور الحياة منذ بدئها وحتى وصولها للمدنية
لم يبخس الانسان البدائى حقه بل على العكس فنحن مدينون لهم
الكتاب مليئ بالمعلومات المثيره عن القبائل البدائية ومحاوله تتبع التطور فى الحياة حتى وصلت بنا للمدنية الحديثه... سلسلة جديرة بالاقتناء
الاجزاء القادمة قيما يبدوا اكثر تشويقا
For years I've looked at the many volumes of Will and Ariel Durrent's History of Civilization and thinking--someday I will read them all. A few months ago I decided that I better get started now that I'm getting on in years. I loved this first volume and learned so much about Persian, Indian and Chinese civilizations that I had never learned in regular school. I'm reading in these books between other reading and so it is slow going, but well worth the time I invest.
The book hypothesized about a lot of what must have happened for humans to have evolved into our present state. However, his theories are often archiac, for example he mentions the "snake" in the "Garden of Eden" as being a phallic symbol. This psychodynamic approach has been debunked for the most part, and it makes me wonder what other parts of the book have not been brought to modernity.
Wael El-attar
"أغلب التاريخ ليس إلّا ظن و بقيتة من إملاء الهوى"

جايز تكون دي أهم جمله في الكتاب
Lou Chiaramonte, Jr.
Masterful work, especially considering it was written in 1935. This is a seminal book, the first installment of eleven total in the seminal series, "The Story of Civilization." Will Durant was obviously at the forefront of scholastic thinking when he began this series: he approaches history from a cross-cultural perspective, accepting cultural relativism, but clearly holding modern ideals of equality, democracy, and social welfare as something special--the sum total end products of human history ...more
Lee Walker
Ultimately I enjoyed this work for what it was. The initial section on history in general contains some nice insights into human nature and while the author often generalises he knows he is doing so. I have heard others complain this book and the remaining ten volumes in the series contain many inaccuracies. Apparently Durant himself admitted as much. Personally I did not find it to be too bad; although written in the 1930s, much of the information is 'still good'. Where history or archaeology h ...more
sahar salman
لن يستطيع شخص أن يتخيل مدى تطور الإنسان من العصر الحجري وحتى انتقاله من مسماه البدائي إلى العصر الحديث، هذه الثمرة التي جاهدت وكونت نفسها خلال سنوات بل قرون من الزمن في ضل الصراع مع الطبيعة والحيوان ورغبة البقاء. والأثر الناجم عن ذلك في بناء الحضارات المختلفة التي حال بعضها إلى الزوال والبعض إلى البقاء والحداثة والتطور. وفي هذا الشأن يذكر المؤرخ الأمريكي ديورانت عناصر كل تلك الحضارات في تقدم الإنسان وبناءه ومعتقداته واكتشافاته الأولية أمام الطبيعة. فالتاريخ القائم على العناصر السياسية يوضح نظام ...more
Granted: the title is unfortunate and potentially offensive, but it's important to note that this was written in different times, and I can assure those of you who might be offended that it was certainly not Durant's intent.

I found it more fascinating than I'd ever thought such a comprehensive history text could be. Durant gives a number of historically important ancient civilizations a close study (using the more limited archeological resources available in the first half of the 20th Century),
Ahmed Assem
What a journey! When I first begab to read this book I was not prepared by any means to the complexity of such a book. While the series of books deal with the story of western civilization, Will Durant introduces this book in homage to all ancient civilizations that had played a part in creating his own. We begin passing by the dark times, during hunting ages and man's curiosity towards simple things. Then we pass by Sumeria, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Judea and Persia. Will then moves from the mi ...more
James Swenson
It is hard to imagine how Will Durant dared to begin the Story of Civilization, covering the political, philosophical, military, economical, and artistic history of the world. Completed in 1934, Our Oriental Heritage is not entirely politically correct by present standards (though Durant consistently recognizes the merits of each culture on its own terms), and some chapters are less than compelling. Still, we have to respect Durant's ambition, and his achievement.
Will Durant is an academic of the 1930's and his historical summaries of ancient Egypt, Israel, Babylon, Persia, Phoenicia, and Assyria are very much written in a style that has long passed into disuse. Durant comes off as an pretentious windbag, but I must confess I enjoyed his antiquated reflections on human nature and the evolution of civilization as we know it. When reading Durant one feels like a college freshman at an ivy league school in 1937 taking notes from a contankerous old professor ...more
Beautifully written history of the Ancient Near East and Far East. Wonderful insight as to how these people lived as opposed to just histories of battles and conquests.

The only issue I have--which is no fault of the Durants--is that the book is a bit dated. At the time of its publication the ancient histories of some of these places were still somewhat unknown in the West. Now we have the benefit of decades of additional research and discovery.

Having said that there is still a great deal of va
The author is very intelligent and objective, and he makes many witty comments, his black humor is not only entertaining but enlightening. However more important is his impressive amount of details and references.

One drawback is the age of this volume, which misses the new findings and research results of the last 3/4 century. His dates of some early Egyptian events, for example, are off by 400-500 years if compared with some newer sources, all data being probably not C14-dated, as usually done
Jud Tirawieh
ويل وايريل ديورانيت
نشأة الحضارة ~ كيف وصلنا الى المدنية ~ بشكل او بىخر لكل شيء اساس و اساس مدينتنا هم البشر الذين لا يخلو الامر من وضعهم موضع تساؤل ! كيف عاش الانسان القديم ~ ولربما معنى الانسان القديم في نظنا هم الذين قطنوا الكهوف ~ لك لابد ان هناك قبلهم اخرين ! ... بشكل او باخر الحضارة او المدنية ليست مجرد عيش بالمدينة ~ بل هي النشاط الصناعي و الاقتصادي و الثقافي و الاخلاقي والاجتماعي ~ هي خليط بين الجميع ~
والحقيقة ان ابناء المدينة المشغولين بالتجارة و الصناعة ليسوا هم من اقام المدينة حقا ~
One of the great books on Eastern Civilizations. This book is a perfect listen for those who don't like history with all of its dates since he tells the story functionally not chronologically. The book looks at history by each civilization and by function (philosophy, poetry, prose, people's language, government and so on). The author seems to excel when he's talking about a country's philosophy and uses it to describe the country's culture. The section on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism ar ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Outline of History, Vols. I and II
  • Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean
  • The Greek Way
  • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I
  • The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: The History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra
  • The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
  • The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination
  • A History of the American People
  • The Hinge of Fate (The Second World War, #4)
  • تأملات في تاريخ الرومان
  • The Fall of Rome And the End of Civilization
  • Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt
  • The First Salute
  • The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian
  • The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal & the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic
  • A History of the Vikings
  • A War Like No Other: How the Athenians & Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War
  • Civilization: A New History of the Western World
William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for the 11-volume The Story of Civilization, written in collaboration with his wife Ariel and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for his book, The Story of Philosophy, written in 1926, which was considered "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy."

They were awarde
More about Will Durant...

Other Books in the Series

قصة الحضارة (9 books)
  • The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization, #2)
  • Caesar and Christ (Story of Civilization, #3)
  • The Age of Faith (Story of Civilization, Vol 4)
  • The Renaissance (The Story of Civilization, #5)
  • The Reformation (The Story of Civilization, #6)
  • The Age of Reason Begins (The Story of Civilization, #7)
  • The Age of Louis XIV (The Story of Civilization, #8)
  • The Age of Voltaire (The Story of Civilization, #9)
  • Rousseau and Revolution (The Story of Civilization, #10)
The Story of Philosophy The Lessons of History The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set) Caesar and Christ (Story of Civilization, #3) The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization, #2)

Share This Book

“معظم التاريخ ظن و بقيته من إملاء الهوى” 16 likes
“قوة التقاليد تتناسب تناسباً عكسياً مع كثرة القوانين، كما أن قوة الغريزة تتناسب تناسباً عكسياً مع كثرة الأفكار” 6 likes
More quotes…