Cultural Genesis and Evolution
I was thinking a bit on the Picts and Scots and so many other ethnic peoples.
Is there any cultural development concept that predicts how groups form, diverge, come together, etc?
I believe the word 'Celt' is often used to describe a lot of peoples in northern Europe at one point, but a few centuries pass and you have Franks, Anglo, Scot, etc.
Then we have the Greeks that were a few groups in a region (eg. Athens, Sparta, etc.) whose identity merged over time and still exist today as an identifiable group/religion.
The Franks turned into the French.
Of course all of the above is only my understanding and could be wrong. The point is that when I make a region and its history, I would very much like to put some realistic processes to work for peoples I choose to put there.
Any human group - however self described - is acted on by a number of factors that limit but do not lineally direct their changes over time. These include
* environmental resources,
* resource extraction and development capabilities,
* population pressures,
* social networks such as kinship or caste,
* power networks and structures (religion, autocracies, regional alliances), and of course,
* the disposition and ambitions of neighbouring peoples.
There is no universal path of development or evolution from 'primitive' to 'civilised'.
Historically, it is
* environmental changes such as famine,
* technological innovation that enables the exploitation of new environments,
* pressures of overpopulation and
* incessant internal conflict
that are the main drivers of change, migration and ethnogenesis. Religions and political systems will often invent causes or revelations to justify or explain these environmental pressures.
In terms of language, there *are* broad rules that describe how languages evolve over time.
Last edited by nysalor; 01-16-2011 at 04:18 AM.
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