WE have already seen, in our survey of the causes which brought it about that Egypt encountered so little opposition in her bid for empire, the leading characteristics of the group of nations which shared with her the dominant positions in the world of the ancient east; it remains now to look at these individual nations in a more detailed manner, to consider brieRy their position, the things which mark their type, their achievement, up to the point of time at which we meet them, and the contribution which they have made to the culture of the world.