A brief history of philanthropy

Philanthropy is as a concept is not new. It had existed since the dawn of civilization in various forms. The first documented form of philanthropy in the Western Civilization occurred in pre-historic Greece some two and a half thousand years ago. The Greeks viewed philanthropy as the love towards humanity and considered it essential for the purpose and development of civilization and culture. This concept was prevalent in the Roman era as well. However, with the fall of Rome, philanthropy went into oblivion as the Dark Age descended.

The concept of philanthropy was re-discovered during the revival of the renaissance. This form of humanism crept its way back into the society along with the various areas of academic curriculum. Humanity gained a string foothold again in the Western Civilization post the religious wars in 17th Europe. The revival of classical ideas about philanthropy urged the intelligentsia to work towards a better humanitarian condition of their surroundings and state. Various charitable organizations were formed during this period in order to do well for the masses.

The whole era of 18th and 19th centuries witnessed various endeavors in upgrading the living conditions of the western world in the form of establishments like schools, hospitals, slum rehabilitation, etc. The expanse of the middle class of America and Europe took philanthropy to a serious level on a large-scale with the rapid industrialization of thee then America. The recent advent in technology has also engulfed philanthropy. Various philanthropic contributions are done with the aid of technology.


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