Journal: News & Comment

Friday, April 12, 2002
# 9:42:00 AM:

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Horses and rhinos

Had the world been slightly different, a Bantu leader riding a rhinoceros might very well have led a conquering army from sub-Saharan Africa to overthrow the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. Today, we would be living in a world dominated by African cultures and institutions.

But it didn't happen. A big reason is that rhinos, unlike horses, cannot be domesticated. Seemingly trivial facts like that have profoundly affected how history did turn out. If you'd like to find out why, read the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.


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