se déployer suivant des axes multiples


English - British
I'm working on a text about man's relationship to his environment(s) throughout history and am wondering how I might translate the following:

La civilisation se déploie suivant des axes multiples, le rapport au milieu naturel n'étant que l'un d'eux.

I have come up with "The expansion of civilisation depends on a number of different elements, man's relationship with his natural environment being just one of them."

Can anybody confirm that this would be correct? I especially struggled to get a translation for "axes" in this context.
  • tacitus1

    Senior Member
    American English
    How about, "Civilization develops along several axes..." I don't get the impression that the sentence is necessarily saying anything about "expansion" -- a civilization might develop, take form, evolve, etc. without expanding. I would also keep "axes", as the Cartesian metaphor makes more sense if we understand the author to be referring to the notion of change over time.