AP World History: Unit 1 Key Terms

Paleolithic period
old stone age
hunting & gathering societies
a human group that depends on hunting and gathering for its survival
Neolithic period
The New Stone Age, the final era of prehistory, which began about 9000 B.C.
Neolithic Revolution
the shift from hunting of animals and gathering of food to the keeping of animals and the growing of food on a regular basis around 8,000 BC
secondary products revolution
Marked change in the exploitation of domestic animals, no longer solely for the primary products of meat and hides but also for secondary products such as milk and cheese
people who wander from place to place
Bronze Age
a period of human culture between the Stone Age and the Iron Age, characterized by the use of weapons and implements made of bronze
the development of skills in a specific kind of work
a way of supplying water to an area of land
Sumerian writing made by pressing a wedge-shaped tool into clay tablets
People who dominated Southern Mesopotamia through the end of the 3rd Millennium BCE. Responsible for the creation of irrigation technology, cunieform, and religious conceptions.
temples built by Sumerians to honor the gods and goddesses they worshipped
belief in multiple Gods
Different sections of land owned by the same country but ruled by different rulers
Babylonian Empire
Empire in Mesopotamia which was formed by Hammurabi, the sixth ruler of the invading Amorites
Hammurabi’s Code
A legal code developed by King Hammurabi of Mesopotamia. The code was influential in the establishment of Hebrew and Islamic law and in the U.S. judiciary system. It specified crimes and punishments to help judges impose penalties.
Egyptian civilization
A second center of civilization in northern Africa along the Nile River, benefiting from the trade and technological influence of Mesopotamia, but developed a very different society and culture.
the title of the ancient Egyptian kings
monumental architecture typical of Old Kingdom Egypt; used as burial sites for pharaohs.
an ancient Egyptian writing system in which pictures were used to represent ideas and sounds
Indus Valley civilization
Also known as Harappan Civilization. An ancient civilization that flourished in the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys primarily in what is now Pakistan and western India
Mohenjo Daro
Indus Valley city laid out in a grid pattern. Had a complex irrigation and sewer system., One of the first settlements in India
Nomadic warriors from Central Asia who migrated into India around 1500 BCE. They are responsible for many aspects of current Indian culture including their language, sacred texts called the Vedas, and a system of government that later evolved into the caste system., Group of people who immigrated from Persia or central Asia and settled with the Harrappans in India
Huang he/Yellow River civilization
earliest civilization in China, centralized state from the start (political, ideology, ruler thought to connect heaven and earth, culture similar to ancient times)
The dominant people in the earliest Chinese dynasty for which we have written records (ca. 1750-1027 B.C.E.). Ancestor worship, divination by means of oracle bones, and the use of bronze vessels for ritual purposes were major elements of Shang culture.
oracle bones
animal bones carved with written characters which were used for telling the future
Semitic-speaking Canaanites living on the coast of modern Lebanon and Syria in the first millennium B.C.E. Famous for developing the first alphabet, which was adopted by the Greeks. From major cities such as Tyre and Sidon, these merchants and sailors explored the Mediterranean, and engaged in widespread commerce.
followers of judaism
belief in a single God
First major urban civilization in South America. Capital is de Huantar, was located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Has 2 distinct ecological zones, the Peruvian Costal Plain and the Andean Foothills.
nomads who kept herds of livestock on which they depended for most of their food
a blending of two or more religious traditions
Zhou dynasty
displaced Shang Dynasty; alliances with regional princes and families (feudal system); overtook Yangtze River Valley (Middle Kingdom); invoked the “Mandate of Heaven”; Mandarin Chinese language; Confucious (philosopher)
feudal system
Bribing with land, food, etc.
Mandate of Heaven
Chinese religious and political ideology developed by the Zhou, was the prerogative of Heaven, the chief deity, to grant power to the ruler of China.
Qin dynasty
the short-lived Chinese dynasty (from 246 BC to 206 BC) that established the first centralized imperial government and built much of the Great Wall. , The dynasty that replaced the Zhou dynasty and employed Legalist ideas in order to control warring states and unify the country.
Great Wall
Chinese defensive fortification built to keep out northern nomadic invaders; began during the reign of Shi Huangdi.
A confederation of nomadic peoples living beyond the northwest frontier of ancient China. Chinese rulers tried a variety of defenses and stratagems to ward off these ‘barbarians,’ as they called them, and dispersed them in 1st Century.
Han dynasty
imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time from 206 BC to AD 220) and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy; remembered as one of the great eras of Chinese civilization
system of managing government through departments run by appointed officials
civil service examinations
used during han dynasty , prepared young men for government service through confucianism
The system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.
The Analects
A book of confucius’s teachings compiled by his students
In China, a political philosophy that emphasized the unruliness of human nature and justified state coercion and control. The Qin ruling class invoked it to validate the authoritarian nature of their regime. (p.52)
Chinese School of Thought: Daoists believe that the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning. They accept the world as they find it, avoid futile struggles, and deviate as little as possible from the Dao, or ‘path’ of nature.
a form of social organization in which a male is the family head and title is traced through the male line
filial piety
Respect for parents
rainy season in southern Asia when the southwestern monsoon blows, bringing heavy rains
Vedic Age
A period in the history of India; It was a period of transition from nomadic pastoralism to settled village communities, with cattle the major form of wealth, Vedic Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas were composed.
The first scripture in Hinduism, it has information about spiritual, scientific, and philosophy.
A group of writings sacred in Hinduism concerning the relations of humans, God, and the universe, elaborating on the earlier vedas
caste system
a set of rigid social categories that determined not only a person’s occupation and economic potential, but also his or her position in society
LOWEST LEVEL OF INDIAN SOCIETY; not considered a real part of the caste system; often given degrading jobs; their life was extremely difficult
Mauryan Empire
The first state to unify most of the Indian subcontinent. It was founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 324 B.C.E. and survived until 184 B.C.E. From its capital at Pataliputra in the Ganges Valley it grew wealthy from taxes. (184)
Third ruler of the Mauryan Empire in India (r. 270-232 B.C.E.). He converted to Buddhism and broadcast his precepts on inscribed stones and pillars, the earliest surviving Indian writing. (p. 184)
Gupta Empire
Powerful Indian state based, like its Mauryan predecessor, on a capital at Pataliputra in the Ganges Valley. It controlled most of the Indian subcontinent through a combination of military force and its prestige as a center of sophisticated culture (186)
An eastern religion which evolved from an ancient Aryan religion in which followers strive to free their soul from reincarnation until the soul is finally freed. This religion is practiced primarily in India.
the force generated by a person’s actions that determines how the person will be reborn in the next life
the Hindu or Buddhist doctrine that person may be reborn successively into one of five classes of living beings (god or human or animal or hungry ghost or denizen of hell) depending on the person’s own actions
Buddha/Siddhartha Gautama
The Founder of Buddhism. Born an Indian Prince in the 500s BC. Gave up his luxurious life to Meditate and discover The Four Noble Truths.
the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth
any place of complete bliss and delight and peace
Classical Indian advances in astronomy & medicine
Indian numbering system/ zero
religious buildings that originally housed Buddha relics. Stupas developed into familiar Buddhist architecture, Stone shrines built to house pieces of bone and personal possessions said to be relics of the Buddha; preserved Buddhist architectural forms.
Cyrus the Great
A remarkable leader who managed to reunite he Persian Empire in a powerful kingdom. Under him, Persia began building an empire larger than any yet seen in the world, king of Persia and founder of the Persian empire (circa 600-529 BC)
The great king of Persia. He was able to become a king after a year of a civil war following the death of someone. He is responsible for the expansion of Persia. He made a province in western India and expanded Persia as far north as Macedonia
son of Darius; became Persian king. He vowed revenge on the Athenians. He invaded Greece with 180,000 troops in 480 B.C. was eventually defeated
system of religion founded in Persia in the 6th century BC by Zoroaster, dual gods of equal power to form early monotheism; Persian; cosmic struggle over good and bad; those that do good go to heaven and bad go to hell; influenced Judaism and Christianity
Peloponnesian Wars
Wars from 431 to 404 BCE between Athens and Sparta for dominance in southern Greece; resulted in Spartan victory but failure to achieve political unification of Greece
Roman Empire
Existed from 27 BCE to about 400 CE. Conquiered entire Mediterranean coast and most of Europe. Ruled by an emperor. Eventually oversaw the rise and spread of Christianity.
Roman emperor (r. 312-337). After reuniting the Roman Empire, he moved the capital to Constantinople and made Christianity a favored religion. (p.159)
Greek city-state
direct democracy
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives
In ancient Rome, the supreme governing body, originally made up only of aristocrats.
‘bread and circus’
Provision used by the goverment of Rome, free food and entertainment(Circuses) designed to divert the masses, especially the poor, from engaging in political action, also , ancient Roman metaphor for people choosing food and fun over freedom; free food and entertainment
Greek philosopher. A pupil of Plato, the tutor of Alexander the Great, and the author of works on logic, metaphysics, ethics, natural sciences, politics, and poetics, he profoundly influenced Western thought. In his philosophical system, which led him to criticize what he saw as Plato’s metaphysical excesses, theory follows empirical observation and logic, based on the syllogism, is the essential method of rational inquiry.
philosopher who believed in an absolute right or wrong; asked students pointed questions to make them use their reason, later became Socratic method
Doric/Ionic/Corinthian columns
The three types of columns used by the ancient Greeks. Used for building important structures like the Parthenon; Doric simple…Corinthian ornate.
pax Romana
A period of peace and prosperity throughout the Roman Empire, lasting from 27 B.C. to A.D. 180.
Bantu Migration
the movement of the bantu peoples southward throghout africa, spreading their language and culture, from around 500 b.c. to around A.D 1000
Mayan Empire
2500 BC to 900 AD. Located in southeastern Mexico. Had independent city-states that were unified by culture, religion and trade. Had religious rulers who had cerimonies and made sacrifices to the gods. Charted planets, moon and sun and developed calendar). Economy based on agriculture and trade.
First major urban civilization in South America. Capital is de Huantar, was located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Has 2 distinct ecological zones, the Peruvian Costal Plain and the Andean Foothills
first major metropolis in Mesoamerica, collapsed around 800 CE. It is most remembered for the gigantic “pyramid of the sun”.The first major civilization of central Mexico, this was a city-state whose ruins lie just outside of Mexico City
(1400 B.C.E. to 500 B.C.E.) earliest known Mexican civilization,lived in rainforests along the Gulf of Mexico, developed calendar and constructed public buildings and temples, carried on trade with other groups.
the Huns
source of raids on Rome; fierce warriors from Central Asia. First invaded southeastern Europe and then launched raids on nearby kingdoms
Silk Road
an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean (4,000 miles)
the ancient indigenous religion of Japan lacking formal dogma
Yellow Turbans
During the decline of classical China, a Daoist group that promised a golden age that was to be brought about by divine magic.
Byzantine Empire
(330-1453) The eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived after the fall of the Western Empire at the end of the 5th century C.E. Its capital was Constantinople, named after the Emperor Constantine. Fell to the Ottomans
Byzantine emperor in the 6th century A.D. who reconquered much of the territory previously ruler by Rome, initiated an ambitious building program , as well as a new legal code
future Buddhas. As the ideal types for Mahayana Buddhism; being who have experienced enlightenment but, motivated by compassion, stop short of entering nirvana so as to help others achieve it.
mahayana Buddhism
one of two great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing a common search for universal salvation especially through faith alone
Jesus of Nazareth
a teacher and prophet among the Jews born in bethlehem and active in nazareth; his life and sermons form the basis for christianity
the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls
Site of one of the great cities of the Indus Valley civilization of the third millennium B.C.E. It was located on the northwest frontier of the zone of cultivation , and may have been a center for the acquisition of raw materials. (p. 48)
Civilization of north coast of Peru (200-700 C.E.). An important Andean civilization that built extensive irrigation networks as well as impressive urban centers dominated by brick temples. (p. 313)
Augustus Ceaser
1st emporer of rome. The greatest ruler of Rome, Caesar Augustus was a conundrum: a ruthless politician and soldier who used his power to restore order and prosperity to Rome with such success that his reign (27 B.C. to 14 A.D)

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