WHAP – Chapter 5 RG – Society and Inequality in Eurasia/North Africa

Characterize the social hierarchy of China during the second-wave era.
Chinese society was very unique in the ancient world because it was shaped by the actions made by the state. All of the Chinese state officials were males. When the Han dynasty established in China around 200 B.C.E., the rules started to require each province to send their men of promise to the capital,and they they were examined and chosen for official positions based of their performance.
What are the benefits of being a member of the Chinese bureaucracy?
There are many benefits of being a member of the Chinese bureaucracy. Those who made it into the bureaucracy entered a high privilege and great prestige. Senior officials moved and traveled by carriages and were also dressed in robes, ribbons, and headdresses appropriate to their ranking. Even lower officials were distinguished by their polished speech, their cultural sophistication, and their urban manners.
What class conflicts disrupted Chinese society?
The state and landlords made most peasants in China vulnerable. The state authorities would take up taxes yearly, which left the peasants with few of anything. The peasants revolted because of this and started the Yellow Turban Rebellion. Although the military stopped it, it devastated the economy, weakened the state, and helped contribute the overthrow of the dynasty.
What set of ideas underlies India’s caste-based society?
India’s social organization shared many broad features with China. There were a couple of things that were distinctive about India though. The organization, flavor, and texture of ancient Indian society were distinctive compared to almost all other civilizations.
What is the difference between varna and jati as it relates to the caste system of India?
Jati was associated with particular sets of duties, rules, and obligations. Varnas were divided into four ranked classes that they were born into. The four castes for varnas were (ranked top to bottom) Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya, then Sudra. (Not including untouchables, that were outside the system.)
How did India’s caste system differ from China’s class system?
India’s caste system was different from China’s class system. Caste provided a substitute for the state as an integrative mechanism for Indian civilization. The caste offered a distant and socially recognized place for almost everyone. India’s caste system facilitated the exploitation of the poor by the powerful and wealthy.
How did the inequalities of slavery differ from those of caste?
Slavery can be imposed or freedom granted, and the slaves are not paid. Slaves are property, bought and owned. The caste system involves accident of birth which cannot be changed or avoided while sometimes the children of slaves could be labeled as free people. Low caste people were not considered slaves.
How did Greco-Roman slavery differ from that of other classical civilizations?
There were more slaves in the greco-roman world than and other classical civilizations. The Greco Roman society also relied on their slaves more than other civilizations did. Slaves also participated in a great number of occupations. Slaves were excluded only from military service.
In what ways did the expression of Chinese patriarchy change over time? Why did it change?
Pairs of opposites were described in gendered and unequal terms, with the symbol of the yin yang. Yin is associated with the earth, subjects, weakness, emotion, and darkness. Yang is associated with heaven, rulers, strength, rationality, and light. Yang was viewed as masculine and yin was viewed as feminine. Emerging confusion ideology played a very important role in evolving ideas about patriarchy. People emphasized the distinction of public and political roles of men and private domain of women.
How did the patriarchies of Athens and Sparta differ from each other? How were they the same?
Spartan woman possessed more freedom. Athens placed limitations on women during 700 to 400 B.C.E. Athens excluded women from public life. Athens restricted woman to their home, and they lived separately from men. Sparta placed great value on their male warriors. Spartan woman married men their own age. Spartan women had more authority in the household.
China’s scholar-gentry class
The China scholar-gentry class were essentially the aristocrats of ancient China. They were the ones who largely governed and administrated the Chinese Empire. They were selected by qualifying in an examination, that were mainly focused on key texts of Confucianism
Wang Mang
Wang Mang name was a high court official of the Han Dynasty who usurped the Emperor’s throne in 8 C.E. and immediately launched a serious of startling reforms. Wang Mang was a firm believer in Confucianism and good government
Ge Hong
Ge Hong was born to a well-established aristocratic family in southern China. He was born in 283 C.E. Ge Hong studied with Daoist master Zheng Yin when he was around 14 years old. He went on to search for social order, and died at 60.
Yellow Turban Rebellion
The Yellow Turban rebellion was a massive peasant uprising. Towards the end of the 2nd century C.E. wandering bands of peasants began to join together as floods along the Yellow River and resulting epidemics compounded the misery of landlessness and poverty
“ritual purity” in Indian Social Practice
An idea that members of higher castes must adhere to very strict regulations limiting or forbidding their contact with members and objects of lower castes, so that they would preserve their caste standing, and the relationships with the gods.
Spartacus
Spartacus was a slave gladiator. He led the first major slave revolt in human history. The revolt of Spartacus was the first and one of the most known revolts in human history. It improved conditions for slaves and it inspired many other slave rebellions.
The “three obedience’s”
An idea emphasized a woman’s subordination first to her father, then to her husband, and finally her son.
Empress Wu
Empress Wu lived from 690 to 705 c.e. She was a former high-ranking concubine in the imperial court, who gave to power amid much Palace intrigue and was the only woman ever to rule China with the title as emperor.
Aspaisa and Pericles
Aspasia was a foreign woman resident in Athens (from 470 to 400 B.C.E.) of the Statesmen, Pericles who was famed for her learning and wit. Pericles was influential statement of ancient Athens (from 495 to 429 B.C.E.) he presided over Athens golden age.
Helots
Helots were dependent semi-enslaved class of ancient Sparta whose social discontent prompt the militarization of Spartan society.
Why was slavery so much more prominent in Greco-Roman civilization than in India or China?
Slavery was more prominent in Greco-Roman civilizations than in India or China. There were far more slaves in the Greco-Roman world. Slaves participated in diverse occupations in the Roman Empire than they did in other civilizations. Slaves also played a critical role in the Greco-Roman civilization.
What philosophical, religious, or cultural ideas served to legitimize the class ad gender of inequalities in the classical era societies?
In China, Confucian philosophy was used to justify patriarchy and social classes. Peasants used Daoism when they rebelled against authorities. In India the varnas were described by being formed by Gods. The caste systems was explained through the concepts of karma and rebirth. Every classical system drew ideas to legitimate class and gender equalities. Aristotle developed the notion that some people were slaves by nature.
What patterns of social life in the classical civilizations can you identify? What accounts for these changes?
The classical era brought no dramatic changes to societies. The classical era strengthened cultural traditions. Rome and China served to strengthen social inequality and patriarchy.
Cultural and social patterns of civilizations seem to endure longer than the political framework of states and empires. What evidence from chapters 3, 4, and 5 might support this statement? What might explain this phenomenon? Is there evidence to support a contrary position?
I agree with this statement because trappers three four and five have lotsa evidence to support the statement. Bathroom 3 goes over the rise and fall of classical Eurasian empires which none survived after 1550 si e. Chapter 4 goes on to discover the creations of many cultural traditions that still continue today. Finally chapter 5 explorers classical and social hierarchies that continued long after the following of the older empires.