Last Updated 27 Mar 2020

World History to 1500

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Hominid- this is any creature of the family Hominidae or Primates and only one species exists today, Homo sapiens or human beings. The family most closely related to the family today is Pongidae or the anthropoid apes that include the gorilla, the chimpanzee, and the orangutan. Believing that they all came from a common ancestral line during the Late Miocene epoch period and the characteristics that distinguish hominids from the pongids are the erect posture, bipedal locomotion, rounded skulls with larger brains, small teeth and behavioral characteristics such as communication through language.

The oldest known hominid genus is Australopithecus. This type was two legged and had an opposable thumb and there was evidence that they were capable of primitive tool making. The most significant physiological differences between the hominids and the pongids are how they adapted differently for different environment and the most was anatomically. Hominids had changes in the pelvis, femur and food; whereas the pongids developed physically for swinging by the arms, such as in trees. Paleolithic Era- This period is also known as the Stone Age. This is a period when humans began using rudimentary chipped stone tools.

It has been divided into two levels the lower and the upper periods. At sites dating from the Lower Paleolithic Period, approx. 2. 5 million to 200,000 years ago simple pebble tools have been found in relationship with the remains of what may have been the earliest human ancestors. Around 700,000 years ago the hand ax appeared. The arrival of the Upper Paleolithic Period, which came about 40,000 years ago, brought about the regional stone tool industry. These industries are characterized by the greater complexity, specialization, and variety of tools types by the coming of a distinctive regional artistic tradition.

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The two forms of art known to the modern world are small sculptures and monumental paintings, incised designs and drawings on the walls of caves. Most of the cave drawings that survived in quantity are in Eastern Europe and parts of Spain and France. Neolithic Era- Also known as the New Stone Age and is known for the stone tools shaped by polishing or grinding. It dates back to the last 10,000 years of earth history. This period is known for the environmental or climatic changes the earth went through to become the earth we know today.

During this period is when men became herdsmen and cultivators and the beginning to change or modify their environment. Social structure became more complex in response to problems and ways of dealing with situations. Animal domestication as well as agriculture was very important features to this era. Humans lived in more stable, more or less permanent, villages and were able to support complex social structures and organizations. Agriculture and animal husbandry developed independently in several regions of the Old and New Worlds through the natural process of evolution.

Three Craft Industries- This has to do with the final stages of cultural and technological development in prehistoric times. Stone tools are shaped by polishing or grinding and the society is dependent on domesticated plants and animals. It is also characterized by permanent villages with pottery and weaving beginning to show up. Chapter Two: Mesopotamia- Known as the land between the Tigris and Euphrates in western Asia, it is better known as one of the cradles of human civilization. There is evidence of an early settlement dating roughly to about 10,000 B. C. It is evident that this society began as rootless hunter-gatherers to a culture based on husbandry, agriculture and permanent settlements. Trade with other regions also was abundant because of the metals and precious stones in burial sites that are not known to the region. Irrigation techniques, pottery and other crafts, and building methods based on clay bricks were developed to a new level and elaborate religious cults evolved. Two very important features developed out of this era and they are the birth of the city and the invention of writing.

Hammurabi’s Code- The most complete collection of Babylonian laws written during the reign of Hammurabi during the 1st dynasty of Babylon. It was his legal decisions that were collected at the end of his reign and written on a stele. There are 282 laws that deal with economic provisions, family law, criminal law and civil law. The existing text is written in Semitic and was discovered at Susa in 1901 by Jean-Vincent Scheil. The code was advanced far beyond tribal customs and did not recognize blood feud, private retribution or marriage by capture. Epic of Gilgamesh- Tales told of a Mesopotamian hero, a king.

It is said to be the odyssey of a king who did not want to die. The stories and poems were written about Gilgamesh who ruled at Uruk in southern Mesopotamia sometime during the first half of the 3rd millennium B. C. There are no historical evidence for the exploits given in the poems and epics. The Ninevite version of the epic begins with a prologue in praise of Gilgamesh, part divine and part human, the great builder and warrior, knower of all things on land and sea. In order to curb Gilgamesh’s seemingly harsh rule, the god Anu caused the creation of Enkidu, a wild man who at first lived among the animals.

Enkidu was then brought into the ways of city life and traveled to Uruk, where Gilgamesh waited for him. It was this man and Gilgamesh who went on to live in the tales known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. Sumer- Is the site of the earliest known civilization and is located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers (Southern Iraq). It later became known as Babylonia. It is believed to first be settled between 4500 and 4000 B. S. by a non-Semitic people who did not speak the Sumerian language.

The inhabitants are known as Ubaidians and were the first civilizing force in Sumer, draining the marshes for agriculture, developing trade, and establishing industries that included weaving, leatherwork, metalwork, masonry and pottery. After the Ubaidian immigration to Mesopotamia, various Semitic peoples infiltrated their territory, adding their cultures to the Ubaidian culture and creating a high pre-Sumerian civilization. Assyrian Empire- It was an empire of the northern Mesopotamia that became the focal point of one of the great empires of the ancient Middle East. It was located in what is now known as northern Iraq around Mosul.

Assyria was a dependency of Babylonia and later of the Mitanni during most of the 2nd millennium BC. But it emerged as an independent state in the 14th century B. C. The state was finally destroyed by a Chaldean-Median coalition in 612-609 BC. The people were famous for their cruelty and fighting. They were also known for their monumental builders with their craft that can be seen in archaeological sites at Nineveh, Ashur, Nimrud, and Khorsabad. Hebrews- While the Assyrians and the Persians struggled for empire, the Hebrews or ancient Jews, evolved spiritual concepts that still permeate Western society.

Although the Hebrew were politically and culturally unimportant, a people who produced neither art nor science, their chief literary product, the Old Testament, was fundamentally influencing to both Christianity and Islam and still is a compelling force on the modern world. Chaldean Empire- was located in southern Babylonia or modern southern Iraq. Chaldea is first mentioned in the books of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II who reigned 883 to 859 BC and though earlier documents referred to the same area as the Sealand. In 850 Shalmaneser III of Assyria raided Chaldea and reached the Persian Gulf, which he called the Sea of Kaldu.

On the accession of Sargon II to the Assyrian throne, the Chaldean Marduk-apla-iddina II ruler of Bit-Yakin seized the Babylonian throne and despite Assyrian opposition, held it from 721-710. He finally fled and Bit-Yakin was placed under Assyrian control. With this decline of Assyrian power, a native governor, Naborpolassar, was able in 625 to become king of Babylon by popular consent and to inaugurate a Chaldean dynasty that lasted until the Persian invasion of 539 BC. The prestige of his successors, Nebuchadrezzar II and Nabonidus was so that Chaldean became synonymous with Babylonian.

Phoenicians- They were merchants that occupied the region known today as Lebanon with adjoining parts of modern Syria and Israel. It is believed that the Phoenicians probably arrived in the area about 3000 BC. Beginning in the 9th century the independence of Phoenicia was threatened by the advance of Assyria and in 538 the rule was passed on to the Persians. This country was later taken by Alexander the Great and in 64 BC was merged into the Roman province of Syria. They were known as sea-traders and colonizers. By the 2nd millennium they had influence that stretched along the coast of the Levant.

Phoenician exports included cedar and pine wood, fine linen from Tyure, Byblos, and Berytos, cloths dyed with the famous Tyrian purple, embroideries from Sidon, wine, metalwork, and glass. Their transit trade was vital to the era. In the artistic products of Phoenicia, Egyptian motifs and ideas were mingled with those of Mesopotamia, the Aegean, and Syria. Ivory and wood carvings became their specialty and their goldsmiths and metalsmiths work is also well known. They used cuneiform writing but also came up with their own script which the Greeks later adopted.

Their religious beliefs were nature based. Sargon of Akkad- Was an ancient Mesopotamian ruler that reigned 2334-2279 BC and is one of the earliest of the world’s great empire builders, conquering all of southern Mesopotamia as well as parts of Syria, Anatolia and Elam. He established the region’s first Semitic dynasty and was considered the founder of the Mesopotamian military traditions. Sargon was a self made man of humble beginnings, a gardener. He was found as a baby floating in a basket on the river. His father and name were unknown and his mother was thought to be a priestess.

The event that gave him power was the defeat of Lugalzaggisi of Uruk. Because Lugalzaggisi had already united the city-states of Sumer by defeating each in turn, Sargon became king over all of southern Mesopotamia. Indo-European migration- While Egyptian civilization flourished behind the back drop of sand and sea, huge changes were taking place in the ancient Near East, changes that would leave their mark on Egypt. These changes involved enormous and remarkable movements of peoples, especial peoples speaking Semitic and Indo-European languages. The original home of the Semites was probably the Arabian Peninsula.

Some tribes moved into northern Mesopotamia, others into Syria and Palestine and still others into Egypt. Although two great waves began around 2000 and 1200 BC, these migrations were usually sporadic and extended over long periods of time. Babylonian Empire- Although the empire of Sargon was extensive, it was also short lived, and it was the Babylonians who united Mesopotamia politically and culturally. The Babylonians were Amorites, a Semitic people who migrated from Arabia and settled in the Sumerian city of Babylon. Babylon enjoyed an excellent geographical position and was ideally suited to be the capital of Mesopotamia.

It dominated trade on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, so that all commerce coming from Sumer and Akkad had to pass by its walls. It also looked beyond Mesopotamia. By following the Tigris, Babylonian merchants traveled north to Assyria and Anatolia. The Euphrates led the merchants to Syria, Palestine, and the Mediterranean. The city grew great because of its commercial importance and because its power was soundly based. Hittites- For the civilization of the ancient Near East the most important of these migrations were those of the Hittites and two unrelated groups, the Hurrians and Kassites.

Neither the Hurrians nor the Kassites were Indo-European names. Indo-European or not, all three peoples were barbarians by Near Eastern standards, and their arrivals were marked by destruction. Around 1595 BC, the Kassites brought down the Babylonian kingdom and established their own rule there, while the Hurrians created the kingdom of Mitanni in the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris. The Hittites settled in central Anatolia and soon spread their influence south to Syria. The Hittites adopted the cuneiform script for their own language. Hittite kings published law codes, just as Hammurabi had done.

Their art has Mesopotamian borrowing to create something of their own. Chapter Three: Kingdom of Kushan- Was a ruling line of descent from the Yueh-chih, a people that ruled over most of the northern Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia during the first three centuries of the Christian Era. The Yueh-chih conquered Bactria in the 2nd century BC and divided the country into five chiefdoms, one of which was that of the Hushan’s. A hundred years later, the Kushan Chief Kujula Kadphises secured the political unification of the Yueh-chih kingdom under himself.

Art produced during the Hushan dynasty from about the late 1st to the 3rd century AD in an area that now includes parts of Central Asia, northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Kushans fostered a mixed culture that is best illustrated by the variety of deities invoked on their coins. At least two major stylistic divisions can be made among artifacts of the period; imperial art of Iranian derivation and Buddhist art of mixed Greco-Roman and Indian sources. Kushan artwork is stiff, hieratic and frontal, emphasizing the power and wealth of the individual.

Hyksos- Shortly after 1800 BC, people whom the Egyptians called Hyksos, which means Rulers of the Uplands, began to settle in the Nile Delta. Although the Egyptians portrayed the Hyksos as a conquering horde, they were probably no more nomads looking for good land. Their entry into the delta was probably gradual, and generally peaceful. The Hyksos invasion was one of the fertilizing periods of Egyptian history and introduced new ideas and techniques into Egyptian life. They brought with them the method of making bronze and casting it into tools and weapons and brought Egypt fully into the Bronze Age culture.

This culture made the production and use of bronze implements basic to society. Bronze tools made farming more efficient than ever before and used bronze armor and weapons as well as horse drawn chariots. They created the composite bow which was made of laminated wood and horn. It was far more powerful than the simple wooden bow and revolutionized Egyptian warfare. Akhenaten- Was a pharaoh between 1367-1350 BC whose thoughts dwelt on religion rather than conquest. Nefertiti, his wife and queen, encouraged his religious fever.

They were monotheists who believed that the sun god Aton, whom they worshipped, was universal, the only god. All other Egyptian gods and goddesses were frauds and the royal pair forbade their worship. The religious notions and the actions of Akhenaten and Nefertiti were in direct opposition to traditional Egyptian beliefs. Akhenaton’s attack on the old gods affected all Egyptians, for the old gods were fundamentally important to the afterlife of human beings. Akhenaton’s monotheism was imposed from above and it failed to find a place among the people.

One of the major reasons for Akhenaton’s failure is that his god had no connection with the past of the Egyptian people, who trusted the old gods and felt comfortable in praying to them so when Akhenaten died his religion died with him. Bantu migration- It is generally agreed that some one-third of the continent today occupied by the Bantu-speaking peoples was until approximately 2000 years ago, the dominion of other groups mainly Pygmies and Bushmen and the causes and itinerary of the subsequent Bantu migration have attracted the attention of several anthropologists.

It is speculated that the expansion of the Bantu was associated with their acquisition of certain Malaysian food crops such as banana, taro and yams, which spread westward across the continent at about the time that the migration is thought to have begun. These crops enabled them to penetrate the tropical rain forest of equatorial Africa and spread across the southern part of the continent. A more widely held view is that the migratory route lay eastward, across the southern Sudan and then south, past the great lakes of the northeast.

Chapter Four: Varna-jati system- Is the Hindu Cast system. In Hinduism’s sacred Sanskrit texts rank all people into one of four categories called varnas, which are associated with certain occupations. Most people accept the varna categories as fundamentally essential elements of their society. All of Hindu India is hierarchically ranked according to these four basic castes. In actual practice each of the four categories is further subdivided and stratified. To add to the complexity of the Indian caste system, the order in which these sub-castes are ranked varies from one region to another.

These local sub groups, known as jati, are local family groups that are strictly endogamous. All members of a jati, who share a common social status, are expected to behave in ways appropriate for that jati. A person’s jati commands his or her strongest loyalties, serves as a source of social support and provides the primary basis for personal identity. So the jati serves as the important social entity in traditional Hindu society. Aryans- they were a people who, in prehistoric times, settled in Iran and northern India.

From their language the Indo-European languages of South Asia are descended. The Nordic or Germanic peoples came to be regarded as the purest Aryans. Harappan society- Also known as Indus Valley Civilization and is the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The civilization is known to have comprised two large cities. Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, were each more than 3 mile in area and their outstanding magnitude suggest political centralization a practice for which there are analogies in Indian history.

The Indus civilization apparently evolved from the villages of neighbors or predecessors using the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture with sufficient skill to reap the advantages of the spacious and fertile Indus River. The best known artifacts of the Indus civilization are the number of seals, generally made of steatite. Significant contrasts between the Indus and the Mesopotamian cultures extend to the tool types of the two regions. Beads found in Mohenjo-daro give evidence of a clear link to Mesopotamia, Crete and Egypt.

Hinduism- The beliefs, practices and socio-religious institutions of the people known as Hindu. They are principally the peoples of India and parts of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Sikkim. The belief evolved from Vedism, the religion of the ancient Indo-European peoples who settled in India during the 2nd millennium BC. Hinduism constitutes a complex but largely continuous whole; and because it covers the whole of life, it has religious, social, economic, literary and artistic aspects. They consider their ancient texts sacred and collectively they are known as the Vedas.

Chapter Five: Xia Dynasty- Early Chinese dynasty in 1766 BC mentioned in legends but not much else and is also known as Hsia Dynasty. According to legend the founder was Yu, who was credited with having engineered the draining of the waters of a great flood and was later, identified as a deified lord of the harvest. He made rulership hereditary in his family and was the first Imperial dynasty in China. Shang Dynasty- Also known as the Yin Dynasty and was the successor to the legendary first or Xia/Hsia Dynasty. The period of the dynasty’s rule has traditionally been dated 1766-1122 BC.

Shang China was centered in the North China Plain and extended as far north as modern Shantung Province and westward through present Honan Province. The king appointed local governors and there was an established class of nobles as well as the masses whose chief labor was in agricultural. Jade carving became advanced during the Shang Dynasty. Ceremonial weapons of jade were made as well as jade fittings for actual weapons. Zhou Dynasty- Also known as the Chou Dynasty and ruled ancient China for almost a millennium creating the distinctive political and cultural characteristics that were to be identified with China for the next 2,000 years.

The Chou co-existed with the Shang for many years until one of the Zhou family members made a plan to conquer the Shang in about 1111, which took several years to win. During this dynasty China changed from one of the more backward areas of the civilized world to one of the most advanced. Iron, ox-drawn plows, crossbows and horseback riding were all introduced. Large scale irrigation and water control projects were also instituted for the first time greatly increasing the crop yield of the North China Plain. This is also known for the time of Confucianism, Taoism and legalism.

Chapter Six: Olmec- The first elaborate pre-Columbian culture of Meso-America. It’s most important centre was in what is now the southern Vera Cruz and Tabasco region of the Mexican Gulf Coast. The first evidence of the remarkable Olmec art style appears about 1150 BC. Between 1100 and 800 BC this Olmec stylish art influenced the Valley of Mexico to the Republic of San Salvador. These influences were the symbols of political empires, of a trading network, or of a religious cult. The ancient Olmec society was complex and non-egalitarian. Olmec stylistic influence disappeared after about 800 BC.

Teotihuacan- Also known as The City of the Gods and is the most important and largest city of pre-Columbian central Mexico. The earliest inhabitants of the region of what was to become the city at about 400 BC and its formal planning as a metropolis dates to about the beginning of the Christian Era. Their culture and cultural influences spread throughout Meso-America. About 650 or 900 BC Teotihuacan was sacked and burned by the invading Toltec. The area of the city encompassed eight square miles and in addition to dwellings places, great plazas and temples also had palaces of nobles and priests.

Maya- Meso-American Indians that occupy southern Mexico, Guatemala and northern Belize. Before the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Central America, the Maya possessed one of the greatest civilizations of the Western Hemisphere. They practiced agriculture, built great stone buildings and pyramid temples, worked gold and copper, and used a form of hieroglyphic writing, that have been deciphered. As early as 1500 BC the Maya had settled in villages and had developed a primitive agriculture based on the cultivation of corn, beans and squash.

The rise of the Maya to greatness began about 250 AD and what is known as the Classic period. At the height of the civilization there were more than 40 cities with each having a population from 5,000 to 50,000. Chapter Seven: Cyrus the Great- Was a conqueror between 590-580 BC who founded the Achaemenid Empire that was centered on Persia and made up the Near East from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River. He is also known as a tolerant and ideal monarch who was called father of his people by the ancient Persians and in the Bible as the liberator of the Jews held captive in Babylonia.

His persona in history has him being more than a great man who founded an empire, instead he was known for his great qualities that are expected of a ruler. He was not only a great conqueror and administrator; he had a place in the minds of the Persian people similar to that of Romulus and Remus in Rome or Moses for the Israelites. He is most known for freeing the Jewish captives in Babylonia and allowing them to return to their homeland. Sasanids- An ancient Iranian dynasty evolved by Ardashir I between the years of conquest AD 208 and 224 and was destroyed by the Arabs during the years 637 and 651.

Zoroastrianism became the state religion under Sasanian rule and the government became centralized with provincial officials directly responsible to the throne and roads, city buildings and even agriculture were financed by the government. Under the Sasanians Iranian art experienced a general renaissance. Seleucids- An empire that at its greatest stretched from Thrace in Europe to the border of India. It was created out of the remains of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian Empires by its founder, Seleucus I Nicator.

Seleucus was one of Alexander’s leading generals and became governor of Babylonia in 321, two years after the death of Alexander. The Seleucid Kingdom was a major center of Hellenistic culture, which maintained the presence of Greek customs and manners over the indigenous cultures of the Middle East. The kingdom began losing control over large territories in the 3rd century BC. Zoroastrianism- It is the ancient pre-Islamic religion of Iran that survives still today in isolated areas and more prosperously in India where the descendents of Zoroastrian Iranian immigrants are known as Parsis or Parsees.

Founded by the Iranian prophet and reformer Zoroaster in the 6th century BC, this religion contains both monotheistic and dualistic features and influenced other major Western religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Chapter Eight: Confucianism- A way of life that was created by Confucius in the 6th and 5th century BC and has been followed by the Chinese people for over 2 thousand years. It has been the substance of learning, the source of their values and their social codes. It has been viewed as philosophy and a religion.

It affects the daily life and culture of the Taoists, Buddhists and Christians in China before the Communist regime. Legalism- School of Chinese philosophy that was created around 475-221 BC by the philosopher Han Fey Tzu and was the basis for the first Chinese dynasty. They believe that political institution should be modeled in response to the realities of human behavior and that men are inherently selfish and short sighted. But that social harmony could not be assured through the recognition by the people of the virtue of their ruler, but only through strong state control and absolute obedience to authority.

They want government to prescribe punishments and rewards for specific behaviors and increase the power of the ruler. Daoism- Also known as Taoism it is the Chinese Philosophy and its fundamental concept believes that it is the “Correct Way” or “Heaven’s way”. In the Confucian tradition, Tao signifies a morally correct path of human conduct and is limited to behavior. The concept takes on a metaphysical sense transcending the human realm. The absolute Tao defies verbal definition, but language can make suggestions that may lead to an intuitive or mystical understanding of this fundamental reality.

It began sometime between the 8th and 3rd centuries. Taoists view life and death as simply different stages or manifestations of the Absolute Tao and consequently advocate a life in accord with nature. The serenity of such a life stands in sharp contrast to the life of public service advocated by Confucius. Qin Dynasty- Also the Ch’in Dynasty 221-226 BC and was the first great Chinese empire and also where the name China came from. This dynasty established the boundaries and basic administrative system that all subsequent Chinese dynasties were to follow for the next 2,000 years.

The Ch’in Dynasty left two architectural monuments of massive proportions, one the Great Wall of China, which actually connected sections of a number of existing short walls, and the other a great palace for the first emperor. Its most important artistic contribution may have been the simplification and standardization of the emerging Chinese language. Han Dynasty- The second great Chinese Imperial dynasty and was considered the model for all other later Chinese Dynasties. Han Dynasty created what is now considered Chinese culture of today. The dynasty was founded by Liu Pang, later Kao Tsu 256-195 BC.

The Han copied the highly centralized Ch’in/Qin Dynasty’s administrative structure, and divided up the country into a series of administrative areas ruled by centrally appointed officials and developed a salaried bureaucracy in which promotion was based on merit. Han also adopted a Confucian ideology and emphasized moderation and virtue. It was so successful that this dynasty lasted longer than any other. The first major stone tomb sculpture in China was created in the Han period and lifelike clay figurines of people and animals also were created.

The Shang dynasty discovered lacquer, but it was the Han that brought its lacquer work to such perfection that some of its lacquered wine cups in perfect condition have been excavated from water filled graves. Chapter Nine: Jainism- It is a religion and philosophy of India founded in about the 6th century by Vardhamana, it is centered on protest against the orthodox Vedic, or early Hindu, ritualistic cult, its earliest sect rebelled against the idea of the practice of taking life that was prevalent in the Vedic animal sacrifice. It does not believe in the creator god and its central core is no injury come to any living thing.

And man can become perfect through a monastic and ascetic life. Mauryan Empire- The Mauryan Empire was in ancient India around 321-185 BC and was an efficient and highly organized autocracy with a standing army and civil service. This bureaucracy and its operations was the model for the Artha-sastra (“Treatise on the Aims of Life” work of political economy that is similar to the tone and scope of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”). Gupta Empire- Were rulers of the Magadha state in northeastern India, later Bihar. They maintained an empire over northern and parts of central western India from the early 4th to the late 6th century AD.

The Gupta era produced the decimal system of notation and great Sanskrit epics and Hindu art and contributed to the science of astronomy, mathematics and metallurgy. Ashoka- He was the last major emperor in the Mauryan dynasty of India and a Buddhist follower, his reign was from 273-232 BC and his faith furthered the expansion of that religion throughout India. After a bloody conquest of the Kalinga country on the east coast he renounced armed conquest and adopted a policy he called “conquest by dharma”. To spread the word of dharma he made them known orally through announcements and engraved them on rocks and pillars.

He went to the rural areas to preach his teachings. The only glory he wanted was to lead his people along the path of dharma and he build hospitals for men and animals, but his strongest points were to the services to Buddhism. Buddhism- A religion and philosophy founded by Siddhartha Gautama in northeast India in the 5th century BC. It spread from India to central and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. Buddhism has played an influential role in the spiritual, cultural, and social life of much of the Eastern world. The Buddha or the “Enlightened one” died in northeastern India between 500 and 350 BC.

He was born into royalty but was shocked by the inevitability of sickness, old age and death; he renounced his family life in order to wonder as an ascetic in search of religious understanding and a way of release from the human condition. He instructed his followers in the dharma and a path between a worldly life and extremes of self denial. Four Nobel Truths- The essence of Buddha’s early preaching was said to be the Four Nobel Truths: 1. life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering; 2. suffering is a result of one’s desires for pleasure, power and continued existence; 3. o stop disappointment and suffering one must stop desiring; and 4. the way to stop desiring and thus suffering is the Noble Eight-Fold Path, right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness and right concentration. Chapter Ten: Minoan Society- This was known as the Bronze Age civilization of Crete that flourished from 3000 to 1100 BC. Its name comes from Minos either a dynastic title or the name of a particular ruler of Crete who has a place in Greek legend. Minoan pottery has been found throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

One of the most familiar features of Minoan civilization is the bull symbol known through the Greek legend of Minotaur and depicted in the brightly colored frescoes on the palace walls at Knossos. Cyclades, the islands around the island of Delos in the Aegean Sea, is similar to that of Minoan Crete, which according to Greek tradition, exercised hegemony over them. Mycenaean Society- The Mycenaean’s entered Greece around 2000 BC and settled in central Greece and in the Peloponnesus, the peninsula that forms the southernmost part of Greece. Mycenaean civilization was utterly unlike anything the later Greeks evolved.

The political unit of the Mycenaean was the kingdom, not the polis. The king and his warrior aristocracy stood at the top of society. The symbol of the king’s power and wealth was the palace, which was also the economic center of the kingdom. Within its walls royal craftsmen fashioned jewelry and rich ornaments, made and decorated fine pottery, forged weapons, prepared hides and wool for clothing and manufactured the goods needed by the king and his retainers. The Mycenaean kingdoms were in touch with each other and with the Bronze Age culture of the Minoans in Create, but these contacts were usually violent.

They were a consistently warlike and restless people. Peloponnesian War- This war lasted a generation from 431-404 BC brought in its wake fearful plagues, famine, civil wars, widespread destruction and huge loss of life. As the war dragged on old leaders like Pericles died and were replaced by men of the war generation. In Athens the most prominent of this new breed of politicians was Alcibiades, a aristocrat, a kinsman of Pericles, and a student of the Philosopher Socrates. Alcibiades was brilliant handsome, and charming, all of which made him popular with the people.

He was also self-seeking and egotistical; a shameless opportunist, his first thoughts were always for himself. One positive development that grew out of the Persian and Peloponnesian wars was the beginning of historical writing. The father of history, Herodotus was born at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor and as a young man traveled widely. He migrated to Athens which became his intellectual home and participated in the colonization of Thurii in southern Italy where he died. Alexander the Great- The figure of Alexander loomed over the Hellenistic period and still cast its shadows today.

Some scholars have seen him as a high minded philosopher; his bloody and savage campaigns in the East seem the work of a ruthless and callous conqueror. Yet for the Hellenistic period and for Western civilization in general what Alexander intended was less important than what he actually did. Alexander was instrumental in changing the face of politics in the eastern Mediterranean. His campaign swept away the Persian Empire, which had ruled the East for over two hundred years. In its place he established a Macedonian monarchy. More important in the long run was his foundation of cities and military colonies.

The result of his campaign was to open the East to the coming of Hellenism. Antigonid Empire- This was the ruling house of ancient Macedonia from 306-168 BC. Antigonus Gonatas became king of Macedonia and established the Antigonid dynasty, which ruled until the Roman conquest in 168 BC. His resilience and hard work gave to Macedonia a sound and durable government. Ptolemaic Empire- The Ptolemies in Egypt made no effort to spread Greek culture and unlike other Hellenistic kings they were not city builders, they founded only the city of Ptolemais near Thebes.

At first the native Egyptian population, the descendants of the pharaoh’s people, retained their traditional language, outlook, religion, and way of life. Initially untouched by Hellenism, the natives continued to be the foundation of the state: they fed it by their labor in the fields, and they financed its operations by their taxes. Under the pharaohs, talented Egyptians had been able to rise to high office, but during the third century BC the Ptolemies cut off this avenue of advancement. Ever more tightly they tied the natives to the land and made it nearly impossible for them to leave their villages.

The bureaucracy of the Ptolemies was so ruthlessly efficient that the native population was viciously and cruelly exploited. Even in times of hardship the king’s taxes came first despite the fact that payment might mean starvation for the natives. To many Egyptians revolt or a life of brigandage was far better than working the land under the Ptolemies. Chapter Eleven: Etruscans- The Etruscans were skillful metal workers, and they amassed extensive wealth by trading their manufactured goods in Italy and beyond.

The strength of their political and military institutions enabled them to loosely organize league of cities whose dominion extended as far north as the Po valley and as far south as Latium and Campania. In Latium they founded cities and they took over control of Rome. Like the Greeks, the Etruscans promoted urban life, and one of the places that benefited from Etruscan influence was Rome. The Etruscans found the Romans settled on three of Rome’s seven hills. The site of the future Forum Roamanum, the famous Public Square and center of political life was originally the cemetery of the small community.

Etruscan power and influence at Rome were so strong and important that Roman traditions preserved the memory of Etruscan kings who ruled the city. Under the Etruscans, Rome enjoyed contacts with the larger Mediterranean world, and the city began to grow. In the years 575 -550 BC, temples and public buildings began to grace the city. The Capitoline Hill became the religious center of the city when the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus was built there. The forum ceased to be a cemetery and started its history as a public meeting place. Metalwork became common and the wealthier classes began to import large numbers of fine Greek vases.

The Etruscans had found Rome a collection of villages and had made of it a city. Punic Wars- Also called the First Carthaginian War it was the first of three wars between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian or Punic Empire that resulted in the destruction of Carthage. The first Punic was fought to establish control over the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. In 264 the Carthaginians intervened in a dispute between the two principal cities on the Sicilian west coast of Messana and Syracuse, and to establish a presence on the island.

Rome responding to this challenge attacked Messana and forced the Carthaginians to withdraw. In 260 a Roman fleet failed to gain complete control of Sicily but opened the way to Corsica, from which the Carthaginians were expelled. A second Roman fleet ailed in 256 and established a beach head on the African continent. Carthage was prepared to surrender, but the terms offered by Rome were too severe, and in 255 Carthage attacked with a new army built around cavalry and elephants and drove the invaders to the sea.

The battle for Sicily resumed in 254 but was a stalemate until 241 when a fleet of 200 warships gave the Romans undisputed control of the sea lanes and assured the collapse of the Punic stronghold in Sicily. One year later Carthage surrendered ceding Sicily and the Lipari Islands to Rome and agreeing to pay an indemnity. Julius Caesar- A Roman general and statesman and was known for conquering of Gaul, victor in the Civil war of 49-46 BC and dictator in 46-44 BC who launched a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated by a group of nobles in the Senate House.

A patrician by birth he became prosecuting advocate in Rome and was elected quaestor and curule aedile for 65. In 63 he was elected pontifex maximus and in 62 praetor. Caesar conquered Gaul in a number of campaigns between 58 and 50 and in 49 after being instructed by the Senate to lay down his command; he crossed the Rubicon signifying the beginning of the Roman civil war. He waged campaigns on several fronts, aided Cleopatra of Egypt and acquired the title of dictator. He was assassinated by a group of senatorial conspirators led by Cassius and Brutus.

Augustus- Also known as Octavian was the first Roman emperor that introduced an autocratic regime known as the first citizen, and enabled him working through institutions that were republican in outward form to overhaul every aspect of Roman life and to bring stability and prosperity to the Greco-Roman world. One of the great administrative geniuses of history, he centralized the power of the Roman empire of his day in Rome itself and established the Pax Romana. He was born to a prosperous family and was named adoptive son and heir of Julius Caesar, his great uncle, at the age of 18.

In the power struggle that followed Caesar’s death he became one of three that reconstituted the Roman state. After defeating Caesar’s assassins, Brutus and Cassius at Philippi, Octavian and Antony partitioned the empire with Octavian receiving the west as his portion. Octavian then overcame various rivals that included Lepidus and Antony and Cleopatra to become ruler of the Greco-Roman world and preserved the republican forms of government. Jesus of Nazareth- Jesus was born in a troubled time, when Roman rule aroused hatred and unrest among the Jews.

This climat4e of hostility affected the lives of all who lived in Judaea, Roman and Jew alike. It forms the backdrop of Jesus’ life and it had a fundamental impact on his ministry. Without an understanding of this age of anxiety in Judaea, Jesus and early Christianity cannot properly be appreciated. The entry of Rome into Jewish affairs was certainly not peaceful. The civil wars that destroyed the republic wasted the prosperity of Judaea and the entire eastern Mediterranean world. Jewish leaders took sides in the fighting, and Judaea suffered its share of ravages and military confiscations.

Peace brought little satisfaction to the Jews. Added to the horrors of civil war were years of crop failure, which caused famine and plague. As the ravages of war became ever more widespread and conditions worsened, more and more people prophesied the imminent coming of the Messiah. Into this climate of Roman severity, Zealotry and Messianic hope came Jesus of Nazareth. He was born in Galilee, the stronghold of the Zealots. Yet Jesus was a man of peace and his teachings were entirely and thoroughly Jewish.

Paul of Tarsus- Christianity might have remained a purely Jewish sect had it not been for Paul of Tarsus. The conversion of Hellenized Jews and of Gentiles, non-Jews, to Christianity caused the sect grave problems. Were the Gentiles subject to the laws of Moses? If not, was Christianity to have two sets of laws? The answer to these questions was Paul’s momentous contribution to Christianity. Paul was unlike Jesus or Peter. Born in a thriving and busy city filled with Romans, Greeks, Jews, Syrians, and others, he was at home in the world of Greco-Roman culture.

After his conversion to Christianity he taught that his native Judaism was the preparation for the Messiah, and that Jesus by his death and resurrection had fulfilled the prophecy of Judaism and initiated a new age. Paul said that Jesus was the Son of God, the beginning of a new law, and he preached that Jesus teachings were to be proclaimed to all people, whether Jew or Gentile. Chapter Twelve: Monsoon System- Has to do with trade and how trade is conducted in history. A monsoon is any major wind system that seasonally reverses its direction.

One that blew for approximately six months from the northeast and six months from the southwest, the most prominent examples of the seasonal winds occur in southern Asia and in Africa. The primary cause of monsoons lies in the difference of the annual temperature trends over land and sea, though other factors may be involved as well. Constantine- In the final part of the third century A. D. the emperor Diocletian put an end to the period of turmoil. Repairing the damage done in the third century was the major wok of the emperor Constantine (306-337) in the fourth.

But the price was high. Under Diocletian, Augustus’s polite fiction of the emperor as “first among equals” gave way to the emperor as absolute autocrat. The princes became lord. The emperor claimed that he was “the elect of god” and that he ruled because of god’s favor. In the fourth century, Constantine even claimed to be the equal of Jesus’ first twelve followers. To underline the emperor’s exalted position Diocletian and Constantine adopted the gaudy court ceremonies and trappings of the Persian Empire.

People entering the emperor’s presence prostrated themselves before him and kissed the hem of his robes. Constantine went so far as to import Persian eunuchs to run the palace. The Roman emperor had become an oriental monarch. The most serious immediate matter confronting Diocletian and Constantine were economic, social and religious. They needed additional revenues to pay for the army and the imperial court. Yet the wars and the barbarian invasions had caused widespread destruction and poverty. The fighting had struck a serious blow to Roman agriculture, which the emperors tried to revive.

In the religious sphere Christianity had become too strong either to ignore or to crush. How Diocletian, Constantine and their successors dealt with those problems helped create the economic and social patterns medieval Europe inherited. Attila the Hun- King of the Huns from 434 to 453 and ruled jointly with his elder brother Bleda until 445. He was one of the greatest of the barbarian rulers who assaulted the Roman Empire invading the southern Balkan provinces and Greece and then Gaul and Italy.

From 435 to 439 the activities of Attila are unknown but he seems to have been engaged in subduing barbarian people to the north or east of his dominions. The Eastern Romans do not appear to have paid the sums stipulated in the treaty of Margus and so in 441 when their forces were occupied in the west and on the eastern frontier, Attila launched a heavy assault on the Danubian frontier of the Eastern Empire. He captured and ravaged a number of important cities. Attila’s movements after the conclusion of peace in the autumn are again unknown.

About 445 he murdered his brother Bleda and ruled the Huns as an autocrat. He made a second attack after this on the Eastern Roman Empire, not much is written on this attack. Manichaeism- Was a dualistic religious movement founded in Persia in the 3rd century AD by Mani who was known as the Apostle of Light and supreme Illuminator. Although Manichaeism was long considered a Christian heresy, it was a religion in its own right, because of the coherence of its doctrines and the rigid ness of its structure and institutions preserved throughout its history a unity and unique character.

Mani was born in southern Babylonia, now Iraq. With his annunciation at the age of 24 he obeyed a heavenly order to manifest himself publicly and to proclaim his doctrines. From that point on, Mani preached throughout the Persian Empire. At first unhindered, he later was opposed by the king, condemned and imprisoned. After 26 days of trials, which his followers called the Passion of the Illuminator or Mani’s crucifixion. Mani delivered a final message to his disciples and died.

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