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Foundations Review: Chapter 1-12

Chapter 1:
                                  The Evolution of Homo Sapiens

       The oldest known ancestor of humans is Australopithecus, whose remains have been found in the
     Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
        Australopithecus (―southern ape‖) lived from around four million down to around one million
     years ago.
                 o     They were hominids, or members of the family Hominidae, which includes humans
                     and humanlike creatures.
                 o By walking on their hind legs they freed up their hands to produce simple tools.
                 o Australopithecus traveled distances up to fifteen kilometers and produced tools such
                     as choppers and scrapers.
    Australopithecus gave way to the more advanced Homo erectus (―upright-walking human‖),
                 o the first representatives of the genus Homo.
                 o They existed from roughly 1.5 million years ago down to around two hundred
                     thousand years ago.
                 o Possessing a much larger brain than Australopithecus, Homo erectus was more
                     advanced in many areas.
                 o Homo erectus produced more sophisticated tools, such as cleavers and hand axes,
                     and learned how to control fire.
                 o Their greatest accomplishment, however, was the development of language skills,
                     which allowed for the exchange of complex concepts.
    Homo erectus was replaced by a more intelligent human species: Homo sapiens (―consciously
     thinking human‖).
                 o With a brain almost as large as that of modern humans and with a well-developed
                     frontal region, Homo sapiens possessed the intelligence to have a profound impact
                     on the world around them.
                 o     Homo sapiens first appeared roughly 250,000 years ago
                 o Had spread to most of the habitable world by around fifteen thousand years ago.
                 o They produced knives, spears, and bows and arrows and made themselves such
                     successful hunters
                 o helped to drive species such as mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, and giant
                     kangaroos into extinction.

                                         Paleolithic Society

      Most of human existence falls into the period known as the Paleolithic age (―old stone age‖).
               o This period, ranging from the first appearance of the hominids down to around
                   twelve thousand years ago
               o characterized by the existence of humans as hunters and gatherers.
               o    Because of their nomadic lifestyle, Paleolithic groups never reached beyond thirty
                   to fifty members.
               o Archeologists and anthropologists believe that there was very little social inequality
                   or gender distinction during this period.
               o Late in the Paleolithic age the Natufian society of the eastern Mediterranean, the
                   Jomon society of central Japan, and the Chinook society of the American Pacific
                   northwest made an early transition from a nomadic to a more settled existence.
               o The most sophisticated people during this time were the Neandertal (one hundred
                   thousand to thirty-five thousand years ago)
               o and Cro-Magnon (forty thousand years ago).
               o Elaborate Neandertal burial sites
                              Shanidar cave in Iraq seem to indicate that humans during this period may
                              have wanted to honor their dead;
                             they may also have been preparing them for an existence after death.
                             Cro-Magnon, classified as Homo sapiens sapiens,
                                   were the first human beings of the modern type.
                                   The existence of Venus figurines
                                   elaborate cave paintings at Lascaux in France and Altamira in
                                      Spain tell us much about their view of the world.
                                           o While some of the paintings may have been done for
                                                purely aesthetic enjoyment, it is more likely that the
                                                depiction of animals was a form of sympathetic magic to
                                                ensure success in the hunt.

The Neolithic Era and the Transition to Agriculture

       The discovery of agriculture (and to a lesser extent the domestication of animals) around twelve
     thousand years ago helped give rise to the Neolithic age (―new stone age‖).
     Women may have played the most important role in the development of agriculture.
     This fundamental discovery changed humans from food gatherers to food producers and helped set
     the stage for the rise of civilization.
     The mastery of agriculture
                 o ensured a more stable food supply
                 o helped fuel a population explosion.
                 o It is estimated that the population of the earth increased from five million in 5000
                      B.C.E. to fourteen million in 3000 B.C.E.
     Neolithic villages such as Jericho and Çatal Hüyük display an accelerated pace of development,
                 o with the rise of such prehistoric craft industries as pottery, metallurgy, and textile
                 o The eventual rise of true cities, larger and more complex and influential than
                      Neolithic villages, left early humans with all the pieces necessary for the
                      construction of complex societies.

Chapter 2:
                          The Quest for Order

       Mesopotamia, ―the land between the rivers‖— in this case the Tigris and Euphrates
               o was the birthplace of the world’s first complex society.
               o The Sumerians of southern Mesopotamia were first in a series of early brilliant
                   cultures in southwest Asia.
               o The cultural and linguistic landscape was enriched and complicated by Semitic
               o The rapidly growing population of Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium B.C.E.
                   required the establishment of political and social organizations.
               o Without the benefit of earlier examples the Mesopotamians built sophisticated
                   political, social and military structures that allowed them to survive and in fact
                   extend their influence over surrounding regions.
               o Although they never achieved political unification, the Mesopotamian city-states of
                   Eridu, Ur, Uruk, Lagash, Nippur, and Babylon dominated the land between the
                   Tigris and Euphrates for a thousand years.
               o Warfare was common among the Mesopotamian city-states,
                         occasionally one ruler would temporarily dominate his neighbors and create
                             short-lived empires.
                         In the twenty-fourth century B.C.E. Sargon of Akkad was the first to unite
                             all of Mesopotamia.
                            A more impressive and long-lasting state would arise during the time of
                             Hammurabi (1792–1750 B.C.E.) and the Babylonians.
                                  Hammurabi was a powerful ruler, but he is mainly known for his
                                     sophisticated law code.
                                     Hammurabi’s code was based on lex talionis, or the ―law of
                                          o shaped by class distinctions.
                            Eventually a new power, the Assyrians, rose to dominate Mesopotamia and
                            Babylon briefly reasserted its prominence in the sixth century B.C.E. under

           The Formation of a Complex Society and Sophisticated Cultural Traditions

  The mastery of agriculture allowed for the development of economic specialization and the
 expansion of trade.
 Technological advancements
            o such as innovations in bronze (4000 B.C.E.) and
            o iron metallurgy (1300 B.C.E.), as well as the
            o creation of wheeled vehicles (3000 B.C.E.), also played a role in the expansion of the
            o The Mesopotamians actively pursued long-distance trade with merchants in Arabia,
                 Anatolia, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan, and India.

  Another aspect of these developing areas was the increasing distance between the haves and have-
 nots of society.
 Agriculture made it possible for individuals to become wealthy.
             o The gulf between rich and poor steadily increased, with the kings and nobles
                  positioning themselves at the top because of their status as warriors.
             o A powerful priestly class, acting as intermediaries between humans and the gods,
                  also emerged.
             o In addition, there arose a large slave population, drawn mainly from prisoners of
                  war, criminals and indebted individuals.
             o These societies were also highly patriarchal.

      In many ways the evolution of writing formed the foundation of the cultural achievements of these
    early societies.
                o The Mesopotamians, through cuneiform, began to experiment with a written
                     language during the fourth millennium.
                          The significance of a written language is clearly seen in Hammurabi’s law
                                       as well as in early work in mathematics and astronomy and
                                       the masterful literary and mythological achievement of the Epic of
                                   At the same time, because of the complexity of these systems,
                                       writing would for the most part remain the province of the courtly
                                        The written records give a glimpse at the creation of organized
                                       religion in the region.
                                   As was the norm in the ancient world, the Mespotamians were
                                            o with the gods mainly representing forces of nature.
                                   The pessimistic Mesopotamian view of the gods and of people’s
                                       place in the universe represents the precarious existence of life
                                       between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
                            The Broader Influence of Mesopotamian Society

       Seldom in history has a society been as influential as the Mesopotamians. Their relationship with
     the Hebrews is a classic example.
                o The Hebrew law code was clearly influenced by Hammurabi’s code.
     At the same time, these later societies built their own unique cultural achievements.
                o The staunch monotheism of Moses was unlike anything that came from the
                           Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, was both a powerful and a personal God.
                               This view of God would later shape the development of Christianity and
     The Phoenicians, in addition to their role as maritime explorers and merchants, invented
     alphabetic writing.

The Indo-European Migrations

        The Mespotamians were also influenced by other societies, some from regions far beyond the
      boundaries of the Tigris and Euphrates.
                   o The most important were tribes, speaking a variety of Indo-European languages,
                            who migrated into the region at various times during the second and third
                                millennium B.C.E.
     The Indo-Europeans, originally from the steppe region of southern Russia, left a common
      linguistic foundation from India through Western Europe.
                   o Languages such as Sanskrit, Old Persian, Greek, Latin, Hindi, and Farsi as well as
                       most European languages were descendants of the Indo-European language.
         These tribes had domesticated the horse by around 4000 B.C.E.
                   o The most influential Indo-European migrants into the area around Mesopotamia
                       were the Hittites, who settled in central Anatolia around 2000 B.C.E.
                            Their construction of light, horse-drawn chariots and their mastery of
                                advanced iron metallurgy made them formidable warriors.
                            These innovations did not exist in a vacuum, however, and other peoples
                                quickly borrowed them.
                            The Indo-Europeans eventually traveled east to the Tarim Basin in western
                                China, west to Greece, Italy, Germany, and France, and south into Persia
                                and India.

Chapter 3:

Early Agricultural Society in Africa

 Twelve thousand years ago the area we now recognize as the Sahara Desert was a grassy steppe region
  with agricultural potential.
 By around 8000 B.C.E. early inhabitants of the Sudan stretch began to cultivate sorghum and yams.
 Eventually a climatic change around 5000 B.C.E. forced the inhabitants into the Nile valley.
 From this point its really impossible to separate the history of the Nile from that of the Egyptians and
              o The Nile fostered trade and early unification. Around 4000 B.C.E. small kingdoms
                   developed in southern Egypt and Nubia.
              o The Egyptians, unlike their contemporaries the Mesopotamians
                             unified early under the legendary king Menes
                                   eventually created the political and cultural grandeur of the Old (2660-
                                       2160 B.C.E.) and Middle (2040-1640 B.C.E.) Kingdoms.
                                   As far back as the Old Kingdom Egypt traded, and sometimes fought,
                                       with Nubian kingdoms like Ta-Seti and Kush.
                                    The Hyksos arrived at the end of the Middle Kingdom
                                         o     introduced new concepts such as horse-drawn chariots and
                                              bronze weapons.
                                   Egypt rose to the level of empire during the New Kingdom (1550-1070
                                   In the eighth century B.C.E. a revival of Kushite power saw King
                                    Kashta conquer and rule Egypt for over a century. Eventually a new
                                    power, the Assyrians, pushed out the Kushites and brought Egypt into
                                    their expanding empire.

The Formation of Complex Societies and Sophisticated Cultural Traditions

 Although the picture is less distinct in Nubia, we know that both societies developed true cities and lived
  an urban existence.
 Social classes developed as the gulf between rich and poor steadily increased.
 As with Mesopotamia, the kings and nobles claimed power and prestige because of their status as
 A large slave population developed.
 Both Egyptian and Nubian societies were highly patriarchal.
              o Some women however, most notably Hatshepsut, became pharaohs in Egypt.
              o Nubia had many female rulers, both through direct rule and indirectly through serving as
                  a regent (kandake).
 The mastery of agriculture allowed for the development of economic specialization and the expansion of
 Innovations in bronze and iron metallurgy were key.
 Egyptians actively pursued long-distance trade, ranging from Harappan India to the East African land of

 The Egyptians, through hieroglyphics (Greek for ―holy inscriptions‖),
             o began to experiment with a written language during the fourth millennium.
             o At the same time, because of the complexity of these systems, writing would for the most
                  part remain the province of the courtly scribes.
             o Still, education carried the potential for a profitable profession.
             o The Kushites, from their capital at Meroe, copied the Egyptian hieroglyphs and adapted
                  them to create Meroitic writing.
                        Unfortunately, this form of writing cannot be read.
             o Egyptian written records give us glimpse of their religious beliefs.
             o Egyptians were polytheistic with the gods mainly representing forces of nature.
                        The stable life of the Egyptians in the isolated Nile valley is expressed in their
                           optimistic view of the gods.
                        Even mummification expressed the Egyptians’ desire to continue the pleasure of
                           this life in the next.
                        Pharaoh Akhenaten introduced the revolutionary concept of monotheism
                        with his worship of the god Aten, but this belief was quickly squelched after his
 The lack of written records limits our knowledge of the Nubian religious beliefs
             o at gods such as the lion-god Apedemak
             o and the creator god Sebiumeker.
             o The Nubians, like their northern neighbors, worshipped Amon and built pyramids, albeit
                  small ones.
Bantu Migrations and Early Agricultural Societies
of Sub-Saharan Africa

 The Bantu, probably because of population pressures,
             o began to migrate out of an area near modern Nigeria and Cameroon around 3000 B.C.E.
             o A mastery of agriculture gave the Bantu an advantage over their hunting and gathering
             o Agricultural surpluses, along with a mastery of the canoe, obviously benefited the Bantu.
             o During the middle of the first millennium B.C.E. the Bantu mastered iron metallurgy
                          they spread this skill throughout Africa by their migrations.
                         Bantu spread the cultivation of grains and yams throughout east and South
                       The Bantus also spread their belief in a single impersonal divine force that had
                         created the world and then stepped back from it.

Chapter 4:
Harappan Society

 The Harappan society, centered around the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro,
            o extends back to around 3000 B.C.E.
            o it is assumed that they spoke a Dravidian language.
            o These sites, in relation to their size and layout, are the largest for their age and unlike any
                other cities of the ancient world.
            o Mohenjo-Daro possessed a population of up to 40,000.
            o Religiously their main gods and goddesses were fertility deities, and there is evidence
                that these figures and concepts survived in various forms in later Hinduism.
            o Population pressures and ecological degradation led to their decline around 2000 B.C.E.

The Indo-European Migration and Early Aryan India

 The total collapse of the Harappan society coincided with the arrival into India of an Indo-European tribe,
  the Aryans (―noble people‖).
              o The Indo-Europeans, originally from the steppe region of southern Russia,
                        left a common linguistic foundation from India through Europe.
                                      Languages such as Sanskrit, Old Persian, Greek, Latin, Hindi, Farsi,
                                     and most European languages are descendants of Indo-European.
              o Aryans subdued the native Dravidians, but also fought amongst themselves.
              o Eventually the Aryans, arguably the first people to domesticate horses, came to rely more
                   on agriculture than herding.
              o They also began to establish more structured political institutions and built regional
                        but never came close to substantial political unification.
                        Much of our information about the Aryans comes from the collection of
                            religious hymns known as the Vedas, especially the Rig Veda.

 Eventually the Aryans established the caste system in India.
             o The Aryans used the term varna, meaning color, to refer to the different social classes,
                      which leads scholars to assume that the first distinctions may have been based
                          on race.
                          By around 1000 B.C.E. the four main castes were
                                   the brahmins (priests),
                                   kshatriyas (warriors and nobles),
                                   vaishyas (artisans and merchants),
                                   and shudras (peasants and serfs).
                                    A few centuries later the untouchables were added
                                   Eventually thousands of sub-castes (jati), based mainly on occupation,
                                    would arise.
                                    The society would remain staunchly patriarchal as expressed in the
                                    Lawbook of Manu and by the practice of sati.
Religion in the Vedic Age

 The religious views of the Aryans at the time of their entry into India are best expressed in the Rig Veda.
              o Indra, a violent and militaristic storm god, was the main god in the early days of the
              o Questions of ethical behavior were not completely ignored. Varuna watched over human
                  behavior and sent sinners to the House of Clay and rewarded the virtuous by admitting
                  them into the World of the Fathers.
              o The most important aspects of these early religious views centered around the
                  performance of rituals, many of them dealing with sacrifice.

 Eventually some Aryans, both dissatisfied by the rituals and inspired by Dravidian notions such as
  reincarnation, brought about a startling transformation of religious thought.
              o The best indication of this evolution of Aryan religion is the collection of writings known
                   as the Upanishads.
                         The emphasis shifted away from the heroic adventures of Indra and towards an
                          examination of the relationship between every individual and Brahma, the
                          universal soul. C
                         oncepts such as samsara, the transmigration of the soul,
                         and karma, the sum of good and bad deeds that would determine one’s position in
                          the next life, came to dominate Indian thought.
                         As expressed in the Upanishads, the main goal was to escape the pain and
                          suffering of eternal rebirth and reach the state of moksha.
                         Asceticism and meditation were the two principal means of achieving this goal.
                         Indian religious thinkers emphasized that the material world was an illusion
                                   stressed the virtues of self-control, mercy and honesty. Pacifism and
                                       vegetarianism played a role in this life.

Chapter 5:
Political Organization in Early China

 The first societies in China developed along the fertile banks of the Yellow River
              o long history of devastating flooding has earned it the nickname ―China’s Sorrow.‖
 The Yangshao society, centered around the neolithic village at Banpo, provides the earliest complete
  archeological evidence.
 Around 2200 B.C.E. the first recognized dynasty in Chinese history, the Xia, began in the Yellow River
 Until the recent discovery of sites such as Erlitou, however, this dynasty has been more legend than
 Much more is known about the Shang dynasty, which lasted from 1766 to 1122 B.C.E.
              o Sites such as Ao and Yin provide valuable information, especially the large and elaborate
                   tombs of the rulers.
              o At the heart of Shang power was their monopolization of bronze metallurgy, which
                   allowed for the rise of a powerful military state.

 With the rise of the Zhou dynasty (1122–256 B.C.E.)
             o     Many of the foundations of Chinese thought and society came into existence during the
                  Zhou period.
             o One of the most important is the concept of the mandate of heaven,
                       which proposed that heavenly powers, although indistinct, granted emperors the
                        power to govern.
                       Consequently, the emperors served as a connection between heaven and earth
                                    had to therefore maintain high standards of honor and justice as well as
                                    provide order.
                                    In practice this theory never achieved more than decentralized
                                    authority during the Zhou period.
 Eventually the Zhou emperors lost control to regional princes,
             o best shown through the imperial failure to monopolize iron metallurgy,
             o resulted in a long period of political decline.
             o As early as 771 B.C.E. the western half of the empire collapsed, and the last two
                  centuries are known as the ―Period of the Warring States.‖
             o Order was not restored until the rise of the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C.E.

Society and Family in Ancient China

 As early as the Xia dynasty the royal family rose to a prominent social position.
 The largely decentralized political structure of the Shang and Zhou periods allowed for the rise of a
  powerful aristocratic element.
 Craftsmen and merchants, fueled by a long-distance trade that extended back to the Xia period, held
  important positions in society.
 In this society, as in other early society
               o vast majority of the population was made up of peasants and slaves.
               o The extended family unit played a crucial role in Chinese society, partly because of the
                    profound influence of the veneration of ancestors.
               o This practice led to a strong sense of family solidarity and eventually translated into a
                    strong patriarchal system.
               o Without an organized religion or powerful priestly class, it fell to the patriarchal leader to
                    carry out the rites designed to honor the family’s ancestors.

Early Chinese Writing and Cultural Development

 China, unlike most of the other ancient societies studied so far, created a distinctive secular cultural
             o While recognizing the importance of heavenly support for the emperor, the early Chinese
                 never developed these ideas into a firmly structured religious tradition.
             o This attitude is seen clearly in Confucius’s admonition to revere the gods while also
                 keeping a distance from them.
             o Writing, which goes back to at least the Shang period,
                       played an important role in the formation of the Chinese cultural framework.
                           Most of the early evidence of Chinese writing comes from the hundreds of
                           thousands of Shang oracle bones.
                                 Although they were designed as a means of divination, the bones also
                                    provide valuable information about Chinese writing and thought.

 Despite (or maybe because of) the political chaos of the Zhou dynasty,
              o this period served as the foundation for many of China’s cultural and literary traditions.
              o Thinkers during this period tried to find order in a seemingly anarchic world and
                 produced important contributions
                         such as the Zhou classics.
                               Collections such as the Book of Changes, the Book of History, and the
                                   Book of Rites remained seminal works for thousands of years.
                               The most important of these Zhou classics is the Book of Songs, that
                               dealt with famous kings and heroes, but also crucial social and political
                               issues that were near to the hearts of the common people.
Ancient China and the Larger World

 Although geographical isolation stood in the way of the establishment of long-lasting or stable long-
  distance trade, China nevertheless influenced its neighbors.
              o The nomadic tribes of the north and west, the early ancestors of the Turks and Mongols,
                   traded and sometimes warred with the Chinese.
              o Because of environmental differences, however, the nomadic tribes of the north and west
                   did not imitate Chinese traditions as thoroughly as did the peoples of southern China.
              o Eventually peoples in the south such as the state of Chu grew to be competitors to the

Chapter 6:
Early Societies of Mesoamerica

 The Olmecs were the first recognized society in Mesoamerica.
          o Olmec civilization stretches as far back as 1200 B.C.E.
                  featured important political and religious centers such as San
                     Lorenzo, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes.
                  Colossal humanlike heads, sculpted from basalt, remain their most
                     characteristic creation.
                  Their invention of a calendar was later copied by succeeding
                     Mesoamerican societies.
                  There is no evidence of a complete system of writing
                  By 400 B.C.E. the Olmecs were clearly in a state of decline.

 Mesoamerican civilization reached its peak with the flowering of the Maya from 300 to
  900 C.E.
           o Tikal, with a population of around forty thousand, was one of several
             important Mayan capitals in a politically fragmented landscape.
           o The Maya made important contributions in astronomy, which played a
             pivotal role in their efforts to foretell the future.
           o Their calendar was the most precise in the Americas
                  was one of the most accurate and complex in the world.
                  Math, based on a vigesimal system, proved to be a strong point for
                     the Maya.
                  Like the ancient Babylonians and the Hindu scholars of India, the
                     Maya invented the concept of zero.
                  The Maya also developed the most sophisticated and
                     comprehensive writing system in the Americas.
                  the Mayan epic of creation and heroism, the Popol Vuh, survived
                     in an oral tradition.
           o While probably related to constant warfare, overpopulation, and
             ecological degradation, the collapse of the Maya after 900 C.E. still remains
             in many ways a mystery.
 Along with the Maya, the other great Mesoamerican heir to the Olmecs were the people
  of the massive city of Teotihuacan.
           o At its peak, between 400 and 600 C.E., Teotihuacan had a population of
               almost two hundred thousand people.
           o Included in the city was the Pyramid of the Sun, the single largest building
               in Mesoamerica;
                     it was two-thirds the size of the great pyramid of Khufu in Egypt
                     It is thought that these people developed a complete system of
                       writing, but only a few examples remain in stone carvings to hint
                       at the complexity and sophistication.
Early Societies of South America

 By as early as 12,000 B.C.E. people had begun to migrate into South America
            o by 7000 B.C.E. they had made it all the way to the southern tip. Still, much
                of this early history remains shrouded in mystery.

 The earliest South American state was the Mochica.
            o these people had no system of writing, was typical for South America,
            o the brilliant artwork of the Mochica tells us much about their culture and
                     Mochica pottery remains among the most expressive and
                        sophisticated ever created.
                     Elaborate ceramic heads represent portraits of individuals’ heads as
                        well as those of the gods and demons.
                     The artwork also speaks of the complexity of Mochica society,
                        with representations of people ranging from aristocrats to beggars.

Early Societies of Oceania

 Australia and New Guinea were visited by humans as early as forty thousand to fifty
  thousand years ago.
 Limited migration, mainly because of low water levels, also stretched out as far as the
  Solomon Islands.
 The aboriginal population of Australia remained hunters and gatherers
 the tribes of New Guinea developed agriculture.
 Exploring and settling Oceania fell to Austronesian-speaking tribes from southeast
            o This language group is related to Malayan, Indonesian, Filipino,
                Polynesian, and the Malagasy language of Madagascar.
            o By as early as 4000 B.C.E. these tribes began to sail out into the Pacific,
                     eventually reaching Vanuatu (2000 B.C.E.),
                                               Samoa (1000 B.C.E.),
                                               Hawai`i (first century B.C.E.)
                                               New Zealand (middle of the first
                                                  millennium C.E.).
 The Austronesians, arguably the most skilled and daring sailors in history, established
  agricultural societies and left political, religious, and cultural influences.
Chapter 7:

The Rise and Fall of the Persian Empires

   Two related Indo-European tribes, the Persians and Medes, migrated into Persia in the centuries before
    1000 B.C.E.
        o Although these tribes originally had limited political organization,
        o they were great horsemen
        o militarily powerful.
        o Expansion began under the Achaemenids during the reign of Cyrus,
                  known both for his brilliance at military strategy
                     and his enlightened and tolerant view of empire.
                     Areas such as Media, Lydia, Bactria, and Babylonia fell to Cyrus
                  Later Cambyses added Egypt, and
                  Darius, the greatest of all Persian kings, extended the empire in the east into northern
                     India and in the west into Thrace and Macedonia
                  The Achaemenids used an efficient bureaucracy and an elaborate spy network to
                     maintain order.
                     The empire reached its peak under Darius,
                          who made use of regularized tax levies,
                          centralized coinage, and
                               an elaborate law code.
                          The Persian Royal Road was the centerpiece of an expansive road system
                               that allowed for easy communication.

                    The Achaemenid state began to decline under Xerxes,
                           who displayed little of the toleration of his predecessors such as Cyrus or
                           The Persian Wars (500–479 B.C.E.) with Greece,
                                      marked an end to the period of expansion.
                    Alexander of Macedon’s invasion in 334 B.C.E. brought about the end of
                     Achaemenid rule.
                    Alexander claimed the Persian kingship and hence a continuation of power, but his
                     early death prevented any true, lasting unification.
                           The empire fell to pieces.
                           Seleucus, one of Alexander’s generals,
                                    started the Seleucid state, which included most of the old
                                       Achaemenid Empire.
                                    The Seleucids eventually fell to the Romans in 83 B.C.E.
                                      Even before this, however, the Seleucids had lost Iran to the
                                       Parthians and their most powerful king, Mithridates I.
                                                The Parthian state, centered around Ctesiphon, lasted
                                                until their conquest by the Sasanids in 224 C.E. Claiming
                                                to be the true heirs of the Achaemenids, the Sasanids
                                                would reach their peak under Shapur I.
                                            For a time the Sasanids stood as serious rivals to the later
                                            Arabic warriors brought about the end of the Sasanid
                                                dynasty in 651 C.E.
Imperial Society and Economy
 The demands of empire forced the Achaemenids to leave behind the simple political and social
   structures of their early nomadic past.
 To run an empire the size of the Persian state it was necessary to create a class of educated bureaucrats
        o including tax collectors,
        o record keepers, and
        o translators.
 A more sedentary agricultural existence led to the rise of profound differences between rich and poor.
   A complex society of both free citizens and slaves developed.
 The formation of such a huge, unified empire was a tremendous boost to trade.
 A rich trade network carried goods through the Persian empires from
        o India, Mesopotamia, Iran, Anatolia, Phoenicia, Arabia, Greece, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

Religions of Salvation in Classical Persian Society
 In addition to items such as grain, textiles, spices, gold, and ivory, religious concepts were traded back
    and forth across the Persian empires.
        o In their early stages the Persians worshipped nature gods and performed ceremonies similar to
             those of their Indo-European cousins in India, the Aryans.
        o A profound change occurred through the philosophies of the seventh-century thinker
                   His philosophy was preserved by priests, known as magi, through the Avestas and
                   Zarathustra saw the universe and the human soul as a battleground between:
                             Ahura Mazda, who represented good and truth,
                             and Angra Mainyu, who stood for evil and deception.
                             This philosophy emphasized the significance of every individual’s choice
                                because there would be a final judgment.
                                Zarathustra did not tell his followers to renounce the world, but instead
                                viewed the world as a material blessing from Ahura Mazda.
                             Zoroastrianism eventually became the main religion of the Achaemenids
                                but mainly spread throughout the empire on its own merits.
                             The Sasanids later used Zoroastrianism as a means of emphasizing their
                                connection to the earlier Achaemenids.
                                Although worship of Zoroastrianism declined after the Islamic invasion in
                                the seventh century C.E., the main philosophies of Zarathustra survived the
                                centuries and influenced Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Chapter 8:

In Search of Political and Social Order

   The political chaos of the later Zhou period led many Chinese thinkers to reconsider the basic
    questions of social and political order.
        o This intellectual foment provided the motivation for a rich philosophical age.
        o The most influential of these thinkers was Kong Fuzi (Confucius),
                      whose practical philosophy is best expressed in the Analects.
                      Confucius believed that the proper balance and order in human relationships would
                      bring about social and political harmony.
                      He worked to create junzi, ―superior individuals,‖ who would possess the needed
                      education and dedication to staff governmental positions.
                       Certain core values such as:
                                ren (benevolence),
                            li (propriety),
                            xiao (filial piety) were central to Confucius’s philosophy.
                      It was difficult for later Chinese thinkers to escape Confucius’s lengthy shadow.
                      post-Confucian thinkers was Mencius.
                            He believed that human nature was essentially good
                                called for a government based on benevolence and humanity to bring out
                                this goodness.
                     Others, such as Xunzi, took a different approach.
                            Xunzi believed that humans were naturally selfish
                                called for a government ready to impose harsh social discipline.
                     Even though Mencius and Xunzi held opposing views of human nature they still
                      operated within the traditional Confucian framework.

   This turbulent age inspired other philosophical schools as well.
        o Laozi is traditionally accepted as the founder of Daoism.
                  The Daoists criticized the social activism of the Confucians
                               proposed a life of reflection and introspection.
                            The Daoists, like other Chinese thinkers, discussed the importance of living
                               in accordance with the dao (way), although the definition often varied.
                                Instead of action, the Daoists suggested inaction.
        o The last influential Chinese school of thought is Legalism.
                  Thinkers such as Shang Yang and Han Feizi wrote persuasively on statecraft
                            suggested that the state’s foundation were the armed forces and
                        agriculture and that clear and strict laws were essential to
                        control human nature.
The Unification of China
   Although Legalism was undeniably harsh, it also proved essential for the unification of China.
        o The Qin from western China, inspired by Legalist philosophers such as Shang Yang and Han
                  created a centralized imperial administration that was responsible for the first
                      unification of China.
                  Qin Shihuangdi, the ―First Emperor,‖ united China in 221 B.C.E.
                                by crushing local autonomy and centralizing authority.
                            He standardized laws, currencies, weights, and measures
                            built an extensive network of roads that unified the country
                            standardization related to the establishment of one Chinese script.
                                 His harsh rule, including the burning of books, execution of scholars, and
                                drafting of millions for huge public works projects such as the precursor to
                                the Great Wall of China, inspired resistance and the Qin state collapsed
   A centralized state did not disappear with the Qin, however.
    The Han dynasty, started by Liu Bang in 206 B.C.E., copied many of the Qin governmental
        o replaced the Qin use of Legalist terror with a more traditional Confucian approach.
        o The Han dynasty reached its peak under the ―Martial Emperor,‖ Han Wudi (141–87 B.C.E.).
        o In addition to overseeing a period of territorial expansion, Han Wudi opened the imperial
             university designed to prepare young men for government service.
                  The Confucian scholars that this system generated poured into the government and
                      formed one of the foundations of Chinese political greatness for centuries.
From Economic Prosperity to Social Disorder

   During the Qin and Han periods China remained strongly patriarchal in its social structure.
   Works such as the Classic of Filial Piety and Admonitions for Women stressed the dominant role of
    males in society.
    Trade, fueled by iron metallurgy and silk manufacture, made for a period of general economic
   However, a rapidly expanding population and a widening gap between rich and poor led to tremendous
    social disruption.
    The Later Han dynasty collapsed in 220 C.E. and centuries passed before true unification was

Chapter 9:

The Fortunes of Empire in Classical India

   Even under the Aryans India had never moved toward unification and remained a series of small
   Profound changes began around 520 B.C.E. when the arrival of Cyrus the Achaemenid brought
    increasing Persian trade and the introduction of new techniques of administration.
   Alexander of Macedon’s invasion in 327 B.C.E. brought chaos and created a political vacuum.
    The void would be filled by Chandragupta Maurya who founded the Mauryan dynasty in 321 B.C.E.
         o Chandragupta Maurya’s harsh centralizing philosophy, as expressed in the Arthashastra,
             ensured that India would be united for the first time.
         o The Mauryans reached their peak under Ashoka Maurya,
                            who completed the process of unification with the bloody conquest of the
                                Ashoka Maurya built roads,
                               promoted agriculture,
                               collected taxes efficiently,
                            and created a well-run bureaucracy in Pataliputra.
                            He is best remembered for his conversion to Buddhism and his efforts to
                               make it a world religion.
                            The Mauryans collapsed fairly quickly after the death of Ashoka, and India
                               was not reunified until almost five hundred years later.
                            Rulers such as Chandra Gupta II witnessed a brilliant cultural age,
                                    o but overall the Guptas never approached the level of centralized
                                         authority reached by the Mauryans.
                                    o Invaders such as the White Huns helped to bring an end to Gupta
                                         power beginning in the fifth century C.E.,
                                              and India would not be reunited again for another
                                                  thousand years.
Economic Development and Social Distinctions

       The growth of trade and manufacturing encouraged the rise of towns.
       Increasing long-distance trade between India and the larger imperial states in China, Persia, and
        southwest Asia led to greater economic and cultural integration.
       Economic transformation did not change everything immediately.
        India remained strongly patriarchal,
             o and works such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana portrayed women as weak-willed.
             o Child marriages became increasingly common.
             o In other areas, however, economic pressures were bringing an evolution of society.
                      Guilds essentially served as subcastes (jati) and played a role in shaping the
                          social order.
                      Some vaishyas and shudras grew wealthy enough through trade or industry to
                          challenge the brahmans and kshatriyas, the traditional leaders of society.

Religions of Salvation in Classical India

   This economic transition had tremendous religious implications
        o because some thinkers began to question the authority of the brahmans and the validity of
            traditional religious beliefs.
        o The Charvada sect, for example, believed that all gods were figments of the imagination and
            that the brahmans were charlatans.
        o Other thinkers took a more spiritual approach, but still came up with answers that shook the
            foundations of traditional Hindu thought and in some cases created new religions.
                  The Jains, inspired by Vardhamana Mahavira, believed that everything in the
                      universe possessed a soul and therefore practiced ahimsa (nonviolence to other living
                  A much more popular religion was the Buddhism of Siddhartha Gautama.
                            The Buddha preached the Four Noble Truths
                                     o : (1) life is pain,
                                     o (2) this pain is caused by desire,
                                     o (3) eliminating desire eliminated suffering, and
                                     o (4) and following the Noble Eightfold Path eliminated desire.
                                     o The Noble Eightfold Path called for leading a balanced and
                                         moderate life and avoiding extremes.
                                                  Passionless Nirvana was the final goal.
                                     o From this simple beginning Buddhism eventually grew more
                                         complex and a split developed
                                                  between the Mahayana (―greater vehicle‖) and
                                                  Hinayana (―lesser vehicle‖) schools.
                      Although Hinduism predated Buddhism and Jainism, it too went through a period of
                      transition during these years.
                            The traditional power of the brahmans was challenged by the evolution of
                                concepts that appealed to a much wider audience.
                            Religious and literary classics such as the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and
                                the Bhagavad Gita from this period express this change.
Chapter 10:
Early Development of Greek Society

   The early Mycenaeans were influenced by the extraordinary Minoan society centered around the city
    of Knossos on Crete.
        o For example, the earliest Greek writing style, Linear B,
                                               was adopted from the Minoan Linear A.
        o Egyptian and Phoenician concepts also reached the Mycenaeans indirectly through their
             contact with the Minoans.
        o The Mycenaeans were warlike and spent much of their time fighting among themselves
                      as well as launching campaigns against the Minoans in Crete
                      and the Trojans in Anatolia.
        o the Mycenaeans never unified and instead settled into an uneasy alliance of city-states.
                  The city-state, or polis, remained the foundation for the Greek political world
                      throughout their history.
                            f the many poleis, the two most important were Sparta and Athens.
                                     o The Spartans, because of the fear of an uprising by the helots,
                                         reworked their society to remove all social distinctions and
                                         eventually became the greatest soldiers of the Greek world.
                                     o The Athenians, gave the world gifts such as democracy and
                                               Athens reached its peak during the fifth century B.C.E.
                                                  under the leadership of Pericles.

Greece and the Larger World

   The inquiring spirit that marked Greek philosophical thought also carried over into exploration.
        o Greek mariners explored widely and set up extensive colonies
                      these explorations helped spread the Greek language and cultural traditions around
                      the Mediterranean.
                      Expansion also brought the Greeks into conflict with the Persian Empire.
                            The Persian War, while serving mainly as an annoyance to the Persians,
                                turned out to be the turning point in Greek history.
                                the Peloponnesian War that brought an end to the golden age of Greece.
                                The Greeks were so weakened that they easily fell to the Macedonian
                                leader Philip II.
                            Eventually, however, the conquests of Philip’s son Alexander laid the
                                groundwork for the Hellenistic age by spreading Greek culture from Egypt
                                to India.
                            Alexandria in Egypt would serve as the center for this new age.
                                     o     Politically Alexander was not so fortunate, and his empire split up
                                          among the Antigonids, Ptolemies, and Seleucids.

The Fruits of Trade: Greek Economy and Society

               Trade, in addition to making the Greeks wealthy,
                     o fostered a sense of unity among the different poleis.
                     o Panhellenic festivals such as the Olympic games achieved the same goal.
                     o Greek society remained strictly patriarchal.
                     o Sparta provided women the greatest opportunity for freedom in the Greek world.
                     o As in the rest of the ancient world, slavery in Greece played an important
                         economic role.
The Cultural Life of Classical Greece

                While building on Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Phoenician traditions,
                 the Greeks branched off to leave a lasting cultural legacy.
                      o Philosophically the Greeks attempted to construct a system based on pursuing
                          the truth at all costs through human reason.
                      o     Socrates’ proposal that ―The unexamined life is not worth living‖ perfectly
                          represents the Greek quest for truth.
                      o Plato turned inward to the World of Forms for intellectual perfection.
                      o Aristotle:
                                While writing on fields as varied as biology, astronomy, psychology,
                                    politics, and ethics
                                became known as ―the master of those who know.‖
                      o Playwrights such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides examined the
                          parameters of human nature.
                      o Later Hellenistic philosophical schools also examined the role of the individual
                          in relation to society.

Chapter 11:

From Kingdom to Republic

   The history of Rome stretches back to around 2000 B.C.E. and the arrival of Indo-European tribes into
         o the influence of the Etruscans on the early Romans.
                       The Etruscans, who sometimes served as kings, dominated Rome until driven out by
                       Roman nobles in 509 B.C.E.
         o The Romans established a republican constitution
                       with power in the hands of two consuls chosen by the patricians, or wealthy classes.
                   Later, because of social tensions, the plebeians, or common people, won the right to
                       choose tribunes and even consuls from their own ranks.
    Romans began to expand in the fourth and especially the second century B.C.E.
         o While the Romans expanded militarily
         o treated the peoples of their conquered regions in an unusually generous and tolerant fashion
             that inspired loyalty.
         o As the Romans expanded into the Mediterranean they came into conflict with the
             Carthaginian Empire in northern Africa.
                       A victory in the bloody Punic Wars left the Romans masters of the western
                   The eastern Mediterranean fell to the Romans after successful wars with the
                       Antigonid, Seleucid, and Ptolemaic empires.

From Republic to Empire

   While the conquest of the Mediterranean world brought immense wealth into Rome,
       o it also increased tensions caused by the unequal distribution of that wealth.
                     Wealthy patricians turned captured land into latifundia and dominated smaller
                  The attempts of the Gracchi to bring about land reform and use state subsidies to
                    help the poor only led to their assassinations.
                  The wars of Marius and Sulla were proof of the societal tensions tearing the Roman
                    state apart.
                  Even Julius Caesar, attempted to extend Roman citizenship and create jobs for the
                    urban poor through huge building projects.
                           Julius’s victory in 46 B.C.E. after a civil war created order but also
                              essentially ended the republic.
                           His assassination in 44 B.C.E. threw Rome into another round of civil strife
                              until order was restored by his nephew Octavian.
                     When Octavian received the title Augustus in 27 B.C.E. the empire was born.
                          While keeping the remnants of the old constitutional framework, all power
                             actually belonged to the emperor.
                          The Pax Romana, or Roman peace, an almost unprecedented period of
                             economic expansion, cultural brilliance, and political stability lasting over
                             two and a half centuries, began with Augustus.
                                  Roman law, based on principles
                                               such as the presumed innocence of the accused until
                                               proven guilty, brought stability to the empire as well as
                                               influenced centuries of legal thought.

Economy and Society in the Roman Mediterranean

   Like other empires, the Roman Empire built roads that facilitated trade and cultural transmission.
    Roman control over the Mediterranean was so complete that they simply referred to it as mare
    nostrum, or ―our sea.‖
   The roads and sea lanes, along with the stability of the pax romana, inspired economic specialization
    and integration.
        o Trade promoted the rise of cities, but no city grew as large or powerful or splendid as Rome
                   Romans enjoyed fresh water from aqueducts,
                            a sophisticated sewage and plumbing network,
                               and spectacular public events in the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum.
                            In regard to family structure, the Romans were strongly patriarchal
                                   o but women did have many rights both inside and outside the
                                   o Slaves constituted up to one-third of the empire’s population.

The Cosmopolitan Mediterranean

   The Romans were greatly influenced by Greek culture.
        o This influence is clearly seen in early Roman religion,
                where gods like Jupiter and Mars mirror their Greek counterparts Zeus and Ares.
                Hellenistic philosophy also impressed the Romans.
                        The writings of Cicero show the influences of Stoicism.
                             As the empire became more cosmopolitan, other religious concepts—such
                             as Mithraism, Judaism, and Christianity—spread and became more
                        The rise of Christianity is almost impossible to separate from later Roman
                                  o The successes of Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus are
                                       intricately tied to Roman unification.

Chapter 12:

Long-Distance Trade and the Silk Roads Network

   Long-distance trade became far less risky and far more profitable during the classical age for two main
   The rulers of powerful classical states built roads and bridges that facilitated easier movement of goods
    and people.
    The empires grew to such an extent that they often shared common borders,
        o reducing the dangers and uncertainties of trade.
   The tempo of trade increased along land routes maintained by the Seleucids and Ptolemies.
   Mastery of the monsoon patterns in the Indian Ocean increased trade along the water routes.
   The most prosperous and important of the trade routes were the silk roads
                                  o that linked Eurasia and northern Africa.
                                  o From the eastern terminus at the Han capital of Chang’an the trade
                                       routes ran to the Mediterranean ports of Antioch and Tyre.
                                  o Sea routes connected Guangzhou in southern China with southeast
                                       Asia, Ceylon, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea.
                                  o Silk, fine spices, cotton textiles, pearls, ivory, horses, jade, and
                                       manufactured goods were actively traded from one end of the silk
                                       roads to the other.
                                  o Although a few merchants occasionally traveled the entire
                                       distance, the trade was usually carried out in stages.

Cultural and Biological Exchanges along the Silk Roads

   Besides trade goods, the merchants traveling along the silk roads also brought religious concepts to a
    wider world.
        o The support of Ashoka allowed Buddhism to spread to Bactria and Ceylon.
                   The real expansion of Buddhism, however, occurred as the religion followed the
                      trade routes to Iran, central Asia, China, and Southeast Asia.
   Indian influence was profound in Southeast Asia, with the appearance of Sanskrit as well as Hinduism
    and Buddhism.
   Christianity was spread in a similar fashion farther west.
        o Christian missionaries made use of the Roman roads and sea lanes to spread the Gospel
             throughout the empire to Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa, Greece, Italy, Spain,
             and Gaul.
                       The influence worked both ways.
                            The ascetic practices of the Mesopotamian and Iranian Christian
                                communities influenced other Christian thinkers.
                                Similarly, the actions of Egyptian hermits influenced the rise of Christian
                                monastic communities.
                            Eventually a split developed, and most of the Christians in southwest Asia
                                became Nestorians.
                            The rise of Manichaeism and its syncretic blend of Zoroastrian, Christian,
                                and Buddhist elements says a great deal about the increasingly
                                cosmopolitan world brought about by trade.

   Contagious diseases spread rapidly along the trade routes.
        o The Han and Roman empires suffered tremendous losses during the second and third
            centuries C.E.
                  through the outbreak of epidemic diseases such as smallpox, measles, and bubonic
        o The population of the Roman Empire dropped from sixty million during the time of Augustus
            down to around forty million by 400 C.E.
        o    China’s population decreased from sixty million in 200 C.E. to approximately forty-five
            million in 600 C.E.
                  Despite the loss of life, the outbreaks of disease brought other changes.
                           Trade decreased dramatically, and the economies in both areas contracted
                              and moved toward regional self-sufficiency.
China after the Han Dynasty

   After four centuries of cultural and political brilliance, the Han dynasty collapsed in 220 C.E.
        o Internally the Han dynasty was torn apart by factional violence.
                   The economic and social implications of dramatically unequal land distribution may
                      have been the most important factor in the Han decline.
                      important changes were shaping the Chinese social and cultural landscape.
                            Nomadic tribes fell under Chinese influence and became more sinicized.
                            Traditional Confucianism, in the face of political chaos, lost some of its
                            and the Chinese increasingly turned to Daoism and Buddhism for hope in a
                                desperate age.

The Fall of the Roman Empire

   The Roman Empire was also going through a long period of decline.
        o This topic, the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, is obviously one of the most popular
           for historians.
        o a complex combination of factors brought an end to Roman power.
                 Internal dissension, best represented by the twenty-six ―barracks emperors,‖ tore
                     Rome apart.
                          Diocletian’s decision to split the empire in half was based on the fact that
                            Rome had grown so huge as to be almost unmanageable.
                          Although Constantine tried to reunify Rome, his choice of Constantinople
                            as the new capital shows that the western half of the empire was in serious
                          Germanic invasions by tribes such as the Visigoths placed pressures on the
                            decaying Roman state that were only increased by the appearance of Attila
                            the Hun.
                            Finally, in 476 C.E., the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was
                            overthrown by the Germanic general Odovacar.
                          Arguably the most important cultural change during this period was the rise
                            to prominence of Christianity.
                                 o By 380 C.E. the emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official
                                      religion of Rome.
                                                The hope for salvation made Christianity popular among
                                                the masses while St. Augustine’s efforts to harmonize the
                                                new religion with Platonic thought appealed to the
                                                educated classes. Eventually Rome, with the Pope at its
                                                head, became the center of the Christian world.

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