Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Mesopotamian civilizations.
• Greek: mesos = “middle,” and potamos = “river;” which means “land between the rivers.” The word “Mesopotamia” properly describes the lush valleys of land that lie between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and what is part of a larger region known to modern scholars as the “Fertile Crescent.”
• These large rivers flooded often and would leave behind sediment known as silt, which produced very fertile soil and allowed for a surplus of food to be produced by local farmers.
• Although the two rivers were necessary to the civilization and farming, they were unpredictable and would often result in destructive flooding.
• The Sumerian agriculture went into decline by the early second millennium BCE as a result of the warming climate, depletion of nutrient soil, and an increasing salt levels in the soil caused by irrigating poorly drained land.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Egyptian civilization.
• The Nile River was calm and predictable. During the spring and summer the tropical rains from the Ethiopian mountains poured into the Nile, causing water levels to consistently rise, resulting in flooding by July. The excess water flowed mildly into the usable lands of the valley. By October, the water would recede and leave behind rich volcanic silt sediments.
• Sitting on a thin area of vegetation between two hostile deserts, the growing populations had to settle in either the upper or lower parts of the Nile valley.
• Slight but long-term climate change led to the declination in agricultural production and state wealth.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Indian civilization.
(2700 - 1500 BCE)
• The floods of the Indus River deposited essential sediments for intensive agriculture.
• The Indus River was opulent, but it was also dangerous. It was unpredictable, wandering, and could devastate the floodplain settlements, especially during the notably wet years.
• The river’s most prominent characteristic was the flooding that was usually a direct result of the turbulent summer monsoons that are common throughout southern Asia.
• It is possible that earthquakes played an important role in the declination of the Harappans.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Chinese civilization.
• As far back as 6000 BCE, Neolithic people, the descendants of Southeast Asian tribes, established villages along the Yellow River, also known as the Huang He River, but later settled along the Yangtze River near central China.
• The Yellow River was unpredictable, fierce, and wandering, which would typically result in flooding of the land.
• Most usable land near the Yellow and Yangtze River valleys was comprised of a light, easy-to-plow, and extraordinary fertile soil known as loess. The loess’ mineral composition and geologic age made it highly susceptible to erosion.
• When the great rivers of China would flood, the farmlands lost countless tons of this nonrenewable agricultural resource.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Hebrew civilization.
• Ancient Israel began in an area known as Canaan (modern day Israel, Jordan and Lebanon). The area was bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the west and included desert and mountains, creating a contrast between arid and fertile zones.
• The geography included both desert landscapes and fertile regions. Those who settled near fertile regions, such as on the maritime plain or in the mountain valleys, were able to establish permanent settlements and grow food. With much of ancient Israel consisting of desert and rocky areas, many Israelites relied on herding animals for food and income rather than farming. They wandered from place to place looking for grasslands, rather than putting down roots in any one place.
• Israel was located in the Fertile Crescent (lush valleys of land that lie between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
• These large rivers flooded often and would leave behind sediment known as silt, which produced very fertile soil and allowed for a surplus of food to be produced by local farmers.
• Although the two rivers were necessary to the civilization and farming, they were unpredictable and would often result in destructive flooding.
• This fertility allowed the Israelites to produce several crops and trade them with their neighboring nations (one of them being Egypt).
• Most of the major cities of Israel were located in the central highlands or hill country; the region was very mountainous, which provided more security to some major cities.
• The Jordan Rift (aka Rift Valley) contained many major bodies of water like the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, and Red Sea, and provided a natural boundary to the east of Israel because of the drop in elevation.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Greek civilization.
(776 - 323 BCE)
• Greece is made up of the mainland and hundreds of small islands spread throughout the Ioanian, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas. As a peninsula, the people of Greece took advantage of living by the sea. The geographical formations including mountains, seas, and islands formed natural barriers between the Greek city-states and forced the Greeks to settle along the coast.
• The region of the Mediterranean where the Greeks first settled is called the Aegean Sea. Greek city-states formed all along the Aegean coastline and on the many islands in the Aegean Sea. They used the Aegean Sea to travel from city to city and provided fish for the people to eat.
• Around 80% of the Greek mainland is mountainous. This made it difficult to make long journeys by land. The mountains also formed natural barriers between the major city-states.
• The climate generally featured hot summers and mild winters.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Roman civilization.
(753 BC - 476 AD)
• Rome was built atop seven different hills. Building the city on high ground forced any attacking army to fight its way uphill, giving the defending forces a major advantage. Rome's natural defenses made the city almost immune to attack, a feature that allowed the city to grow and ultimately dominate its neighbors.
• As the city grew on the seven hilltops, agriculture grew at the base of the hills. Soil on the Italian Peninsula is rich due to heavy deposits of volcanic ash. The soil and the mild climate helped the Romans grow surplus olives and grain. Reliable food production allowed the population to grow, and the trade in olives and olive oil helped the Roman economy expand.
• Although the Romans were renowned for their military might on land, the early republic was a very limited sea power. One reason for the Romans' lack of naval power was the lack of viable ports. The city of Rome is set far back from the ocean, and few other Roman cities offered easier access to ocean. Due to this quirk of geography, the Romans concentrated on building up their land-based forces.
• The absence of ports and small number of major rivers lead the Romans to build a massive network of roads. The transportation system made the city of Rome the critical trade hub for the entire Mediterranean for centuries.
Trace the impact of physical geography on the development of Kush civilization.
• South of Egypt, the Kingdom of Kush grew because of the rich soil and abundant resources of the Nile Valley.
• Like Egypt, the natural resources of the Nile Valley were major factors in the development of civilization. What made Kush unique was that their reliance on the Nile was even more closely tied to trade. Kush was one of the first powers in the region to have an economy that was almost entirely dependent on export, and their position in the Nile Valley granted them easy access to the Red Sea, which itself was connected to the Arabian Sea. Since maritime trade is much easier than overland trade, access to the ports on the Red Sea made Kush extremely wealthy and powerful. They facilitated trade routes that ran across the Arabian Sea to India and China, making them a centerpiece of the world's largest trade network at that time.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Mesopotamian civilization.
• Intellectual: They elevated fighting platforms (siege towers) which provided an upper hand over enemies
• The wheel (allowed greater mobility of chariots in battle and to carry larger and heavier loads farther.
• Sexagesimal, a numeral system that is based on the number 60 (still used today for telling time). This led to the creation of a practical solar calendar that was used to predict the different seasons and to determine when to plow the land and harvest crops.
• Scientific and mathematical intelligence provided a way to predict lunar eclipses, locate and chart planet paths, calculate the area and volume of geometrical shapes, and develop the equation to find the sq. root.
• Cuneiform (writing system) was created. The temple personnel kept record of payments of goods by drawing shapes and notating quantities on clay tablets.
• Cuneiform progressed into being used to express objects, sounds, abstract ideas, religious mythology, hymns, proverbs, and detailed religious essays in detail for future generations. Eventually, it was used to keep a record of government decrees, military supply needs, tax receipts, record government officials and their financial activities, and the maintenance of the King List stating which dynasty was in power.
• Artistic: Craftsmanship and the creation of purple dye
• Metalworkers learned to forge together copper and tin (creating bronze), resulting in a harder metal to use for swords, shields, armor, and axes for military use, and for commoners to cut lumber, build sailboats, transport goods, and create better farming equipment.
• Later used iron because it was easier to forge and mine and was more durable and versatile
• Traditions/Religion: Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament) states their patriarch Abraham lived in Mesopotamia and migrated to the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Their holy scripture, the Torah, describes the sense of community and the concepts of creation, genealogies, early histories, community laws, and the centrality of the god, Yahweh, who was central to the monotheistic religion.
• During the Neo-Babylonian Empire, temples were rebuilt and monuments were constructed to celebrate the wealth and power of the king; then many people within Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent began to practice polytheism. Each city-state had their own leading god, many of which were the caretakers
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Egyptian civilization.
• Intellectual: Study of geometry originates from Egypt due to the skilled knowledge they possessed to build, measure, and manipulate farmland.
• Leaders in study of medicine and human body in; second best knowledge of astronomy
• The acquisition of the Rosetta stone allowed for the translation of the Egyptian writing system known as hieroglyphics (Greek for “sacred carvings”): A system of over 700 pictographs and sound symbols intended to organize the central government and state affairs. Created a writing tool (stylus) and papyrus (paper-like material made from the stem of the papyrus plant) which grew in abundance in the region and cost much less than parchment made from animal skins.
• Built libraries to house writings and employ officials to care for documents. Cheap papyrus led to an increase in writing and brought about the wide spread of religious texts and scientific knowledge.
• Artistic: Highly skilled at engineering pyramids and other monumental structures, redesigned water systems, canals, and predicted the Nile River flooding
• Traditions/Religion: In New Kingdom era, kings were titled pharaoh (inherited through the male lineage)
• Traditionally, communities shared gods and advocated that local gods were the most important
• Egyptian Book of the Dead is a manual for many religious practices regarding life and death; considered to be a spell book and practical manual that discusses mummification, the nature of Egyptian afterlife, and the idea of the ultimate judgment of one’s soul.
• The gods create ma’at (meaning truth, order, stability, balance, harmony, wisdom, and justice) to indicate that everything is in proper order. It was the responsibility of the gods and kings to maintain ma’at by a sequence of rituals; failure to do so would result in chaos for all. It later became the responsibility of each individual to preserve ma’at, and would be the basis of their ethics, whether they were considered good or bad, and determined their place in the afterlife.
• Concepts of “ka” and “ba” are linked to the divine order of things. At birth, the gods create a spiritual double that is thought of as the life force, soul, or spirit. Upon death, that person’s “ka” continues to live within the body by the nourishment of the living. “Ba” translates to “soul,” but represents the expression of one’s personality, presence, and power (distinguishing one person from the next); not bound to a physical body/can move throughout, and does not require the body to be in a complete state in order to exist.
• The Egyptians believed that they held the same position in the afterlife as they did in their human life. It was common practice for those who were poor to be buried in makeshift graves with no possessions, while affluent individuals were buried with many goods. Pictures would be painted on walls, small models could be used, and spells carved on the walls of the tomb so that upon awakening in the afterlife, through those spells he or she could bring those objects and people to serve their person and household into the afterlife.
• Mummification began in the pre-dynastic period to ensure that the body would remain intact, with the hope that the ka and ba would survive.
• Pyramids were constructed as a way to embody both the religiosity and the significance of the dead. The wealthy, godly statured, and royalty built pyramids to ensure an equally royal afterlife. Pyramid dev. was an opportunity to gain favor with the pharaohs and reap rewards in the afterlife.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Indian civilization.
• Intellectual: The streets were designed in a grid-like pattern, with right-angled intersections.
• Developed an advanced water system that had a public pool at the center of the towns, drinking water available, and a drainage system that removed waste from homes and gradually delivered it into the nearby agricultural fields.
• Developed the technology to bake bricks used for housing, public buildings, and city walls; much more durable than previously used sun-dried bricks.
• Thousands of years of stories and knowledge that were once only passed down verbally were written down in the language called Sanskrit.
• Traditions/Religion: Aryans worshipped multiple deities, made offerings, or sacrificed animals to the gods.
• When The Vedas was written, nearly 1,000 years of spoken traditions were written down for the first time, and new religious tales and interpretations were added. This period laid the foundation for the dev. of what would become the Hindu civilization.
• The Aryans had a primal set of religious beliefs: nature has souls or consciousness, as well as ones that reflected their tumultuous history. Their primary god was Indra, a war god who would guide them in battle and was believed to be responsible for favorable weather for agricultural purposes.
• Many other gods was responsible for commanding personal behavior and morals. The Aryans believed that good or bad conduct would determine where they would reside upon death: heaven, the World of the Fathers, or hell, the House of Clay.
• A person’s caste determined if they were worthy enough to rule; ksahtriyas had a religious duty to make war and rule, while members of other castes had religious duties to fulfill the other roles in society. This was discussed in the Upanishads, another sacred text written by priests that fused Aryan and Dravidian ideas. The Upanishads stated that all beings were part of a universal soul, or Brahman, and composed the ultimate reality. One of the main teachings was that humans entered into a cycle of Samsara – life, death, and rebirth into other beings – but that the final goal was to reach Moksha (peaceful state of the human soul as expendable and becoming permanently united with Brahman, thereby releasing the soul from Samsara)
• Achieving Moksha was so difficult that most people had to undergo numerous reincarnations before they were one with Brahman. In order to move to a higher caste in the afterlife, a person had to lead the most noble life and follow the directions and right behavior based on their current caste, so that karma (theory that behavior in the current world dictated reincarnation into the next). This cycle could be never ending; only way to break it is to completely reject the physical world and all material goods.
• Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) founded the Buddhist belief system as a direct contrast to his upbringing and response to Hinduism and the caste system. He believed that people must avoid the 2 extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification in order to receive the enlightenment of the Middle Way, leading to insight, knowledge, calmness, awakening, and then, Nirvana.
• Buddhism consists of Four Noble Truths: First, life is infused with suffering, which is caused by desire. Secondly, one may eliminate suffering by eliminating desire, and a person may eliminate desire by following the Noble Eightfold Path. Thirdly, the Eightfold Path is the Right Understanding, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Occupation, Right Endeavor, Right Contemplation, and Right Concentration. And finally, when all principles have been studied and followed in that order, one will reach the stage where one’s mind is completely subject to one’s will.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Chinese civilization.
• The priests originally used the first writing system, known as oracle bone; customary to heat turtle shells and the shoulder blades of animals until cracks appeared. These cracks were then drawn and considered messages from the gods.
• In the Zhou Dynasty the writing system became more organized and characters were created to represent things seen, ideas of thought, and sounds that were heard, resulting in 2,000 symbols that could then be used to exchange commercial notes, human thoughts, describe philosophical and mythological stories, and the rule of law. Only the wealthy and powerful families could afford to educate their sons, ensuring their guarantee at having a governmental position.
• The large size of the country made it difficult to unify a cohesive set of symbols; Mandarin Chinese is the best result allowing for education and literary works to increase throughout the country.
• Kong Fuzi (Confucius), was the founder of a philosophical school that promoted justification and fairness in society. After his death, his followers wrote the book, Analects, which consisted of his teachings and acts; his concepts were based on Ren (compassion, human kindness, and benevolence), Li (respect and etiquette), and Xiao (loving devotion of an inferior to his superior). One of the main concepts in Confucianism is that humans are required by nature to live in harmony in the company of other humans. Common examples of this were husbands and wives, fathers and sons, brothers, and eventually this concept was utilized within all of China.
• Political instability during the Zhou Dynasty resulted in legalism: belief that human nature is inherently selfish and corrupt, requiring rigorous laws and regulations to discipline and punish people. This also supported the idea of a militant state in pursuit of artistic and intellectual education that would develop everyone to be a good and loyal servant to the state.
• Artistic: Bronze work became regional trade material
• The use of Iron and bronze made possible the expansion southward to the Yangtze River valley
• Iron casting allowed tools used by the military and farmers to be made quicker and in a more durable way. This advancement of farming tools supported more land to be plowed and irrigation systems to be built to keep up with the growing population.
• Traditions/Religion: Daoism was a school of thought that turned into a philosophy with religious undertones. It had several rituals, numerous places of worship, and high adoration for its divine founder. Daoism centered around the idea of living harmoniously with nature, understanding that natural principles dictated the universe, and that humans should not control, but submit and follow to the natural order of things.
• 3 guiding principles of Daoism: spontaneity, noninterference, and acceptance of the world the way it was. It supported privacy and believed civilizations should live in small, self-sufficient communities that had very little use of organized establishment.
• The Mandate of Heaven was a powerful and divine force that would bless the emperors and allowed them to rule. The emperor became a symbol of unity and a necessary link between heaven and earth. If man-made calamities or natural catastrophes occurred, the link between heaven and earth could be broken, and although the emperor would lose the mandate, it could be passed on to either his son, another family member, or an individual equally deserving.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Hebrew civilization.
• Intellectual: The prohibition of representing the divinity stimulated literature and the result was the Bible, also denominated the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament is written for the Hebrews. It speaks of the customs and moral thoughts of the Israelites. Later the Christians added the New Testament with the arrival of Christ and the origins of Christianity.
• Artistic: Stood out in music, Samuel being the creator of a school of music. They used as their musical instruments trumpets, flutes, tambourines, harps, and the horns of animals.
• The Bible mentions music, dance, and poetry, which are 3 intimately related disciplines and were used in worship, as a demonstration of joy and to honor the Creator. Dance would later be excluded, but music and hymns remained a part of the ceremonies.
• The majority of literary works were compiled and organized during the period of the peak of the monarchy and by order of the king. The Psalms, Proverbs, nuptial songs of the Song of Songs, the Chronicles, Genesis, Exodus, Judges, the Kings and other books denominated the Books of Wisdom, like Ecclesiastes, deserve special mention.
• Valued music and used it in their religious ceremonies.
• There were no paintings nor sculptures for fear that they would fall into idolatry (worship of yourself) and in addition because it was prohibited as their God could not be represented and whatever human form or anything similar could be taken as attempting to represent their God.
• Their architecture stood out, within it the palaces, the homes of the nobles and the temples.
• Traditions/Religion: The Hebrews contributed their religion, Judaism, and also the key idea of monotheism (the idea of having and worshiping one God, Yahweh, or Jehovah).
• Their religion is also the basis for Christianity. The Torah, or the first five books of the Hebrew's bible are great story telling and enlightening religious works.
• Man is inferior to Him, as God made him in his image, immortal, but as he has sinned he must be punished.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Greek civilization.
• Intellectual: Philosophy and Science: Role of reason and inquiry emphasized logic and championed the idea of impartial, rational observation of the natural world.
• Math and science: basic ideas about geometry and the concept of mathematical proofs came from Greek mathematicians such as Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes. Some of the first astronomical models were developed trying to describe planetary movement, the Earth’s axis, and the heliocentric system (a model that places the Sun at the center of the solar system). Hippocrates is the most famous physician who established a medical school, wrote many medical treatises, and is the founder of modern medicine (because of his systematic and empirical investigation of diseases and remedies). The Hippocratic oath, a medical standard for doctors, is named after him
• Artistic: Literature and theatre: Began in Athens with the performance of tragedy plays at religious festivals. These inspired the genre of comedy plays; these 2 types of Greek drama became hugely popular and performances spread around the Mediterranean and influenced Hellenistic and Roman theatre. Playwrights formed the foundation that all modern theatre is based. Greek playwright introduced the idea of characters interacting with dialogue and the concept of irony.
• Sculpture and architecture: Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealized perfection of the human body.
• Architects provided some of the finest and most distinctive buildings in the entire Ancient World and some of their structures (like temples, theatres, and stadiums) became staple features of towns and cities from antiquity onwards.
• The Greek concern with simplicity, proportion, perspective, and harmony in their buildings would go on to greatly influence architects in the Roman world and provide the foundation for the classical architectural orders that would dominate the western world from the Renaissance to the present day.
• Traditions/Religion: Worshipped many gods, each with a distinct personality and domain. Greek myths explained the origins of the gods and their individual relations with mankind. There were 12 principal deities in the Greek pantheon.
• Ancient Greek religious practices were conservative and had powerful influences on Greek thought. They had no single guiding work of scripture and did not have a strict priestly caste. The relationship between human beings and deities was based on the concept of exchange: gods and goddesses were expected to give gifts. Votive offerings were a physical expression of thanks on the part of individual worshippers.
• The Greeks worshipped in sanctuaries located either within the city or in the countryside. A sanctuary was a well-defined sacred space set apart usually by an enclosure wall. This sacred precinct, also known as a temenos, contained the temple with a monumental cult image of the deity, an outdoor altar, statues and votive offerings to the gods, and often features of landscape such as sacred trees or springs.
• The act of animal sacrifices took place within the sanctuary, usually at an altar in front of the temple, with the assembled participants consuming the entrails and meat of the victim. Liquid offerings were also commonly made.
• Religious festivals, literally feast days, filled the year. The four most famous festivals, each with its own procession, athletic competitions, and sacrifices were held every four years.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Roman civilization.
Intellectual: Legal system: Roman law remains the foundation of the legal systems of Western civ. Developed laws, set precedents and established rules and procedures for the fair, impartial and humane administration of justice. Roman law regulated businesses, family life, individual rights and through the framework of empire, international law. It greatly unified the empire and insured its citizens equal protection before the law, protection of individual rights and the security of property.
• Science and Medicine: Remained pragmatic; preferred useful applications of medicine, mathematics and science and left theories largely to non-Romans.
• Invented many surgical tools and pioneered the use of the c-section and the use of medicine on the battlefield; they established a military medical corps that was one of the first dedicated field surgery units. These specially trained medics saved countless lives by innovations like hemostatic tourniquets and arterial surgical clamps. Field doctors also performed physicals on new recruits and helped stem the spread of disease by overseeing sanitation in military camps; also disinfected instruments in hot water before use, pioneering a form of antiseptic surgery.
• Artistic: Aqueducts: Used mastery and civil engineering to perfect the aqueduct system and created public toilets, underground sewage systems, fountains, and ornate public baths; liberated cities from reliance on nearby water supplies and proved priceless in promoting public health and sanitation.
• Developed cement and concrete: Used it throughout the Mediterranean basin in aqueducts, buildings, bridges, and monuments. Was considerably weaker than its modern counterpart, but it has proved remarkably durable thanks to its unique recipe of slaked lime, volcanic ash, and volcanic rocks; this formed a concrete that could effectively endure chemical decay.
• They built a highway system of military and commercial interconnecting roads. The Romans built aqueducts, bridges, tunnels, public and private buildings of all kinds and for all purposes.
• Created official texts detailing military, legal and civil issues: The Acta Diurna (“daily acts”) were early newspapers written on metal or stone and then posted in heavily trafficked areas; typically included details of Roman military victories, lists of games and gladiatorial bouts, birth and death notices, and human interest stories. There was also an Acta Senatus, which detailed the proceedings of the Roman senate. Were traditionally withheld from public view until Julius Caesar ordered their publication.
• Written Expression in Literature and History: Wrote extensively in law, politics, history, philosophy and science. Heavily influenced by Greek learning, the Romans emphasized practical applications of ideas and knowledge in their writings.
• Art: Characterized by its realism and naturalism; heavenly influenced by Greek and Hellenistic qualities. The Romans often simply copied earlier works by the Greek and Hellenistic masters, but had adaptations of enduring expressions of the Roman way of life.
• Architecture: Romans used Greek columns on their buildings, but they came up with the idea of arches as a way to support more weight, which allowed them to construct larger buildings like the Colosseum (large amphitheater seating 50,000 people where gladiator fights and other entertainment took place.)
• Created beautiful mosaics on floors and walls
• Traditions/Religion: Very important in daily life. Religion was centered around gods; explanations for events usually involved the gods in some way. Believed that gods controlled their lives and so they spent a great deal of their time worshipping them.
• Each family home had a small altar and shrine. The Romans had personal household gods or spirits called ‘lares.’ The shrine contained statues of the ‘lares’ and the head of the household led family prayers around the shrine each day; the service was considered so important that family slaves were also invited.
Identify the intellectual contributions, artistic forms, and traditions (including the religious beliefs) of the Kush civilization.
• Intellectual: Famous for archers; the bow and arrow were often depicted in the art of Ancient Kush.
• Developed own language and eventually own cursive script (initially they borrowed hieroglyphics).
• Artistic: Kushites are depicted with darker skin and a distinct cropped hairstyle.
• Kushites built pyramids at burial sites, worshiped Egyptian gods, and mummified the dead.
• Their wealth was from mining iron and gold
• Arts and crafts included pottery and jewelry
• They built more than 200 tall, slender, and graceful temples, palaces, and royal baths
• Traditions/Religion: Pharaoh and ruling class, priests were the most important social class(they made the laws and communicated with the gods). Then were the artisans and scribes (artisans worked the iron and gold that was such an important part of the economy). Farmers were respected as they provided the food. At the bottom were servants, laborers, and slaves.
• Religion played an important role; believed strongly in the afterlife. Women played an important role and could be leaders; many of the leaders were queens.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of Chinese civilization.
• Large land was isolated from much of the rest of the world by dry deserts to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and impassable mountains to the south. This enabled the Chinese to develop independently from other world civilizations.
• Rivers: Two major rivers flowed through central China: the Yellow River to the north and the Yangtze River to the south. They were a great source of fresh water, food, fertile soil, and transportation. They also were the subjects of Chinese poetry, art, literature, and folklore.
• Mountains: To the south and southeast of China are the Himalaya Mountains; provided a nearly impassable border, keeping the area isolated from other civilizations. They were also important to Chinese religion and were considered sacred.
• Deserts: To the north and west were the Gobi Desert and the Taklamakan Desert. These deserts provided borders that kept the Chinese isolated from the rest of the world. The Mongols, however, lived in the Gobi Desert and were constantly raiding cities of northern China. This is why the Great Wall of China was built to protect the Chinese from these northern invaders.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of Japanese civilization.
• Island nation surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Japan on the east.
• Located on an archipelago (chain of islands); made up of 4 main islands and thousands of smaller ones.
• Terrain is mountainous so there is not a lot of good land for farming; they relied on the sea for many aspects of daily life. Trade with China and Korea became important to get the resources they needed.
• Lack of farmland limited the number of Japanese who could earn a living from farming. It also compelled those who did farm to expand land areas suitable for crops by building terraces. These are a series of flat areas, rising one above the other , created by digging into the mountainside. Mild climate and sufficient rainfall helped farmers make the most of the terrain
• Developed an interest in fishing and overseas trade – 2 activities that have typified Japan’s economic life.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of African civilization.
• Impacted where people could live, trade resources (gold and salt), and trade routes that helped different civilizations to interact and develop.
• Borders the southern half of the Mediterranean Sea. The Atlantic Ocean is to the west and the Indian Ocean is to the Southeast. Africa is one of the most diverse places on the planet with a wide variety of terrain, wildlife, and climates.
• The Sahara Desert: Covers much of North Africa: from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. North is the Mediterranean Sea; south is the Sahel region that sits between the desert and the African Savanna.
• The Nile River is located in northeast Africa and flows through many different African countries; 2 major tributaries that feed the Nile, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. Nile River was very important as a communication and trade route across a vast and harsh land. Also, its annual flooding renewed farmlands that would otherwise be arid desert.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of Arabian civilization.
• Located in southwest Asia and northeast Africa
• Fertile Crescent: Refers to the arc of fertile agricultural zones that formed the basis for early civilizations,
• Mountains and deserts divide the Middle East into zones that are both geographically distinct.
• The Nile River flows northward through the Sahara Desert, through Egypt, and to the Mediterranean Sea. As a source of water, food, and fertile soil deposited in annual floods as well as a transportation route, The rich mineral resources of the deserts around the Nile, particularly gold, have historically been important to economic development in this area
• East of the Nile Valley is the eastern Mediterranean coastal plain. Located in the Mediterranean climatic zone with rich agricultural land and relatively abundant rainfall, and has easy access to land and sea routes
• The Anatolian plateau is a relatively isolated but fertile agricultural zone, and the Taurus Mountains are rich in metals and minerals.
• Southeast is the Arabian Peninsula with its extensive deserts, oases, and coastal regions along the Red Sea, The Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf were more often suited to permanent settlement.
• East is Mesopotamia: A particularly fertile agricultural zone with vast areas available for cultivation. Northern Mesopotamia receives enough rainfall to grow grain crops, while southern Mesopotamia receives virtually no rain, so agriculture there depended on extensive networks of irrigation canals.
• The earliest civilizations with large population centers developed near abundant sources of water and agricultural land, rather than in areas of other valuable raw materials, like metals, semi-precious stones, building stone, or timber.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of Mesoamerican civilization.
• The geography of Mesoamerica is incredibly diverse—it includes humid tropical areas, dry deserts, high mountainous terrain, and low coastal plains.
• Highlands: Very diverse climate, ranging from dry tropical to cold mountainous climates, the dominant climate is temperate with warm temperatures and moderate rainfall. The topography, climate, and soil fertility of the highlands can vary dramatically
• Lowlands: Sub-tropical and tropical climates are most common; offered a great variety of usable flora and fauna resources that could be consumed in lieu of full-scale agriculture or traded to obtain other goods. Greater accessibility of the coast facilitated transportation, interregional communication, and trade.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of Andean Highland civilization.
• The geography of South America is dominated by the Andes Mountain Range and the Amazon River
• Most cities were located on one of three rivers in the region. This provided irrigation that allowed for cotton cultivation on a large scale
• Fishermen inhabited the coastal desert for millennia, and many of these communities were familiar with the sea and depended heavily on its products.
• The Andes mountain climate changes drastically throughout the region. Tropical rainforests can be miles from a frosted peek; temperature changes drastically when you move to a neighboring country. It can rain often in one area, but the next area over is typically dry.
Describe the influence of physical geography on the development of European civilization.
• Southern: Warm, sunny, drier with less rain; Most people lived on coastal plains or in the valleys, where the land was flat enough to farm crops like grapes and olives. Herds of sheep and goats were raised in the mountains. There were many peninsulas, so people didn’t live far from the sea. Many people became traders and seafarers.
• Northwestern: Mild, cooler, more rain
• North (Scandinavia): Freezing, cold, lots of snow
• North of the Alps: flat land; thick forests and fertile soil
• Northern Plain: Has most of Europe’s rivers formed from the melting of snow; Towns grew up along the rivers, which had access to the sea; Rivers also provided protection from invaders. Farmers grew crops in the fertile fields that surrounded the towns; lack of mountains was good for farming
• Europe's location provides access to Asia by land, Africa and the Americas by sea (fairly central location).
Trace the decline of the Western Roman Empire …
• Fall of Rome: Rome peaked in power around 117 AD (2nd century) under of rule of Emperor Trajan. Virtually all Mediterranean Sea coastline (Spain, Italy, France, S Britain, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and N Africa)
• Reasons for the gradual decline: Politicians and rulers became more corrupt, Civil Wars within Europe, Attacks from barbarian tribes outside Empire (Visgoths, Huns Franks, Vandals), army no longer a dominant force, Empire was so large it became hard to govern
• 285 AD: Emperor Diocletian decides Empire is too big to manage and splits it into 2: Eastern and Western. Next 100 years: Rome reunites, splits into 3
• 395 AD: Empire split in 2 for good; Western was ruled by Rome, Eastern ruled by Constantinople; Eastern becomes known as Byzantine Empire and remained in power for 1,000 years after Fall of Rome
• Rome is sacked and falls: 410 AD a Germanic barbarian tribe called the visgoths invaded Rome. They looted the treasures, killed and enslaved many Romans, and destroyed many buildings. This was the first time in 800 years Rome had been sacked. 476 AD, a Germanic barbarian (Odoacer) took control of Rome. He became King of Italy and forced the last emperor (Romulus Augustus) to give up his crown – this is the end of the Roman Empire
… and the development of feudalism as a social and economic system in Europe and Japan.
• Feudalism: From 9th – 15th century, a political and economic system in which the nobility held land from the Crown in exchange for military services, and vassals were tenants of the nobles, while peasants (villeins and serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give them homage, labor, and a share of the produce, ideally in exchange for military protection
• Characterized by economic and population decline, lack of centralized royal govt, and need for protection.
• Japan’s system consisted of 4 tiers: Samurai, peasants and farmers, artisans, merchants
• Military governors were called shoguns and they bestowed political rights and lands upon the samurai’s in exchange for military service
• Feudalism evolved as a way of maintaining a stable population engaged in farming and to ensure that levies could be raised to face down external threats
Identify the art, architecture, and science of Pre-Columbian America
3. Relied on stone tools for war, art, and building; erected cities; developed advanced mathematics, a calendar, sculptures, gold, masks, feathered headdresses; astronomical systems, built extensive networks of roads; created beautiful and finely crafted potteries and precious metal-jewelry. Maya created a writing system to record the deeds of their kings, their ancestors, and their gods. The Inca’s built the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America
Describe the role of Christianity in medieval and early modern Europe, its expansion beyond Europe, and the role of Islam and its impact on Arabia, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The Crusades: Series of religious wars initiated by the Byzantine Empire as an attempt to reclaim Holy Land from newly converted nomadic Muslims, called Turks.
The regions that had previously been Christian consisted of land that was sacred to both sides. The purpose of these holy wars was to stop the Muslims from expanding their control and restore Christianity in the Middle East. Pope Urban II initiated the First Crusade, after being befriended by the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus (1801 – 1118 CE) and by promising those who died fighting would go straight to heaven.
Trace the development of the Renaissance ... in Europe.
• Renaissance (1300-1600) started because ways of thinking changed; people wanted to learn and understand the world. This study of the world and how it works was the start of a new age of science, resulting in there being lots of trade in Italy with Asia and Europe and the emergence of secular/humanistic curiosity.
• A “rebirth” of classical learning most often associated with the cultural blossoming of Italy; included a rediscovery of Greek learning and major developments in art and growing secularism in society
• Humanism: importance of the individual; focus on human potential and achievements
• Leonardo da Vinci: “Renaissance Man” was painter, sculptor, writer, inventor, and scientist
• Machiavelli: Wrote book “The Prince” that encouraged rulers to be ruthless to gain and keep power
• William Shakespeare: Famous writer of the Elizabethan Age in England and one of the greatest playwrights of all time
• Johann Gutenberg: Invented printing press in 1455
Trace the development of the ... Scientific Revolution in Europe.
• End of Renaissance, Scientific Revolution (mid-1500’s) began; advancements to science and math.
• Francis Bacon: Developed the Scientific Method: A series of steps followed to solve problems including collecting data, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and stating conclusions
• Galileo Galilee: Italian astronomer and mathematician who was the first to use a telescope to study the stars; known as “The Father of Science”
• Rene Descartes: French philosopher and mathematician: discovered analytical geometry and began development of Calculus
• Nicholas Copernicus: Heliocentric Theory states the sun was the center of Universe (not the Earth) & the planets went around the sun
• Sir Isaac Newton: Discovered laws of gravity and motion
Define the development of early modern capitalism ...
• Capitalism: an economic system where things that make money (land, factories, communications, transportation systems) are owned by private businesses and corporations which trade in a ‘free market’ of competition; a small upper-class having the most wealth and the growth of large corporations
• Spearheaded by the growth of the English cloth industry, then metals; originated in trade
• Began once merchants had acquired sufficient wealth to begin investing in increasingly productive technology
• Started when people’s natural entrepreneurialism was freed from the constraints of feudalism
Define the global consequences of early modern capitalism.
• US economy strengthened to help promote American brands and values around the world (Coca Cola, American jeans, American music, rock and roll)
• Economic recovery in Europe led to a backlash that stressed local values and looked at the US as overtly capitalist and too rapidly changing
• Political and cultural figures in Europe had to reassert the need to preserve and embrace trad. nat’l or pan-European values and forms of cultural expression
• Asian economies spread of Japanese and Korean cultural styles, especially in the use of technology and animation and aesthetics
• Individualism threatened the local environment and cultures as well as the economic developments
Describe the evolution of the idea of representative democracy from the Magna Carta through the Enlightenment.
• Age of Enlightenment: period where reason was advocated as the primary basis of thought and authority; logic and rationality were used to explain the ways the world worked (as opposed to old traditions and superstitions).
• Free speech, individualism, and tolerance for other ways of life also because important ideas at the time
• Coincided with the rise of nationalism and introduced great thinkers who later influenced developing democratic governments
• The English Bill of Rights (1689): Influenced by the Magna Carta (English legal charter that was issued in 1215; basic principle required King of England to follow the same laws as his subjects). Protected the rights of individuals while limiting the power held by the government.
• Magna Carta provided the basis for the later development of Parliament
• Over the years, representative government led by a prime minister came to control and eventually replace the king as the real source of power in Britain
• Served as a model for the US Bill of Rights