Cyrus the Great
established massive Persian empire across the norhtern Mediterranean and into northwestern India by 500 BCE; successor state to Mesopotamian empires
new religion developed by Persians; animist religion that saw material existence as battle between forces of good and evil; stressed importance of moral choice; righteous lived on after death in "House of Song"; chief religion of Persian Empire
Olympic games
one of the pan-Hellenic rituals observed by all Greek city-states; involved athletic competitions and ritual celebrations
most famous Greek political figure; dominated Athenian politics; guided development of Athenian Empire; died during early ages of Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian Wars
wars in which Athens and Sparta fought for control of Greece (431-404 BCE); resulted in Sparta victory but failure to achieve political unification of Greece
Hellenistic period
culture associated with the spread of Greek influence as a result of Macedonian conquerers; often seen as the combination of Greek culture with eastern political forms
Alexandria, Egypt
one of many cities of that name founded by Alexander the Great; site of ancient Mediterranean's greatest library; center of literary studies
Roman republic
the balanced constitution of Rome from 510 to 47 BCE; featured an arictocratic senate, a panel of magistrates, and several popular assemblies
Punic Wars
fought between Rome and Carthage to estbalish dominance in the western Mediterranean; won by Rome after three separate conflicts
originally a Phoenician colony in northern Africa; became a major port and commercial power in the western Mediterannean; fought the Punic Wars with Rome for dominance of the western Mediterranean
great Carthaginian general during Second Punic War; successfully invaded Italy but failed to conquer Rome; finally defeated at Battle of Zama
Julius Caesar
Roman general responsible for conquest of Gaul; brought army back to Rome and overthrew republic; assassinated in 44 BCE by conservative senators
Augustus Caesar
name given to Octavian following his defeat of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra; first emperor of Rome
Roman emperor from 312 to 337 BCE; established second capital at Constantinople; attempted to use religious force of Christianity to unify empire spiritually
direct democracy
literally rule of the people; as interpreted in Athens, all decisions emanated from popular assembly without intermediation of elected representatives
city-state form of government; typical of Greek political organization from 800 to 400 BCE
assembly of Roman aristocrats; advised on policy within the republic; one of the early elements of the Roman constitution
two chief executives or magistrates of the Roman republic; elected by an annual assembly dominated by aristocracy
conservative Roman senator; Stoic philosopher; one of great orators of his day; killed in reaction to assassination of Julius Caesar
Greek philosopher; teacher of Alexander the Great; knowledge based on observation of phenomena in material world
Hellenistic group of philosophers; emphasized inner moral independencecultivated by strict discipline of the body and personal bravery
Athenian philosopher of later 5th century BCE; tutor of Plato; urged rational reflection of moral decisions; condemned to death for corrupting minds of Athenian young
Greek philosopher; knowledge based on consideration of ideal forms outside the material world; proposed ideal form of government based on abstract principles in which philosophers ruled
Greek writer of tragedies; author of Oedipus Rex
Greek epic poem attributed to Homer but possibly the work of many authors; defined gods and human nature that shaped Greek myths
Greek epic poem attributed to Homer but possibly the work of many authors; defined gods and human nature that shaped Greek myths
along with Ionian and Corinthian, distinct style of Hellenistic architecture; the least ornate of the three styles
form of political organization typical of Mesopotamian civilizations; consisted of agricultural hinterlands ruled by an urban-based king
twelve tables
first code of laws introduced by early Roman republic; introduced by 450 BCE