Land between the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and the Jordan river, occupied by Israelites.
Hebrew Bible
Also known as the Old Testament. Several collections of materials that originated with different groups, employed distinctive vocabularies, and advocated particular interpretations of past events.
Born in the city of Ur in Southern Mesopotamia. His grandsons Isaac and Jacob succeeded him as a leader of the wandering group he had established. Left his city of birth because he was disgusted by the idol worship, and he and his animals moved to Israel where he supposedly was promised to he and his disciples by a covenant with the god Yahweh. He and his followers were nomadic.
Jewish Diaspora
When Jews spread from Israel to western Asia and Mediterranean lands in antiquity, and can still be found there today. The synagogue was built/created during this time.
-In present day Lebanon -Developed small city states that revolved around commerce. -Invented the first alphabet -City of Carthage near Tunis, Hannibal was great military leader of Punic Wars -Religion was Polytheistic.
A city located in present day Tunisia, founded by the Phoenicians. Major commercial center and naval power in the Western Mediterranean until defeated by Rome in the third century BCE.
A religion originating in ancient Iran with the prophet Zoroaster. Centered on single benevolent deity-Ahuramazda, who engaged in a twelve thousand year struggle with demonic forces before prevailing and restoring a pristine world. Emphasis on truth telling, purity, and reverence for nature. Choose sides in the struggle between good and evil. Rewarded in afterlife by doing good things for Ahuramazda.
Greek term for "city-state". An urban center and the agricultural territory under it's control. Characteristic form of political organization in souther and central Greece in the Archaic and Classical periods. Some polis' were oligarchic, others were democratic.
A heavily armored Greek infantryman of the Archaic and Classical periods who fought in the close-packed phalanx formation. Superior to all military forces for awhile, made up of middle and upper class citizens supplying their own equipment.
A system of government in which all citizens have equal political and legal rights, privileges, and protections, as in the Greek city-state Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E.
A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.
A Greek term used to describe someone who seized and held power in violation of the normal procedures and traditions of the community. Appeared in Greek city-states and often took advantage of the disaffection of the emerging middle class and, by weakening the old elite, unwittingly contribution of democracy.
A gift given to a deity, often with the aim of creating a relationship and gaining favor, and obligating the god to provide some benefit to the sacrificer, sometimes in order to sustain the deity and thereby guarantee the continuing vitality of the natural world.
Heir to the technique investigation developed by the Greeks in the late Archaic period. He came from a Greek community in Anatolia and traveled extensively, collecting information in western Asia and the Mediterranean lands. Chronicled the Persian Wars between the Greek city-states and the Persian empire.
Persian Wars
Conflicts between the Greek city-states and the Persian empire, ranging from the Ionian Revolt through Darius' punitive expedition that failed at Marathon and the defeat of Xerxes' massive invasion of Greece by the Spartan-ed Hellenic League. Herodotus chronicles these events.
Son of Darius, ruler of Persia. Was defeated by the Greeks.
Greek and Phoenician warship of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. It was sleek and light, powered by 170 oars arranged in three vertical tiers. Manned by skilled sailors, it was capable of short bursts of speed and complex maneuvers.
Athenian philosopher who shifted the emphasis of philosophical investigation from questions of natural science to ethics and human behavior. Made enemies by revealing the ignorance and pretensions of others, culminating in his trial and execution by the Athenian state.
Peloponnesian War
A protracted and costly conflict between the Athenian and Spartan alliance systems that convulsed most of the Greek world. The war was largely a consequence of Athenian imperialism. Possession of a naval empire allowed Athens to fight a war of attrition. Sparta prevailed because of Athenian errors and Persian financial support.
Alexander the Great
King of Macedonia in northern Greece. He conquered the Persian Empire, reached the Indus valley, founded many Greek-style cities, and spread the Greek culture around the Middle East.
Hellenistic Age
The age in which Greek culture spread across western Asia and northeastern Africa after the conquests of Alexander the Great. The period ended with the fall of the last major Hellenistic kingdom to Rome, but Greek cultural influence persisted until the spread of Islam in the seventh century C.E.
Roman Republic
The period from 507-31 B.C.E., during which Rome was largely governed by the aristocratic Roman Senate.
A Jew from the Greek city of Tarsus in Anatolia, he initially persecuted the followers of Jesus but after receiving a revelation on the road to Syrian Damascus he became Christian. Traveled preaching his religion and establishing churches. Began the process of separating Christianity and Judaism.
A conduit, either elevated or under ground, using gravity to carry water from a source to a location-usually a city that needed it. The Romans built many of these in a period of substantial urbanization.
A Roman emperor. After reuniting the Roman Empire, he moved the capital to Constantinople and made Christianity the favored religion.
Qin Dynasty
In the Wei Valley of eastern China. The ruler was Shi Huangdi. They had a totalitarian structure and forced the individual to support the state. Ignored Confucianisms non-violent ideas and embraced legalism. Abolished passing on land to the eldest son (primogeniture). Abolished slavery, created a unified China with standards like weights, measures, coinage, and laws. Lots of roads to help move the army. Very oppressive labor projects led to a rebellion and brought the Qin down.
Shi Huangdi
Founder of the short lived Qin dynasty and creator of the Chinese Empire. Remembered for his ruthless conquests of rival states.
Han Dynasty
Took over the Qin Dynasty. Followed the mandate of heaven. Set the stage for imperial China that exists today. Agriculture was big and was used to pay taxes. Human labor was common, built canals between the Yellow and Yangzi river. All able bodied men donate a month to public works. Most important export was silk. Capital was Chang'an. Decline was due to lack of border maintenance, nomads taking over.
The class of prosperous families in China, next in wealth below the rural aristocrats, from which the emperors drew their administrative personnel. Respected for their education and expertise.
Great Wall of China
Built to protect the borders of the Chinese empire.
Civilization of north coast of Peru. An important Andean civilization that built extensive irrigation networks as well as impressive urban centers dominated by brick temples.
Mesoamerican civilization concentrated in Mexico's Yucantan peninsula and in Guatemala and Honduras but never unified into a singe empire. Major contributions in mathematics, astronomy, and the development of the calendar.
A powerful city-state in Central Mexico. It's population was about 150,000 at it's peak in 600 C.E.
Swidden Agriculture
Farming system where farmers move on from one place to another when the land becomes exhausted.
Early Indian sacred knowledge-long preserved and communicated orally by Brahmin priests and eventually written down. Religious texts that include the thousand poetic hymns to various deities.
Varna System
Based on skin color and evolved into the caste system: -Brahmin, Kshatriya (warrior), Vaishya (merchants), Shundra Peasants, and the Untouchables. Reincarnation through immortal essence=atman.
In Indian tradition, the residue of deeds performed in past and present lives that adheres to a spirit and determines what form it will assume in it's next cycle of life.
The Hindu concept of the spirit's liberation from the endless cycle of rebirths. There are various avenues, such as physical disciplines, meditation, and acts of devotion to the gods.
Siddhartha Gautama
Founder of Buddhism. Preached the middle path, and the 4 noble truths. 1. Life is suffering 2. Suffering arises from desire. 3. The solution to suffering lies in curbing desire. 4. Desire can be controlled through the eightfold path.
Mahayana Buddhism
One of the two branches of Buddhism. The focus is on the reverence of Buddha. Enlightened persons who have postponed nirvana to help others attain enlightenment.
Theravada Buddhism
One of two branches of Buddhism. Downplays the importance of gods and emphasizes austerity and the individuals search for enlightenment.
Mauryan Empire
The first centralized empire in India. Collected 25% agricultural taxes. Had a very large army, and also had coinage. Had Hindu rulers, one by the name of Ashoka. After this empire collapses, there was no central government in India for 500 years.
Gupta Empire
Ruled North and Central India, but NOT the South. Considered the Golden Age of India. A "theatre state". Hinduism dominated, and the collapse was due to the huns.
Ashoka (Asoka)
The third ruler of the Mauryan Empire in India. He converted to Buddhism and broadcast his precepts on inscribed stones and pillars, the earliest surviving Indian writing.
The most important work of Indian sacred literature, a dialogue between the great warrior Arjuna and the god Krishna on duty and the fate of the spirit.
"Theater State"
Term historians use for a state that aquires prestige and power by developing attractive cultural forms and staging elaborate public ceremonies to attract and bind subjects to the center.
Religion expounded by the Prophet Muhammad on the basis of his reception of divine revelations, which were collected after his deaeth into the Quran. Islam calls on all people to recognize one creator god- Allah- who rewards or punishes believers after death according to how they led theirs lives.
An adherent of the Islamic religion; a person who subits to the will of God.
Arab prophet; founder of religion of Islam.
City in western Arabia; birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, a ritual center of the Islamic religion.
The community of all Muslims. A major innovation agaisnt the background of seventh-century Arabia, where traditionally kinship rather than faith had determined membership in a community.
Office established in succesion to the Prophet Muhammad, to rule the Islamic Empire; also the name of that Empire.
Book composed of divine revelations made to the Prophet Muhammad between ca.610 and his death in 632; the sacred text is of the religion of Islam.
Muslim religious scholars. From the ninth century onward, the primary interpreters of Islamic law and the social core of Muslim urban societies.
Muslims belonging to branch of Islam believing that the community should select its own leadership. The majority religion in most Islamic countries.
Muslims belonging to the branch of Islam believing that God vests leadership of the community in a descendant of Muhammad's son-in-law Ali. Shi'ism is the state religion of Iran.
Mystic fraternities in Islam. The spread of the doctrines and rituals of certain Sufis from city to city gave rise to the first geographical extensive Islamic religious organizations.
The central administration of the Roman Catholic Church, of which the pope is the head.
A formal split within a religious organization; any division or separation of a group or organization into hostile factions
Holy Roman Empire
Loose federation of mostly German states and principalities, headed by an emperor elected by the princes. It lasted from 962 to 1806.
Investiture Controversy
Dispute between the popes and the Holy Roman Emperors over who held ultimate authority over bishops in imperial lands.
Living in a religious community apart from secular society and adhering to a rule stipulating chastity, obedience, and poverty. It was a prominent element of medieval Christianity and Buddhism. Monasteries were the primary centers of learning and literacy in medieval Europe.
Hagia Sophia
Lasting importance from the time of Justinian and his influential wife the empress Theodora is the architectural tradition represented by Hagia Sophia, the great domed cathedral of Constantinople.
Horse Collar
Harnessing method that increased the efficiency of horses by shifting the point of traction from the animal's neck to the shoulders; its adoption favors the spread of horse-drawn plows and vehicles.
The Crusades
When the Christians tried to take back land from the Muslims through a series of wars and battles.
Journey to a sacred shrine by Christians seeking to show their piety, fulfill vows, or gain absolution for sins. Other religions also have pilgrimage traditions, such as the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and the pilgrimages made by early Chines Buddhists to India in search of sacred Buddhist writings.
Concerned with non-religious subjects.
A system of moral principal.
The body of a doctrine, myth or belief that guides and individual or social movement, institution, class, or large group.
Government by many bureaus, administrators and petty officials.
The principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.
A variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.
The Twelve Tables
The earliest written collection of Roman laws, drawn up by patricians about 450 B.C. that became the foundation of Roman law.
A general term for a wide variety of beliefs and ritual practices that have developed in the indian subcontinent since antiquity. Hinduism has roots in ancient Vedic, Buddhist, and south Indian religious concepts and practices. It spread along the trade routes to Southeast Asia.
"The Creator," the first member of the Trimurti, with Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Related with Hinduism.
A religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject.
Ancient type of water-supply system developed and still used in arid regions of the world. A qanat taps underground mountain water sources trapped in and beneath the upper reaches of alluvial fans and channels the water downhill through a series of tunnels, often several kilometres long, to the places where it is needed for irrigation and domestic use. The development of qanats probably began about 2,500 years ago in Iran, their technology then spreading eastward to Afghanistan and westward to Egypt.
The governor of a province in the Achaemenid Persian Empire, often a relative of the king. He was responsible for protection of the province and for forwarding tribute to the central administration. Satraps in outlying provinces enjoyed considerable autonomy.
The theory that the universe has been ruled from its origins by two conflicting powers, one good and one evil, both existing as equally ultimate first causes
Characterized by a government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control
Right of inheritance belongs exclusively to the eldest son
Relating to or associated with an empire
Rig Veda
A collections of 1, 017 Sanskrit hymns composed about 1500BC earlier; Hinduism's oldest text.
Religion founded in the 6th century BC as a revolt against Hinduism
The most powerful members of a society
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
A group of countries under a single authority
An autocracy governed by a monarch who usually inherits the authority
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
558- 333B.C.E, first Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus who capitalized on weakening Syrian and Babylonian empires. Peak was under Darius