Term Definition
Huang He Valley Between Yellow River and Yangtze River. People farmed here and their need for big water projects led to the formation of a strong central government.
River Valleys Areas where civilizations usually arose because of access to water and also great soil.
City-States A political unit made up of a city and also the city's surrounding area. War leaders often became the hereditary leaders.
History The study of past events, particularly in human affairs. The whole series of past events connected with someone or something.
"Fertile Crescent" Area between Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Very good soil. Home of Mesopotamia.
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Home of Mesopotamia. Located in Middle East near modern Iran and Iraq. Mesopotamia was often being attacked or invaded because it was between the East and the West.
Optimism (pt. 1 of 2) 1 of 2 main philosophies. Philosophy of hopefulness and confidence about the future. This world is the best of all possible worlds and we can't even understand it all. Good must ultimately prevail over evil in the universe.
Optimism (pt. 2 of 2) There are parts of your existence that you can't explain by your senses and you have no say in these. These parts of your existence were inherited.
Ziggurat The center of cities in Mesopotamia. A pyramid temple.
Pessimism 1 of 2 main philosophies. Tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen. A lack of hope, including a lack of faith in God. Knowledge only comes from our actual senses and real-world experiences-not faith or God.
Plato An optimistic philosopher.
Cuneiform In 3100 BC, Sumerians invented this earliest form of writing.
Philosopher King An Optimistic idea: not a dictator, but is a leader who uses their knowledge to provide opportunities for equality and progress and better living conditions FOR ALL. Plato says a philosopher is a "wisdom-lover."
Aristotle A Pessimistic philosopher.
Aristotle's Politics Goal of city is not to be fair for everyone, but to give a good life to SOME of the folks. The city is better off if some folks prosper and others do not because it is difficult to provide equality and fairness to everybody anyway. This is Pessimism.
Hammurabi's code Hammurabi conquered Mesopotamia in 1700BC. He had the 1st set of written laws. There were 282 laws, punishments often depended on your social class. The code also covered things like fair deals, family, and divorce.
Hinduism Many gods, but no single founder or book. Everything is part of an unchanging, all-powerful spiritual force called "Brahman." The goal is to achieve a union with Brahman. Hinduism is also thefoundation of the socialclass structure known as the castesystem
Buddhism No God. Urges followers to seek enlightenment through meditation instead of via priests or rituals. Followers seek Nirvana or a perfect union with the universe and a release from the cycle of rebirth.
"Dynasties" Strong central government in China led to formation of dynasties: a ruling family where power was passed down a family tree.
Social Classes System where rankings of people within a society of civilization.
"Mandate of Heaven" The Zhou people in China developed this idea: they believed their leaders had a divine right to rule and be leaders.
Confucius/Confucianism China's most influential philosopher. Not interested in religion. He cared about social order and good government. Harmony occurs when folks accept their place in society. Puts respect for parents above all other duties.
Legalism Chinese philosopher Hanfeizi insisted only way to achieve order in society was to have strict laws and harsh punishments aka "legalism."
Taoism Chinese philosophy where followers seek to live in harmony with nature instead of trying to bring order to human affairs. Views government as unnatural and the cause of many problems.
Mayan Civilization Not 1st civilization in Americas, but 1st we know a lot about. Each city-state had chief. Cleared away rain forests for corn. Social classes. Priests were powerful & had pyramid temples. Heiroglyphic writing & calendar. Mayan languages still exist.
Minoans 1st folks in Greece (1750-133BC). Unlike other civilizations, Greece was not based around a river. They were based around sea travel and sea trade. Minoans mysteriously wiped out.
Mycenaeans (Trojan War) Sea traders in Greece (1400-1200BC). Epic poems regarding Trojan War are "Illiad" and "Odyssey." Poems show that the Greeks display courage and honor
Phoenicians Sea traders known for purple dye called Tyrian harvested from snails. Developed modern alphabet. Many Gods, but main 1 was Baal, the weather God. They sacrificed kids! Myths led to Greek mythology. Plato thinks they love money more than knowledge.
Sparta Militaristic city-state in Greece. Boys trained to be soldiers. Ruled by 2 separate heirs of 2 separate kings: kept the elites in power because folks would not know which king to challenge.
Athens Democracy! Only wealthy males could vote, so it was actually more like an oligarchy. Athens was a sea-trading and navy power. Built great ship. Plato & Aristotle lived here.
Oligarchy (its purpose & 2 primary concerns) Government by group of rich folks. MONEY=POWER! Tough for poor folks to have a voice. 2 fears of oligarchs: 1. Property — do they have enough power to keep their property safe? 2. Wealth — do they have enough power to keep their money safe?
Types of oligarchy: landed vs traders 1 oligarchy is where group of folks that own land have all the power. 2nd type is where the powerful are the wealthy traders.
Alexander the Great Ruled Greece for 12 years and conquered a lot of land around Mediterranean, Middle East and even India. Allowed Greek culture to mix with diverse cultures around the known world. Greek culture flourished.
Roman "republic" City-state of Rome overthrew king's monarchy & created republic. New government tried to represent "citizens." But "citizens" were only rich folks who owned land aka "Latifundia". Became huge power in Mediterranean. Emphasized family & religion.
Punic Wars Three Punic Wars versus Carthage:
First: fought over control of Sicily
Second: Hannibal seeks revenge against Rome for death of his dad
Third: Carthage started war in N.Africa, so Rome saw Carthage as a threat to all peace.
First Triumvirate Aka "Gang of Three." For about 10 years, these 3 guys controlled governments and military: Caesar, Pompey & Crassus. Pompey & Caesar feuded. Caesar defeated Pompey and he then moved to Rome and named himself "dictator for life."
Ides of March Politicians rebel against Caesar and murder him on March 15 aka the "Ides of March."
Constantine In 180AD, Roman empire split into 2 halves. In 307AD, Constantine united the 2 halves and made Christianity the official religion.
Fall of Roman Empire Empire collapsed because: 1. Invasions by barbarians 2. Too much love of money and fancy things 3. Corrupt leaders 4. Weak rulers 5. Bad economy that relied too much on slaves 6. Army got weak
2 essential questions of society 1. What will we worship? (1 god, many gods, no gods?)
2. Who will rule? (king (monarchy), few (oligarchy), many (ochlocracy)
co-operation Folks worked together to irrigate fields, harvest crops, raise livestock. Eventually, some people became more powerful because they had superior skills in these areas
cultivation of crops By cooperating, more crops could be grown and this led to greater populations and folks could then do jobs other than farming. In Middle East: barley, chick peas, peas, figs. In China: soy beans. In S.Amer: potatoes
8 factors required for a civilization 1. Cities 2. Well-organized central government 3. complex religions 4. job specialization 5. social classes 6. arts & architecture 7. public works 8. writing.
bureaucracy System of managing government through many specialized departments run by appointed (not elected) officials
scribes as writing grew more complex, specially trained folks called SCRIBES learned how to read and write
empire/emperor Empire: group of states, territories & peoples all ruled by 1 person. Leader known as emperor. Empires were painful on the folks who got defeated but it helped establish connections between cultures of neighboring communities.

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