Western Civilization Chapters 1-3 Study Guide

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What are the characteristics of "wise human beings?"

The first anatomically modern humans, known as Homo Sapiens ("wise, wise human being"), appeared in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago. Recent evidence indicates that they began to spread outside Africa around 70,000 years ago. By 30,000 B.C., Homo Sapiens Sapiens had replaced the Neanderthals, who had largely become extinct, and by 10,000 B.C., members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species could be found throughout the world. By that time, it was the human species left. All humans today, be Europeans, Australian Aborigines, or Africans, belong to the same subspecies.

Describe the general developments of the Paleothic period.

One of the basic distinguishing features of the human species is the ability to make tools. The earliest tools were made of stone. Paleolithic is Greek for "old stone." Humans relied on hunting and gathering for their daily food. Humans from this period figured out which animals hunt and which plants to eat. However, they did not know to grow crops or raise animals. Both men and women were responsible for finding food-the chief work of the Paleolithic people.

What is "revolutionary" about the Neolithic period?

The end of the last ice age around 10,000 B.C. was followed by what is called the Neolithic Revolution, a significant change in living patterns that occurred in the New Stone Age (Neolithic is Greek for "new stone"). The name New Stone Age is misleading, however. Although Neolithic peoples made a new type of polished stone ax, this was not the major change that occurred after 10,000 B.C.

How were women treated in early societies? What circumstances changed?

Woman in early societies were treated like a piece of property, a servant or slave and, later on, an economic partner, plaything, and childbearer. The circumstances that have changed are women have finally been granted equal rights as men and are finally no longer treated liked slaves.

5. What characterizes the beginning of actual civilizations?

As we have seen, early human beings formed small groups that developed a simple culture that enabled them to survive. As human societies grew and developed greater complexity, a new form of human existence-called civilization-came into being. A civilization is a complex culture in which large numbers of human beings share a number of common elements. These include:

(1) an urban focus: cities became the centers of political, economic, social, cultural, and religious development;

(2) a distinct religious structure: the gods were deemed crucial to the community's success, and professional priestly classes regulated relations with the gods;

(3) new political and military structures: an organized government bureaucracy arose to meet the administrative demands of the growing population, and armies were organized to gain land and power and for defense;

(4) a new social structure based on economic power: while kings and an upper class of priests, political leaders, and warriors dominated, there also existed a large group of free men (farmers, artisans, craftspeople) and at the very bottom, socially, a class of slaves;

(5) the development of writing: kings, priests, merchants, and artisans used writing to keep records; and

(6) new forms of significant artistic and intellectual activity: for example monumental architectural structures, usually religious, occupied a prominent place in urban environments.

How important is water to early development?

Water was very important to early development.

Discuss Sumerian society, their form of government, how they developed?

Sumerians viewed kingship as divine in origin; they believed kings derived their power from the gods and were agents of the gods.

They developed by as the number of Sumerian city-states grew and the states expanded, conflicts arose as city-state fought city-state for control of land and water. Around 2,340 B.C., Sargon, leader of the Akkadians, overran the Sumerian city-states and established an empire that included most of Mesopotamia as well as lands westward to the Mediterranean.

Why were the Sumerians unable to sustain themselves?

The Sumerians were unable to sustain themselves because, since it was located on the flat land of Mesopotamia, the Sumerian city-states were also open to invasion

What is the Code of Hammurabi?

The Code of Hammurabi is best remembered for his law code, a collection of 282 laws. For centuries, laws had regulated people's relationships with one another in the lands of Mesopotamia, but only fragments of these earlier code survive. Although many scholars today view Hammurabi's collection less a code of laws and more as the attempt of Hammurabi to portray himself as the source of justice to the peoples, the code still gives us a glimpse of the Babylonian society of his time. The Code of Hammurabi reveals a society with a system of strict justice.

Understand the relationship between religion and the development of these early societies.

One of the most famous accountants from the ancient Near East of the creation of the universe was the Babylonian creation epic known as the Enuma Elish. The name comes from the first two lines of the poem:
When on high heavens were not yet named,
And below, the earth was not called by a name.
The Mesopotamians viewed their city-states as earthly copies of a divine model and order. Each city-state was sacred because it was linked to a god or goddess.

What is the significance of the Nile River to Egyptian development?

The Nile is a unique river, beginning in the heart of Africa and coursing northward for thousands of miles. It is the longest river in the world. Thanks to the Nile, an area several miles wide on both banks of the river was capable of producing abundant harvests. The "miracle" of the Nile was its annual flooding. The surpluses of food that Egyptian farmers grew in the fertile Nile valley made Egypt prosperous. But the Nile also served as a unifying factor in Egyptian history. In ancient times, the Nile was the fastest way to travel through the land, making both transportation and communication easier.

What is the difference between the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt?

The Old Kingdom encompasses a third through sixth dynasties of Egyptian kings, lasting from around 2686 to 2181 B.C. It was an age of prosperity and splendor, made visible in the construction of the greatest and largest pyramids in Egypt's history. The capital of the Old Kingdom was located at Memphis, south of the delta. Kingship was a divine institution in ancient Egypt and formed part of a universal cosmic scheme: "What is the king of Upper and Lower Egypt?"

Despite the theory of divine order, the Old Kingdom eventually collapsed, ushering in a period of disorder. Eventually, a new royal dynasty managed to pacify all Egypt and inaugurated the Middle Kingdom, a new period of stability lasting from around 2055 to 1650 B.C. The Middle Kingdom was characterized by a new concern on part of the pharos for the people. In the Old Kingdom the pharaoh had been viewed as an inaccessible god-king. Now he was portrayed as the shepherd of his people with the responsibility to build public works and provide for the public welfare.

Explain the class structure of Egyptian civilization.

Egyptian society had a simple structure in the Old and Middle Kingdoms; basically, it was organized along hierarchical lines with the god-king at the top. The king was surrounded by an upper class of nobles and priests who participated in the elaborate rituals of life that surrounded the pharaoh.

Below the upper classes were merchants engaged in active trade up and down the Nile river as well as in town and village markets.

Most of the lower classes were serfs or common people who were bound to the land and cultivated the estates.

What is significant about the Book of the Dead?

The dead were asked to give an account of their earthy deeds to show whether the deserved a reward. The Book of the Dead was used to ensure a favorable journey to a happy afterlife.

What are Egyptian Hieroglyphics?

Egyptian Hieroglyphics ("meaning priest carvings" or "sacred writings") were symbols that depicted objects and had a sacred value at the same time. Although hieroglyphics were later simplified into two scripts for writing purposes, they never developed into an alphabet.

What is curious about Amenhotep IV?

The eighteenth dynasty was not without its own troubles, however. Amenhotep IV introduced the worship of Aten, god of the sun disk, as the chief god and pursued his worship with great enthusiasm. He changed his name to Akhenaten (servant of Aten).

What is the technological advancement that came out of Europe around 4,000 B.C.?

One outstanding feature of late Neolithic Europe was the building of megalithic structures. Megalith is Greek for "large stone." Radiocarbon dating, a technique that allows scientists to determine the age of objects, shows that the first megalithic structures were built around 4000 B.C., more than a thousand years before the great pyramids were built in Egypt.

Who are the Druids?

The Druids were members of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul (France), and possibly other parts of Celtic Europe and Galatia during the Iron Age and possibly earlier. Very little is known about the ancient druids. They left no written accounts about themselves and the only evidence is a few descriptions left by Greek, Roman and various scattered authors and artists, also stories created by later medieval Irish writers.
The earliest known reference to the Druids dates to 200 BCE, although the oldest actual description comes from the Roman military general Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico (50s BCE). Later Greco-Roman writers also described the druids, including Cicero, Tacitus and Pliny the Elder. Following the invasion of Gaul by the Roman Empire, druidism was suppressed by the Roman government under the 1st-century emperors Tiberius and Claudius, and it disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century.

What is the Hittite contribution to the western world?

The Hitties were the first of the Indo-European peoples to make use of iron, enabling them to construct weapons that were stronger and cheaper to make because of the widespread availability of iron ore.
The Hittite Empire also demonstrated an interesting ability to assimilate other cultures into its own.

How did Jews end up in Egypt and what went wrong after they got there?

According to tradition, a drought in Caanan caused many Hebrews to migrate to Egypt, where they lived peacefully until they were enslaved by pharaohs who used them as laborers on building projects. The Jews fought with the Philistines.

Who is considered the "father of nations?" Why?

Abraham is considered the "father of nations," because he had so many descendants.

Understand a brief history of Caanan and how it became Israel?

After Solomon's death, tension in Israel between the northern and southern tribes led to the establishment of two separate kingdoms-the kingdom of Israel, composed of the ten northern tribes, with its capital eventually at Samaria, and the southern kingdom of Judah, consisting of two tribes, with its capital at Jerusalem.

What practice served to isolate the Jews?

Monotheism

How was Jewish law understood?

The term "betrothal" in Jewish law must not be understood in its modern sense; that is, the agreement of a man and a woman to marry, by which the parties are not, however, definitely bound, but which may be broken or dissolved without formal divorce. Betrothal or engagement such as this is not known either to the Bible or to the Talmud, and only crept in among the medieval and modern Jews through the influence of the example of the Occidental nations among whom they dwelt, without securing a definite status in rabbinical law.

Who were the prophets?

The Israelites believed that certain religious leaders or "holy men," called Prophets, were sent by God to serve as his voice to his people. The golden age of the prophets began in the mid-eight century B.C. and continued during the time when the people of Israel and Judah were threatened by Assyrian and Chaldean conquerors.

How were the Phoenicians successful?

The Phoenicians were successful, because they produced a number of goods for foreign markets, including purple dye, glass, wine, and lumber from the famous cedars of Lebanon.
They also improved their ships and became great international sea traders.
They charted new trade routs.

What was unique about the Assyrian civilization?

The Assyrians were a Semitic-speaking people who exploited the use of iron weapons to establish an empire by 700 B.C. that included Mesopotamia, parts of Iranian plateau, sections of Asia Minor, Syria, Canaan, and Egypt down to Thebes.

What were the Assyrians contributions to military defense?

The ability of the Assyrians to conquer and maintain an empire was due to a combination of factors. Over many years of practice, they developed effective military leaders and fighters. They were able to enlist and deploy troops numbering in the hundreds of thousands, although most campaigns were not conducted on such a large scale. In 845 B.C., an Assyrian army of 120,000 men crossed the Euphrates on a campaign.

What factors serve to unify the Assyrian civilization?

Unlike the Hebrews, they were not fearful of mixing with other peoples.
Agriculture formed the principle basis of Assyrian life.
Assyrian culture was hybrid.

How did the Persian Empire become the largest empire in the world at that time?

After the collapse of the Assyrian Empire, the Chaldeans, under their king Nebuchadnezzar II, regained for Babylon a position as the leading power in the ancient Near East.

Who was Cyrus the Great?

In 559 B.C., Cyrus became the leader if the Persians, united them under his rule, and went on the offensive against the Medes. In 550 B.C., he established Persians control Media, making it the first Persian satrapy, or province. Three years later, he defeated the prosperous Lydian kingdom in western Asia Minor, and Lydia became another Persian satrapy.

How did King Darius improve the organization of the Persian Empire?

Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern it. He organized a new uniform monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon and Egypt. Darius devised a codification of laws for Egypt. He also had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved, an autobiography of great modern linguistic significance. Darius also started many massive architectural projects, including magnificent palaces in Persepolis and Susa.

What factors contributed to the development of Greece as a trading center of the Mediterranean region?

Geography, The Sea, and Topography

Who were the Minoans? What distinguished their civilization?

The earliest civilization in the Aegean region emerged on the large island of Crete, southeast of the Greek mainland. A Bronze age civilization that used metals, especially bronze, in making weapons had been established there by 2800 B.C. This forgotten civilization was rediscovered at the turn of the twentieth century there by the English archeologist named Arthur Evans, who named it "Minoan" after Minos, a legendary king of Crete. The Minoans were not Greek.

What records do we have of the earliest Greek civilization, Mycenae?

The term Mycenaean is derived from Mycenae, a remarkable fortified site first excavated by the amature German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Mycenae was one center in a Greek civilization that flourished between 1600 and 1100 B.C. The Mycenean Greeks were part of the Indon-European family of peoples who spread from their original location into southern and western Europe, India, and Iran.

What did Homer record about early Greek society?

The "Illiad" and the "Odyssey," the great epic poems of early Greece, were based on stories that had been passed down from generation to generation. It is generally assumed that early in the eighteenth century B.C., Homer made use of these oral traditions to compose the "Illiad", his epic of the Trojan War.

Why are Homer's poems considered so important to western civilization today?

The "Illiad" abounds in universal lessons. Homer did not so much record history as make it. The Greeks regarded the "Illiad" and the "Odysses as authentic history recorded by one poet, Homer. These masterpieces gave the Greeks an idealized past with a cast of heros and came to be used as standard texts for education of generations of Greek males.

How did the early Greek city-states emerge?

In the eight century B.C., Greek civilization burst forth with new energies, beginning the period that historians have called the Archaic Age of Greece. Two major developmens stand out in this era: the evolution of the polis as the central institution in Greek life and the Greeks' colonization of the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

What is the polis?

The Greek polis developed slowly during the Dark Age and by the eight century B.C., had emerged as a truly unique and fundimental institution in Greek society. In a physical sense, the polis encompassed a town or ciy or even a village and its surrounding countryside. But each had a central place where the citizens could assemble for political, social, and religious activities. The central meeting point was usually a hill.

Discuss the emergence of the hoplite phalanx and its importance to Greek military power.

As the polis developed, so did a new mlitary system. In earlier times, wars in Greece had been fought by aristocratic calvery soldiers-nobles on horseback. These aristocrats, who were large landowners, also dominated the political life of their poleis. But by the end of the eigth century and the start of the seventh, a new military order came into being that was based on hopilites. Hopilites advanced into batle as a unit, forming a phalanx in tight order, usually eight ranks deep.

How do Greek ideals about a "noble death in war" relate to today's understanding?

The Greek soldiers felt like they had to die for their country, just like the soldiers in America do.

Discuss the impact of the Greek alphabet to the development of Greek society.
Up until about 700 years before Christ the Greek peoples were non-literate. About that time they invented a writing system conveniently described as an "alphabet," the Greek word for it. The use of this invention in the course of 300 to 400 years after 700 B.C. had a transformational effect upon the behavior of the Greek language, upon the kind of things that could be said in the language and the things that could be thought as it was used. The transformation, however, did not substitute one language for another.

Up until about 700 years before Christ the Greek peoples were non-literate. About that time they invented a writing system conveniently described as an "alphabet," the Greek word for it. The use of this invention in the course of 300 to 400 years after 700 B.C. had a transformational effect upon the behavior of the Greek language, upon the kind of things that could be said in the language and the things that could be thought as it was used. The transformation, however, did not substitute one language for another.

What was the benefit of colonizing other regions to Greek stability?

In the north, the Greeks set up colonies in Thrace, where they sought good farmland to grow grains. Colonization also lead to increased trade and industry. The Greeks on the mainland sent their pottery, wine, and olive oil to these areas; in return they received grains and metals from the west and fish, timber wheat, metals, and s=slaves from the Black Sea region.

How did tyrants manage to take control of leadership in the city-state?

Greek tyrants were rulers who seized power by force and who were not subject to the law, Support for the tyrants came from the new rich, who made their money in trade and industry, as well as from poor peasants, who were is debt to landholding aristocrats. Both groups were opposed to the domination of political power by sristocratic oligarchies. Tyrants usually achieved power by a local coup 'd e'tat and maintained it by using mercenary soldiers. Once in power, they built marketplaes, temples, and walld that created jobs, glorified the city, and enhanced their own popularity. They also favored the interests of merchants and traders. They fell out of power by the end of the sixth century.

Discuss the reasons for athletic competitions that became so widespread in the 6th century.

The Greeks were bored most of the time and enjoyed competing in sporting events, such as chariot races, as well as watching them.

What is unique about Sparta as it developed?

The Spartans originally occupied four small villages in the south western Peloponnesus, in an area known as Laconia, that eventually became unified into a single polis. This unification made Sparta a strong community in the region and enabled the Spartans to conquer the neighboring Laconians.

How did Spartans insure the survival of their civilization?

The lives of all Spartans were now rigidly organized. At birth, each child was examined by state officials who decied whether it was fit to live.

What can we learn about Spartan life from the Constitution written by Xenophon?

What we can learn about Spartan life from the Constitution that was writen by Xenophon is that Spartan life was very different from what it would be like today.

Who was Solon and what is the significance of his contributions?

Solon was a reform-minded aristocrat. Solon canceled all current land debts, outlawed new loans based on humans as collateral, and freed people who had falllen into slavery for debts. He refused, however, to carry out the redistribution of the land and hence failed to deal with the basic cause of the economic crisis. Like his economic reforms, Solon's political measures were also a compromise.

How did Cleisthenes evolve government into the earliest form of democracy?

A major aim of Cleisthenes' reforms was to weaken the power of traditional localities and regions, which had provided the foundation for aristocratic strength. He made the demes, the villages and town ships of Attica, the basic units of political life. He also enrolled all the citizens of the demes in ten new tribes, each of which contained inhabitants located in the rural districts of Attica, the coastal areas, and Athens. The reform of Cleithenes laid the foundations for Athenian democracy. More changes would come in the fifth century B.C., when the Athenians themselves would begin to use the word deomocracy to describe their system and kratia, was more united than it had ever been and was about to assume a more important role in Greek affairs.

How was Pericles able to include even the poor in government participation?

Power was in the hands of the people.

Who is the Father of History?

Homer

How did Thucydides' documentation of history differ from that of Herodotus?

Thucydides was a far better historian, indeed the greatest of the ancient world. He was an Athenian and a participant in the Peloponnesian War. He was not concerned with divine forces or gods as casual factors in the hisory. He saw war and politics in purely rational terms, as the activities of human beings. He examined the causes of the Peloponnesian War in a clear and objective fashion, placing much emphasis on the accuracy of his facts.
The central theme of Herodotus' work is the conflict between the Greeks and the Persians, which he viewed as a struggle between freedom and despotism. He traveled a lot and questioned many people to obtain his information. He was also capable of exhibiting a critical attitude toward the materials he used.

Discuss the value of Greek drama as a "window" on Greek life.

Drama, as we know it, was created by the Greeks and was clearly intended to do more than entertain. It was used to educate citizens and was supported by the state for that reason. The form of Greek plays remained stabled.

What did Greeks hope to reveal through their arts and architecture?

The Greeks hoped to reveal great beauty, through their arts and architecture. The Classical style, based on the ideals of reason, moderation, balance, and harmony in all things, was meant to civilize the emotions.

What is the contribution made by the Greek philosophers?

The contribution that was made by Greek philosophers was the Classical period.

Plato's Apology deals with what?

Plato's "Apology" deals with the speech given by Socrates as he defeanded himsef in 339 B.C. against thecharges of "corrupting the young and not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel."

Who was Aristotle in the big picture of Greek philosophers?
Like Plato, Aristotle wished for an effective form of government that would rationally direct human affairs.

Like Plato, Aristotle wished for an effective form of government that would rationally direct human affairs.

Ziggurat

A tiered, pyramid-shaped structure that formed part of a sumerian temple.

Assyrians

They are the next group to take over the Fertile Crescent after the Sargon.Their king was king Ashurbanipal.They were defeated by the Medes and the Chaldeans.

Sumerians

People who dominated Southern Mesopotamia through the end of the 3rd Millennium BCE. Responsible for the creation of irrigation technology, cunieform, and religious conceptions.

The Code of Hammurabi

A collection of laws covering crimes, farming, business activities, and marriage and family. Many of the punishments were cruel, but the code was an important step in the development of a justice system.

Cuneiform

Sumerian writing made by pressing a wedge-shaped tool into clay tablets.

Akhenaten

Egyptian pharaoh (r. 1353-1335 B.C.E.). He built a new capital at Amarna, fostered a new style of naturalistic art, and created a religious revolution by imposing worship of the sun-disk.

Druids

The class of religious experts who conducted rituals and preserved sacred lore among some ancient Celtic peoples. They provided education, mediated disputes between kinship groups, and were suppressed by the Romans as potential resistance.

Homer

Ancient Greek epic poet who is believed to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey (circa 850 BC).

Monotheism

The belief that there is only one god.

The Socratic Method

1.) Identify a problem or pose a question. 2.) Propose a hypothesis. 3.) Derive a test implication. 4.) Perform the test. 5.) Accept/Reject the hypothesis.

Cyrus the Great

A remarkable leader who managed to reunite he Persian Empire in a powerful kingdom. Under Cyrus, Persia began building an empire larger than any yet seen in the world.

Thucydides

Greek historian. Considered the greatest historian of antiquity, he wrote a critical history of the Peloponnesian War that contains the funeral oration of Pericles.

Greek "polis"

The polis is a city. a city of peoplle who worship their ancestors and are guarded by a fortress called an acroplis.

Hoplite

A heavily armed Greek foot soldier.

Stonehenge

A prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England, consisting of a large circle of megaliths surrounding a smaller circle and four massive trilithons(3 stone construction); dating to late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. The stones are made sarsen (a type of limestone) and bluestones (various volcanic rocks).

Sparta

Greek city-state that was ruled by an oligarchy, focused on military, used slaves for agriculture, discouraged the arts.

Plato

One of Socrates' students; was considered by many to be the GREATEST philosopher of western civilization. Plato explained his ideas about government in a work entitled The Republic. In his ideal state, the people were divided into three different groups.

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