Nomadic invaders often had military advantages over the armies of empires because
they were more skilled as horsemen.
The end of the Gupta Empire differed from the decline of Rome in that it did not involve
the introduction of a new religion for the majority.
One important early symptom of Rome's decline was
the drop in population due to a series of plagues.
The "lessons" of late Han China and the late Roman Empire are that the decline of a civilization, whether temporary or permanent,
is not simply the result of attack by outside invaders.
The eastern portion of the Roman Empire experienced less decline than the west for all of the following reasons
1. the east had older traditions of civilization.
2. the east faced less pressure from barbarian invasions.
3. the east had more active trade.
4. the east was more wealthy.
After 200 CE, an increasing number of people in Asia, Europe, and North Africa began to adapt faiths characterized by
Despite major differences, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism all show interest in
life after death.
Compared to Hinduism and Buddhism, all of the following constitute distinctive features of late-Roman Christianity
1. intolerance for competing beliefs.
2. belief in a divine trinity.
3. a strong hierarchy of church officials.
4. a strong evangelizing impulse.
By 600, looking at the entire world, a good definition of "barbarian" would be
someone who is not part of a civilization.
Explore the differences in the eastern and western portions of the Roman Empire. How did these differences arise? in what ways can it be argued that the Roman Empire survived in the eastern Mediterranean even after it collapsed in the west?
Students should emphasize the general collapse of Western culture and trade as well as politics, the different positions occupied by the Christian churches, social and political structures of early Byzantine empires, and different invasion patterns.
What were the main factors in Rome's decline? Which do you judge most important? Why?
Student answers should balance outside factors of invasions and disease, with internal problems of morale, political structure, and economics.
Why did the results of Han China's decline differ from those of the Roman Empire's decline?
These 2 empires exhibited different degrees of political centralization and bureaucratization and different degrees of prior cultural integration. Students might also want to note that Rome faced more invasions and certainly should address the success of "eastern Rome."
Compare the major beliefs & religious organization of Christianity and Hinduism.
Answers will include many of the same points as answers to question 4, but will add some common interests in ritual & the roles of priests; differences will include social attitudes such as Christianity's acceptance of social inequality, but not a caste system.
Taking into account both Egypt & Kush, what were the main features of civilization in Africa prior to the first century CE?
Responses should include political structures such as divine kingship; a focus on Nile; monumentalism as part of religion, attitudes toward death and the important of recurrent interactions with societies in the Middle East.