APWH 2-6: Early Societies

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ideography
Writing that assigns each idea its own symbol.
phonetic writing
Writing based on sounds rather than ideas or pictures.
hierarchy
The organization of people into different ranks in a society.
social stratification
Organizing people into social classes.
patriarchy
When men hold the greatest legal and moral authority in a society.
civilization
A form of culture characterized by cities, specialized workers, complex institutions, record keeping, and advanced technology.
state
A system of rule that mobilizes surplus labor and resources over a large area.
city-state
When a city controls the surrounding territory but has no larger government controlling it.
empire
A group of countries under a single authority.
bureaucracy
System of managing government through appointed officials.
ethics
The principles of right and wrong that guide an individual in making decisions.
cuneiform
An ancient wedge-shaped script used in Mesopotamia and Persia.
ziggurat
A rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians.
Epic of Gilgamesh
Some of the richest accounts of Mesopotamian myths and legends appear in this long poem. It is one of the earliest works of literature in the world.
codify
To write down and organize.
Hammurabi's Code
The first written code of laws. Based on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
Hebrews
The ethnic group claiming descent from Abraham and Isaac (especially from Isaac's son Jacob) that claimed the land of Palestine anciently.
Judaism
The monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud.
monotheism
Belief in one god.
theocracy
Government run by a religious individual or body.
pyramids
Monumental architecture typical of Old Kingdom Egypt; used as burial sites for pharaohs.
hieroglyphs
Pictographic writing of the ancient Egyptians.
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian text designed to give instructions to a recently-deceased pharaoh.
Dravidian
A large family of languages spoken in south and central India and Sri Lanka. Also refers to the indigenous peoples of those nations or spoke them.
Vedic Age
Period in Indian history maked by the immigration of Aryan peoples, transition to agriculture, and cattle as the major form of wealth. It was recorded in Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas.
Sanskrit
An ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism).
caste
A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank or profession or wealth.
Hinduism
Religion characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being who takes many forms.
Brahman
In Hinduism, the single spiritual power that embodies the eternal essence of reality. It is the source of the universe.
reincarnation
Belief that people are reborn in another life.
Yellow River
Location of the most successful ancient Chinese states.
ancestor veneration
Religious principle that focuses on pleases the ancestors through prayer and gifts in order to convince them to intervene on your behalf.
dynasty
A sequence of powerful leaders in the same family.
Mandate of Heaven
Chinese idea that the emperor rules by the authority of heavenly beings, who may transfer that authority if the emperor becomes unworthy.
Period of the Warring States
A time after the fall of the Zhou Dynasty when, for almost 200 years, the states in China battled each other.