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These are definitions from the glossary, and some are ones I just had to find in text.


Nomadic people from beyond the northern frontier of the sedentary agricultural area in Mesoamerica; established capital of Tula following migration into central Mesoamerica plateau; strongly militaristic ethic including cult of human sacrifice


Religious leader and reformer of the Toltecs; dedicated to god Quetzalcoatl; after losing struggle for power, went into exile in the Yucatan peninsula


Toltec deity; Feathered Serpent; adopted by Aztecs as a major god


The Mexica; one of the nomadic tribes that used political anarchy after the fall of the Toltecs to penetrate into sedentary agricultural zone of Mesoamerican plateau; established empire after 1325 around shores of Lake Texcoco


Founded 1325 on marshy island in Make Texcoco; became center of Aztec power; joined with Tlacopan and Texcoco in 1434 to form a triple alliance that controlled most of the central plateau of Mesoamerica

Moctezuma II

Last independent Aztec emperor; killed during Hernan Cortes conquest of Tenochtitlan


Major god of Aztecs; associated with fertility and the agricultural cycle; god of rain


Aztec tribal patron god; central figure of cult of human sacrifice and warfare; identified with old sun god


Leading Aztec king of the 15 century


Bed of aquatic weeds, mud, and earth placed in frames made of cane and rooted in lakes to create "floating islands"; systems of irrigated agriculture utilized by Aztecs


Special merchant class in Aztec society; specialized in long-distance trade in luxury items


Seven clans in the Aztec society, later expanded to more than sixty; divided into residential groupings that distributed land and provided labor and warriors


Group of clans centered at Cuzco that were able to create empire in Andean Civilization

Lake Texcoco

Where the Aztec empire was established


Part of the fertility and agricultural cycle theme or cults of the Aztec array of gods


Ruler of city-state (each city-state had one); chosen from the nobility; Great Speaker first among supposed equals


A coastal kingdom; centered on capital of Chan-Chan; emerged as most powerful small state; between 900 and its conquest by the Incas in 1465, gained control of most of north coast of Peru


Ruler of Inca society from 1438 to 1471; launched a series of military campaigns that gave Incas control of the region from Cuzco to the shores of Lake Titicaca


Word for Inca Empire; region from present-day Colombia to Chile and eastward to northern Argentina

Split Inheritance

Inca practice of descent; all titles and political power went to successor, but wealth and land remained in hands of male descendants for support of cult of dead Inca's mummy

Temple of the Sun at Cuzco

Inca religious center located in Cuzco; center of state religion; held mummies of past Incas


The language the ayllus spoke


Way stations used by Incas as inns and storehouses; supply centers for Inca armies on move; relay points for system of runners used to carry messages


Labor extracted for lands assigned to the state and religion; all communities were expected to contribute; an essential aspect of Inca imperial control

Parallel Descent

Property rights within the ayllus and among the nobility passed in both the male and female lines


Households in Andean societies that recognized some form of kinship; traced descent from some common, sometimes mythical ancestor


A class of people within Inca society removed from their ayllus to serve permanently as servants, artisans, or workers for the Inca or the Inca nobility


System of knotted strings utilized by the Incas in place of a writing system; could contain numerical and other types of information for censuses and financial records


Member of prominent northern Chinese family during period of Six Dynasties; proclaimed himself emperor; supported by nomadic people of northern China; established Sui dynasty


Established by Wendi in 589; capital Loyang (?); ended 618 (?)


Second member of Sui dynasty; murdered his father to get throne; restored Confucian examination system; responsible for construction of Chinese canal system; assassinated in 618

Li Yuan

Also known as Duke of Tang; minister for Yangdi; took over empire following assassination of Yangdi; first emperor of Tang dynasty; took imperial title of Gaozu

Tang dynasty

Dynasty that succeeded the Sui in 618 c.e.; more stable than previous dynasty


Losing power in in Era of Division; reworked Confucian ideology and helped the Tang to maintain imperial unity


Capital of Tang dynasty; population of two million, larger than any other city in the world at that time

Ministry of Rites

Administered examinations to students from Chinese government schools or those recommended by distinguished scholars


Known as Zen in Japan; Stressed meditation and appreciated of natural and artistic beauty;


Stressed meditation and appreciated of natural and artistic beauty

Empress Wu

Patronized Buddhism; 690-705; endowed monasteries, commissioned colossal statues of Buddha, and sought to make Buddhism the state religion

Emperor Wuzong

Chinese emperor of Tang dynasty who openly persecuted Buddhism by destroying monasteries in 840s; reduced influence of Chinese Buddhism in favor of Confucian ideology


Leading Chinese emperor of the Tang dynasty who reigned from 713 to 755 though he encouraged overexpansion

Yang Guifei

Young woman belonging to harem of Tang prince; raised to status of royal concubine during reign of Xuanzong; introduction of relatives into royal administration led to revolt

Zhao Kuangyin

Founder of Song dynasty; originally a general following fall of Tang; tooke title of Taizu; failed to overcome northern Liao dynasty that remained independent

Song dynasty

960-1279; saw the restoration of the scholar-gentry and the Confucian order; a time of artistic, literary, and technological flourishing; Male dominance reached new heights;


founded by Khitan nomads in 907; became very much influenced by Chinese culture;

Zhu Xi

Most prominent of neo-Confucian scholars during the Song dynasty in China; stressed importance of applying philosophical principle to everyday life and action


believed that the cultivation of personal morality was the highest human goal; emphasis on rank, obligation, deference, and performance of rituals reinforced class, gender, and age distinctions;


Rulers of Xi-Xia kingdom of northwest China; one of regional kingdoms during period of southern Song; conquered by Mongols in 1226

Xi Xia

Kingdom established southwest of Liao; Song paid them (?);

Wang Anshi

Confucian scholar and chief minister of a Song emperor in 1070s; introduced sweeping reforms based in Legalists; advocated greater state intervention in society


Founders of the Qin kingdom that succeeded the Liao in northern China; annexed most of the Yellow River basin and forced Song to flee south

Southern Song dynasty

Rump state of Song dynasty from 1127 ro 1279; carved out of much larger domains ruled by the Tang and northern Song

Grand Canal

more than 1,200 miles long; made by Yangdi; linked the original civilization centers of the north with the Yangtze River basin

Silk road

Reopened by the expansion into central Asia; intensified international contacts with the Buddhist and Islamic worlds

"Flying Money"

Chinese credit instrument that provided credit vouchers to merchants to be redeemed at the end of the voyage; reduced danger of robbery; early form of currency


Practice in Chinese society to mutilate women's feet in order to make them smaller; produced pain and restricted women's movement; made it easier to confine women to the household

Li Bo

Most famous poet of the Tang era; blended images of the mundane world with philosophical meaning

Taika reforms

Attempt to remakes Japanese monarch into an absolute Chinese-style emperor; included attempts to create professional bureaucracy and peasant conscript army

Fujiwara family

Japanese aristocratic family in mid-9 century; exercised exceptional influence over imperial affairs; aided in decline of imperial power


Regional warrior leaders in Japan; ruled small kingdoms from fortresses; administered the law, supervised public work projects, and collected revenues; built up private armies


Mounted troops of the bushi; loyal to the local lords, not the emperor


Ritual suicides committed by disgraced warriors


One of the powerful families that fought for dominance during the 1180s in the Gumpei wars; lost


One of the powerful families that fought for dominance during the 1180s in the Gumpei wars; won; beginning of Japanese feudalism

Gempei Wars

Waged for five years from 1180, on Honshu between Taira and Minamoto families; resulted in the destruction of Taira


military government established by minamoto in 1185


Military leaders of the Bakufu


Warlord rulers of 300 small states following Onin War and disruption of Ashikaga Shogunate; holdings consolidated into unified and bounded ministates


Earliest Korean kingdom; conquered by Han emperor in 109 b.c.e.


Tribal people of northern Korea; established an independent kingdom in the norther half of the peninsula adopted cultural Sinification


Independent Korean kingdom in southeastern part of the peninsula; defeated Koguryo along with their Chinese Tang allies; submitted as a vassal of the Tang emperor and agreed to tribute payment; ruled until Korea by 668


One of the smaller kingdoms in Korea that the Silla overtook


Extensive adaption of Chinese culture in other regions; typical of Korea and Japan, less typical of Vietnam

Yi dynasty

Korean dynasty that succeeded Koryo dynasty following period of Mongol invasions; established in 1392; ruled Korea to 1910; restored aristocratic dominance and Chinese influence

Trung Sisters

Leaders of one of the frequent peasant rebellions in Vietnam against Chinese rule; revolt broke out in 39 c.e.; demonstrates importance of Vietnam women in indigenous society

Nguyen family

Rival Vietnamese dynasty that arose in southern Vietnam to challenge traditional dynasty of Trinh in north at Hanoi; kingdom centered on Red and Mekong rivers; capital at Hue


Meeting of all Mongol chieftains at which the supreme ruler of all tribes was selected

Mahayana Buddhism

Chinese version of Buddhism; placed considerable emphasis on Buddha as god or savior

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