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cultural diffusion

The spread of ideas, customs, and technologies from one people to another


people who hunt animals and gather food

pastoral societies

human societies that shifted from being hunters to herders of small animals

Neolithic Revolution

the shift from hunting of animals and gathering of food to the keeping of animals and the growing of food on a regular basis around 8,000 BC


a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations); a cultural group with advanced cities, complex institutions, skilled workers, advanced technology, and a system of recordkeeping


the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock

Bronze Age

a period in human history, beginning around 3000 B.C. in some areas, during which people began using bronze, rather than copper or stone, to fashion tools and weapons

city state

A city with its own traditions and its own government and laws; both a city and a separate independent state


a system of writing with wedge-shaped symbols, invented by the sumerians around 3000 B.C.; typically around Mesopotamia


massive towers to patron gods to please and honor the deities; 1st monumental architecture of this civilization; priests operated the temples & conducted rituals; Sumerians were polytheistic; prayers & offerings prevented floods as well as bad health; ideas about the gods creation of earth through water & the punishment of humans by floods later affected the Old Testament; had gloomy ideas of the afterlife which they believed was full of punishment: original concept of hell

Code of Hammurabi

the set of laws drawn up by Babylonian king Hammurabi dating to the 18th century BC, the earliest legal code known in its entirety; drew distinctions between social classes and genders, administering less severe punishments to elite classes over commoners and men over women for the same offense

Mandate of Heaven

Chinese religious and political ideology developed by the Zhou, according to which it was the prerogative of Heaven, the chief deity, to grant power to the ruler of China and to take away that power if the ruler failed to conduct himself justly and in the best interests of his subjects.

Rock and Pillar Edicts

A series of edicts and pillars that reminded Mauryans to live righteous lives according to Buddhist principles


Philosophy founded by "Hanfeizi" teaching that human nature was basically evil, requiring strict laws and harsh punishments. Adopted by the brief, Chin Dynasty; argued a strong state was necessary in order to have a good society


Greek city-state; basic Greek political unit; thought of the polis as a community of citizens theoretically descended from a common ancestor

Delian League

confederation of Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens. The name is used to designate two distinct periods of alliance, the first 478-404 B.C., the second 378-338 B.C. The first alliance was made between Athens and a number of Ionian states (chiefly maritime) for the purpose of prosecuting the war against Persia.


blending of Egyptian, Persian and Greek culture; emphasis on philosophy and sciences; spread from Greece to much of Ancient world; The Hellenistic Age was the era of c. 323-30 BCE in which Greek Culture blended with Persian and other Eastern influences spread throughout the former empire of Alexander the Great


Members of the lower class of Ancient Rome including farmers, merchants, artisans and traders


A member of one of the noble families of the ancient Roman Republic, which before the third century B.C. had exclusive rights to the Senate and the magistracies.

Twelve Tables of Rome

codified Roman laws; included concept of "innocent until proven guilty"; the codification of Roman law during the republic

Pax Romana

A period of peace and prosperity throughout the Roman Empire, lasting from 27 B.C. to A.D. 180; infrastructure flourished, Latin became more well known creating unity, common coinage facilitated trade, stadiums for entertainment were created, Jesus was born.


faith traditions outside Judaism/Christianity/Islam, encompassing Eastern religions, Native American religions and mythologies


The system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct; came after the fall of the Zhou dynasty, designed to create order; believed governmental stability depended on well-educated officials; Han dynasty supported this, Civil service exam based on the course of study developed by Confucius


philosophical system developed by of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events; adapted concepts of ying and yang; human understanding comes from following "The Way"; taught that political involvement and education were unnecessary, rather, over time nature & balance of the unvierse would sort out the problems.


(Hinduism and Buddhism) the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation

slash-and-burn cultivation

ashes of burnt down trees and bark made soil fertile for a while, but after many years, soil lost the fertility causing migration to happen


male-dominated society


king of Egypt, thought to be G-d-like


worshippers of many g-ds; Egyptians


developed from Sumerian cuneiform as a result of trade contacts with Mesopotamia; Egyptian picture writing


held to a belief in a system of rewards and punishments in the afterlife; Persians introduced this religion


taught that men and women should use their powers of reason to lead virtuous lives and to assist others


belief that gods and goddesses inhabited natural features; widespread among many societies in Africa and the Pacific islands of Polynesia


person's good or evil deeds in his or her personal life


moral law that serves as a guide to actions in this world; emphasizes that human actions produce consequences and that each person has obligations to the family and community

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