nomadic people who may have come from north of the Black Sea between 1700 and 1200 B.C.
dry grasslands (grass covered plains) that stretched north of the Caucasus (mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas).
Empire that dominated Southwest Asia starting in 2000 B.C. They excelled in warfare with use of chariots and iron technology (iron was stronger than bronze). Empire fell around 1190 B.C.
Indo-European people that occupied Indus River Valley of India.
Sacred literature of Aryans comprised of four collections of prayers, magical spells and instructions for performing rituals.
Most important collection of the Vedas that contains 1,028 hymns to Aryan gods.
Social system of Aryans and non-Aryans in India based on occupation.
the first human being. It is identified with the creator god Brahma.
Priests (mouth of Purusha)
Rulers and warriors (arms of Purusha)
Landowners and traders (legs of Purusha)
Laborers and peasants (feet of Purusha)
Most impure individuals because of their work (butchers, gravediggers, trash collectors). They lived outside of caste system. Known as "untouchables" since their touch endangered the ritual purity of others.
Collection of religious beliefs that cannot be traced back to a single founder. Major belief is how a person can achieve liberation from desires and suffering and reach a state of perfect understanding of all things (moksha). Reincarnation and karma are part of this religion.
The good or bad deeds follow a soul from one reincarnation to another. It influences specific life circumstances such as the caste one is born into, one's state of health, wealth or poverty.
The world soul of Hinduism was seen as having the personalities of three gods: Brahma (the creator); Vishnu (the protector); Shiva (the destroyer).
Founded by Mahavira who believed that everything in the universe has a soul and should not be harmed. Most of the Jains today live in India.
Founder of Buddhism.
Wisdom within Buddhism.
The Four Noble Truths
Four main ideas of Buddhism that one comes to understand within enlightenment
First Noble Truth
Life is filled with suffering and sorrow
Second Noble Truth
Cause of all suffering is people's selfish desire for the temporary pleasures of the world.
Third Noble Truth
The way to end suffering is to end all desires.
Fourth Noble Truth
The way to overcome such desires and attain enlightenment is to follow the Eightfold Path.
The Middle Way between desires and self-denial.
Buddha's word for release from selfishness and pain. Buddhism's name for a perfect state of understanding and a break from the chain of reincarnations.
Hindu name for a perfect state of understanding and a break from the chain of reincarnations.
Powerful seafaring people that dominated trade in the eastern Mediterranean from about 2000 to 1400 B.C.
Remarkable shipbuilders and seafarers around 1100 B.C. along the Mediterranean. They also developed a writing system, an alphabet, based on phonetics. (one sign meant one sound)
First five books of the Hebrew Bible.
Father of the Hebrew people (according to the Torah, God chose him)
belief in one god
promise between God and Abraham - where Yahwek promised protection from their enemies because Abraham had promised to obey him.
He led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt.
Hebrews united to form this new united kingdom from 1020 to 922 B.C. under the following kings: Saul, David, and Solomon.