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Unit 3: Post Classical Era

Terms in this set (65)

After many rebellions, the Umayyad Dynasty finally collapsed. Replacing them was the chief leader of the rebellions Abu al-Abbas in 1258c.e, founding the Abbasid Dynasty. The Abbasid Dynasty was much different than the Umayyad Dynasty. For one, they were much more cultivated, and they didn't show favor to the elite military class like the Umayyad's did. Also, the Abbasid's were not conquering people, instead they focused on keeping control of the land they had. Occasionally they were known to have small brawls with neighboring nomads from central Asia. The capital of the Abbasid Empire was Baghdad; a city surrounded by walls and had an immense palace in the middle. The Empire had provinces where governors administered, showing that their government system was a bureaucracy. Some important people in the Abbasid land were the uluma, scholars who had religious knowledge, and the qadis, who were judges. These people solved local disputes and observed Islamic values. Harun al-Rashid was the most influential Abbasid caliph. Ruling from 786-809c.e, he brought in a lot of tax revenue, and Baghdad became the center for banking, commerce and crafts. He supported artists and writers and gave money to the poor. When Harun al-Rashid died, the caliphate was left to his sons. There were many disputes over who got what land and governors were using this chaos to do whatever they wanted. Also, peasants started rebelling, and eventually the dynasty ended in 1258. The Abbasid Caliphate was one of the most famous dynasties of the dar al-Islam because of the flourishing economy it had. It also put Baghdad on the map, which is probably the most well known city in the Middle East.
The Tang Dynasty was the succeeding dynasty of the Sui Dynasty. When Sui Yangdi was assassinated, a rebel leader took the capital Chang'an and decided he was the emperor of the new Tang Dynasty. The dynasty lasted for almost 300 years (618-907c.e.) and made China a much more authoritarian and affluent. The most important leader of the Tang Dynasty was Tang Taizong, who reigned from 627 to 649c.e. Tang Taizong had to be very callous in order to get the throne by murdering his brothers, and forcibly pushing his father out of the seat. Although this may make him seem completely heartless, he changed once he had the throne to himself. Tang Taizong built a capital at Chang'an, and used Confucian ideals to rule the dynasty. Land was equally distributed, the communication network was very advanced, and the bureaucracy system was based on merit. These three policies contributed to the Tang's successful rule. The Tang dynasty also had a Confucian education system that taught classic Chinese literature and philosophy which lasted for thirteen centuries. Because of its growing power, the dynasty began to reach out and expand via military. Manchuria, the Silla kingdom, northern Vietnam, Tibet, and the Aral Sea soon came under control of the Tang dynasty. These lands would give the middle kingdom of China gifts every once in a while as a token of respect for their overlords. Later on careless leaders would neglect responsibility of a ruler and several rebellions took place that weakened the dynasty, but none that actually overthrew the Tang Dynasty. After the Uighurs helped the Tang control these rebellions, they sacked Chang'an and Luoyang in return for their duties, and from these the imperial house could not regain their composure. Everything quickly got worse and worse until 907c.e. the last Tang emperor gave up his thrown, ending the dynasty. The Tang Dynasty had a time of pleasantness, when banditry ended, rice prices stayed low, and taxes weren't heavy which shows how the Tang knew how to run a dynasty that would make everybody happy, something that you didn't see much of back then.
The Carolingian Dynasty was a Germanic dynasty. It received its name from Charles Martel, also known as "Charles the Hammer". Charles was the deputy to the last of Clovis's descendants, and he did not rule the Franks as their king. Charles also conquered the Spanish Muslims at the Battle of Tours. In 751, Pepin the Short claimed the throne and officially established the Carolingian Dynasty. Pepin was the son of Charles Martel and the father of Charlemagne. Charlemagne, also known as "Charles the Great", reigned from 768-814. He was successful at temporarily reestablishing the centralized imperial of a society. The society had been disrupted by the invasion and contest for control between power-seeking local rulers. Charlemagne was also very intelligent. Although he was illiterate, he spoke Latin and Greek. Charlemagne enlarged the empire and used his military as a means of spreading Christianity. He also destroyed the Lombards who threatened the Pope, therefore, his religion. However, even with his success, he hesitated to called himself and emperor. He did not want to challenge the authority of the current Byzantine emperors. In 800 the Pope officially named him emperor, which gave Charlemagne mixed feelings. The importance of the Carolingians and Charlemagne is very great. Charlemagne spread Christianity and protected his religions from those who challenged it. Likewise, the Pope naming Charlemagne as emperor began a new era. This era began a time when the religious leaders also became the political leaders. This act was very significant and it shows where the conflict of church and state began and how it began.
Christian Monasticism originated in Egypt. Its creation came about due to many Christians seeking ascetic and holy lifestyles in Egypt during the second and third centuries. The legalization of Christianity during the fourth century increased the popularity of a monastic lifestyle through the Roman Empire. The widespread interest in Monastic districts spread to Italy, Spain, Gaul, the British isles, and the eastern Mediterranean. The districts each developed their own rules, procedures, and priorities. Depending on the district, a monk could be living an extremely self-disciplined lifestyle or a relaxed lifestyle. St. Benedict of Nursia who lived from 480-547 C.E., was a big proponent of strengthening the discipline and sense of purpose for the monastic movement. In 529, Benedict created a set of regulations called, Benedict's Rule for the communities to follow. The Rule did not require extreme asceticism, but it did require the monks to live celibate lives under the supervision of an abbot. It also required prayer, meditation, and study. St. Scholastica, St. Benedict's sister, helped convert the Rule for women. The Rule helped provide guidance for woman in convents. The Christianity in Egypt shows how far the religion spread. The religion inspired many people to convert and the Rule gave followers guidance. The limited asceticism was almost like Buddhism over Hinduism. It was easier for people to follow, yet they still felt devoted to theie religion. St. Scholastica's efforts helped women feel equality in terms of religion. This strengthened women's rights and gave them a chance to be equal to men.
The Renaissance refers to the period of time between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries in western Europe. This time period shows artistic and intellectual creativity, along with the furthered development of urban society. Instead of getting inspiration from the medieval artists, the painters, sculptors, and architects of the Renaissance era focused on classical Greece and Rome. Paintings showed more emotion in their subjects, and three dimensional paintings surfaced as well. Sculptures were more natural in their poses, and not as stiff as earlier pieces. Architecture during this time period became much more simple and elegant, similar to classical Greek and Roman buildings, and the dome also became much more popular. Scholars during the Renaissance were known as Humanists because of their interest in literature, history, and moral philosophy. Humanists preferred the language of classical Greek and Roman scholars to the writing style of scholastic theologians. Values and ethics were also reconsidered at this time, and instead of believing that a virtuous life was that of monks and nuns, Humanists believed that a person could lead a virtuous life while still participating in everyday affairs. The Renaissance had a huge impact on the world because it caused people to reexamine things they thought they had known such as art, where more emotion and dimensions were now brought in, architecture, which was now simplified and more elegant, and values, which now accepted leading a normal life as virtuous; all of which reflected classical Greek and Roman society rather than a medieval society.