Create an account
A fine, light silt deposited by wind and water. It constitutes the fertile soil of the Yellow River Valley in northern China. Because loess soil is not compacted, easily worked, but it leaves the region vulnerable to earthquakes. (p.58)
The dominant people in the earliest Chinese dynasty for which we have written records (ca. 1750-1027 B.C.E.). Ancestor worship, divination by means of oracle bones, and the use of bronze vessels for ritual purposes were major elements of Shang culture. (p. 59)
Techniques for ascertaining the future or the will of the gods by interpreting natural phenomena such as, in early China, the cracks on oracle bones or, in ancient Greece, the flight of birds through sectors of the sky. (p. 59)
The people and dynasty that took over the dominant position in north China from the Shang and created the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule. The Zhou era, particularly the vigorous early period (1027-771 B.C.E.), was remembered in Chinese tradition as a time of prosperity and benevolent rule. In the later Zhou period (771-221 B.C.E.), centralized control broke down, and warfare among many small states became frequent. (p. 61)
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. (p. 61)
In Chinese belief, complementary factors that help to maintain the equilibrium of the world. Yin is associated with masculine, light, and active qualities; yang with feminine, dark, and passive qualities. (p. 63)
In China, a political philosophy that emphasized the unruliness of human nature and justified state coercion and control. The Qin ruling class invoked it to validate the authoritarian nature of their regime and its profiligate expenditure of subjects' lives and labor. It was superceded in the Han era by a more benevolent Confucian doctrine of governmental moderation. (p.52)
Western name for the Chinese philosopher Kongzi (551-479 B.C.E.). His doctrine of duty and public service had a great influence on subsequent Chinese thought and served as a code of conduct for government officials. (p. 62)
Chinese school of thought, originating in the Warring States Period with Laozi (604-531 B.C.E.). Daoism offered an alternative to Confucian emphasis on hierarchy and duty. Daoists believe that the world is always changing ans is devoid of absolute morality or meaning. They accept the world as they find it, avoid futile struggles, and deviate as little as possible from the Dao, or "path" of nature. (See also Confucius.) (p. 63)
A people from central Anatolia who established an empire in Anatolia and Syria in the Late Bronze Age. With wealth from the trade in metals and military power based on chariot forces, the Hittites vied with New Kingdom Egypt for control of Syria-Palestine before falling to unknown attackers ca. 1200 B.C.E. (See also Ramesses II) (p. 64)
Queen of Egypt (1473-1458 B.C.E.). Dispatched a naval expedition down the Red Sea to Punt (possibly Somalia), the faraway source of myrrh. There is evidence of opposition to a woman as ruler, and after her death her name and image was frequently defaced. (p.66)
Egyptian pharaoh (r. 1353-1335 B.C.E.) He built a new capital at Armana, fostered a new style of naturalistic art, and created a religious revolution by imposing worship over the sun-disk. The Armana letters, largely from his reign, preserve official correspondence with subjects and neighbors. (p. 66)
A long-lived ruler of New Kingdom Egypt (r. 1290-1224 B.C.E.). He reached an accommodation with the Hittites of Anatolia after a standoff in battle at Kadesh in Syria. He built on a grand scale throughout Egypt. (p. 68)
An Egyptian name for Nubia, the region alongside the Nile River south of Egypt, where an indigenous kingdom with its own distinctive institutions and cultural traditions arose beginning in the early second millennium B.C.E. It was deeply influenced by Egyptian culture and at times under the control of Egypt, which coveted its rich deposits of gold and luxury products from sub-Saharan Africa carried up the Nile corridor. (p. 70)
Capital of a flourishing kingdom in southern Nubia from the fourth century B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E.. In this period Nubian culture shows more independence from Egypt and the influence of Sub-Saharan Africa. (p. 71)
Prosperous civilization on the Aegean island of Crete in the second millennium B.C.E. The Minoans engaged in far-flung commerce around the Mediterranean and exerted powerful cultural influences on the early Greeks. (p. 73)
A technique of painting on walls covered with moist plaster. It was used to decorate Minoan and Mycenaean palaces and Roman villas, and became an important medium during the Italian Renaissance. (p. 73)
Site of a fortified palace complex in southern Greece that controlled a Late Bronze Age kingdom. In Homer's epic poems Mycenae was the base of King Agamemnon, who commanded the Greeks besieging Troy. Contemporary archeologists called the complex Greek society of the second millennium B.C.E. "Mycenaean." (p. 74)
A term used for the burial sites of elite members of
Mycenaean Greek society in the mid-second millennium B.C.E. At the bottom of deep shafts lined with stone slabs, the bodies were layed out along with gold and bronze jewelry, implements, weapons, and masks. (p. 75)
A set of syllabic symbols, derived from the writing system of Minoan Crete, used in the Mycenaean palaces of the Late Bronze Age to write an early form of Greek. It was used primarily for palace records, and the surviving Linear B tablets provide substantial information about the economic organization of Mycenaean society and tantalizing clues about political, social, and religious institutions. (p. 75)
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together