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Chapter 2


A fine silt deposited by wind and water. It constitutes the fertile soil of the Yellow River Valley in northern China.


The dominant people in the earliest Chinese dynasty for which we have written records. (ca. 1750-1045 B.C.E.)


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.

Mandate of Heaven

Chinese religious and political ideology developed by the Zhou, according to which it was the prerogative of Heaven, the cheif 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


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.


Chinese school of thought, originating in the Warring States Period with Laozi. Daoism offered an alternative to the Confucian emphasis on hierarchy and duty.


In Chinese belief, complementary factors that help to maintain the equilibrium of the world. Yang is associated with masculine, light, and active qualities; Yin with feminine, dark, and passive qualities.


An egyptian name for Nubia, the region alongside the Nile River south of Egypt, where an indigenous kingdom with its own distinctive traditions arose begining in the early second millenium B.C.E.


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 independance from Egypt and the influence of sub-Saharan Africa.


people sharing common cultural and linguistic features that originated in Central Europe in the first half of the first millennium B.C.E.


The class of religious experts who conducted rituals and preserved sacred lore among some ancient Celtic peoples


The first Mesopotamian civilization. Between ca. 1200 and 400 B.C.E., the Olmec people of Central Mexico created a vibrant civilization that included intensive agriculture, wide ranging trade, ceremonial centers, and monumental construction


The first major urban civilization in South America (900-250 B.C.E.).


A hoofed animal indigenous to the Andes Mountains in South America. It was the only domesticated beast of burden in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans.

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