WORLD HISTORY

Hans Language School
2011

Where history comes alive...

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Online Learning Companion
World History

WORLD HISTORY

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:!
WORLD HISTORY
5
12

Introduction
What is civilization?
Floodplain Civilizations:

17

Mesopotamia

22

Egypt

31

South/East Asia
Classical Civilizations:

89

Buddhism

96

Islam

36

China

111

Islam and South West Asian Culture

45

India

116

Africa and the Great Kingdoms

Mediterranean Basin Part 1

121

52
57

Mediterranean Basin Part 2

64

Byzantines and Slavs

134

Feudal Western Europe Part 1

Mediterranean Basin Part 3

145

Feudal Western Europe Part 2

73

Mediterranean Basin Part 4

156

ChinaChina: Sui, Tang, & Song

80

Early Christianity

165
180

East Asia & China
EXTRA PAGES FOR TRANSLATION

Learning
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Introduction

chapter 1
Contents:

The concept of time

Farming

Era

Cultural Development

AD/BC
CE/BCE
Neolithic Revolution

let the adventure begin...

Chapter One: Introduction
Good day! I’m Professor Higginbotham, and welcome to world history.
To begin, I want to take a look at something you might find shocking. A simple
fact when studying history, you need to understand –time. Yes! Time! Since
history’s essentially the study of change over time, it’s easy for us to see the
connection and understand why time is so important. Here, let me show you
what I mean.
If we start by discussing dating systems, we can see how time is
important, since being able to date certain events is critical to the construction
and understanding of history. Now, for a very long time, people in the western
parts of the world dated historical events according to the Gregorian Christian
calendar created by Pope Gregory the thirteenth in the sixteenth century.
According to the Gregorian calendar, dates were divided into two categories:
B.C., which stands for before Christ, that means before the birth of Jesus of
Nazareth; and A.D., which stands for anno Domini, which is Latin for, in the
year of the Lord, meaning the year that Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth
was born. It was marked this way because the birth of Jesus was a major
historical turning point for Christians. Now, according to the Gregorian
calendar, Jesus of Nazareth’s birth took place in the year A.D. one. So, all the
years prior to A.D. one were marked by the suffix B.C. These years started large
and grew smaller as time progressed. For example, Julius Caesar was born in
one hundred B.C. and died in forty-four B.C. The years after the birth of Jesus,
however, start small, and grow larger; for example, Nero was born in A.D.
thirty-seven and died in A.D. sixty-eight. But, here comes the twist. In recent
years, world historians have switched to a more secular or non-religious dating
system, a dating system that allows for all the people of the world to be included
in history. This dating system is defined by the concept of the Common Era. For
this World History Course, we’ll be using this system to date events. So, how
exactly does this dating system work? Well, let’s take a look.
The Common Era dating system follows the dates of the Gregorian
calendar. However, B.C. is replaced by B.C.E., which stands for before the
Common Era. And A.D. is replaced by C.E., which stands for the Common Era.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when taking a look at history and
– that’s right – time.

6

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

7

Chapter One: Introduction
Because we have to take a look at centuries rather than just years or decades,
world history must employ a much broader form of periodization. Many scholars
have come to me asking, “Professor Higginbotham, tell us, with so much going on
around the world at different places and different countries with major events
happening at different times, how’s one to keep track of it all?” Lucky for those old
chaps and lucky for you, I happen to be a certified historical super genius. This issue
is quite simple, really. Here, allow me to explain.
The concern is usually the same; dates that mark important turning points
specific to, say, European history, such as the Battle of Hastings, which took place in
ten sixty-six C.E., wouldn’t really mean a great deal to someone trying to understand
China’s history, reason being the Battle of Hastings didn’t have much of a serious
effect on China. Conversely, dates that marked important turning points in Chinese
history often don’t mean much to people studying European history for the very
same reason.
So, in an attempt to remedy this problem, historians must define the
important periods in world history in terms of eras, which covers centuries rather
than just a few years or decades. If we were to start with the ancient era, which runs
from one hundred thousand B.C.E., to six hundred B.C.E., we would find that this era
covers pre-history, one hundred thousand B.C.E., to four thousand B.C.E. And, more
importantly, the period between four thousand B.C.E., and six hundred B.C.E., when
the first civilizations began to emerge. This is then followed by the classical era,
which runs from six hundred B.C.E., to six hundred C.E. The classical era was
marked by an increasing number of cities, the emergence of major religions and
philosophies, and the rise of the first empires.
After that comes the intermediate era from six hundred C.E., to fifteen
hundred C.E. This era was defined by the decline of classical societies and the growth
of trade routes that stretched for miles and miles and resulted in greater cultural
exchange. Following this period is the early modern era from fourteen fifty C.E., to
seventeen fifty C.E. The early modern era marked the beginnings of European
explorations, conquests in the Americas, trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the rise of
globally intertwined economies spanning Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. It
also marked the time of a greater dissemination of information. Next, we have the
modern era from seventeen fifty C.E., to nineteen forty-five C.E. This era marked the
beginning of industrialization, which brought about massive technological and
economic changes. It was defined by imperialism, nationalism, and socialism.
Finally, we have the contemporary era from nineteen forty-five to the present. This
era has been characterized by the collapse of colonial empires, the rise of
international organizations, more advanced technologies, and the introduction of
globalization. Here’s a look at them, back to back.

8

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
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the English definition.

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10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

9

Chapter One: Introduction
Hello again, Professor Marianne Higginbotham at your service, back to
discuss a discovery so profound, so amazing; it’s likely to knock you clean off your
jolly old feet! What is it? The Neolithic revolution! The Neolithic age, also known as
the new stone age, a time of great change and excitement! It lasted from ninety-five
hundred B.C.E. to about forty-five hundred B.C.E., and was marked by one of the
greatest technological breakthroughs – no, it wasn’t the television, or the personal
computer, or the cell phone. No, pish posh! It was much better than that. This great
technological achievement was that of humans’ discovery how to farm. Right o!
Impressed? You should be. Farming was a major breakthrough, and it brought
about the Neolithic revolution.
If we travel back about eleven thousand years when humans first learned to
farm, we can see that they began to live less and less like hunter-gatherers who had
to constantly move around going from place to place just to survive. Instead, they
began to live as farmers and began to settle in one place and plant crops and
eventually raised livestock to feed themselves. This transition to farming is believed
to have been caused by changes at the end of the Ice Age – changes that had a major
impact on the planet. You see, the open plains needed for hunting wild game became
smaller. The kinds of plants and animals that were central to the hunter-gatherer
way of life decreased. And once these species began to decline, it became necessary
for humans to innovate in order to survive. And so, Voila! Farming!
Now, it’s not known exactly how this transition to agriculture came about.
But, chances are quite good that it came down to simple observations people made of
the way seeds scattered when they gathered plants. What is known, is how the
Neolithic revolution affected human history. See, once humans began to settle down
in one area and the populations in those areas grew, human societies began to form,
and distinct cultures took shape. This eventually led to the development of the first
civilization. Wouldn’t you know it? We’re out of time. But, not to worry, I’ll see you
soon, good chap, I’m Professor Marianne Higginbotham, wishing you well, wishing
you all the very best in your journeys, no matter where they take you.

10

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

11

What is
Civilization?

chapter 2
Contents:

Community Development

Artisans

Advanced Farming

Art/Architecture

Central Government

Trade

Creation of Laws/
Code of Conduct

Tools of Communication

Military Formation

“Did you know most early
civilizations were brought about by
advances in farming technology,
which allowed for improved diets and
the ability to feed a greater number of
people in a given area?”

Chapter Two:

What is Civilization?

Hey daddy-o, this is Smooth Sam welcoming you to the cool cave, a place of
knowledge and discovery filled with ooh, ahhh moments that make your brain go
zing a ling, and where a little light, goes a long, long way. So what’s say we start
strolling?
The earliest civilizations are believed to have emerged around five thousand
years ago – give or take a few hundred years depending on the civilization – but
yeah, five thousand years is a pretty good approximation. Most believed the early
civilizations were brought about by advances in farming technology, which allowed
for improved diets and the ability to feed a greater number of people in a given area
– always a good thing.
There were a couple of key characteristics of these early civilizations which
we’ll be looking at, such as the rise of cities. During this time, people were starting to
be fed in greater numbers, which led to population growth. And as some village
communities began to grow, larger, bigger cities began to emerge. Many historians
refer to this as the urban revolution, because these early cities became centers for
major political, economic, and cultural development, which brings us to the next
characteristic: the existence of complex political structures. City governments
typically evolved at village councils; however, as more people became dependent on
them, they became far more organized. See, maintaining and assuring the survival
of these large urban populations, well, it required a whole lot more organization: the
need to produce and distribute greater amounts of food resulted in the need to
oversee important public works projects such as the managing of irrigation systems
and the building of roads. In order to do this, cities demanded a far more complex
governmental system. The political structures usually look the same way; there
might have been some kind of slight variation, but it was usually the same.
There was a leader, typically a king who headed up the government.
Oftentimes, these kings would claim that their power was given to them by the gods,
which they would then pass on to their sons after they died. Therefore, these
kingships were often hereditary and patriarchal in nature – patriarchal, of course,
meaning controlled by males. As time went on, city governments grew more
complex, maintaining the public works and the day-to-day life in the cities required
the creation of laws and taxes as well as some form of military to protect the cities
and help them acquire more territory. One major reason these cities needed
protection was that as they grew and thrived, the wealth of the cities increased; and
when you’ve got money, look out.
Which brings us to – tell you what, I gotta go feed my groovy cougar real
quick. But I’ll leave you with some knowledge that’s on a need-to-know basis. Need
to know, meaning, you need to know it! Yeah!

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Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
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the English definition.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

14

Chapter Two:

What is Civilization?

Sorry about that, cougar got a hold of a caveman – never a good thing. Where were
we? That’s right; we were looking at characteristics of early civilizations. So we got more
food and more people, which brings us to our next characteristic: more complex economic
systems and a hierarchical social structure.
Since advanced farming techniques allowed for a surplus of food, now farmers didn’t
have to go out on their own and pull up just enough to live off of. This was a major shift from
the way they previously lived. It allowed for individuals to specialize in other ways of life,
which led to the emergence of an artisan class. These artisans specialize in certain crafts
such as the making of weapons, tools, pottery, or cloth. Now out of the growing artisan class
emerged another group: the merchant class – reason being, as demand grew, more and
more artisans needed people to sell their goods. Over time, city dwellers started looking for
entertaining ways to spend their spare time. So, we start to see a need for storytellers,
singers, and dancers – that’s always a good thing after all. People wanna be entertained.
Not surprisingly, the growing and diversifying economies of these civilizations soon
led to the development of hierarchical social structures. With the king or god on top, then the
priests and nobles below him, then the wealthy merchants with all their money, and just
under them the artisans, followed by the peasant farmers, and then at the bottom on the
lowest level of society, the slaves who are usually made up of debtors or prisoners of war.
Another characteristic of civilizations was the creation of complex religions. Most
ancient people tended to be polytheistic, meaning they believed in more than one god. Most
polytheistic religions revolved around nature. There were the moon and sun, river, and
fertility gods along with trade and war gods and goddesses. All of these were common. Since
kings often claim power from the gods, these religions were often intertwined with politics.
Those kings – they were pretty slick.
Which brings us to our final characteristic: intellectual and artistic development.
And this part’s pretty groovy. I mean after all, people at this time didn’t use every waking
hour trying to survive, and spend a bit more time taking strolls and checking out the world
around them, often finding some cool way of channeling that into artistic expression. And
they have plenty of opportunities. For example, complex religions required the building of
temples. Many of the elaborate temples they built proved that early civilizations had
developed an advanced understanding of architecture and mathematics. But things didn’t
stop there, oh no. Writing systems also began to
develop. After all, you’ve got this large populations
and needed records so they could better regulate
society and keep things cool. But they also were
trying to get an understanding for the world around
them. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics are a really
good example of an early form of writing. These
early civilizations even managed to make some
artistic works such as jewelry, furniture, and
paintings. People wore the jewelry and furnished
some of the temples. These artistic achievements have
come to define these early civilizations.

15

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

16

Floodplain
Civilization:
Mesopotamia

chapter 4
Contents:

Hammurabi Code
Legal Systems
Religion
Cultural Diffusion

Hammurabi

Hammurabi’s code was one
of the first examples in
history of a social code or
written law.

Chapter Four:

Floodplain Civilization: Mesopotamia

Hi there, I’m Doctor Mariah Forge – historian, archaeologist, excavator, and
venturist. Over my career, I’ve taught hundreds of archaeologists, some of whom
have gone on to do great things. There, was this one student of mine – what was his
name? Colorado Jack, Arkansal Burt, whatever it was – he’s done pretty well, but I
taught the kid most of what he knows. Lucky for you I’m planning another
excavation. So let me show you what I’ve put together.
For my next big dig, I’m taking a journey deep into Southwest Asia in search
of an artifact rumored to be found in the ruins of Ancient Mesopotamia. As a
historian, I’m constantly wondering what life was like for people thousands of years
ago? How did these early civilizations live, and how did they see the world around
them? Most times historians tend to go about answering these questions by
consulting what’s known as primary sources. This is usually something like a
document, or an artifact from a particular time in history. Primary sources can be
very revealing, especially when you’re trying to understand people from the past.
Now, as you already know, the Mesopotamians have created a form of
writing by three thousand B.C.E. So that tells us that documents in Mesopotamia
were being written for some time. One of the most important documents for
Mesopotamia didn’t emerge until seventeen fifty B.C.E. It’s the longest surviving text
from what is known as the old Babylonian period. This document is known as the
“Code of Hammurabi,” and it tells us a lot about people from Mesopotamia. Its
creation was commissioned by the Babylonian King, Hammurabi. The Code of
Hammurabi is believed to have been heavily influenced by the people who came
before the Babylonians, the Sumerians who came first, and the Akkadians who came
later. The Code of Hammurabi gives us some keys to understanding these two earlier
cultures. So, what exactly is the Code of Hammurabi?
Well, it was mostly a collection of laws that the Babylonian people were
expected to live by. There were two hundred eighty-two laws in all. They were
inscribed on a seven-foot tall stone pillar, which was put on display for all the
Babylonians to see. The laws were inscribed in stone. So as you can imagine, these
laws weren’t exactly easy to amend or change.
This pillar of laws is believed to have been erected close to what is now
modern-day Baghdad. Let’s pause for a moment to give you a chance to absorb all
these. When you’re ready to move on, let me know, and I’ll tell you more about the
Code of Hammurabi. If you want to hear this again, hey, we can do that, too.

18

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

19

Chapter Four:

Floodplain Civilization: Mesopotamia

Legend has it that Hammurabi received the laws from the sun god Shamash.
The laws dealt with all sorts of different matters such as marriage and family
relations, negligence, fraud, commercial contracts, duties of public officials,
property and inheritance, crimes and punishment, techniques of legal procedure,
protection of women, children, and slaves, protection of property, and debt relief for
victims of flood and drought.
The Code of Hammurabi was intended to make people accept the sovereignty
or power of the king, and institute a way for the king to govern his subjects. But its
overall purpose was to unite a diverse group of people under a code of expected
behavior. And in the words of the code itself, “To cause justice to prevail in the land,
to destroy the wicked and evil, that the strong may not oppose the weak.” Now that
may sound all well and good, but today, the Code of Hammurabi is most famous for
its laws of retaliation. Does “an eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth” sound familiar?
That famous and horrifying-sounding law of retaliation comes from the Code of
Hammurabi.
For instance, one of the laws stated that, if a man breaks into a house, he shall
be killed in front of that break-in and buried there. Don’t ask me how that’s supposed
to help in the property value of an area. Can you imagine showing a house – here’s
our pool, our kitchen, and here’s where we buried the fool that broke in. Anyway,
back to what we were talking about.
The Code of Hammurabi would go on to influence the legal systems of other
societies. For instance, many of the Code’s principles later appeared in Hebrew laws.
You probably heard of them. Guy goes up to the top of a mountain and comes back
down with two stone tablets? Yup, the Ten Commandments – the very words that
were given to Moses by the Hebrew God Yahweh in the Bible.
Now, if you remember, I told you earlier, that the story of Hammurabi
receiving the code from the god Shamash might sound familiar. Well, this is the
result of a very important concept called, cultural diffusion. This is where stories or
ideas from one culture spread to others and get slightly changed or added to over
time. Remember that term cultural diffusion, because believe me, cultural diffusion
has had a major effect on many of the ancient societies found in Europe, Asia, and
Africa. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got to go find myself a new intern. My last one,
Kansas Rodriguez, turned out to be definitely afraid of heights! If you got this, feel
free to move on. If not, let me know, and I’ll go over it again.

20

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
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the English definition.

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9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

21

Floodplain
Civilization:
Egypt

chapter 5
Contents:

Egyptian CIvilization

King Tutankhamen

Mummies

Howard Carter

Flood Plains (Nile River)
Slavery
Pharaoh

d
Pyrami

Ziggurat

Pyramid: this is a structure where
the outer surfaces are triangular
and converge at a point.
In mesopotamia, there were similar
structures, but they were called
ziggurats.

Chapter Five:

Floodplain Civilization: Egypt

Well some people call me the dumb mummy. But this here’s my brain – looks
big and smart, don’t you think? Whoa! What stinks! Ah, yeah, it’s probably me
because riding corpses tend to smell terrible. But let’s talk about that later. Anyways,
greetings, beer and bread to you! What? That’s not how you say good day in your
culture? Well excuse me! But that’s how we ancient Egyptians greeted one another.
And if you don’t know what beer and bread means, then it’s probably a good thing
I’m here to talk to you about the ancient Egyptian civilization, don’t you think? Don’t
answer that.
So you see, we ancient Egyptians were an interesting bunch. Our rise to
prominence started back in thirty-one hundred B.C.E., around the Nile delta area,
which is where the Nile River empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile – it was
a bountiful river that allowed my people to easily transition from a life of hunting
and gathering to one of agriculture and farming; you see, even though ancient
Egypt was an arid place surrounded by desert, The Nile and its yearly flooding
made it an ideal region for crops to develop and flourish. Yes indeed; the soil was so
rich and fertile that it attracted people from all over. And because of this, the
Egyptian civilization emerged from a rather diverse bunch of people, including
people from the Sahara region, Western Asia, and other parts of Africa. But back to
the Nile – the glorious, glorious Nile! Earlier, when I said the yearly flooding of the
Nile, I meant that it was on a rather precise schedule. Because of this, we Egyptians,
in order to feed the ever-growing population of Egypt, began to create an organized
system of government so we could properly prepare for the event.
So literally, the Egyptian state was a product of our need to control the Nile
waters. Pretty neat, huh? And if Egypt had a weak and unorganized government, as
it did from time to time, it would severely affect the food supply, causing famine and
hunger – all because the Nile was not properly managed. These times of disorder,
however, did not stop Egypt and its people from thriving for thousands of years. Yes,
indeed. By one thousand B.C.E., Egypt supported a population of around three
million to four million people – living ones, not mummies, like me, I mean there were
a lot of us, too. But I’m talking about the living people.

23

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

24

Chapter Five:

Floodplain Civilization: Egypt

Now as my society grew, it became more and more – what’s the word? –
sophisticated. Now one of the ways the historians determined this was by studying
the social stratification of Egyptian society, or the hierarchy. Now the pharaoh, or
the ruler of all Egypt, was at the top; under him were the priests and nobles, and
then came the scribes. Now scribes were pen and paper men that held some of the
most envied positions in Egypt. All they did was write things down. So they were
therefore spared a lot of the hard labor that Egypt offered its lower classes. But let
me ask you this: Would the scribes have to squeeze pipes like this? OK, you get the
idea. So, where was I? Ah, yeah. Below the scribes were the peasant farmers, and
below the farmers were the slaves. It’s scary to think what we would have done
without our slaves, right? They built our pyramids. You know, those sandy triangle
things? Yup, it’s true. Between our architects and our hardworking slaves, we built
the greatest and most enduring structures of the ancient world.
So why were the pyramids built in the first place? Good question. They were
construction projects commissioned by the pharaohs and the Egyptian government.
The pointy structures were symbols of the sun, and were intended to be the royal
tombs of the pharaohs, who we believed were the offspring of the sun god, Ra.
Unfortunately, by the twenty-second century B.C.E., pyramids were no longer being
built. And that marked the end of what is now known as the Old Kingdom of Ancient
Egypt. Though it eventually came to an end, the ancient Egyptian civilization was
around and very relevant for thousands of years. It had an old kingdom that lasted
for approximately the twenty-seventh century B.C.E., to the twenty-second century
B.C.E. Then there was an intermediate period that lasted about five hundred years,
give or take a few decades; after that there was the middle kingdom, which lasted
from the end of the twenty-first century B.C.E., to about the mid-seventeenth century
B.C.E. The Middle Kingdom started strong but gave way to conquest like from Syria,
and Palestine. Then there was another intermediate period, and then the New
Kingdom arose and lasted from fifteen-fifty B.C.E., to ten sixty-four B.C.E. This
marked another comeback by Egypt, which was defined by a significant expansion
of the Egyptian Kingdom. This period also saw the leadership of a rather impressive
female pharaoh, named Hatshepsut. She was beautiful, too – a minx-like goddess.
Anyways, around the eleventh century, B.C.E., Egypt went into decline again,
and eventually, by the seventh century B.C.E., it was conquered by the Assyrians.
Assyrians…A century later, we were conquered once again by the Persians. And the
final nail in the Egyptian coffin – no pun intended – was when Egypt was conquered
by the Roman Empire in thirty B.C.E.

25

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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6.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

26

Chapter Five:

Floodplain Civilization: Egypt

Hello, it’s me again, your new favorite mummy friend, and I’m here to talk to
you about a pharaoh that people in modern times have gone buck wild over – King
Tutankhamun, or more popularly, King Tut. You see, old Tut was an Egyptian
pharaoh who reigned during the New Kingdom, which, coincidentally, is when I,
too, walked the earth. Hold on…Yup, still got it. Now, I’m not jealous or anything,
but King Tut’s hold, being a hotshot celebrity now – wait a minute – in my day, his
reign had very little impact on Egypt. And honestly, he was kind of insignificant.
Just trust me on this one: King Tut was no Ramesses the fourth we all know – now
he was a pharaoh to remember.
Now, where was I? Yeah, King Tutankhamun was not a very significant ruler
because he became king when he was only nine, and died when he was about
nineteen. So he obviously didn’t rule Egypt for very long, and therefore didn’t leave
much of a mark. But don’t get me wrong, his early death was tragic and all; but in
the end, he didn’t mean too much to us Egyptians. So why did you guys go so crazy
over him? Well, I finally heard the story that explains it.
Once upon a time, in 1922, there was a British archeologist named Howard
Carter who snooped around the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, hoping to find the
king’s tomb that did not end up robbed over the centuries, King Tut’s tomb to be
exact. Although Carter and his men didn’t know where his tomb was, they did know
there was a young king named Tutankhamun, whose grave had not been discovered
yet. Sorry, that spooky fairy tale voice was hurting my throat. So anyways, Carter,
whose expedition was financed by a fellow named Lord Carnarvon, was trying to
uncover new information for a popular field of study called Egyptology. He was also
trying to get a little famous as well. But who wouldn’t these days? Not me. But old
Carter got his wish; for just as he was close to losing his support from Carnarvon, he
made the discovery of a lifetime – yup, he found the untouched and treasure-filled
tomb of King Tut, loaded with extravagant ornaments, thrones, and statues, not to
mention Tut’s coffin itself, which was made of gold.
So anyways, as you can imagine, when news of Carter’s discovery got out, the
world went – nuts – for Tut.

27

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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6.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

28

Chapter Five:

Floodplain Civilization: Egypt

Carter’s find produced a series of mysteries that would surround the story of
King Tut from that point on. You see, people wanted to know how King Tut lived. But
more importantly, they wanted to know how he died. And you all think we
Egyptians were morbid. Baloney!
Anyways, scientists over the years have examined the body of King Tut to try
to figure out what took the life of the young pharaoh. In the process, they found out
important new information about the Egyptian mummification, wrapping, and
burial process, which, take it from a mummy, was a big part of Egyptian society. So
in the nineteen sixties, x-rays – whatever they are – were taken of Tut’s body, and
some people began to speculate that Tut was murdered since he had a bone fragment
in his skull. Yup, since it looked like he’d received a blow to the head, conspiracy
theory spread about the supposed murder of King Tut. However, in two thousand
five, most of the mystery behind the death of King Tut was resolved when scientists
performed something you all call a CT scan on his remains. Results of the CT scan
showed no signs of Tut’s having been murdered. Rather, he’s believed to have died
from a broken leg that developed a severe and oozing infection. Oh man, that’s
gross! Anyways, forensics scientists think that it might have been an accident, or
more likely, a battle wound. All right, can we take the picture away now? Geez!
They also discovered that King Tut was a man of slight build – meaning he
was rather small and skinny – though they concluded he was well-nourished and a
relatively healthy young man. Previous investigations tried to claim that Tut was a
fragile or sickly individual. They also concluded that he had a pronounced overbite,
or bucked teeth. His overbite was actually a hereditary trait common among his
royal lineage.
So there you have it, this skinny little bucked-tooth king you call Tut died from
breaking his leg and allowing it to develop gangrene. So the moral of the story is – I
don’t mean to be harsh on your hero here – but this little bucked-tooth kid wasn’t
such a hotshot. The last thing I’ll mention about the story of King Tut is that it
teaches us that history is constantly changing based on what we think we know
today, and what we later find out because of new discoveries and new advancements
in technology.

29

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

30

Floodplain
Civilization:
South & East Asia

chapter 6
Contents:

Bharata
Aryans

Development of Kingdoms
Prejudice

Did you know that if you were born
in India to certain families that you
were considered untouchable to the
rest of society?
That means if someone touched
you, they would RUN to go take a
bath.

Chapter Six:

Floodplain Civilization: South & East Asia

Video clip 1:
Hello there! Professor Higginbotham here, scheduled to talk to you about the
major aspects of Asian civilizations. To do this, I'm going to start with those that
developed in South Asia. Yes! So, you already know about the Indus valley or
Harappa civilization, which formed around the Indus River in modern-day
Pakistan, yes? And you also know that it spread two parts of India then
mysteriously disappeared around seventeen fifty B.C.E., am I not mistaken? Good.
Well the story of civilization in that region of the world does not -- I repeat -- does
not stop there.
Video clip 2:
After the Harappa Civilization collapsed, India and its surrounding regions
were desirable destinations, for various invaders. The Aryans really made their
marked. The Aryans, of course, were an Indo-European people, believed to have
migrated from modern-day Iran, and to have invaded Northwest India around
fifteen hundred B.C.E.; this, was the beginning of the Aryan Age. Now, the Aryans
created a new culture by intermixing with the indigenous people of the region, the
Dravidians. The Aryans were believed to be pastoralists or people who raise
livestock, and as you may know, they were also believed to be quite militaristic since
they organized themselves into tribes. Anyone know the most powerful of all the
Aryan tribes? Anyone? It is the Bharata -- which, by the way, is the official Sanskrit
name for India. This brings me to my next point: it was during the Aryan Age that
the Indian writing of Sanskrit developed. In addition, it was the Aryan religion from
which the Indian religion of Hinduism would later develop, but don’t get too excited.
We will learn more about that later.

Video clip 3:
Now, over time, the Aryans began to spread into Northern parts of India. As
they did, they adopted -- or at least mixed with their own ways -- the Dravidian
ways of life, things such as farming, taxation system, religious beliefs, etcetera. As a
result, from one thousand B.C.E., to four hundred B.C.E., the Northern region of
India experienced a great deal of development in terms of urban and economic
growth. So, what happened? That's right! Kingdoms began to emerge. Now today,
the Aryans are largely associated with the northern parts of India, while the
Dravidians are largely associated with the southern parts. However, the two groups
mixed enough to forge a region with a diverse yet semi-unified culture.

32

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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the English definition.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

33

Chapter Six:

Floodplain Civilization: South & East Asia

Video clip 4:
All right, so, a well-known result of the mixing between the northern and
southern Indian people was a complex, multi-tiered, social structure called the Caste
System, which was broken into four groups or castes. Now, starting at the top.

Video clip 5:
The Brahmans or priests were first on the totem pole. Second were the
Kshatriyas, the warriors and land owners; after that came the Vaisyas, who were
the merchants and artisans, and finally came the Sudras, the farm workers and
menial laborers. Notice how the Aryans assigned the three highest tiers to
themselves, while the lowest tier was reserved for the non-Aryan people: the Sudras.
As you can see, the system was one of outright prejudice, since it was largely based
on skin color. Aryans were typically light in skin color while the indigenous people of
the region were typically darker. So, how did they get away with it? Anyone?
Religion. Yes, indeed! The Aryans used various religious scriptures such as the Rig
Veda to justify the existence of their blatant prejudice. Today, this caste system is
legally outlawed in India; nevertheless, it’s still very much ingrained in Indian
society. Questions? All right, now, let's turn our attention to China and its ancient
people. Pencils ready? Good!

Video clip 6:
Now there's a little something called farming; you may have heard of it, and
it's believed to have begun in China in the Yellow river basin around seven thousand
B.C.E. Likewise, agriculture in the Yangtze river basin began around five thousand
B.C.E. As a result, small communal villages start to take shape and various cultures
began to emerge. One such culture was called Yangshao, which developed in
Northern China around five thousand B.C.E., and lasted until about three thousand
B.C.E. After that, came the Longshan culture, which lasted until twenty-two hundred
B.C.E. Now, it was around this exact time, twenty-two hundred B.C.E., that China's
most controversial dynasty is the, is said to have emerged, the Xia dynasty. Why is it
controversial you may ask? Mostly because scholars aren't sure if it ever existed;
many believed it was just a myth, since there are no records in written history; no
sir, it exists in oral history alone. If, it did exist, though, it might have been the first
real Chinese state lasting from twenty-one eighty B.C.E., to seventeen fifty B.C.E.
That's right, not a very confident statement. Anyway, according to oral history,
since that's all we have, the Xia dynasty was a diverse society with a social
hierarchy that included bureacrats, scribes, artisans, and metallurgists -- these are
people who work with metals. However, as I stated above due to suspicions of top
scholars like, myself, the verdict is still out on the existence of the Xia dynasty.

34

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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6.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

35

Classical Civilization:
China

chapter 8
Contents:

Dynasties

Taxes

Confucianism

Revolution

Qin Shih Huangdi

The Great Wall

First Emperor
Tyrannical Leadership

Did you you know that one of the
few man made structures you can
see from space is found in China?
Astronauts can look down on the
earth and see the Great Wall of
China from thousands of miles
away.

Chapter Eight:

Classical Civilization: China

Video clip 1:
Greetings. I am Lu Gong, a dedicated scholar of one of the greatest
philosophers China has ever known, K'ung-fu-Tzu, also known as Confucius. Now I
understand that you are learning about classical China; well it just so happens that I
myself lived during that era. I was born in two twenty-three B.C.E., and I bore
witness to many happenings. You see, I came into this world around the end of the
Zhou dynasty; little did my family know how radically things would change only
two years after my birth. Allow me to explain.
Video clip 2:
The Zhou dynasty, as you may already know, lasted nine centuries. It was a
very impressive dynasty; however, it suffered from one major flaw: it had a
disorganized, and decentralized government. By this, I mean that the power was
dispersed amongst aristocratic rulers throughout China. As a result, the Zhou kings
had difficulty keeping reign over the happenings of the kingdoms. Over time, as the
dynasty grew bigger, things fell into greater disarray, and China went into a period
known as the era of warring states; this was a time when many of the regional
rulers of the dynasty went to war with one another. It was a very chaotic time.
Finally, in two twenty-one B.C.E., a regional ruler overthrew the last Zhou ruler;
this regional ruler renamed himself Qin Shih Huangdi, which means the first
emperor. And he changed things dramatically. Instead of following the example of
the Zhou dynasty, Shih Huangdi created an incredibly strong and centralized
government to control all of China. He worked vigorously to reduce the power of the
regional aristocratic rulers, so that all of the political power in China would be
concentrated under him. His centralized government was incredibly rigid and
organized under the principles of legalism.

37

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

38

Chapter Eight:

Classical Civilization: China

Video clip 3:
Although Shih Huangdi succeeded in taking control of all of China, his
methods of attaining and sustaining his power were extremely brutal. He launched
attacks on anyone whose thoughts differed from his own; among his targets were
thinking men, intellectuals and scholars like myself. Luckily I was just a young boy
during his reign, but sadly my father was not. He was a very bright scholar, who
studied the philosophies of Confucius; for this he lost his life under Shih Huangdi’s
regime. You see, the emperor particularly disliked Confucians because our beliefs
threatened to undermine his legalist system of government. The emperor discovered
people like my father by employing thought police -- these were people who arrested
anyone who tried to promote ideas different than the government’s ideas. These
policemen tortured and killed people who challenged the government. They also
burned their books -- pains me to think of the great words we lost during the Qin
dynasty.
Video clip 4:
Now, as I have mentioned, Shih Huangdi was a very brutal ruler -- so brutal
that it was once said of him that he killed men as though he thought he could never
finish. He punished men as though he were afraid he would never get around to
them all. Despite Shih Huangdi’s cruelty and paranoia, some rather impressive
things came out of the Qin dynasty. For instance, the government created a stable
system of currency and promoted trade, which greatly improved China’s economy;
the dynasty was responsible for creating a uniform Chinese language that everyone
would learn and use; in addition, the government constructed new roads, bridges,
and canals, and undertook one of the most impressive public works projects in
China’s history: the building of the Great Wall. It must also be mentioned that it is
from the Qin dynasty, that the modern-day nation of China received its western
name.

39

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
Korean translation, and
the English definition.

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1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

40

Chapter Eight:

Classical Civilization: China

Video clip 5:
Eventually, in two ten B.C.E., Shih Huangdi died, and the peasants that he
overtaxed and overburdened for years revolted; this revolt lasted until two o’ two
B.C.E., when one peasant leader defeated all the others and founded a new dynasty
– the Han. The Han dynasty employed the same centralized governmental system as
the Qin dynasty, but it was not nearly as paranoid or brutal; we Confucianists could
return to our studies without worry. The Han dynasty was a very ambitious one,
which defined itself through conquests, and expansion; its economic system, like that
of dynasties that had come before, was largely dependent upon agricultural
production. Trade in Han China, however, was fueled by the upper class’s desire for
luxury goods like silk, jewelry, and furniture; and like most agricultural societies, it
developed a rigid social hierarchy that consisted of a small percentage of nobles,
landed gentry, and educated bureaucrats at the top; under them were the peasants
who were made up of farmers, artisans, and merchants. Under the peasants was
another group known as the “mean people”; they performed the crudest and most
unskilled jobs. There were slaves at this time, but they were rather few in number.
Video clip 6:
Although the Han dynasty was one of the greatest in the history of China, it
did not last forever; it came to end around two twenty C.E.; and although I did not
live to witness the fall of Han, my great-great-great-great granddaughter did. I will
go and find her for you, so she may tell you the rest of the story.
Video clip 7:
Hello! I am Pei Zhao, the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Lu Gong.
I, too, was a scholar in a time when very few women in China were educated; luckily
for you, my brother and I were historians who, together, chronicled the history of
the Han dynasty. Now, as my revered ancestor has already told you, during its
height, the Han dynasty experienced great prosperity, territorial expansion, and
cultural development. The time of peace under the leader, Wu Ti, was much like that
of another classical civilization with whom China traded -- the Great Roman Empire
-- for it, too, flourished under a period of peace known as the Pax Romana and
benefitted from gains of military conquest. Expansion for the Han dynasty, however,
came with its challenges.

41

Vocabulary:

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the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
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Parents
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42

Chapter Eight:

Classical Civilization: China

Video clip 8:
One way the dynasty dealt with these challenges was by not establishing the
worship of any particular deity or deities as the state religion. The empire was very
good at being open to the different practices of people from newly conquered
territories, while at the same time establishing certain rituals that, people
throughout the empire were encouraged to engage in, such as the veneration of
ancestors, and special eating and tea drinking ceremonies. These practices created
common customs that tied the various regions of the empire together. Although the
Qin dynasty had persecuted those who followed the ways of Confucius, the rulers of
the Han dynasty encouraged its subjects to follow Confucian philosophy. You see, the
Han used the teachings of Confucius to establish respect for the social hierarchy and
to promote order throughout the empire. Although the Han dynasty was nowhere
near as rigid or as brutal as the Qin dynasty, it did have a system of punishment in
place for those who disobeyed Han’s strict code of laws. Much like the Roman
practice of crucifixion, the Han dynasty employed the use of public torture and
execution in an attempt to discourage others from engaging in civil disobedience.
Another aspect of the Han dynasty that tied the empire together was its incredibly
extensive bureaucracy. Its bureaucrats were extremely well-trained and stationed
throughout the empire; as a matter of fact, the bureaucratic system that emerged
during the Han dynasty survived all the way into the twentieth century.
Video clip 9:
The Han dynasty, however, did not survive into the twentieth century. It
began to experience serious problems after its first two centuries; you see, the once
strong central government had over-extended, and collapsed under the weight of its
past territorial ambitions and poor leadership. Soon, the threat of invasion by the
Huns in Central Asia became all too real. The Han dynasty’s end came around two
twenty C.E., sending China into a period of instability and uncertainty that lasted
for more than three hundred years. I hope this information shall be useful to you;
thanks for listening.

43

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
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44

Classical
Civilization:
India

chapter 9
Contents:

Trade Economy

Hinduism

Geography’s Affect on
Development

Buddhism

Climate
Caste Systems
Western Influence

HOLY COW!
Did you know that in India cows
are considered so sacred that the
people will not eat them? If you go
to India anytime soon, be ready for
NO hamburgers!

Chapter Nine:

Classical Civilization: India

My name is Sunio Gandhi, and I lived in India during the fourth century C.E. It’s
what you all now refer to as classical India. Now that’s a pretty ornate name. Little
did I know I was living during such a fancy-sounding time, but looking back on it, I
guess I could see why it was classical. I mean, it was the people of this time who led
the foundation for what India is today. Not sure what I mean? Well, let me explain
some of the basic things you need to know about India and its formation. Let’s start
where everyone should – with geography.
Now to get into this discussion of geography, I’ll explain why India developed
somewhat differently than China. For starters, India wasn’t geographically isolated
like China. Although the Himalayas acted as a barrier to some degree, parts in the
mountains gave access to outsiders. India was particularly influenced by people
from the West, such as the Persians in the Middle East, and the Hellenistic people of
the Mediterranean. The Hellenistic influence was largely thanks to a little visit by a
Macedonian named Alexander the Great.
Now, it’s also important to note that the geographical availability of India
resulted in its developing a far more diverse population than China. And also unlike
China, which did not experience many fluctuations or disruptions in its society due
to outside influences, India had to react and adapt to various foreign cultural
influences. OK, so now you understand how geography affected the development of
India by making it more accessible to outsiders. Let’s now discuss how the
geography within India itself made it more diverse.
By the time India’s classical era began, three major economic regions had
developed due to its geography. The first, was the agricultural region, located
around the Indus and Ganges rivers. And as you might already know, this region
was the center of India’s economy because, like the other classical civilizations,
India’s economy was mostly based on agriculture. The second region was around the
mountainous areas of the North; it was there that the herding economy developed.
The third economic region, however, was located around the southern coastline of
India. This is where a seafaring and trading economy developed. These different
regions, shaped by their geography and economic development, added to the
diversity of India from within.

46

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

Write the english word,
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the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
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47

Chapter Nine:

Classical Civilization: India

Another geographic factor that played an important role in shaping Indian
civilization was climate. India has a semi-tropical climate and can experience
unbelievably high temperatures. How high? Well try around one hundred ten
degrees Fahrenheit and higher in the summer. India also experiences a monsoon
season. Monsoons are seasonal winds that bring with them heavy rainfall. India’s
agricultural production is dependent upon them. However, these monsoons can be
rather unpredictable with regard to the amount of rain they can bring, or when
exactly they bring it. If the rain came in the right amount, and at the right time,
there would be a bountiful harvest. If not, India would face drought and famine.
India’s need to deal with the extremities of abundance and scarcity played a
significant role in its development.
OK, so now you have a keen understanding of how geography factored into the
development of India’s civilization. So now, I would like to talk to you about India’s
early formative period. As you already know, the Indus Valley, or Harrapan
civilization, mysteriously disappeared around eighteenth century B.C.E. And not
long after, Aryan invaders made their way into the region. Over time, the
civilization shifted from the northwest area of the subcontinent to the more central
area. This period was broken into two ages that preceded classical India: the Vedic,
and the Epic Ages. The Vedic Age lasted from fifteen hundred to one thousand B.C.E.,
and the Epic Age lasted from one thousand B.C.E., to six hundred B.C.E. It was
during these two ages that the hunter-herder Arryans began to settle into
agricultural lifestyles. It was also during this period that one of the most defining
aspects of the Indian civilization began to emerge.
The Indian caste system was created as a way of establishing relationships
with the Arryans and the indigenous people of India. Here is how it was originally
broken down: Over time, the Brahmans would replace the Kshatriyas at the top, and
a fifth group would be added to the bottom. This group is often referred to as the
untouchables. The untouchables, were the people who performed the most
undesirable jobs in all of India. They typically worked in jobs where they disposed of
the dead or removed human waste.
I must tell you that, I myself was born a Sudra. Now even though I lived
among one of the most humble castes, I considered myself very fortunate not to have
been born an untouchable. Untouchables were literally people we in the other castes
could not touch. We believed they were polluters. And if we were touched by one, we
would have to go to great lengths to cleanse ourselves. You may think I’m
exaggerating but, I’m not. As the caste system developed, harsh punishments, to
discourage mixing between castes – for instance, marriage between different castes
became punishable, by death.

48

Vocabulary:

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the English definition.

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10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
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49

Chapter Nine:

Classical Civilization: India

Hello there, it’s Sunio back with you. I’m honored that I was chosen to
close out this activity on classical India. Now where shall I start? Oh yes, I
shall start with the end – the end of the Gupta Empire, that is. You see, when
the Gupta Empire went into decline, so did the period known as classical
India. And just like in classical China, the Huns from Central Asia began to
invade the Indus valley in the fifth century C.E. Now, the proud Guptas, did
try to stop them from invading Central India – but they weren’t successful.
The Gupta Empire was in decline, and it lacked the funds to properly defend
itself from the Huns. Sadly, after the fall of the Gupta Empire, India lost its
powerful position in the world, and many of its leaders and intellectuals no
longer took an interest in making progress in the fields of science, medicine, or
technology. And by six fifty C.E., India, the once prosperous and cohesive
society, had broken apart and come undone. Unfortunately, political
instability and persistent warfare came to define this interim period. Oh, but
let’s not reflect on that too much. Let’s look at the legacy of classical India.
Although during its formative period, India was influenced by many
different people such as the Aryans, the Persians, and the Greeks, India,
during the classical period, had considerable influence on various parts of the
world. The Indian Ocean was a busy waterway; I mean it was truly bustling
with activity. It even exceeded the Mediterranean Sea in its ability to link the
various cultures of the eastern hemisphere during this time. Now since India
was a center, perhaps even this center of cultural exchange during the
classical era, many visitors and traveling merchants left with ideas and
beliefs that they spread to other parts of the world. For instance, Buddhism,
spread from India to China, and various parts of Southeast Asia, and
Hinduism made its way to Indonesia. It is also believed, that certain Buddhist
ideas influenced Greek and Roman culture. And eventually, some of the
Buddhist philosophy made its way into Christianity. Also, Indians’ discoveries
in the fields of mathematics and science began to change the way many
cultures thought and understood the world. I am very proud to be a part of
this rich culture. And just as we began today with a land, now I must end it
with a land. But instead of talking geography, I’m off to work the fields. Have
a great day my friend.

50

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
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51

Classical
Civilization:
Mediterranean Basin 1

chapter 10
Contents:

Direct Democracy
Draconian Rule
Autocracy
Aqueduct System

Athens was one of the first
examples of democracy in the
world. Forms of democracy can still
be seen today. Can you think of a
country that has a representative
democracy?
That’s right!
America.

Chapter Ten:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin

Well hello there! I, am Cleisthenes, and many people consider me the father of
democracy. Why are you surprised? Were you expecting Thomas Jefferson or
something? Come to think of it, that Jefferson fellow owes me a debt of gratitude, for
I was the one -- way back in the sixth century B.C.E., in the Greek city-state of Athens
-- who developed a form of government known as democracy. So it only makes sense
that I was sent here to talk to you about the political institutions of ancient Greece.
Now allow me to start with Athens -- partly because I was from Athens, and partly
because it’s just a good place to start.
Now prior to democracy, Athens was ruled by tyrants; now don’t get the
wrong idea -- I know in your lovely little free society, tyrant is a terrible word that
conjures up visions of brutality and enslavement. But the tyrants of Athens were not
like that. I mean some were better than others, but typically a tyrant was a wealthy
aristocrat who came to power by using wealth and influence to edge out other
aristocrats for power. Sometimes the rise to power for a tyrant involved murdering
a rival, but that didn’t necessarily make him a bad ruler.
Anyway, a tyrant typically ran Athens in an autocratic fashion, which means
he made all the decisions for Athens, and the citizens lived according to those
decisions. However, things changed in the leadership of Solon; he was different from
the tyrants. He was a wise man, who was actually selected to revise the laws written
by Draco; the laws of Draco were very harsh -- so harsh that the punishment for just
about everything from loitering to murder was, murder! So if you hear the word
Draconian today, it’s often in reference to a policy that is rather severe. But back to
Solon -- Solon was appointed ruler of Athens due to a serious crisis; the crisis
occurred when the humble farmers of Athens experienced a series of crop failures,
and were unable to pay their debts. It became so bad that some even sold themselves
and their family members into slavery. So, not surprisingly, the poor of Athens
demanded reform.
Solon attempted to do this by offering the farmers debt forgiveness and
making it illegal for someone to repay a debt with slavery. Solon also turned the
seats on the Athens council into positions that could be achieved by merit rather than
granted by birth, so that the power of the privileged over the lower classes would be
reduced. However, Solon’s reforms went too far for the wealthy -- and Athens -- and
not far enough for the poor. After Solon, a man named Peisistratus took control.
Peisistratus took up the cause of the poor and redistributed the land by taking it
from the aristocratic class in Athens and dispersing it among poor farmers. He also
established many public works projects in Athens, and was responsible for building
our aqueduct system.

53

Vocabulary:

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10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
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Parents
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54

Chapter Ten:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin

Well after Peisistratus died, his son Hippias came to power, and he was not a
very good leader. So I helped overthrow Hippias; after that I got into a long, drawnout power struggle with a guy named Isagoras. I was in exile from Athens; but when
the people overthrew Isagoras, I was called back to again lead Athens in five o’ nine
B.C.E. And that’s when I introduced a new idea to try and establish some political
balance between the aristocrats and the humble people. Instead of having an
autocratic ruler, I suggested having an assembly made up of all the citizens;
literally, it would be a government run by all of the citizens of Athens -- a
democracy! So allow me to tell you how I did it.
First, I organized Athens into demes or districts; after that, I told the people of
those districts to select representatives to serve on the council of five hundred. This
council of five hundred wrote legislation; pieces of legislation were then brought
before all forty thousand citizens of Athens to be voted on. Generally, only about six
thousand showed up, but the system didn’t discriminate -- if you are rich or poor, it
didn’t matter. All that mattered was that you are an Athenian citizen; oh and by the
way, this doesn’t mean that women or slaves voted — they never voted. Now, it’s true
they made up a great deal of the population of Athens, but remember, I belonged to a
different time. Anyway, we would all meet, all six thousand of us; together we would
vote on the issues of the day. To do this, each was given a white stone, and a black
stone; a black stone, was a no vote, and a white stone, was a yes vote. This means
that Athens was a direct democracy, since it does not involve representatives voting
for the citizens, but rather each citizen voting.
I thought democracy was the perfect solution to Athens’s problems, but other
Athenians felt that democracy led to poor decision making. They believed giving the
votes to a mass of uneducated citizens was a mistake that would one day cause
Athens dearly. On the other hand, some people felt that certain aspects of Athenian
society still favored the aristocrats; it’s also important to know that some of the
other Greek city-states set up democratic governments as well. But I dare say, we
Athenians did it best. However, not all city-states were won over by the idea; some
tended to find it strange and a bit radical. Instead, they preferred a ruler with an
advisory council or a council of aristocrats to make decisions for the city-state. One
Greek city-state in particular that should remain nameless – Sparta -- actually
found our system of democracy not just radical but dangerous; ahh, but that’s a
story for another day.

55

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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the English definition.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

56

Classical
Civilization:
Mediterranean Basin 2

chapter 11
Contents:

Peloponnesian War
Civil War
City-States
Delian League

Sparta was very famous for their
warriors. The Spartans would form
a barrier called a Phalanx and it
was almost impenetrable.
It was a great weapon against
other countries

Chapter Eleven:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 2

Video clip 1:
Greetings! I’m Thucydides, a very important Greek historian; and
you could say that I wrote the book on the Peloponnesian war -- that’s
pretty much because I did. You see, the Peloponnesian war was very
different from the Persian wars -- for if you remember, the Persian wars
involved many of the Greek city-states unifying to fight off the Persian
invasion; the Peloponnesian war, on the other hand, was more like a civil
war -- you know, when one faction of a country fights another faction
from that same country. But please remember, Greece wasn’t what you
would call a country or a nation at this time; rather, it was a collection of
loosely tied together city-states.
Video clip 2:
Let me explain exactly what I mean when I compare it to a civil
war. During the Persian wars, Athens and Sparta emerged as the leading
Greek city-states -- or superpowers if you will. However, they were quite
different from one another. Athens was very wealthy and worldly, and
quite proud of its democratic society; Sparta, on the other hand, was
plain and isolated, and quite proud of its strong militaristic society. Even
though they joined forces to fight the Persians, they always remained
very suspicious of each other. When Athens suggested that the Greeks go
on the offensive and force the Persians out of the Aegean Sea, Sparta
wanted nothing to do with this ambitious plan.

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Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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the English definition.

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10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

59

Chapter Eleven:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 2

Video clip 3:
So, Athens gathered support from other Greek city-states and
formed the Delian League in four seventy-seven B.C.E. To be a member of
the league, you gave soldiers and money to Athens to push the Persians
out of the Aegean. By four seventy, they had removed much of the
Persian threat. After this, some of the city-states wanted to leave the
league; however, Athens refused to let them and continued to demand
money from them for protection -- money that the Athenians would also
use to beautify their own city-state; seriously, that Parthenon didn’t pay
for itself.
Video clip 4:
Any who, Athens also began to expand on the Greek mainland
around this time, conquering fellow city-states – a big no-no. These
developments made Sparta and its allied city-states -- also known as the
Peloponnesian league -- very wary. They no longer saw Persia as the
main threat to Greece; instead, their biggest concern was Athens’s
ambitions. In order to stop Athens, the Peloponnesian league went to war
against the Delian league. However, the war ended with a treaty,
outlining an agreement to a thirty-year peace between Sparta and
Athens, in which Athens would give up the territory conquered on the
Greek mainland in exchange for Sparta’s recognition of Athens’s naval
superiority. Despite the treaty, the city-state of Corinth -- a member of the
Peloponnesian league -- and Athens began to have issues with one
another when two of their colonies went to war in four thirty-three B.C.E.
So, Corinth and Athens engaged in a naval battle; as a result, Sparta
came to the aid of its ally Corinth, sparking the Peloponnesian war.

60

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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the English definition.

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9.

10.

Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

61

Chapter Eleven:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 2

Video clip 5:
When the Spartans attacked Athens, Pericles, the leader of Athens, was ready.
You see, prior to the invasion, Pericles commissioned a large wall to be built around
the city to keep out invaders for just such an occasion. Now while the walls deflected
the siege on Athens, the Athenian fleet blocked Spartan supply lines from reaching
Athens.
Despite this success, there were some serious problems with Pericles’s plan;
first, it kept Athens on the defensive and did not do enough to fight off Sparta; also,
when all the people of Athens were forced to live inside the city walls, Pericles had not
anticipated the unsanitary conditions it would create. Within two years, Athens began
to suffer from an outbreak of the plague. Sadly, Pericles’s plan would be his own
undoing, after he, too, contracted the plague and died. After the death of Pericles,
Athens began to fall apart, as serious tensions arose between the aristocrats and the
democrats. Around this time, a democrat named Cleon led Athens; he believed Athens
had to go on the offensive, and he initiated an attack on Sparta. He believed that this
would incite a slave revolt in Sparta. So in four twenty-five B.C.E., Cleon led the
attack. But Athenian success was fleeting, and the death of Cleon in four twenty-two
was a serious blow. After Cleon’s failed expedition, an Athenian leader named Nicias
negotiated a truce with Sparta; the truce, however, lasted only seven years.
When a charismatic and manipulative young man named Alcibiades became
the leader of Athens, he sided with the probalo faction of democrats against Nicias
and began heading up a renewed war effort. Soon, Alcibiades designed a plan for a
rather daring expedition; it was a brilliant but outrageous plan. But the night before
the expedition, sacred statues in Athens were vandalized, and Alcibiades and his
friends were believed to be responsible. Alcibiades was arrested for sacrilege, but he
escaped and fled to Sparta, where he gave the Spartans all the details of the
expedition.
In the end, the expedition was a complete and utter failure; it resulted in the
deaths of many Athenians and drained the city of its monetary resources. The war
continued for several more years, and, in their desperation, Athenians welcomed
Alcibiades back to lead the city. Eventually though, Athens surrendered to Sparta; the
Spartans restored the Athenian aristocrats to power and outlawed democracy. From
this point on, Athens was a shadow of its once glorious self.

62

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

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63

Classical
Civilization:
Mediterranean Basin 3

chapter 12
Contents:

Etruscans

Taxes

Italian Peninsula

Social Interactions

Consuls
Plebeians
Roman Economy

Italy is known for a lot more than
its boot shaped peninsula. Two of
the most popular dishes eaten
worldwide were first made in Italy.
PIZZA and SPAGHETTI!
My favorite!

Chapter Twelve: Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 3
Hey there, I’m Tarquinius Superbus, and as far as you or anyone else knows, I
was am, or, OK well technically was, the last of the Etruscan kings. Also as far as you
or anyone else knows, I died in exile in like four ninety-six before your common era.
And yet here I am, miraculous. So, you are familiar with the Etruscans right? No? Not
so much? Well let me tell you! We were the first people to establish an urban society
on the Italian peninsula. As a people, we were greatly influenced – I’m not ashamed
to admit this – by the rest of the Mediterranean societies particularly the Greeks. And
in turn, we heavily influenced the great Roman civilization of the classical era.
Yes, we Etruscans ruled over this little city state in the south called Rome, you
may have heard of it. Rome was founded along the Tiber River during the sixth
century B.C.E., initially inhabited by a bunch of Indo-European pastoralists known as
Latins. Rome developed into a rather substantial city over the centuries. But
eventually people decided that they didn’t want to be ruled by us Etruscans anymore.
A lot of people blamed me, said I was a bad and brutal ruler who came to power by
murdering my father-in-law, but, whatever, believe what you like. All in all, the
Etruscans just began to lose their hold over Rome and finally, a Roman named Junius
Brutus overthrew my government. So let me tell you what that was like.
The Romans formed a republic. Tired of kings, they said, “In a republic, the
government works like this: the sovereignty, or power, resides with the citizens who
vote for elected officers to represent them in making governmental decisions.” So they
formed a Roman republic.
And you know how these days governments have written constitutions? Well,
this new Roman government was based on a constitution made up of a bunch of
unwritten laws and traditions, which, between you and me, allowed for a lot of the
political power to rest with Rome’s elected officials. But you know I feel like I’m
getting ahead of myself. Before I go too far, you should probably know that Roman
society was broken into two main groups: the patricians, and the plebeians. The
patricians were members of Rome’s aristocratic upper class, while the plebeians were
the common people of Rome – pretty much the middle and lower class. OK, now that
I’ve got that out of my system, I can discuss just what the government looked like. Let
me just check if you got all these. Or would you like to hear it again?

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

66

Chapter Twelve: Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 3
Ready for more huh? Fab! Indulge me! I’d really like to explain what the
structure of the Roman republican government looked like.
OK, first off were the dual heads of state, the consuls, each elected to a one-year
term, Patricians, both of them. Consuls wrote legislation and acted as heads of the
judiciary and the military. They also served together as chief priests of Rome. Sounds
like a lot of power right? Well actually, it’s pretty limited. You gotta be king to get
power! OK, not really. Actually, yes, really! But never mind. With such short terms, to
stay in power, they’d have to be annually reelected. Also, one consul couldn’t act
without the other’s agreement. To be fair to these guys though, in times of war, the
consul terms were extended. Along with the two consuls were the quaestors, or the
financial officers, and the praetors who initially had judicial duties but over time
became top generals of the Roman Army. And finally, the Romans had censors. Their
job was to take a census of the Roman people, and then decide everyone’s tax status. It
was these guys along with the senate who ran Rome. The senate was also made up of
only Patricians, and it held the majority of the power in Rome. Only Patricians in
government office? Sounds like trouble to me! And it was!
With the Patricians running the government, a good number of Plebeians felt
that their concerns weren’t being addressed, that only the interests of the upper class
are being furthered. This friction between the Plebeians and the Patricians sometimes
turned violent, and became known as the struggle of the orders. But see, without the
Plebeians, the Patricians really couldn’t survive, for they were dependent upon the
Plebeians to produce food and supply the military with soldiers.
In four ninety-four B.C.E., the Plebeians declared an alternative government
modeled on the original government of Rome. Very slowly, like over a century later,
the Plebeians had gained access to all the top positions of the Roman government and
were given full equality. While this lovely little power struggle was going on, Rome
turned to imperialism in the fourth century B.C.E. Why? Well, the city state embraced
expansion partly to protect itself from invaders and partly to enhance its treasury
and expand its power. How did they do this? The old-fashioned way: they used their
military might to conquer surrounding territories. The Romans, however, were very
smart about their expansion. After they finished conquering a fellow city state, they
did not oppress its people or enslave them. Rather, they offered them Roman
citizenship, which came with all the rights and privileges afforded to the citizens in
Rome. This rather fair treatment inspired loyalty towards the Roman government
and encouraged men from the conquered city state to join the Roman army. The
Roman republic wouldn’t last forever, though. Things would seriously begin to change
in the first century B.C.E. That’s all I’ve got, for now. Wanna see it again? Or are you
ready to move on?

67

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

68

Chapter Twelve: Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 3
Friends, Romans…No, no, no, that’s not right, not the right inflection. Friends,
Romans, country – no, no, I’m just not getting…Oh! Well, hello there! I was just
practicing my Mark Anthony impression. Yeah, that was embarrassing. Anyway, just
let me introduce myself, I, am Philibis Marcius Bibulus Practi. But you can call me,
Phil. I’m going to talk to you about economy and society in classical Rome. And I think
I’m the right guy for this job. You see, I was a quaestor back in the day. Now I’ve given
my position as well as Rome’s financial bigwigs, many people say to me, “Phil, you’re
like the smartest guy I know. Could you please explain to me Rome’s fascinating
economy?” And I say, “No prob!” It was like this: first and foremost, Rome had an
agrarian and slave-based economy that grew larger and larger as Rome expanded.
Let me explain exactly how this works. You see, Patricians owned most of the land in
Rome, and they would either rent parts of land for Plebeians to farm or, have their
slaves farm it.
Now the major crops produced by Rome were grain, grapes, and olives.
Rome’s climate, however, was not the best for growing grain. Now, this was a
problem because we Romans love our bread. Seriously, have you been to an Italian
restaurant recently? Believe it or not, this was actually one of the reasons Rome
began to expand: we needed provinces in other parts of the world to satisfy our love
of grains. I mean, of course we also expanded to create trading networks to sell the
stuff we were good at producing, like wine and olive oil. The leading industries in
Rome were the mining of metals and the manufacturing of pottery. I mean, we mined
everything – iron, lead, tin, gold, silver, yeah. And people really loved that Roman
pottery. On the other hand, there were lots of imported goods the Romans loved as
well, such as silks from China and spices and gems from India. The Romans also had
the most developed coinage system in the world. Coins were minted in gold, silver,
copper, bronze, and brass. And they were carefully weighed and inspected to establish
the value.
Another part of the Roman economy was taxes. Rome was dependent upon
taxes; initially, they placed hefty taxes on the people in Italy. But, over time, as the
empire grew larger and larger, it stopped taxing the people in Italy and taxed its
citizens in the provinces. There are benefits to being local. These taxes, of course,
allowed Rome to pursue massive public works projects like our extensive road system.
I mean, there’s a very good reason why people say, “All roads lead to Rome!” You
know, it’s ‘coz they did. And that, mugaboo, was the Roman economy. Any questions?

69

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

70

Chapter Twelve: Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 3
You know what we should talk about now? Roman society. OK, quick recap of
what I’m guessing you already know. Patricians were the upper class members of
Roman society, and Plebeians, were pretty much everybody else. And there was some
serious friction between these people from time to time. Oh, and you know we had
slaves right? We had quite a few of those.
Slavers were typically foreigners who worked the field and did various
household duties – you know, all the menial work. But they also had jobs you might be
surprised by. You see, Greek slaves were really valuable because those guys were
super educated. You know, with all that philosophizing and free thinking the Greeks
liked to do, they made great tutors for our kids. And just between you and me, our
need for slaves was another reason for all that military expansion. The more people
we’ve conquered, the more slaves we’ve got. I hate to admit it, but I guess you could
say that requiring all those slaves made us kind of lazy. You see, we Romans didn’t
take too much of an interest in developing a lot of new technologies to make our labor
easier – you know, like the Chinese were doing at this time. Instead, we just had our
slaves do all the uncomfortable work for us – why invent some new-fangled plow
when you have slaves?
Well let’s see, what else might you need to know about Roman society? Oh
yeah, the relationship between men and women in Rome. Let me just start by saying
that Rome was a patriarchal society. So when it came to laws and events outside of
the house, women were treated as inferior to men. For instance, if a woman was
divorced, one-third of her property was taken from her. And she was forced to wear a
special garment that signified her divorced status. However, that being said, let me
just state, that women played a vital role in artisan and farming households because
their labor significantly contributed to the family economy. You know, crushing
grapes and making clothes and what-not. And in Patrician households, women who,
like my wife, had quite a bit of control behind closed doors.
Oh, oh! I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention the games at the coliseum! Oh,
how we Romans loved the games, with the gladiators and the chariot races and the
feeding of people to the lions! Those were good times. However, some rather cynical
people like that poet Juvenal thought the games and the free bread that was thrown to
the crowds were designed to pacify the people and distract them from the real
problems of Rome. Some call it bread and circuses politics.
And the implication was that politicians like me were trying to make the people
turn a blind eye to our corrupt policies. Anyway, hey, how are you doing out there?
You ready to move on, or would you like to hear me talk about Roman society again?

71

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

72

Classical
Civilization:
Mediterranean Basin 4

chapter 13
Contents:

Philosophy

Greek Influence

Mathematics

Civil Law

Paideia or Education
Pax Romana
Roman Architecture

Much of Rome’s architecture is
influenced by their awe of a shape.
The Romans thought the circle was
the most pure and beautiful shape.
That is why you often see circular
domes on Roman architecture.

Chapter Thirteen:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 4

Video clip 1:
Hello there! I am Senator William R. Pica, but you can call me Senator P. They
brought me on in here to talk to you about Greece, Rome, and the west – sounds like a
lot of ground to cover. Now the causes of classical Greece and Rome have had a
significant impact on modern Western Europe as well as on many parts of the
western hemisphere. You may not believe it, but the very way you perceive the world
as in part a result of ideas, and beliefs that the ancient Greek and Romans once held,
I’m getting the feeling that you are questioning my rationale. Well, when I’m done
talking here it’ll all make perfect sense. Let me start with the Greeks. Yes, we
borrowed quite a bit from the Greeks. I shall first state the obvious: we borrowed a
little old system of government called democracy.
Video clip 2:
And I’ll tell you what else -- many of the philosophies of men like Socrates,
Plato, and Aristotle have had quite an effect on us. For instance, did you know it was
Socrates who came up with the idea of having an immortal soul? Well he did. He
claimed that everyone was born with a soul, or an immortal entity that leaves the
body once a person dies. As you can imagine, this influenced many of the religions of
the western world particularly the many varieties of Christianity.
Now, Plato’s work, The Republic, has been one of the biggest influences on
western culture; in it, Plato explains how he believes life is best lived, how people are
best governed. As a matter of fact, many of Plato’s ideas from The Republic greatly
influenced the founding fathers of the United States. Oh and I’ll say, where would we
be now without the ideas of Pythagoras? Yup, he’s the fellow that came up with that
theorem, I bet y’all are wild about; you know, a squared plus b squared equals c
squared. You probably heard of them in your geometry and trigonometry courses.
Interestingly though, he coined the word philosophy, which means love of wisdom. So,
I guess that means if you are paying close attention to me, you must be -- a
philosopher.
All right now, enough of that nonsense. Did I already mention a fellow named
Hippocrates? Well if you don’t know him and you want to become a doctor, I suggest
you listen up here. He is considered the father of western medicine. Ever hear of a
little thing called the Hippocratical? Yes siree, he is just the fellow who came up with
that one; you know, the promise to do no harm?

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

75

Chapter Thirteen:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 4

Video clip 3:
Perhaps, the biggest influence the Greeks had on western culture, is a
little thing called paideia -- which means education. The Greeks felt that
through education one can obtain what they called arête, or personal
excellence. It’s not surprising then that the Greeks left behind a legacy that
proved their love of wisdom and their need to search for understanding. How
about your arête, ready for more learning? I’ll give you a moment to
philosophize on that. Oh my soul, it is hot out here.

Video clip 4:
OK, now, enough about those Greeks. Let’s talk about my favorites, the
Romans. To be fair, the Romans borrowed a lot from the Greeks; but to be
fairer than that, they also came up with many a good idea of their own. For one
thing, we can thank the Romans for coming up with the system of laws that we
largely adopted, because they just made plain old common sense. For instance,
the Romans originated the idea of common law, which, our legal system here in
the United States, as well as in Great Britain and Canada, is based on. Romans
also originated the concept of civil law, which is currently the most popular
form of legal system in the world. Let’s take a moment here to pay our respects
to Roman architecture.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

77

Chapter Thirteen:

Classical Civilization: Mediterranean Basin 4

Video clip 5:
Although the Romans borrowed a bit from the Greeks in that department
as well, they did manage to develop a style that was all their own -- see what I
mean? And, if you come to the very place I go to work every day – yup, that’s
right, Washington D.C., you will see many examples of the Roman
architectural style; for instance, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial,
and the Capitol Building all borrowed from ancient Roman architecture. Hey,
are you a sports fan? Our modern day sports arenas and stadiums are based
on the style of the coliseum in Rome -- pretty cool right?
Now, I particularly like the Romans because they remind me of the good
old land of Dixie from which I come. You see, the Roman ideal was that of the
farmer-soldier who worked the earth with his own hands; but when duty
called, he defended not only his land, but all of Rome. And when he sent the
enemy packing he went back to his farm once again to humbly work the land.
Video clip 6:
You see, us Southerners have come from agrarian roots like the Romans
and, we have a powerful sense of duty; why, back in the day of the old South,
they Feds are themselves to be a lot like the Romans, but I digress. Perhaps, one
of the biggest ways in which the Romans influenced western culture was
through the Pax Romana. The Pax Romana or peace of Rome was a period of
great cultural growth and achievement for the Romans -- and it proved to us,
that periods of peace equaled periods of progress. So now let me leave you with
some words to live by; this comes from one of my favorite Romans, Marcus
Tullius Cicero: "A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than a field,
however fertile, without cultivation." OK now, what’s it gonna be? Wanna hear
this all again, or are you ready to further cultivate that brain of yours? I’ll let
you take again that there’s one more time whilst you consider your options.

78

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

79

Early
Christianity

chapter 15
Contents:

Hebrew Tribe

Christian Message

Messiah

Pauline Letters

Paul of Tarsus

Early Church History

Jesus Christ
Jewish Speculation and
Fears

Early Christians were often
persecuted for their beliefs. As a
result, they often had to hide their
identity. They would on show who
they were with a secret code. They
would draw a shape in the sand
called an Icthys.

Chapter Fifteen:

Early Christianity

OK, Hi. I’m Margaret Cleopatra Columba. Everyone just calls me Mags. Ever
wondered how religions came to be? Well, I can’t answer that question. What I can
tell you is what the beginning of Christianity looked like, because I’ve done a boatload
of research on that. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Hit it!
The beginnings of Christianity can be traced all the way back to twelve
hundred B.C.E. That’s when an Arabian Desert tribe called the Hebrews settled on the
land that is present-day Palestine and Israel. The religious beliefs of the Hebrew
people over many hundreds of years became known as Judaism. I’m sure you’ve
heard of Judaism – you know, it’s one of the three world religions that trace their
origins to the same part of the world. The other two are Islam and – you guessed it –
Christianity.
So I told you it all started with this Hebrew tribe right? And you’ll find out how
in a second. But first, some important aspects of Jewish religious thought, some of
which, by the way, are also shared by Christians. First of all there’s monotheism, or
the belief in one god. This one is kind of a big deal, because back when the Hebrew
people were solidifying their religious beliefs, many of the earth’s people were
polytheistic, or believed in multiple gods. The Torah, which is the Hebrew name for
the first five books of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible, is also super important.
It contains the history and religious beliefs of the Hebrew people. The Ten
Commandments, which are written in the Old Testament, provide the basis for Jewish
and Christian morality. Messianic thought is another aspect of Jewish belief. The
Jewish believed, and still do, that a Messiah will come to earth at some point in the
future to save all those who have been faithful to God’s will. Now then –
Jews maintained and defended their beliefs during periods of conquest and
subjugation by, among others, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. In seventy C.E.,
the Romans and their general, Titus, defeated the Hebrews and expelled them from
their homeland. The process by which they scattered throughout the Roman Empire is
known as the first Diaspora. That’s right, the Jews’ first Diaspora, ‘coz it wasn’t the
last time in history that Jews were driven from their homes. Today, fourteen million
people still practice the Jewish faith. The largest Jewish populations are in the Unites
States and Israel, although they can be found throughout the world, even in China.
Now, I heard Paul was here. I’m gonna go see if I can find him. In the meantime, you
let me know if you’re ready to learn more, or if you’d like a repeat of what you just
heard, OK?

81

Vocabulary:

Notes & Translation:

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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82

Chapter Fifteen:

Early Christianity

Here’s the deal folks – Christianity draws on many Jewish ideas, but it really is
distinct in a number of important ways. My name is Paul, I’m from Tarsus, and I’m in
the know. No, look, don’t get me wrong. I was born Jewish, but you see the Jewish
people believed that a Messiah is yet to come and save all the faithful, OK? But I am
here to tell you that as far as I and other Christians know, the Messiah has already
come.
You’ve heard of Jesus of Nazareth right? Jesus was born in the Roman province
of Judea. OK, now that, is awesome. Anyway, He was born during the reign of Caesar
Augustus, and was thoroughly educated in Jewish tradition. He even became a
teacher in His own right. His basic message went like this: First off, there is one God
who is the Creator of all things, so all people should live as brothers. Second, loving
the one God is the most important purpose of all people. Seriously – that is some
miracle, I don’t know if I’m gonna get used to that. Third, men should act according to
the golden rule – treat others as you would want them to treat you. Fourth, all people,
including the meek and poor, can achieve salvation and eternal life through faith in
Jesus Christ the Son of God. And finally, the reward for right behavior is in heaven,
which is achieved after death on earth.
Those of us who were followers of Jesus believed that He was the Son of God
and our Savior or Christ. We Christians see His life, His death at the hands of the
Romans, and His subsequent resurrection as the basis for our new religion,
Christianity, and we’ve got Jesus’ teachings recorded right here in the New
Testament. Jewish and Christian traditions are closely related, it’s true, but all Jews
don’t think of Jesus as the Son of God, not the way that we do anyway. Christians
believed that the Old Testament foreshadowed the coming of Jesus. Jewish people
probably don’t believe Jesus was the Messiah, because in the time of Jesus, many Jews
had this expectation that the Messiah would be a political leader who’d help Jews gain
independence from the Roman Empire. It’s because of that idea, though, that the
Roman authorities grew suspicious of Jesus and his increasing influence among some
Jews. Most of those Jews by the way stopped calling themselves Jews, they became
Christians.
Anyway, while that was happening, some Jewish priests were also looking at
Jesus as a threat to their authority. Ultimately, Jesus was arrested and tried by the
Romans, then executed by crucifixion. In other words, they nailed Him to a cross and
left Him to die. Crucifixion isn’t pretty business. Later, though, He rose from the dead,
appeared to His closest followers, called on His disciples, and told them to spread His
teachings. You want me to go over any of these again? Or is it pretty clear?

83

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
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84

Chapter Fifteen:

Early Christianity

Hi, I’m still here. We Christians are a relatively small group, but I always
believed Christianity would grow and draw more and more people into its
folds, becoming the most widely practiced religion in the world. And things
started looking up after the Roman Empire moved to a more Christian-friendly
policy. That took a lot of work by the way, spreading Christianity across an
empire, I mean the Roman Empire was not kind to Christians. But we were on
a mission, a mission to spread the Word to teach to all the people living in the
Mediterranean region. “So, who is this guy?” I can hear you asking yourself in
your head. Who is Paul of Tarsus? Well, OK, here is a little piece I’d like to call,
“All about Paul.”
I was born a Jew in Asia Minor – you guys! To be totally honest with
you, I didn’t think much of Christianity, and was involved in the persecution of
Christians. But then, one day, Jesus spoke to me on the road to Damascus.
From that day on, I devoted my life to spreading Christianity, traveling to all
kinds of places from Mesopotamia all the way to Rome itself. I was like a, like a
Christian missionary. But you know what else I was pastoring about? Writing!
I wrote several letters that are included in the New Testament. Well anyway,
my collected works are sometimes called the Pauline Corpus, makes sense I
guess – they are my body of work.
OK, now you may wonder, “Paul, weren’t your letters written in Greek?”
and yes, they were. But even though this is the Roman Empire we’re talking
about, Greek was a more widely read and understood language than Latin.
Yeah, no offense alright? I met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and I could
explain to people what Christians should believe and how they should live. I
wouldn’t be surprised if centuries from now, scholars would see my work as
one of the major contributors of content to Christian faith. So that’s Paul of
Tarsus in a nutshell. My life’s work, was the spread of Christianity. Now as for
you, are you interested in hearing me talk about myself again? Or are you
ready to move on? You can look at this, while you decide. That’s just awesome!

85

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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86

Chapter Fifteen:

Early Christianity

Oh my goodness, Paul was here, wasn’t he? Oh, I can’t believe I missed him!
He’s wild, isn’t he? I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but Paul was a really inspiring
guy. Oh yeah. Many later Christian thinkers, like Peter Abelard, John Calvin, and
Martin Luther totally elaborated on Paul’s ideas. So anyway, Paul died around sixtyfive C.E. No one knows for sure which year it was exactly. I know you’re wondering
how he was here, he died that long ago, that’s just the miracle of technology.
OK, so after Paul’s death, Christianity spread rapidly through the Roman
Empire, and was made legal by edict in three thirteen. This wasn’t the only region to
which Christianity spread, though. It was also carried south into Africa, and east
beyond the Fertile Crescent, all the way to China and Southeast Asia. Yup, by the
second century C.E., there were large Christian communities throughout
Mesopotamia and Persia, and it remained a pretty significant religion there, until
Islam became more prevalent in the seventh century C.E. Most remaining Christians
became Nestorians at that time. Nestorians agreed with the ideas of Greek theologian
Nestorius in emphasizing the human as opposed to the divine nature of Jesus. A
similar philosophy, advocated by a Greek priest named Aerius, was condemned at the
council of Nicaea. But Nestorian Christianity spread along the silk roads, and
Nestorians established communities in China, India, and Central Asia. Another sect,
Manichaeism, was based on the ideas of the philosopher Mani, who was deeply
influenced by both Christianity and Buddhism. His followers rejected earthly pleasure
and led simple lives. Mani worked throughout his life to spread his beliefs, and he
established a Manichaean church with its own rituals. By the end of the third century
C.E., Manichaeism had spread throughout the Mediterranean basin. But then it
became a target of Roman suppression. But Manichaeism too spread along the trade
routes and was able to survive in Central Asia among nomadic Turkic peoples.
Roman Christianity itself split. The eastern Roman Empire was more
influenced by the ideas of the Greeks and its church, forming an eastern branch of
Christianity that had some key philosophical differences from the western branch of
thought. It got to the point where their differences became so great that by the middle
of the century, the two churches formally divided into Roman Catholic, and Eastern
Orthodox. Today, there are lots more than those two branches of Christianity. And
around two point one billion people call themselves Christians. They can be found all
over the world. Europe, North and South America, and Australia, are predominantly
Christian. Wait, did I get that number right? Two point one billion? That’s a good
third of the world’s whole population! Wow! So what do you think? Ready to move
on? Or do you wanna see that again?

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88

Buddhism

chapter 16
Contents:

Siddhatha Gautama

Enlightenment

Buddha’s Biography

Nobel Truths

Influence of Suffering
Fasting
Self-Mortification

Buddha grew up in a palace. Did
you know that he never saw anyone
who was dead or sick until he left as
an adult?
His father tried to hide suffering
from him.

Chapter Sixteen:

Buddhism

Video Clip 1:
The message of Buddhism is really quite simple: to do no evil, to cultivate good,
and to purify one’s mind; these are the teachings of the Buddhist. And while the
message may sound simple, the challenge is to adhere to these principles.
Video Clip 2:
The Buddha was born, Siddhartha Gautama, in present-day Nepal, India
around five sixty-six B.C.E. When he was born, what is now Southern Nepal was ruled
by a clan called the Shakyas, and that clan as well as much of the rest of that region
was ruled by King Suddhodana Gautama. As you might imagine, the Buddha’s birth is
often wrapped in legend. One common story says that when his mother, Queen Maha
Maya – the wife of King Suddhodana -- gave birth to him, he was born fully awake,
could speak, and that lotus blossom bloomed in his footprints.
Soon after his birth, his mother died, and Siddhartha – which means he who
has attained his goals -- was raised by his mother’s sister in his father’s palace. When
he was still young, his father, King Suddhodana, asked a well-known seer, or one who
can foresee the future, about the destiny of his son. The sage told the king that
Siddhartha would either become a great king, or, a savior of humanity. The king
hoped that his son would follow in his footsteps as a king, and so from that point on,
he tried to keep his son from any outside influences or experiences that might lead him
to pursue a religious life. The king realized that most questions about the world are
born from pain, so he forced Siddhartha to stay in one of his three palaces, shielded
from the sufferings of the world. Because of this, while he was growing up,
Siddhartha never saw an elderly person, a sick person or a corpse. His father ensured
that Siddhartha was surrounded only by beauty, health, prosperity and happiness.
As he grew up, Siddhartha became a prince in the warrior caste of India, and
married a beautiful princess. However, while living in the luxuries of the palace, he
grew more and more curious about the world beyond the palace walls. And after
questioning his father repeatedly, without satisfactory results, he finally demanded to
be able to tour the countryside beyond the palace. The king reluctantly agreed, but
ordered a guide go with his son to ensure that he did not see any suffering. Although
the guide tried to keep Siddhartha from seeing any pain, as they were walking
through the capital he caught a glimpse of a few elderly men; he was completely
confused by the effects of age. On later walks, he ran across some people who were
severely ill; and ultimately, for the first time in his life, he saw death as he passed by a
funeral procession.

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91

Chapter Sixteen:

Buddhism

Video Clip 3:
These encounters completely shocked Siddhartha, who up until this point
had only known goodness and happiness; he asked a friend about these
horrible things, and his friend told him that all people get sick, people get old,
and sooner or later people die. Siddhartha was in his late twenties and had just
gone through the greatest shock of his life. Let’s take a moment to reflect and
review; when you’re ready, we’ll move on.
Video Clip 4:
Where we left off, Siddhartha in his late twenties had just gone through the
greatest shock of his life. He realized that the false happiness of his prior life
would never bring him true understanding; and so, he ran away from his
palace life. He gave away all his earthly possessions and found religious monks
to practice with, in order to find the reason for the suffering he saw in the
world. At first, he wandered with the group of monks who routinely fasted; at
one point, Siddhartha fasted so fiercely that -- he almost died, until a peasant
girl found him and begged him to eat.
Video Clip 5:
At this, Siddhartha realized that self-mortification wouldn’t necessarily lead to
true enlightenment. Although he knew true enlightenment couldn’t be found in
a life of luxury, he now realized that the other extreme was just as unfulfilling.
This is how he discovered that it must be through a middle ground, or middle
way.

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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93

Chapter Sixteen:

Buddhism

Video Clip 6:
Siddhartha then went off – alone -- to continue his practice; in the
town of Bodh Gaya, he came across a fig tree and decided to sit under it until
he found the answer to why there was suffering in the world. He sat under
the tree for days, meditating and, trying to clear his mind of all distractions.
As he continued to meditate, he touched the ground beneath him as his
witness to his determination. Some said that during this deep meditation,
Siddhartha was even tempted by the devil, Mara, to give up his quest; it was
while sitting under the fig tree – which would later be called the Bodhi tree —
that Siddhartha achieved enlightenment, and understood the meaning of
suffering. And it was at this point that he became the Buddha. His first
dharma talk, which was called Setting the Wheel in Motion, was about the
Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which was the core of his message.
According to Buddha, the Four Noble Truths where that: one, life contains
suffering; two, suffering is caused by attachment, which isn’t to say that you
don’t love people, or that you’re disengaged from the world, but refers to not
being attached to the outcome of what you do; the third Noble Truth was that
suffering can end; and finally, the Fourth Truth was, that the path for ending
suffering was the Eightfold Path, which consisted of: right view, right
aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right
mindfulness, right concentration.
Video Clip 7:
The Buddha continued to spread his message throughout his life, a
message which lies at the core of the Buddhist religion. It is said, that his last
words were, “Impermanent are all created things; strive on with awareness.”

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Reading Check-up:
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95

Islam

chapter 17
Contents:

Mohammad’s Biography

Koran

Visions

Division/War

Mecca

Muslim Influence

Medina
Arabian Peninsula

Did you know that Mohammad
caused so much trouble for local
merchants in Mecca that he was
forced to escape to Medina?

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 1:
Hello there! I’m Professor Miriam Higginbotham with you once
again. And today, I’ll be accompanying you on a journey as we explore
the religion of Islam – the beginnings of Islam to be precise. Let’s start
by turning back the clock and taking a look at the early origins of Islam.
Video Clip 2:
The story of Islam began on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest
Asia in a city called Mecca near the Red Sea. Mecca was a bustling
center for trade, and home to a great many Arab people in the sixth
century C.E. The Arabs were a polytheistic people, and the city of Mecca
was already a place of religious significance to them. In five seventyone C.E. though, a major event occurred that would later change the
Arab world forever. Five seventy-one C.E. was the year of the birth of
the prophet of Islam, Muhammad.
Video Clip 3:
Muhammad was born into a poor Arab family in Mecca. His family,
however, was part of a very prominent Arab tribe called the Quraysh
tribe. Sadly, Muhammad’s father died before he was born, and his
mother passed away when Muhammad was just a young boy. After her
death, Muhammad was raised by his father’s brother – a merchant -and educated by his grandfather. As an adult, he went to work as a
merchant for a rich widow named Khadijah, whom he would eventually
marry.

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98

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 4:
His travels as a merchant took him all over the Arabian Peninsula
and beyond. It was on these trips that he learned about many different
peoples and cultures. Most likely, he was introduced to different ways of
living and to the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity.
His traveling also allowed for him to step outside the Arab world and
see it from a different angle. He began to notice the rivalries and
tensions between various clans and tribes. Over time, Muhammad
became increasingly disinterested in his business and the pleasures that
wealth brought. He began to escape to the nearby hills of Mecca and
meditate for long periods of time. Then in six ten C.E., he began to speak
of the revelations that the God, Allah, had communicated to him during
his meditation through the angel Gabriel. The revelations were
eventually written down in the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book. These
revelations were at the center of Muhammad’s teachings and formed
the basis of a new, monotheistic religion, known as Islam. The word
Islam literally means submission, or surrender, to Allah.
Video Clip 5:
Initially, Muhammad started out with a small group of followers
that included his wife, a few desert clans, some servants, and slaves. His
followers were called Muslims, which meant those who surrendered to
Allah. Over time though, Muhammad attracted more and more people
from Mecca to the religion of Islam. This, however, began to cause
trouble with the wealthy Umayyad clan; they believed that
Muhammad’s new religion was putting their trading empire at risk,
because many people who purchased goods in Mecca did so because
they were coming to visit the shrines of the gods of the Ka’ba. As far as
the Umayyads were concerned, Muhammad’s new religion was bad for
business; and soon, they began to plot his murder.

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Reading Check-up:
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100

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 6:
So, Muhammad decided to flee Mecca; fortunately for
Muhammad, his reputation as a fair and just man was known in many
places. One of these places was a city north of Mecca called Medina.
There were a number of political problems in Medina this time; fighting
between tribes was becoming unbearable, and the leaders were running
out of answers. Finally, the leaders in Medina called on Muhammad to
help negotiate. So, it was that in six twenty-two Muhammad fled Mecca
for Medina. The flight to Medina became known as the hijra, and it
marks the first year of the Islamic calendar.
Video Clip 7:
Muhammad was welcomed with open arms in Medina, and he quickly
got to work settling the quarrels between the clans. In the process, he
converted a great number of people to his new religion. However,
Muhammad’s success in Medina only threatened Umayyad and Mecca
even more. It wasn’t long until his very own tribe, the Quraysh tribe,
began to launch a series of attacks on Muhammad and his followers.
However, Muhammad and his followers fought back and eventually
won the battle against the Quraysh tribe, and a treaty was signed in six
twenty-eight.
Video Clip 8:
Muhammad was allowed to return to Mecca in six twenty-nine, where
he smashed the idols at the Ka’ba and officially made it in an Islamic
shrine, that Muslims would be instructed to visit annually. These
pilgrimages to the Ka’ba would become known as the hajj. Ultimately,
Muhammad won over the Umayyads and began uniting the politically
divided Arab tribes and clans in Mecca under the monotheistic religion
of Islam, which began to spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

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Reading Check-up:
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102

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 9:
In six thirty-two, however, Muhammad suddenly and unexpectedly
died without an heir or a successor to lead the religion; this would create a
crisis in a religion that affects Islam to this very day. But, it doesn’t end there
-- oh no, there’s much more, much more to come! I’ll see you shortly.
Video Clip 10:
Hello again! So, you’re back for the rest of the story on Islam. Well
then, let’s continue, shall we? If you remember in six thirty-two C.E.,
Muhammad died. Even more troublesome was the fact that he died without
leaving a male heir or without so much as naming a successor for the religion
and political organization he’d formed. Many of Muhammad’s followers
came together to choose a successor. There was discussion that his son in law,
Ali, married to Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima, should succeed Muhammad;
but many perceived him to be too young. In the end, the followers decided on
a fellow by the name of Abu Bakr to succeed Muhammad as the first caliph.
The religious and political successor to Muhammad, Abu Bakr, was the first
of the rightly guided caliphs. The following three caliphs, Umar, Uthman, and
Ali, are also considered members of this group of rightly guided caliphs.
Video Clip 11:
Under the leadership of Abu Bakr and his military commanders, the unified
Arab states that Muhammad created expanded into Northern Arabia,
present-day Iraq, and Syria as well as into Egypt. Abu Bakr died only two
years after succeeding Muhammad, and was replaced by Umar, who
continued the campaigns to spread Arab-Islamic influence. These successful
military campaigns of the empire distracted people from the divisions within
the Islamic community.

103

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
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104

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 12:
These divisions became particularly bad in six fifty-six when the caliph
Uthman was assassinated. Many believed that Ali would succeed Uthman.
However, Uthman had originally been from the Umayyad clan which if you
recall, where the early enemies of Muhammad. The Umayyads believed that
Uthman had been assassinated because of this, and therefore, they refused to
recognize Ali as a successor -- especially, since Ali refused to punish Uthman’s
assassins.
Video Clip 13:
A war between Ali’s forces and the Umayyad forces broke out, with
each side vying for power and domination over the Arab. Those who backed
Ali became known as Shi’a; and those who backed the Umayyad became
known as Sunni. The war raged on between the two sides without
compromise. The Umayyad made the claim that Mu'awiyah was the rightful
successor to Uthman. This claim only served to further anger the supporters
of Ali. However, in six sixty-one, Ali was assassinated.
Video Clip 14:
Ali’s son was forced by the Umayyads to refuse his claims to the caliphate;
and it was this moment that would mark the beginning of the deep rift
between the Shi’a and Sunni Muslims that exist to this very day.
Video Clip 15:
Six sixty-one was a very exciting time in Southwest Asia. Not only was
it the year when Ali, the potential successor to caliph Uthman was
assassinated, but, it was also the year that marked the beginning of the
Umayyad caliphate.

105

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
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106

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 16:
Under the Umayyad rule, the capital of the empire moved from Mecca
to Damascus in Syria, although Mecca remained Islam’s holy city. It was also
under the Umayyads that Arab conquest spread toward the end of the
seventh century. Arabs made their way into Central Asia and ignited tensions
between Buddhists and Muslims that still exist. The Umayyads also expanded
farther south into India, and into the west, spreading through Northern
Africa, across the Straits of Gibraltar, and into Spain.
Video Clip 17:
The Muslim presence would remain in Spain from the eighth century until
fourteen ninety-two. As the Umayyad Empire made its way into various
parts of the three continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe, it became
increasingly apparent that the Persian Empire was far weaker than it first
appeared.
Video Clip 18
Muslim troops easily conquered many territories of the Persians as
they expanded; the Byzantine Empire, however, was far more resistant to the
Arab armies. Over time, though, many of the Christian groups inside the
Byzantine Empire, began to realize that they would be taxed less by the Arabs
than their own empire. So, many began to take the side of the Arabs.
Although the Arab army didn’t manage to overtake the Byzantine Empire,
they did manage to inflict the kind of damages that the empire would
continue to struggle with for centuries to come.

107

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
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Signature:

108

Chapter Seventeen:

Islam

Video Clip 19:
The Umayyad caliphate would last from six sixty-one to seven fifty. The
Umayyads were then replaced by the Abbasid caliphate. The Abbasid
caliphate disliked the rampant secularism of the Umayyad Empire and tried
to change the Arab Empire of the Umayyads to an Islamic empire. The
Abbasid revolution therefore, was less an Arab revolution so much as it was
an Islamic one. In truth, the Abbasid takeover of the caliphate was largely
backed by the Mawali, or non-Arab Muslims.
Video Clip 20:
The Abbasids were even successful in moving the capital of the Arab Empire
from Damascus to Baghdad. It was also during the Abbasid caliphate that
the Islamic world experienced the crusades, a series of holy wars instigated
by Christians from Western Europe in ten ninety-five.
Video Clip 21:
In part, due to deep divisions in the Islamic world over conflicts
between Arab and non-Arab Muslims, Sunni and Shi’a, and religious groups
and more secular-minded groups, and in part, due to the effects of the
crusades, the Abbasid caliphate seriously declined by the twelfth century;
until finally, Mongol emperor, Hulagu Khan, invaded and sacked Baghdad in
twelve fifty-eight and brought the caliphate to an end. The Abbasid line
would be re-established in Egypt under the Mamluks in twelve sixty-one;
however, it, too, would be conquered by the Ottoman Empire in fifteen
seventeen. I’m Professor Higginbotham, wishing you all the very best in your
travels wherever they may take you.

109

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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110

Islam & Southwest
Asian Culture

chapter 19
Contents:

Islam

Diversity
Semitic Interactions
Spread of the Religion

Did you know that Mohammad
believed that Allah and Yahweh
were the same God?
He felt he had only made revisions
to earlier traditions.

Chapter Nineteen:

Islam and Southwest Asian culture

Video Clip 1:
Hello there! My name is Aliya, which is a Muslim name for exalted and
with highest social standing. I suppose I have lived up to this name, and have
grown into something of a cosmopolitan woman. Therefore, I have been
asked to speak a bit on behalf of my culture. So what does it mean to be
cosmopolitan? Good question. I suppose I would define it as representing a
cultural crossroads in which many cultures are represented. You can see this
cultural variety today in families and friends such as my own. We meet here
at my Aunt Orhana’s tea shop about once a week. We chat about our work,
religion, relationships -- we have many differences, as well as many
similarities. This variety is normal, and not at all new.
On the contrary, the entire history of the Muslim Empire depicts a
marvelous array of diversity. Even after the decline of the Abassids when the
Muslim world was broken into smaller rival kingdoms and empires, the
Islamic Empire was still able to maintain a sense of unity and reach new
heights of creativity and expansion. It was in trying times like those that the
Muslim Empire called to people from diverse cultures – Arabs, Persians, and
Africans, as well as Europeans, Mongols, Turks, Indians, and people in
Southeast Asia. Today, I have many friends of these nationalities whose
ancestors at one time or another embraced the Islamic faith.
Though the Arabs were the ones who most fully accepted Islam, the
religion itself contained many beliefs and practices that appealed to people in
various stages of social development throughout the world. For example, in
addition to the Five Pillars of Islam, which include practices such as fasting
during the month of Ramadan, tithing for charity, and pilgrimages to Mecca,
the religion incorporated an uncompromising monotheism, highly developed
legal codes, social equality, and a strong sense of community. Needless to
say, characteristics such as these were appealing to a variety of people, and
further demonstrated the global character of the religion. As you may know,
many of these characteristics were also seen in other Semitic religions,
especially Judaism and Christianity, both of which had a lot of contact with
the prophet Mohammed during his life. Mohammed, in his infinite wisdom,
even acknowledged earlier religious teachings, professing that his revelations
were merely a refinement of them, and the last divine instructions for
humans. For reasons such as these, Islam had the potential for becoming a
true world religion.

112

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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113

Chapter Nineteen:

Islam and Southwest Asian culture

Video Clip 2:
Orhana, prepare the tea please. Hello again, I’m glad you’re back, as it
occurred to me that we left out an integral part. How did Islam spread? Islam as a
tradition, is comparable with a trading culture. Merchants were honored in the
Muslim world, since Mohammed himself had been a merchant. Yes, indeed! And so
it happened that between seven fifty and thirteen fifty, merchants built a vast
trading network across the Muslim world and beyond. Through these networks,
they were also spreading Islam. And it was with great success that from the tenth to
fourteenth centuries, Muslim ships sailed through the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the
Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean, allowing Muslim warriors, traders, and
wandering mystics to carry the Islamic faith far into Africa and Asia.
Oftentimes, with the Muslim merchants came Muslim holy men or Sufis. They
traveled by caravan into Central Asia, India, Java, Malaya, and the Philippines, as
well as through the Sahara and across the seas. The Sufis were actually responsible
for most of the conversions to Islam. So while expansion of Muslim empires
increased the number of converted Muslims, Sufis were responsible for the
increasing number of lasting converted Muslims. An interesting tidbit is that
Muslims learned papermaking from the Chinese in the seven fifties. By the eight
hundreds, they had their own paper mills, and the Turkish later spread the
technology to India. As you can imagine, having the Qur’an in print enabled the
Muslims to spread the religion even farther and faster.
Now in addition to religion, other aspects of the Muslim culture were spread
– architecture, technology, science, law, philosophy, dance, art, music, and
language. Islamic rulers sought to enhance their own prestige and competed to
attract outstanding intellectuals, artists, poets, and architects. They also spent
money on the building of mosques, bridges, fountains, hospitals, schools, and even
soup kitchens for the poor. However, capital cities and royal palaces were the most
visible expressions of imperial majesty. Since the growth of cities followed Islamic
conquests, Cairo and Basra began as Muslim garrisons. Baghdad was established
in seven fifty-six, and so is the Abbasid capital. By the nine hundreds, it contained
one million people and was the world’s largest city. Islam flourished in Sicily and
Spain, which fostered a cosmopolitan mixed culture that brought about prosperity
and the sharing of scientific knowledge. For example, in Sicily, Muslim rulers
repaired long-decayed Roman irrigation works, which vastly increased
agricultural production. Because of this, lots of Arabs, Berbers, Africans, Greeks,
Jews, Persians, and Slavs gravitated to the island and created a cosmopolitan
society. And at its height, the Muslim capital at Palermo was larger than any other
city in Europe – except of course, Constantinople. I’d better see what’s keeping
Orhana; I’ll leave you with a few key points to review.

114

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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115

Africa & the
Great Kingdoms

chapter 20
Contents:

Sahara Desert

Changing Landscape
Iron Working
Farming
Commonalities in
Language

Bantu

Did you know that the Sahara was
once an area filled with plant and
animal life?
This was because long ago the
desert was not a desert at all. It had
many sources of water such as
springs, lakes, and rivers.

Chapter Twenty:

Africa & the Great Kingdoms

Video Clip 1:
Hello, and warmest welcome to this, my Africa. Come close, come close,
as I have most lovely information to share with you. So let us begin at the
beginning, yes? The African continent has seen a lot of migration just as
other continents have, since Pangaea first broke apart. People moved to the
north, and then they moved to the south, but let us not forget the east and
west no? Well, as you know, ideas move with people. And lucky for me and
my people, knowledge of farming and the domestication of animals traveled
across Africa.
Around twenty-five hundred B.C.E., the Sahara began to dry out. Now
today, the desert is bigger than the United States. But once upon a time the
same region was full of trees and rivers! I speak the truth and believe it or
not, there were paintings on the walls of caves in the region, showing vast
amounts of water and foliage. Anyway, as the Sahara dried out, people left to
find water and fertile lands. Some moved north to the savanna or rainforests,
while some farmers and hunters, my ancestors included, moved south and
east between five hundred C.E., and fifteen hundred C.E.
In no time, they spread their farming and iron working skills in the
regions that they settled. What is most fascinating is that today’s scholars
know how to trace these migrations through language patterns. The variety
of languages of all West African people had been traced to a common root
language called Bantu. Today, people who speak closely related Bantu
languages occupy most of the continent, south of a line stretching from Kenya
in the northeast to Cameroon in West Central Africa. All of these societies
you see can trace their distinct ancestry through the exact same location in
West Central Africa. Yet, the Bantu population continued to spread out and
divide into less unified groups. Today, there are more than four hundred
different ethnic groups that dominate the region. Perhaps we should look at
the timeline of the Bantus yes?

117

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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118

Chapter Twenty:

Africa & the Great Kingdoms

Video Clip 2:
OK, well we can see where they started, just along the Benue River
in present-day Eastern Nigeria and Western Cameroon. And by three
thousand B.C.E., they combined skills of farming, hunting, gathering,
and fishing. In two thousand B.C.E., people migrated due to the
overcrowding from the agricultural boom. First they went eastward
into the lands just north of the Congo River basin, and some moved
south and southeast. And then finally between one thousand B.C.E., and
five hundred B.C.E., the Bantu settled the Great Lakes region of East
Africa. Remember the Congo and Zimbabwe kingdoms you just read
about? Well, the people of those kingdoms were the direct ancestors of
early migrating Bantus. Naturally, each time they settled, they mixed
with the local peoples, exchanging technologies and cultural patterns.
So, even before the Common Era, Bantus learned how to smelt iron, no,
no, no, that’s smelt, not smelled.
Video clip 3:
Ah, so we have come to the end. One last thing before I go lovely
people -- by the beginning of the Common Era, some Bantus in
Northeast Africa learned to grow domesticated bananas and plantains
imported from Southeast Asia. And to this day they are as delicious as
ever.

119

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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120

Byzantines &
Slavs

chapter 21
Contents:

Eastern and Western Europe

Dark Ages

Different Christian Creeds

Forgotten Philosophies

The Great Schism
Imperial Control
Papal Authority

It would seem that since the
beginning of religion there have
always been differences in opinion.
One major example of this can be
seen in the Great Schism. The
separation has forever change the
face of the European church.

Chapter Twenty-one:

Byzantines & the Slavs

Video Clip 1:
Aurivis is the name, and if you want something to eat, you have to kill it
yourself! I kid, I kid…Anyway, I’m coming to you live from – hey! What year is this?
Two thousand something? Wild! – OK, OK, so Byzantines and Slavs huh? Good! And
while we talk about this -- you know, so often Europe is considered to be one
culture. But there’s a difference between Eastern and Western Europe you know. I
mean from present day all the way back to the Middle Ages, geopolitically speaking,
Eastern Europe served as a sort of buffer zone separating Central and Western
Europe, from Muslim, Slavic, and Mongol invaders. What really separated the two
was religion. Now Eastern and Western Europe weren’t always so different. In fact,
a long time ago, both Eastern and Western Europeans called themselves as heirs of
Rome, and both were Christian. That’s why present-day country of Romania is
named “for Rome” despite its location far to the east of Rome. Ultimately, however,
it was differences in religious interpretation that would lead to a divide.
Video clip 2:
In the year seven ninety-four, the wording of a common Christian creed was
changed in Western Europe to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father
and the Son. This belief is still part of the Western European Roman Catholic
religion. Now here’s where the differences begin. In Eastern Europe, the creed
dictated that it was only the Father who was the source of heavenly emanation.
Now this difference might seem small, but don’t be deceived. After the creed was
changed and bought into by Western Europeans, neither East not West would
accept the other’s creeds. Part of the problem was language. Eastern European
spoke Greek, Western European spoke Latin. And naturally being Christian,
Western Europeans wanted to have a Bible in Latin. But when the Bible was
translated, not everything translated perfectly. The Greek language allowed for
more subtle meanings than Latin did. And you can see where this is headed right?
Some dogmas which started out the same in East and West sounded different in
Latin and Greek. And that led to doctrinal differences. Politics played a part, too,
though. In Eastern Europe, the government dominated the church and regularly
interfered in church affairs, while in Western Europe, it was more like the other
way around. In Eastern Europe churches reject the universal primacy of the pope.
In the West though, allegiance to the pope gave the West a common doctrine and
common liturgical practice that slowly took shape until Rome, by the time of the
crusades, had established itself as the supreme authority of all doctrinal questions.
The western church often battled the emperor and Eastern Europe for control of the
church as a whole.

122

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Reading Check-up:
Check the boxes for the amount of times
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123

Chapter Twenty-one:

Byzantines & the Slavs

Video Clip 3:
Much like I battled the beast from whence this leg came in order to
stave my hunger. Let me know when you’re hungry enough for more
knowledge to go on, or if you prefer to digest this first course, ah, first!
Video clip 4:
Yes, yes, yes, you say, very interesting, you say. But you can’t wait
to hear about the Byzantines and the Slavs huh? Well, there are reasons
why I tell my stories the way I do. I kid again! However, trust me when
I say it’s all related. It was the Byzantines who inherited the Roman
idea that the Emperor was a divine being. They practiced a form of
Christianity where a lot of religious authority was vested in the
Emperor. Oh, did I mention that the Byzantine Empire was pretty much
the Eastern half of what had been the Roman Empire? So you can see
how Byzantine beliefs might lead to a split in the world of Christianity
between East and West. But let’s talk about a real definitive split.
Video clip 5:
In ten fifty-four, this ongoing split between East and West became
a real division -- Roman Catholic in the West, Greek Orthodox in the
East -- in what has come to be known as the Great Schism. That’s when
Pope Leo the Ninth and the patriarch of Constantinople angrily
excommunicated each other. The Byzantine Empire and the Eastern
European societies it influenced remained very different from Western
Europe. And most Slavic societies in Eastern Europe adopted the
philosophy of eastern Orthodox Christianity.

124

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125

Chapter Twenty-one:

Byzantines & the Slavs

Video Clip 6:
You ever hear someone bandy about the term Dark Ages? Well, in
fairness that term may be only fully applied to parts of Western Europe
where illiteracy and poverty were widespread. Byzantine culture held
on to the classical culture of Ancient Rome and Greece, the way I hold
on to the throats of my enemy! OK, you got me.
Video clip 7:
All I’m saying, is that science, philosophy, and intellectual studies
like the writings of Plato and Aristotle were studied in the East, whereas
that wasn’t really true about the West so much, at least not at the time.
In fact, that scholastic knowledge was first spread from the Byzantine
Empire to the Islamic world, and then back to Western Europe much
later. Homer – you know the guy who’s credited with writing the Iliad –
was a common part of education in the Byzantine Empire. But at the
same time in Western Europe, he was pretty much unknown. See, you
can thank the Byzantines for preserving almost all of the Greek
literature that’s around today.
Video clip 8:
Oh, and you know what else is interesting, besides my unmatched
strength, that is? Unlike Greece and Rome during the classical period,
or the West or in the Middle Ages, Byzantine women actually actively
participated in the intellectual life of the culture. They couldn’t attend
schools, but aristocratic women were often well-educated by tutors in
literature, history, composition, and philosophy. The greatest of
Byzantine writers in fact was the historian Anna Komnene, daughter of
the emperor Alexios. Her biography of her father is one of the greatest
works of medieval historiography in existence. Seriously, it’s not good.
Well, I’m told you have some other tasks to attend to, but you’ve not
heard the last of me yet.

126

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127

Chapter Twenty-one:

Byzantines & the Slavs

Video Clip 9:
I told you I was not done with you, did I not? The way I figure it,
you’re probably still waiting to hear something, anything about the
Slavs. It’s like, I can hear you screaming in my head: Slavs! Slavs!
Slavs! All right, that’s not you. Who is that? Never mind, it’s not
important. Now, I will tell you the story of the birth of Russia.
Video clip 10:
During the later Roman Empire, Slavic people moved into the
sweeping plains of Russia and Eastern Europe from their Asian
homeland. And it was not long before others mixed in with these Slavic
people, from earlier inhabitants of the region to other migrating
Bulgarians. The Slavs maintained an animist religion, so they had gods
for the sun, thunder, wind, fire, and so on. They also had a rich
tradition of folk music and oral legends. In terms of political and
economic structure, the Slavs developed some very loose regional
kingdoms. Now, during the sixth and seventh centuries, Norse traders
traveled through Slavic lands as they developed a flourishing trade
between Scandinavia and Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire. This
trade route went along the great rivers into what is now Western
Russia, which runs south to north. The Scandinavian traders who
passed through were militarily superior to the Slavs, and ultimately set
up some governments along their trade routes, particularly in the city
of Kiev. And thus, a monarchy emerged. According to legend, a man
named Rurik, who was a native of Denmark, became the first prince of
what was then called Kievan Rus around eight fifty-five C.E.

128

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129

Chapter Twenty-one:

Byzantines & the Slavs

Video Clip 11:
And that flourished into the twelfth century. Right around that time, the
word Russia was coined, probably from a Greek word for red, which was the hair
color of many of the Norse traders. So the Byzantine Empire and the Kievan Rus
were in steady contact. Kiev, which was centrally located, became a prosperous
trading center, and many Russians from Kiev even visited Constantinople. It was
through this contact that a descendant of Rurik, Prince Vladimir the First, who lived
from nine eighty to one thousand fifteen converted to orthodox Christianity -- first
Vladimir, and then his people. As charming as that sounds, this is how it happened.
Vladimir organized mass baptisms for his subjects, forcing conversions by military
pressure. Then early church leaders were imported from Byzantium, and they
ultimately trained the literate Russian priesthood. It wasn’t very long, though,
before a separate Russian orthodox church emerged. And it is at that point that our
story will continue when you’re ready. So, are you ready for the remaining portion
of this tale, or would you prefer a review of the first half of the story now?
Video clip 12:
And so now, I will continue the story. Using Byzantine laws and model,
instituting state-run courts, and adopting the law codes advanced by Justinian,
Kiev Rus became the largest single state in Europe. And who was it to saw to it that
these things happened? None other than Yaroslav the wise, the last great Kievan
prince who ruled from one thousand nineteen to one thousand fifty-four. He issued
a legal code and arranged the translation of religious literature from Greek to
Slavic. He also used marriage as a way to create ties to Central Europe, arranging
more than thirty – eleven of those with Germany alone. Regardless of these other
ties, the influence of Byzantium remained very strong. Just as Russian culture
joined with orthodox Christian philosophy to create the Russian orthodox church,
many characteristics of orthodox Christianity gradually seeped into Russian
culture. Funny how that works! Churches were ornate and featured dome
structures like in the Byzantine world. Prayer and charity were emphasized, and
traditional practices such as polygamy ended as most turned to the more Christian
practice of monogamy. Also at this time using the Surilic alphabet, Russian
literature developed separately from Western Europe’s. Russian peasants were
fairly free farmers, but Russian aristocrats had less power than their Western
counterparts. Yes. And that’s what the Kievan principality looked like, until it began
to fade in the twelfth century. Rival princes set up regional governments while the
royal family took to bickering over succession to the throne. Invaders from Asia
also whittled away at Russian territory. And on top of it all, the rapid decline of
Byzantium also reduced Russian trade and wealth.

130

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131

Chapter Twenty-one:

Byzantines & the Slavs

Video Clip 13:
Between twelve thirty-seven and twelve thirty-eight, and again
between twelve-forty and twelve forty-one, two invasions by Mongols
from Central Asia moved through Russia and other parts of Eastern
Europe. These Mongols succeeded in capturing the major Russian cities,
but they did not penetrate much farther worse than that because of
political difficulties in their Asian homelands. These Mongol invaders
were called Tatars, and they controlled much of Russia for more than
two centuries. Unfortunately, under their control, literature and trade
declined. One thing that did remain was, Russian Christianity. And the
truth is, that all culture and political tradition were not lost, because
within the second half of the fifteenth century, the Tatars were forced
out, Russian cultural and political traditions reemerged. And so it was
when Constantinople fell in fourteen fifty-three, Eastern European
leadership symbolically fell to Russia. Rome was the first Rome,
Byzantine the second, and now Russia was the third, another new
Rome.
Video clip 14:
And that my friend is the end of my story. If you want to hear that
last part again, you can do that, otherwise let me know if this is
goodbye.

132

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133

Feudal Western
Europe 1

chapter 22
Contents:

Middle Ages

Low Literacy Levels
Lords and Ladies
Decentralization of Authority
Decline in Commerce

Community Dynamics

During the feudal period men of
stature began to provide protection
for those surrounding them. As a
result the locals began to become
more loyal to their protector than
the king.
As a result, these noblemen still
have significant stature today as
their influence continues on.

Chapter Twenty-two:

Feudal Western Europe 1

Video Clip 1:
Whoa! Where am I? When am I? Zeuch two point o! Are you
there? Hello, fellow time traveler! I’m Thomas O’Keefe from the tribe
O’Keefe. Some call me, the low utterer. I travel from time period to time
period simply to learn about each -- time period. My companion on
these travels is Zeuch two point o. Zeuch two point o! Help me explain
the current time period.
The postclassical period in Western Europe began with the fall of
the Roman Empire and lasted until the fifteenth century. It’s called
postclassical because it came post, or after the classical period of the
Roman Empire. The period is also known, as the Middle Ages in
European history. It’s called, the Middle Ages because it came between
the classical era of Greece and Rome and the Renaissance, or a rebirth
of interest in classical ideals that began in the fourteenth century. The
Latin word for Middle Ages is medieval. This period is also called the
Dark Ages, because literacy was extremely low, and intellectual thought
and philosophies were seemingly halted.
This period in history featured gradual recovery from the shock of
Rome’s collapse and growing interaction with other societies,
particularly around the Mediterranean. And, at the same time,
civilization spread northward beyond the Roman frontiers, covering
almost all of Western Europe. However, while some regions of the
world were seen as recovering from their Dark Ages and increasing
their interaction, Western Europe, seemed to regress tremendously.
Muslim writers who encountered Europeans during the crusades of the
twelfth century even viewed them as backward. The course that
Western European history took was because of this situation.

135

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136

Chapter Twenty-two:

Feudal Western Europe 1

Video Clip 2:
Between the years five fifty C.E., until nine hundred C.E., Western
Europe suffered from a number of problems. Zeuch two point o, I need you!
That’s better. The Italian peninsula was divided politically. Spain was, for the
most part, in the hands of Muslims. And invasions from Muslims, Asian
nomads, and Vikings from Scandinavia continued to prolong the West’s
weakness. On top of that, there were few powerful rulers to guide and
strengthen regions in Western Europe, and little sustenance other than
agriculture to promote societal growth. The conquering tribes of the Western
Roman Empire were not able to continue the traditions of the Roman Empire.
Education, art, law, government -- none were maintained.
Western Europe soon fell into a period of low literacy. For the most
part, only those in the upper classes and some monks were able to read and
write. And all that many of them could really do was copy manuscripts.
Even some who copied the manuscripts confessed that not only did they not
truly understand many of the philosophical ideas, but that they were not
good at reading or writing Latin! For five centuries, civilization declined in
the West so much that only a few chronicles written in bad Latin remained to
inform us of the events of that time. The period of greatest ignorance was
from eight fifty to one thousand. During this time, most people in Western
Europe knew nothing of the brilliant civilization that once flourished in Rome
and Athens, and almost nothing of the civilization that existed in
Constantinople and Baghdad.
The ideas and writings that flourished in the classical era of ancient
Rome and Greece still traveled to the far reaches of Eastern Europe and the
Arab world, where their messages maintained a prominent effect. Western
Europe, however, during this time fell into a period of stagnant thought and
growth. It wasn’t until a rebirth of philosophy and thought in the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries that Western Europe would finally step out of the
Dark Ages – those Middle Ages – and stop being, medieval.

137

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138

Chapter Twenty-two:

Feudal Western Europe 1

Video Clip 3:
Hello, I’m Sir Edward Smigliebhitz, the Duke of Duck. Many wonder,
and laugh a bit, about my title of nobility; how my ancestors came to live in a
marsh and rule over a flock of ducks is a story for another time. I want to talk
to you about how important nobility is, and why all should respect me – us.
We must go way back in history. It is no wonder that feudalism became
somewhat of a political institution because one of the first effects of the
Germanic conquests of Rome, was that the Western Roman Empire was
oppressed by a multitude of unstable and warring powers. As a result,
regular communication in Western Europe came to an end. Roads and
bridges fell into disrepair. Commerce declined. Cities decayed. Education and
arts disappeared. The Germanic chieftains, who were unaccustomed to
governing large countries, handed out their possessions among their military
followers. Communities became isolated and had to depend upon themselves
for economic support and military defense. The mass of the people looked to
their military chieftain or great landowner for protection. And he in turn
demanded from them obedience, services, and rents.
Thus, in the course of centuries, arose the feudal system, which was wellestablished in Western Europe by the eleventh century.
Feudalism, as you remember, was a system of land tenure, system of
social classes, and a method of government. Everywhere in Western Europe,
there was a feudal lord -- men of prestige, like me. These chaps were also
called dukes, earls, marquis, counts, margraves, and many other important
fancy names. On his estate or manor lived the peasants, tilling the soil subject
to the lord’s control and owing feudal dues, either the payment of rent or
labor. The lord was the ruler of the land, and they, were the servile tenants.
He was noble and privileged; they were common and unprivileged. Whatever
happened to the good old days? My ducks have way too much freedom! I
don’t feel they treat me with respect I deserved, respect my title deserves, the
Duke of Duck!

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140

Chapter Twenty-two:

Feudal Western Europe 1

Video Clip 4:
Yes, you’re actually duck, it’s what you want; I don’t really like
you so much right now…Oh yes, there you are! I was just trying to
explain to this rascally duck of mine why it is that I am duke and he is
duck. You see, out of feudalism emerged the states of modern times.
Some feudal lords were able to get the upper hand over their rivals as
their domains increased and power grew. They enforced a stricter
obedience on their own vassals -- in fact, on all people within the region
where their power was established. In this way, by the end of the
Middle Ages, powerful kingdoms and principalities were established.
Video clip 5:
The Duke of Normandy conquered England in ten sixty-six. And
his successes created the English kingdom. Hugh Capet, whose
ancestors were counts of Paris, became king in nine eighty-seven, and
his successes created the kingdom of France. The margraves of
Brandenburg established a state which later became the kingdom of
Prussia. In the twelve hundreds, Rudolf of Habsburg began to build up
the state that was later known as Austria. The kingdoms of Castile,
Aragon, Novar, later reunited to become the kingdom of Spain.

141

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
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142

Chapter Twenty-two:

Feudal Western Europe 1

Video Clip 6:
Then, power was concentrated in the hands of kings and princes.
The noble vassals lost the right of making private war and became
subjects of the kings or princes. But, they were still great landowners
managing their estates and exacting services and rents from their
peasants. They were still nobles, set apart from the common people.
They were now a privileged aristocracy. This, is the origin of the
modern-day aristocracies in Europe, where important people like me
can still call themselves duke or count.
While the decrease of a centralized, strong empire left Western
Europe in somewhat of a state of anarchy, the landholding system of
feudalism transitioned the area once again into a region of sovereign
independent states. Kings lost power, and nobles became powerful – a
dynamic that would continue to affect the history of the region even
after the arrival of stronger, more powerful kings. So the nobility was
always important and must be respected even today. However, ‘tis true
that Europe is no longer feudal, but I must command respect;
otherwise, I might have to get a job.

143

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144

Feudal Western
Europe 2

chapter 23
Contents:

Holy War
Crusades

Children’s Crusade
Jerusalem
Knights

Division in the kingdom

During the time period of Feudal
Europe, men arose to protect the
Lords and King.
These men were called knights.
They lived by a code marked with
honor and integrity.

Chapter Twenty-three:

Feudal Western Europe 2

Video Clip 1:
I can’t believe what I just did. I am such an idiot! My wife is gonna be so
cross with me! All she said was, “Go to the neighbors to borrow some barley. And
whatever you do, don’t fight in a crusade!” What do I do? I go fight in a crusade!
And I forget the barley. Oh you might not know what the crusades were. Allow me
to explain. The crusades were series of Christian military campaigns that took place
over nearly two hundred years. They varied in strength and success, fought against
the Muslims in Southwest Asia for control of Jerusalem. You see, Jerusalem was
extremely important for Christians, ‘coz it was where Jesus had spent most of his
life. However, Jerusalem was also important for Muslims ‘coz it was a city
Muhammad had spent time in, too. Thus, the fighting. For two hundred years,
Jerusalem passed back and forth between Muslims and Christians.
Now here’s a little back story on the first and most successful crusade, which
lasted from ten ninety-six through ten ninety-nine. In year ten seventy-six, Muslims
captured Jerusalem. Alexius the First of Constantinople, a Christian, feared that his
country might fall to the Muslims, so he asked Pope Urban the Second to help. In ten
ninety-five, the Pope called for a war against the Muslims to recapture Jerusalem.
And, in ten ninety-seven, ten thousand people gathered to go fight. Interesting story
– Pope Urban the Second asked anyone who would fight to wear a cross sawn on
their tunic. See here? Eventually, the word “cross” in French, “croix,” transformed
into the word “crusades.” Bet ya didn’t know that did ya?
So, who was going on with these crusades? Well, some people wanted to
reclaim Jerusalem for the Christians. Some wanted to be forgiven by God, for their
sins, and were told fighting in the crusades would get them into heaven. Some
hoped to get rich by pillaging Jerusalem. Some, wanted to avoid paying taxes,
because anyone going on a crusade didn’t have to pay ‘em. As for me -- I don’t really
know. I think I just wanted to get out of the house for a bit. How stupid! I admit it.
Back to the first crusade – because the trip was so long and difficult, many of
the crusaders ultimately pillaged Muslim towns in desperation. Disease was quite
common. You wouldn’t believe some of the gross things I’ve seen. And along the
way, many crusaders massacred Jewish people that they found, sometimes in the
hundreds -- men, women, children. In ten ninety-nine, crusaders got to Jerusalem
and took it. Once in the city, crusaders massacred whoever they found – Jews and
Muslims. Some wrote that the streets were filled with blood. Much of the Holy Land
was captured and divided into Christian kingdoms. As for me, I turned back before
getting into Jerusalem. I just knew that my family would be worried. Well, it’s time
to face the music. Honey! I’m home!

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
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147

Chapter Twenty-three:

Feudal Western Europe 2

Video Clip 2:
I’m gonna die again! I can’t believe how foolish I am! My wife is gonna
strangle me! I went and fought in another crusade! Well she was mad when I fought
for the first one. Then I went fishing with some friends, one thing led to another,
and I ended up fighting in a second crusade! But here I am to tell you about the
third. I wasn’t around for this one, but I hear it was far more exciting than the
second.
In eleven eighty-seven, Saladin in the south of Egypt recaptured Jerusalem
for the Muslims. For the most part, it was not a violent transition – for a change. By
around eleven eighty-nine, the third crusade began in an attempt to reclaim
Jerusalem for the Christians, led by Richard the First, also known as Richard the
Lionheart. After capturing the city of Acra, crusaders massacred two thousand
Muslim soldiers who have been captured, despite Saladin’s efforts to pay a ransom
for them. At one point, crusaders were starving, and Richard the Lionheart asked
Saladin to send them food and water, which he did. It was impossible to take
Jerusalem because crusaders were too broken. So Richard and Saladin signed a
truce that said Christians will be allowed to visit Jerusalem.
After the fourth crusade, Christians regained Jerusalem after Saladin’s
death, and held it until twelve forty-four. But the nature of the movement changed.
The experiences of the eleven eighty-seven through eleven ninety-two showed that
Egypt was the base of Muslim power. So expeditions were directed there. During
the thirteenth century, there were eight large expeditions as well as other
manifestations of crusading ideas. None of these expeditions could avoid the effects
of the rise of the Mongols and Mamlukes in Southwest Asia. I’d better get inside.
Oh no! I forgot about the kids! They came after me and had their own
crusade. The Children’s Crusade began in twelve twelve. Two groups – one from
France and one from Germany – went on another crusade after the fourth one.
Almost all of them were young children, and some were unmarried women, and a
few were adult men. They were convinced God would protect them, and they would
be able to take Jerusalem. Not much is known about this crusade, but there are up
to eighty thousand children involved. It was a disaster. Some died of starvation,
some drowned, others were sold into slavery.
Well the crusades had a tremendous impact. There was the legacy of bitter
religious hatred – Christians against Muslims, Muslims against Christians, and
Christians against Jews. But they also increased trade. Europe developed a
stronger taste for goods from the East; they also gave us Western Europeans a
wider world view. New contact with the Muslim culture increased our curiosity
about the rest of the world. Now excuse me, while I try to go greet the wife. I have a
feeling there will be an impact that won’t be quite so positive.

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149

Chapter Twenty-three:

Feudal Western Europe 2

Video Clip 3:
Greetings! My name is Gregor. I’m a monk, and I lived outside of Rome
during the Middle Ages. For years, my brother Archie and I have been
embroiled in a pretty heated fight – a difference of opinions. Let me tell you,
what caused this big falling out – it’s all about this thing called the Great
Schism. You see, the church played a large role in European life during the
Middle Ages. And not just for us monks – everybody was influenced by the
church. The church enjoyed quite a bit of power for a long time, but there
were differences of opinion within the church that led to a disagreement on a
much larger scale than the one between Archie and me.
You remember that one of the key differences between Eastern Europe
and Western Europe had to do with religion, right? Don’t even get me started
on Eastern Europe! The differences there mean that neither Archie nor I even
talk to our cousin in Constantinople anymore. Anyway, back to the church.
From the time that Eastern and Western Europe began going in different
directions, you couldn’t say anymore that Christianity was a unified faith, at
least that the two churches were unified amongst themselves. Eastern
Orthodox was supreme in the East, and Roman Catholicism dominated at the
West. But even that didn’t last.
Eventually, the unity of the Roman Catholic Church itself was
challenged. And in time, it broke apart. Such a break is called a schism -- and
in this case, the Great Schism. It was a schism between the West and, well, the
West. This all happened in thirteen seventy-eight. It was around the time
when Gregory the Eleventh, the pope in Rome, died. Many in Rome wanted
the next pope to be an Italian, and therefore, put pressure on the cardinals to
elect an Italian pope. So they did. Urban the Sixth – I like that choice. But, the
king of France at the time, he didn’t like the Italian pope, and so he elected his
own. Why?

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151

Chapter Twenty-three:

Feudal Western Europe 2

Video Clip 4:
Well, in thirteen o’ nine, Pope Clement the Fifth moved the papacy to
Avignon, which was a territory just outside of France. This allowed the French king
to influence the pope. In thirteen seventy-seven, Pope Gregory the Eleventh moved
the papacy back to Rome. When a new Italian pope was chosen, the French wanted
a French pope, or one with closer ties to France. So, how did my brother and I split
views on this? Ever since, he had a crush on that French peasant girl, it’s been all
about France. Now you get the picture right? Anyway, the Great Schism in the West
lasted for sixty-eight years, with two popes claiming authority over the Catholic
Church.
Video clip 5:
Perhaps I should write Archie a letter to try to make peace. What do you
think? I’ll mull it over. Back to the shift. Why was it such a big deal? It seemed so
major back then. Now, it seemed so insignificant. Well, the French didn’t like Pope
Urban the Sixth. So, they elected their own pope, who ruled from Avignon, where
Pope Clement ruled from. This was also regarded by many as a locational water
well in centralizing leadership. As a result of there being two popes, Western
Christendom split.
The two popes, each had a distinct accompanying papal structure. Western
Europe was then politically divided over which pope to support, and so were my
brother and me. France supported the Avignon pope, and so did Sicily, Castile,
Aragon, Scotland, and Portugal – and my brother. Rome supported the Roman
pope, and so did Flanders, Germany, Poland, and Hungary – and me. Each pope
thought the other was illegitimate. They accused one another of heresy, calling each
other the anti-pope and hoping for supreme leadership. I think it was around that
time that my brother called me an anti-brother. Can you believe it? That wound is
still open. Each side of the church also implied that anyone who fell under the other
pope was also, in a sense, a heretic. OK, I admit it, I did call Archie a heretic once.
But he called me an anti-brother! Back to the church. People began to question how
their faith could be illegitimate, and others also began to question whether or not
either pope was even focused on faith. The continual split ultimately weakened the
authority of the church.

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153

Chapter Twenty-three:

Feudal Western Europe 2

Video Clip 6:
Then, in fourteen o’nine, a church council in Pisa elected a new
pope to unite both sides. Legtid! But, the other two popes wouldn’t
relinquish their power. So now, there were three popes! Three popes!
How could anyone not realize, that this was a lot of popes? But, between
fourteen fourteen and fourteen eighteen, the council finally healed the
split. The Avignon pope was deposed, and shortly after, the Roman
pope resigned. Pope Martin the Fifth then reigned as the only pope from
fourteen seventeen until fourteen thirty-one.
Video clip 7:
If only argument between my brother and me were so easily
healed. As a result of the schism, the authority of the church continued
to wane. And so, even though the church had been the supreme power
throughout Europe, that power would again diminish as people began
to ask for reform. Wait a second – that should mean that the argument
between my brother and me is over, too! Atotog! I’m off to France!

154

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
you read the passage. It should be five
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155

China: Sui, Tang,
& Song

chapter 24
Contents:

Dynasties
Taxes
Food Reserves
Revolts
Customs

Women’s Status in Society

Women’s rights in China have been a topic
of interest for centuries. Long ago, women
were seen as inferior to men. This was
solidified by confucian teaching.
This did not stop them from influencing
politics and those in power though. They
still found ways to influence those around
them.

Chapter Twenty-four:

China: Sui, Tang, and Song

Video Clip 1:
Whoa! Where am I? When am I? Zeuch two point o! Are you
there? Hello fellow time traveler! I’m Thomas O’ Keefe, from the tribe O’
Keefe; some call me, the low utterer. Zeuch two point o, help me explain
the current time period! After the fall of the Han Dynasty in two twenty
C.E., China lapsed into an era of division; separate kingdoms ruled
different regions and left China in a state of disunity that wouldn’t end
until the early five eighties. Just like the fall of Rome, and Europe and
other empires throughout the world, this was a dark age in China; but a
revival was on the way in the form of the Sui Dynasty.
The Sui Dynasty all began with Wendi -- he was a member of a
prominent north Chinese noble family. He struck a marriage alliance
between his daughter and the ruler of the Northwestern Zhou Empire.
The Zhou monarch had recently defeated several rival rulers and united
much of the North China plain. After his daughter’s marriage, Wendi
seized his son-in-law’s throne and proclaimed himself the emperor.
Wendi soon extended the empire across North China; ultimately, in five
eighty-nine, Wendi’s armies attacked and conquered the weak and
divided Chen kingdom, which had ruled much of the south. With this
victory over the Chen, Wendi reunited the traditional core areas of
Chinese civilization for the first time in over three hundred and fifty
years, since the Han dynasty. Wendi won support by lowering taxes,
and establishing granaries throughout his territories. Granaries are
bins for storing grain; it was common practice to reserve food in case of
floods or drought.

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158

Chapter Twenty-three:

China: Sui, Tang, and Song

Video Clip 2:
Where were we? Oh right, Wendi and the Sui dynasty. People loved Wendi as
a leader, but not all people loved him. His own son Yangdi allegedly murdered him
and took the throne. But Yangdi wasn’t all bad; he extended his father’s conquest
and drove back Nomadic intruders. He established a milder legal code, and
upgraded Confucian education; he also restored the exam system for public service
jobs. Aside from being a murderer, Yangdi had some other faults; he forced
peasants to build palaces, and other huge construction projects. He led a series of
unsuccessful wars to bring Korea back under Chinese rule. These and other missteps
led to revolts -- provincial governors declared themselves independent rulers,
bandit gangs raided, and Nomadic people seized large sections of the Northern
China plains.
Faced with a crumbling empire, Yangdi retreated to his palace in the south;
he was assassinated by his own ministers in six eighteen. You have to be really
hated for your own ministers to kill you. Don’t ask me how I know. So who’s up next
you ask. One of Yangdi’s officials, a mixed Chinese-Nomadic, Li Yuan inherited the
throne. Li Yuan had been a loyal supporter of Yangdi and even saved him once
when Yangdi was trapped by a Turkic cavalry force; however, as Yangdi was
getting more and more irrational, and others in the empire were becoming more
and more concerned about his ability to rule, Li Yuan was convinced that rebellion
was necessary to restore order. So Yangdi was assassinated, and there was a long
struggle to figure out who would take the spot at the throne. Li Yuan won, and in six
twenty-three, he -- and later his son -- in six twenty-six, laid the foundation for yet
another dynasty -- the Tang.
OK, the Tang dynasty conquered territory deep into Central Asia, all the way
to present-day Afghanistan. The empire also went to Tibet in the west, Red River
homeland in the south, and Manchuria in the north. Turkic and other Nomadic
people were then under the rule of the Tang dynasty and assimilated into Chinese
culture. Frontier armies, the most potent military forces in an empire, were created
to protect boundaries. In six sixty-eight, Chinese armies overrun Korea and
established a vassal kingdom called Silla that was loyal to Tang. Within decades,
Tang became a larger empire than even Han had been, almost bigger than the
boundaries of present-day China. Tang would go on to rebuild and restore Chinese
unity and culture and a dynasty that – true to Chinese practice -- would last for
almost three hundred years.

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
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160

Chapter Twenty-three:

China: Sui, Tang, and Song

Video Clip 3:
You want to know what the real China looked like? Ok, I’ll tell you. Let’s
start with the economy. During the Tang and Song period, rulers encouraged
people to migrate southward to the purple valleys of the Yangtze and other
river systems; and they cultivate regions, expanding agriculture. Stateregulated irrigation like the Grand Canal advanced agrarian development.
These canals made it possible to cultivate crops such as tea leaves, and to
grow silkworms, and then to market the products throughout the empire.
Rulers even put military personnel in these southern regions to protect the
Chinese from non-Chinese or Nomadic peoples.
The big success of all this agricultural expansion came from Champa
rice. Champa rice is a quick-maturing rice that can allow two harvests in one
growing season; originally it came from Vietnam, but it was later sent to
China as a tribute gift. This period also witnessed better use of human and
animal manures, better soil preparation and weeding, and the invention of
the wheelbarrow — wait that’s not right, yeah that’s more like it. The
wheelbarrow eased plowing and harvesting tasks and improved water
control techniques, all of which helped agricultural production. Rulers often
broke up great estates of the old aristocracy and promoted land reform to
give land to the free peasant households; this was to reduce the threat that
the aristocracy posed and to help laborers, who are often viewed by
Confucians scholars as essential to stable social order.
These agrarian measures succeeded, and the number of free peasants
increased. Scholar gentry moved to these rural areas, too. Throughout rural
areas, graceful curved roofs with upturn corners graced the landscape.
Curved roofs were reserved for people of high rank, including families of the
gentry. Speaking of families, let’s wrap things up by talking about society.
But first, I’m going to grab a snack.

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162

Chapter Twenty-four:

China: Sui, Tang, and Song

Video Clip 4:
Chinese society -- here we come! Let’s begin with the family. Extended family
households were preferred; Confucius and other early thinkers promoted a maledominated hierarchy. During the Tang period, laws supported the authority of
elders and males within the family, and approved beheading as a punishment for
children who struck their parents or grandparents in anger; there was a penalty of
two and a half years of hard labor for younger brothers or sisters who had siblings.
Over centuries, the process of forging marriage alliances developed;
professional go-betweens who were mostly women, helped both families negotiate
the dowry, matches, etcetera. The bride and groom were usually the same age as
Confucius was reluctant to mix generations. Tang and Song allowed divorce by
mutual consent; husbands could not set aside the wife if her parents were dead or if
he’d been poor when they married and then later became rich. Chinese wives had
more defenses against unreliable behavior than by their husbands, than with the
case in India at the time. Some women even took complimentary husbands – lovers
-- with their husbands’ knowledge.
The status of women improved under this Tang dynasty and early in the
Song, but it deteriorated in the late Song. Women were usually secondary to men;
women of upper class in urban areas had some opportunities for personal
expression though. Empress Wu and the concubine Yang Guifei, who you read
about, are examples of how women could wield power at higher levels. But things
got worse; as new Confucian philosophers began to assert male dominance, a
woman’s role was homemaker and mother and bearer of sons. Mothers who
promoted career alternatives for women were attacked by these neo-Confucians;
widows were discouraged from remarrying, men were allowed to have premarital
sex, take concubines, and remarry.
Later in the Song era, upper-class men developed a preference for small feet
on women; foot-binding became vital to winning a husband. In response, mothers
began to bind the feet of their daughters as early as age five or six. Toes were
turned under and bound with silk, which was round more tightly as she grew.
Bound feet were painful; they limited mobility and prevented women from having
jobs and allowed husbands to confine their wives. And that’s what I have to tell you
about the real China. Pretty interesting stuff -- and I didn’t even talk about the food.

163

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
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164

East Asia &
China

chapter 25
Contents:

China’s Influence

Aristocracy

Buddhism

Feudalism

Confucianism
Japanese Society
Social Norms

The Samurai warriors from Japan served in the
lords’ armies. These guys observed a special
warriors’ bushido, which, was like a code of
chivalry, etiquette, and loyalty.
The Samurai Warriors were a very proud group
who relied heavily on an honor system and
tradition. Today, many people still look tot these
great warriors when trying to understand
honor.

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 1:
Oh hey! You made it! I just finished queuing up slides from my trip
to Asia. It was awesome! I backpacked across Korea, Vietnam, Japan,
Cambodia, China, and all over the place, so here we go. I thought I’d
start with Japan. So, you know how China was pretty involved
culturally with Korea and Vietnam? Well guess what? Chinese culture
had influence in Japan, too, like with shopping. I mean Japan was
importing Chinese goods as early as the seventh century. Japan also
imported Chinese culture, so to speak; can I get my first slide up Jack?
Thanks.
Video Clip 2:
In the year six forty-six during the Nara period, the emperor of
Japan instituted the Taika reforms, starting with a total makeover of
the imperial administration in Chinese style. Next slide! Japan adopted
Chinese characters into the language, and the culture was greatly
influenced by the teachings of Confucius as well as by Buddhism.
Despite the influence though, Japan’s own Shinto views of the natural
and supernatural world, stayed ingrained in cultural expression and
belief, like with this shrine.
Video Clip 3:
In fact, those reforms didn’t mold Japan in the ways of China, like
Korea and Vietnam; Japan just adopted a lot of Chinese culture while
holding on to their own culture as well -- even modifying parts of
Chinese culture to better suit Japanese ways sometimes. Let’s see it
Jack.

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Check the boxes for the amount of times
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167

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 4:
OK now, in seven ninety-four, Nara court shifted to the Heian
court and Emperor Kammu established a new capital city at Heian,
which is modern-day Kyoto. Well this happened after some of the Taika
reforms had landed too much power being taken away from the
aristocracy. The kinds of things that are associated with the Heian
court are, you‘re gonna love this, beautiful palaces and gardens, fish
ponds and waterfalls -- isn’t that gorgeous? -- and artistic expression,
like poetry, which was well-respected. Around this time, the adopted
Chinese characters were simplified, and the origins of a more distinctly
Japanese written language were born. Oh, and speaking of writing,
there was the tale of Genji which was written around this time -- it was
about court life and was said to truly capture its charm. Oh, and
awesomeness! -- this was the first novel in any language; it was written
by Lady Murasaki, no less, which shows that women participated in
Japanese society.
Video Clip 5:
Oh I’m sure this is no surprise, but the Heian period didn’t last
forever. Rich families started gaining power, while emperors started
losing power, unlike with the Fujiwara family, who married into the
royal family, then used wealth and influence to get even more power for
themselves. Aristocratic families started carving out their own little
kingdoms complete with fortresses and motes, sometimes fighting with
neighboring lords. You know – you know what, Jack needs help with
the projector; let, let me know if you wanna see this again or if you just
wanna keep going.
Video Clip 6:
OK, we should be good to go now; apparently Jack was trying to
tell me to give you a little more background.

168

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times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

169

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 7:
So, from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries, Japan’s imperial
central government proved too weak to maintain law and order. And the
country entered into a seven hundred-year feudal period of rule by the
warrior class, which is why I’m showing you this painting of a samurai. This
was around the same time that Western Europe was working a feudal
system, too, by the way. Here’s how Japan’s was organized: the Mikado, or
emperor, ruled, but was really pretty powerless; a Shogun, who is an
influential landlord of sorts, controlled the military, lawmaking, justice, and
financial decisions; the Daimyo, or local lords, took care of their own land
and estates, and maintained their own private armies; and of course, the
Samurai, or warrior, served in those lords’ armies -- these guys observed a
special warriors’ bushido, which, was like a code of chivalry, etiquette, and
loyalty;
Video Clip 8:
At the bottom were -- that’s right, the peasants; they worked the land
and couldn’t really advance to any higher status – sounds just like the serfs in
the European feudal system, doesn’t it? As for the Shogunates, here are a
couple of the really important ones.
Video Clip 9:
The Kamakura Shogunate, which lasted from eleven ninety-two to
thirteen thirty-three -- the aristocratic families that made up the Kamakura
Shoguns, ruled from the military capital of – yeah, Kamakura; they
definitely shaped Japan’s feudal system and did things like give land grants
in exchange for military service. Another Shogunate to remember would be
the Tokugawa Shogunate, which went from sixteen o’ three to eighteen sixtyseven. Following a period in which ruling families hadn’t been able to keep a
lid on things, the Tokugawa Shogunate was able to maintain peace and
prosperity as these years of internal conflict and even civil war, drew to a
close. Their political capital was the city of Tokyo, which became the nation’s
leading economic and cultural center. This period in Japanese history was
also marked by a decline in Chinese influence. Buddhism was modified to
become more Japanese, and there wasn’t really any scholar gentry anymore,
or centralized power for that matter.

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times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

171

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 10:
So China had a similar effect on Japan, much like its influence
on Korea and Vietnam. Much of the Chinese culture was adopted
by Japan; but overall, Japanese characteristics came through to
truly modify and adapt that culture to become distinctly Japanese.
Japan also fell into a period of decentralized power, and
transitioned toward a system of feudalism, which was similar to
the same system of landholding occurring in Western Europe at the
same time. Thanks Jack! Wow! I got so carried away telling you
about Japanese history, I didn’t really get to show you a lot of
slides. Well, you can see this part again or you can move on; I
mean, you never know -- there could be something else up my
sleeve.
Video Clip 11:
Hey! So you wanna hear more about the Tokugawa
Shogunate? Hit it Jack!

172

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you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

173

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 12:
I’ll start with art. OK, so Buddhist missionaries introduced a lot of Chinese
artistic achievements to Japanese culture. Buddhist temple architecture, sculpted
figures, religious paintings and landscapes, all show the influence of Chinese art; a
popular landscape to recreate was the snow-topped mountain Fujiyama. Chinese
artists also drew on magnificent scrolls, recreating historical events like the Mongol
invasions. In the sixteen hundreds, Japanese artists began to use beautiful wood
blocks as another medium for paint. Beautiful palaces and temples set in elaborate
gardens and, finally, sculpted Buddhas could be seen throughout Japan.
Jack, theater’s next. OK, awesome. In the thirteen hundreds, feudal culture
had led to plays performed on the square -- actors acted on a wooden stage with no
scenery; men wore carved masks and acted, while a chorus chanted important lines
from the sidelines. In the sixteen hundreds, Okuni, an actress, created a new form of
theater: Kabuki. Although a woman was involved in its creation, women would
later be excluded from the theater. In this style of theater, actors wore colorful
costumes and portrayed historical events or family issues, like this actor here. Next
slide please.
Well we’ve already talked about Buddhist influence; and while Buddhism
came to Japan from China, a smaller Buddhist sect became the one that really stuck
-- it was called Zen Buddhism. The religion emphasized meditation and devotion to
duty. Zen monks were great scholars and were popular among the Samurais.
Monks hoped to achieve a state of nirvana, known as Nomine, and also preached
compassion for all. Zen Buddhism was a strong influence and truly shaped
Japanese life.
OK Jack! The Japanese adapted some of the Chinese language to spoken
tongue as well as the written word, but Japan was also home to a number of
literary accomplishments: poetry, history, Confucian classics, drama, and the first
novel; I mentioned it before -- the tale of Genji, the world-famous novel of love and
adventure by Lady Murasaki. There was also The Tale of the Heiki, which was
about a violent conflict between two families. Another example is Essays in Idleness,
which were two hundred and forty-three short essays written by a Zen Buddhist
priest.

174

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you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

175

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 13:
Poetry was also a popular means of expression. In some of the magnificent
palaces, people wrote poetry and would sometimes fold up poems into paper boats
like this one, and then send them across ponds to each other. One form of poetry
that a lot of people really liked was Haiku; Haiku uses three lines, totaling
seventeen syllables in the Japanese language. This one is called, Let Me Know; and
it says, “Watch again or go, you will have to decide it, won’t you let me know?”
Video Clip 14:
I think I should mention a couple of other Japanese achievements credited to
the Tokugawa Shogunate, like the fact that Japanese warriors withstood not one
but two Mongol invasions late in the thirteenth century; it was during the second
invasion in twelve eighty-one that the Mongol fleet was destroyed by a crazy big
typhoon; this particular typhoon is remembered in Japanese history as kamikaze,
or divine wind.
Video Clip 15:
Last but not least, economic growth. With peace restored under the
Tokugawa Shogunate, the Japanese economy grew tremendously; agriculture
improved and expanded, new seeds, new tools, and the use of fertilizer led to
greater output of crops. Here’s a tea field that I was fortunate enough to visit
beneath the impressive Mt. Fuji, and I thought this would be a nice place to show
you a slide like this to represent agriculture. So, during this period, there was
greater crop output; and you know what that means -- more food! And food
surpluses mean rapid population growth can be supported; so towns sprang up
around the castles of daimyos. Here’s a castle in the Japanese city of Edo, which
grew into a booming city where artists and merchants flocked to supply the needs of
the daimyos and their families. Trade flourished within Japan; new roads linked
castle towns in Edo. And each year, daimyos and their servants traveled to and
from the capital creating a demand for food and services along the route. In the
cities, a wealthy merchant class emerged.

176

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you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

177

Chapter Twenty-five:

East Asia & China

Video Clip 13:
Tokugawa brought peace and stability, economic growth,
and cultural change; but Japan still tried to preserve Samurai
virtues and ancient beliefs. By the fifteen hundreds, Japan
faced a new wave of foreign influence. The Shogun would at
first welcome the outsiders, but would ultimately sever foreign
ties; like other regions in Asia, Japan would become nervous
with Europe’s expanding presence in nearby waters. Oh my
gosh, my slideshow time is up; I never even showed you my
slides of Korea! Well maybe next time; you got other stuff to do
I’m told, so if you’re ready for that, then see ya! Otherwise I’m
happy to share this with you again.

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you read the passage. It should be five
times. When you have finished, have your
parents sign their name.

Parents
Signature:

179

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Notes & Translation:

Corresponding Chapter: ____ Page:____

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Additional Vocabulary:
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Notes & Translation:

Corresponding Chapter: ____ Page:____

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Additional Vocabulary:
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