Orient Express

- The belief that the only places that were interesting in history
were the civilizations Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Europe, and
finally America.
- The idea that civilization's progression only heads westward
and everything happening in the east is negligible.


European Miracle
The claim that certain innovations and great minds all came
Europe and that Europe was responsible for leading the world
out of the Medieval Period.
Blaut: "The argument that Europe forged ahead of all other
civilizations far back in history...this internally generated
historical superiority or priority explains world
history/geography post 1492"


Early Cradles of Civilization
Nile Valley, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, Yellow River, Tigris


Had walls 15 Meters High
○ had a system of large ditches used as 16 reservoirs for a
population of 20,000.
○ located in the state of Gujarat, alongside the Sarasvati, or
Ghaggar Hakra river


Mohenjo-Daro; Pakistan
○ The city, made out of baked bricks, had a population of
40,000, and contained 700 water wells and a flush toilet system
○ People bathed in a great communal bath
○ Merchants in the city used seals to denote ownership.
○ The statue in the city is known as the Priest-King


○ Necklaces and Jewelry in Harappa made out of Carnelian
○ No signs show warfare was common in Harappa, nor were
there any signs that showed Harappa was ruled under an
absolute monarch.
○ Over 300 characters were used in Harappan writing.
Built along Indus River.



.Allowed freedom of religion in his empire. founder of Confucianism  Historiography How we represent what happens (filtered through the perceptions of the individuals involved in the events. the first monotheistic religion. and the way that they come to describe what they perceived) .Persian leader made Zoroastrianism.. not inferior ■ Disease ● Disease existed elsewhere including Europe. Arid Asia. not credible ■ Inferior food production from bad soil ● Tropical soils were different. the national religion of the Persian Empire. one of the founders of Western Philosophy (Athens)  Buddha .emphasis is on how we write about what happens (telling what was perceived with written language).Rajas Southeast Asia: God Kings (India)  Confucius China. in larger scale too  Despotic.the importance of perspective  Eurocentrism A bias that tends to favor Europe. The belief that all the good things came from Europe  Environmental Reductionism The theory that the natural environment strongly influences human affairs and human history (social/cultural development). Myth Tropical regions inferior because: ■ Heat bad for human mind/body ● Grounded in pseudoscience. Myth . Blaut .  Leonidas King of Greek city-state Sparta (portrayal in movie compared to history)  Socrates Greek philosopher.Rajas / Dewa .  Tropical Nastiness.

non-European marriages somehow weren't because they were arranged ● arranged marriages were prevalent in Europe too. believing in the "psychic unity of mankind. Myth ■ Believed the nuclear. and rainfall farming was not better than irrigation farming.  European Rationality. Myth ■ The least harsh and bias of Eurocentric theory. psychological development ○ with Asia. ● claimed this called for a "harsh" ruler with constant despotic policing of the irrigation system ○ In reality. claiming technology from three specific inventions leapfrogged Europe ahead of any other country during the middle ages . ■ attributed to being able to control Malthusianism ● less marriages at a later age ○ This argument simply dehumanizes non-European families  Europe's Technology Superiority. the serf system was just as bad if not worse than the peasants in despotic Asian societies.  Temperate Europe. just different ■ Also believed in the serf system ● In reality. European families were innately more rational and civilized than non-European families ● other countries also supported nuclear families as well ■ European marriages fueled by love. ○ Blaut argues peasants in Asia treated equally bad.Karl Wittfogel ■ Claimed Asian political systems were more despotic than European political systems during the middle ages due to environment. the Asian farmers were more concerned with irrigation than the despot. Myth ■ Basically asserting that Europeans are smarter than everyone else ■ Relied on diffusionist beliefs: ● Europe had knowledge and spread it out throughout the world." ● Europeans related development of different societies to stages of human. if not better than peasants in Europe. Africa and other non-Euro countries behind  Superior European Nuclear Family. Myth ■ Some believed Europe's climate was constant throughout Europe and that the climate was ideal ● Climate in Europe was not constant.

● The heavy plow ○ Northern India had this before the time of Christ ○ social forces and diffusion from elsewhere led to this..diffused rapidly to those other parts of the hemisphere in which such a trait was a useful innovation" (Blaut 155-156). Columbus' "discovery. House of Wisdom ● The melting pot of cultures united under scholarly pursuits ● immense scientific competition ● the first international scientific expedition ● The birth of the scientific process ■ Birthplace of several innovations in fields ranging from ● Algebra.. the horse did not replace the ox ● The three-field rotation ○ This didn't even have much of an effect on European society ○ Even more intensive rotations were used elsewhere in the world ○ the two-field system was still preferred for ecological reasons  Criss-Cross Diffusion "The complex of crops. animals. tools.." or the Protestant Reformation. probably meant for camels.and each new trait. fall of (476 AD) Fall of (Western) Roman Empire to the Goths.. in England. End disputed at Renaissance.developed in many societies simultaneously. ○ This process extended agricultural landscape over a vast region of the Easten Hemisphere  Rome. trigonometry ● Engineering ● Astronomy ● Medicine (the study of germs and the hospital) ● Ibn Al-Haytham: father of optics . not European technological innovation ● The horse collar ○ Horse collar already widespread in Eurasia from an early date. vandals and such ○ Eastern half of Roman Empire persisted for another millennium ■ Known to Western Europeans as the Byzantine Empire  Dark/Medieval/Middle Ages Start estimated at the fall of (East) Roman Empire (476 AD).. Visigoths.. not horses ○ Additionally. and ideas.  Baghdad.

reaching to North Africa.● Invention of paper Burnt in 1258 by mongols  Mohammed (Empire of Faith) The messenger of God.retook mecca 630 AD  The Koran (Qu'ran) Founded by Mohammed . ■ Islam itself spread even further. ■ Alhambra palace located in Granada was the shining example of the greatness of Muslim palaces . Mecca was a center of both religion and trade  Cordoba Spain.Islamic holy text  Mecca and the Ka'aba: Center of Religion and Trade ■ Ka'aba: The sacred house that housed the deities of many different sub-faiths. Islamic Center in Europe ■ Located in southern Spain.The Caliph of Jerusalem. the Islamic holy text ■ A charismatic man. burned the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 1009 ● This led Christians to view Muslims as heretics  Pope Urban II Massacre in Jerusalem 1099 . and generally accepting of others' faiths . Central Europe. ■ However. Cordoba was the only area in Europe that resembled the flourishing Islamic Middle East.Spain to China  Al-Hakim . India." who was born in 570 AD ■ The founder of Islam and inspired the Koran. and thus. and Southeast Asia . "the Prophet. It was located in Mecca ● Because so many different faiths came to Mecca to worship their deities. only one people.Architecture influence  Size of Islamic Empire ■ Included Middle East and conquered territories of the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires. Mohammed was still very open-minded. Mohammed believed that there is only one God.

1099.rallied support across France and called for a holy Crusade in 1095. 1258 ■ empire spread throughout East Asia to North India. when the crusaders entered and reconquered Jerusalem  Salah-ad-Din Yusuf (Saladin) 1187 ■ Took back jerusalem in 1187 .  Indian Ocean. . Maritime Trade The most important center of trade in the Eastern Hemisphere ○ as a side note. notice the geographical disadvantage of Europe  Nubia. strong and charismatic ■ Allowed free-worshipping and was forgiving like Mohammed.Muslim leader who was intelligent. Capital city was Timbuktu. the Middle East. and parts of Eastern Europe ■ However. Would travel to coastal areas or the Middle East for trade. Romans unable to conquer __ even though they could conquer the Egyptians. Maritime Trade Traded with Swahili Coast to gain access to Medieval maritime trade  Mali/Ghana.  Swahili Coast. Were among the best boatbuilders of the Middle Ages  Great Zimbabwe. Western Mongol conquerors converted to Islam eventually ● Became patrons to the arts ■ conquest played a key role in opening the world.  Mongol Invaders Spread of Mongol Empire Destruction of Baghdad (1258) Conversion to Islam ■ Took Baghdad in February 10. Maritime Trade Famous for their camel caravans as a mode for travel. Maritime Trade South Africa Had wealthy trading city-states. ● This leads to July 15.. Maritime Trade More powerful than even Egypt as the years passed.

Albertus Magnus  Micro-cosmos Microcosmos is whatever happens to the world happens to us.the system as it existed prior to the two revolutionary transformations which brought modern capitalism into existence. World is parallel to universe. . etc. People are complete rendition of universe.  Tributary System The Great Chain of Being  Protocapitalism "Incipient capitalism.  Astrology in the middle ages ○ Astrologers would study the stars because they believed is movements meant something ○ religious context: Things happened in the sky because God said so .Precapitalism ○ Bourgeois Revolution and Industrial Revolution led to legit .Tributary/Feudal System ● God/Heaven: Or whatever holy being(s) was/were put on top ● Monarch: The ruler. skilled laborers.. king..Averroes.. lawyers. adolescent capitalism. Our mind is the closest linkage to God. Put in place by God/Heaven ● Nobility: The really rich families that had the possibility of being made Monarchs ● Military/Warrior: Defended the nobility and monarch to prevent uprisings ● Middle Class: Included the artists.It exhibited most of the basic traits of capitalism"(Blaut 165). bankers. etc.. Maimonides. The Great Chain of Being . The pattern of the stars were read to help understand humans (zodiac signs)  Macro-cosmos Macrocosmos is how the universe began from a small amount (g) and built up overall. The whole entire universe and the stars align according to God's plan  Feudalism "The class-structured agrarian societies of Africa and Asia as well as Europe" (Blaut 152). ● Peasants/Serfs: represented around 90% of the population.

Wind lashed the water until it boiled (raging waters) 6. and one in Constantinople  The Omens 1. leading them to unchallenged themselves thus causing lazy behavior  Constantine Edict of Milan Constantinople Rome 313 AD Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire. Flaming ear of corn (comet) 10 years before the Spaniards' arrival 2. ■ Tributes = human heart sacrifices  Motecuhzoma (Montezuma II) . A strange bird-like creature captured in the nets 8. Temple of Huitzilopochtli burst into flames 3. People heard a weeping woman night after night 7. Temple of Xiuhtecuhtli struck by "a blow from the sun" (lightning) 4. the Roman Empire usually had 2 emperors ■ One in Rome. Myth Hot weather in Africa affects Africans behavior. Fire streamed through the sky while the sun was still shining 5. Monstrous beings with two heads appeared in the streets  Toltecs Dominated the are from 800-1000 AD  Aztecs nomads who settled on an undesirable island ○ Built capital city Tenochtitlan in 1325 ○ worshipped Quetzalcoatl and raised war god Huitzilopochtli to level of sun god.capitalism ○ Existed first on a small scale within another dominant economic system  Lazy Africa. ○ This came to be known as The Edict of Milan ○ Constantine built a second Roman capital that was previously Byzantium ■ Named this city Constantinople ○ After his death.

where they were welcomed ● Prince Ixtlilxochitl welcomed them and converted to Christianity. 1519  Huitzilopochtli god of war  Hernan Cortez The first conquistador (1485-1547) ● From Medellin. so offered him gifts and formed an alliance  Cholula . Quetzalcoatl was kicked out of the land. Spain ● Aspired to sail to China from the West ○ brought 500 soldiers/slaves to join him (against orders) ○ Hit Mexico instead (1519)  Pedro de Alvarado ● Cortes' right hand man ● Ordered as commander when Cortes took leave to deal with another issue ● Ordered the massacre of Aztecs at the Fiesta of Toxcatl for Huitzilopochtli  Tezcoco Cortes marched to Tezcoco. He also convinced his people to ally with the conquistadors ● Whether or not Cortes actually stayed there for a bit or just passed by is debated historically  Tlaxcala ○ Cortes and the Tlaxcalans fought for a while ○ Tlaxcalans saw it was impossible to best Cortes. but vowed to return one day appearing from the East ● Aztec astrologers predicted he would come the same year Cortes landed.● The ruling emperor at the time of Cortes' arrival ● Had to deal with seeing if Cortes was Quetzalcoatl or not ● Eventually killed in the conflict after being held hostage by Cortes ● Unsure if Aztec people or Spaniards killed him  Quetzalcoatl God worshipped by Toltecs ● Basically.

starving what's left of the inhabitants ● Emperor Cuauhtémoc surrenders in August 13. Recognize that there are innovative people all around the world.000 yrs ago. 10-11. around 75-90% of population perishes before Cortes comes back  Seige of Tenochtitlan ● Cortes rounds up support of around 150000 natives ● Lays siege on Tenochtitlan for 80 days. 10. Wheat—Mesapotamia. Rice— China. Cattle—Africa.000bc mesoamerica . but they ignored them and killed the messengers sent out to warn them ■ This story may have been forged  La Noche Triste (Night of Sorrows) ● Cortes and crew escape Tenochtitlan after the death of Montezuma ● Cortes claims 154 Spaniards and over 2000 native allies were lost that night ● Spaniards take refuge in Teocalhueyacan  Smallpox Epidemic ● Smallpox epidemic breaks out in Tenochtitlan.000 yrs ago. Middle East 7-9.000 tyrs ago.● Allied with the Tlaxcalans. 1521  Domestication The domestication of Plants and Animals started in MIDDLE EAST. 6-8. Chicken—India. the Spaniards entered Cholula ○ Tlaxcalans hated the Cholulans ○ called for a meeting in the courtyard of the god ○ slaughtered by joint alliance ○ Some accounts claim that the idea to slaughter the Cholula was a purely Tlaxcalan idea ○ However. there was also an account that said that the Tlaxcalans warned the Cholula about the power of the Spanish.000 yrs ago.000 yrs ago Maize .10. Barley—Syria. 10.

in that order. traveling from Mesopotamia westward. the Middle East or Africa during the Middle Ages?) Asia had a larger middle class  . warriors/knights.The TerrestrialThe human body is like layers. describe Europe as superior over other nations at the time. It was set up this way for the purpose of production. Under him were nobility.  How does the ideology of the feudal system support the economic and political system of the times? How is the hierarchical feudal structure reinforced by religious and political beliefs? (Hint . The European Miracle claims something about Europe causes them to be better than any other civilization. The people on top were the wealthiest and thus controlled the lands.  The notion of the "Orient Express" and the "European Miracle" created a Western historiography that placed Europeans as the most civilized or advanced of all people.Bananas Yams  The Divine .The Celestial . The head is "divine" the body is "celestial" and the bottom area is "terrestrial" This is also seen in God as "divine" moon and stars representing "celetial" and earth as "terrestrial" which all makes sense. considering him a divine being. 90% of the population at the time was peasants. and peasants. merchants and artisans. What are the differences between these two perspectives? What are the similarities? The Orient Express explains the origins of civilization in a way that favors the west. having everyone under them as servants. The feudal system put the king on top. Both of these ideas however. Something in the blood of these Arians or talents or language or hobbies made them better.  In what ways were all the dominant feudal systems of the Old World similar by the 1400s? How does Blaut support this view in the readings? (How does Blaut demonstrate that Europe is not superior to Asia. It could have been desire to explore.think about the diagram of the Tributary System shown in class and its relationship to heaven/God).

Regarding nasty Arid despotic Asia. Blaut describes that theories such as Tropical Africa are simply false.  Republics and Limited Monarchies Athens and India . an epidemic swept across Tenochtitlan and killed the king. why is this inaccurate? What reasons for the fall of the Aztec civilization had nothing to do with European technology or a more advanced European civilization. as there wasn't a lack of water. Although Spanish technology was superior to what the Aztecs had to offer. Around 75-90% of the population perished before Cortes returned.  In what ways does Blaut clearly demonstrate that the perspectives of Temperate Europe. One of the large contributing factors of the downfall of Aztecs was a smallpox epidemic. Countries like Asia were also a lot larger.The traditional story of the European conquest of Mexico provides a perspective claiming that the Aztec Empire fell due to European technological superiority. When Spaniards left. Lazy Africa. there were other major factors influencing their downfall. showing how soil differences yielded different types of crops. he goes into detail about how Asia's complex irrigation system was not a response to the environment. Temperate Europe was wrong in that Europe didn't always have great climate. Nasty Tropical Africa. and Arid Despotic Asia are all myths that inaccurately portray Europe as somehow superior to other parts of the globe? Be specific in your details. Based on lecture and on the Broken Spears book. and provides evidence to show these theories don't make sense.