You are on page 1of 7


Period 1

Australopithecus is the 1st and the oldest hominid so far, meaning Southern apes, who lived in
East Africa.

Prehistory is the period before history, in which written documents exist.

Neolithic Revolution, meaning agriculture, occurred about 10,000 years ago in Mesopotamian
region. (surpluses -> jobs, class, patriarchy -> civilization)

Animism is the belief that everything around in nature has spirit in itself.

Totemism is the belief in kinship of groups or individuals having a common totem, which
specially protects them.

Shaman is a priest who communicate with spirituals

Mesopotamia is a land located between two rivers (Tigris, Euphrates), where one of ancient
civilizations were flourished.

Gilgamesh Epic is a written story about Sumerian legendary king Gilgamesh, which informed us
a lot about ancient Mesopotamian philosophy & society.

Hammurabi is an Old Babylonian king who is famous for his written law.

Monotheism is a belief that there is only one God.

Hyksos means an anonymous foreign tribe who successfully overthrew Egyptian Middle

Champollion is a French scholar who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 19th century,
Napoleons time.

Ziggurat is a temple tower built by the ancient Mesopotamians.

Cunneiform script is a writing system of the ancient Mesopotamians.

Mohenjo-Daro & Harappa are famous site cities of ancient Indus civilization.

The Aryans are people from Iranian plateau who invaded Indus civilization originally built by

Oracle bones are pieces of turtle shell (bone) used in fortune telling during Shang dynasty.

Mandate of heaven is a Chinese concept that a ruler has responsibility to be benevolent toward
the people. Heaven would bless the authority of a just ruler, but natural disasters would be the
signs of heavens displeasure with the countrys ruler. The people will naturally rebel against a
government that does not follow the way of heaven.

Feudalism is a political, social, and economic system in which people were given land and
protection by people of higher rank, and worked and fought for them in return. In Asia, Chinese
Zhou dynasty first established this system based on kinship.

Judaism is the religion of the Jewish (Hebrew) people. It is based on the covenant between God
and the Hebrew people.

Abraham is the progenitor of Hebrew people.

Babylonian captivity is the exile of the Jews in Neo-Babylonia during 6th century B.C.E.

Diaspora is the people who come from a particular nation, but now live in many different parts of

the world.

Tanach is original name of Old Testament in Jewish tradition.

Torah is the first 5 books of Tanach, believed to be written during the time of Moses.

Prophet is religious & political leader of Jewish society who is believed to be chosen by God to
say the things that God wants to tell people.

Messiah is the one who rescues people from their hardship in Jewish religion. For Christians,
the Messiah id Jesus Christ.

Veda is the ancient sacred writings in Brahmanism (or Hinduism, Indian religion). It was usually
written in Sanskrit letters.

Atman means unchanging, essential self of one in Indian Philosophy.

Brahman usually means the highest priestly class in Indian caste system. However, originally it
indicates the concept of supreme reality.

Samsara means the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (in Indian philosophy).

Moksha is liberation from Samsara, the superficial status in wheel of life.

Karma is ones actions which will affect its future.

Dharma is good actions which will affect its future.

Gautama Siddhartha is the founder of Buddhism.

Buddha indicates the enlightened (liberated) being in Buddhism.

4 Noble Truth & 8-fold paths are principle teachings of Buddha, about overcoming humans

Confucianism Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi > human-heartedness

Daoism Laozi, Zhuangzi > natures way

Legalism Hanfei, Li Si > Law & order

Aegean sea is the sea between Greece and Turkey (=Asia Minor =Anatolia)

Heinrich Schliemann was German archaeologist who discovered Troy and Mycenaean sites.

Homer was Greek poet who wrote Iliad & Odyssey

Solon was Athenian statesman and reformer who established timocratic system.

Ostracism was a procedure under Athenian democracy. In this system, people could expel
someone thought to be a potential tyrant.

Delian League was an alliance of ancient Greek poleis to fight Persia. Athenian leadership made
it later to fight Sparta (Peloponnesian league).

Pericles was an ancient Athenian statesman who contributed greatly to its political & cultural

Socretes: ugly, killed by Athenian citizens (Sophists)

Plato: Academia, idealism, Philosopher King, education

Aristotle: Lyceum, moderation, politics (ethics)

Diogenes: The Cynics

Herodotus: History

Thucydides: Peloponnesian War

Attic Tragedy: Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles (Oedipus Rex)

Aristophanes: Lysistrata, Nephelai

Alexanders legacy: Ptolemy (Egypt), Seleucus (Mesopotamia), Antigonus (Asia minor&


Plebeians (patricans) are common people (Noblemen) of ancient Rome.

A senate is the most important governmental institution of ancient Rome.

Consuls served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.

Tribunes served as the president of the Plebeian Council of the Roman Republic.

Punic Wars were a series of wars between Ancient Rome and Carthage. The Roman victory over
Carthage gave Rome a preeminent status.

Latifundium is a large agricultural estate, especially the one worked by slaves in ancient Rome.

Gracchi brothers were ancient Roman statesmen who tried to reform its land system. They
failed and were assassinated, however, by their political enemies.

A triumvirate is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals. It usually refers to

Ancient Roman political situation, 1st established by Caesar, 2nd by Octavian.

Augustus is the title of the 1st Roman emperor, Octavian. (ruling from 27 B.C.E. to 14 C.E.)

Pax Romana means the Roman peace in Latin. It indicates the long period of stability under
the Roman Empire. (0 ~ 200 C.E.)

An aqueduct is a bridge that is constructed to convey water over an obstacle.

A Gospel is an account describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The
most widely known examples are the four gospels of New Testament.

Edict of Milan (Toleration) by Emperor Constantine is an agreement to treat Christians

benevolently within the Roman Empire.

Darius I was the king of Achaemenid Persia (521-486 B.C.E), who extended the Persian Empire
and crushed the revolt of Ionian city states (500 B.C.E.). He led two expeditions against Greece
but was defeated at Marathon (490 B.C.E.)

Shah was the title of Iranian ruler in the past

Satrap was a provincial governor in Persia.

Zoroastrianism was an ancient religion founded by the Persian prophet Zoroaster.

Zoroastrianism influenced Christianity and other belief systems with its quasi-monotheistic
concept the god and the evil. Later it became official religion in Persia

Bactria was the ancient country located in present day Afghanistan. Founded by Indo-Greek
people, Bactria played important role in cross-cultural trade & relation.

Parthia was the ancient country founded by Iranian tribes, which expanded into a great empire
dominating Southwest Asia around 100 B.C.E. It was destroyed by the Sasanids.

The Edicts of Ashoka are inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka during emperor Ashokas reign
(269 BCE to 232 BCE), showing his strong will to make a Buddhist country.

Mahayanan Buddhism is one of wtwo great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing a

common search for universal salvation especially through faith alone. The dominant religion of
East Asia.

Bodhisattva is a divine being in Mahayanan Buddhism, worthy of nirvana who remains on the
human plane to help men to salvation.

Hinduism is traditional Indian religion based on Brahman worldview and local animism. It was
established during Gupta dynasty.

Mahabharata is a Sanskrit literature (epic poem) about mythological war between two rival

Qin Shi Huang, as the king of the state of Qin, conquered all the warring states and finally
united China in 221 B.C.E. Then he became the 1st Emperor of the Qin dynasty.

Xiongno (Xiongnu) was an ancient nomadic-based people that formed a state (or confederation)
north of the Han Dynasty.

Book burning & Burial of the Scholars is a historical event that refers to the burning of texts
and slaughter of scholars during the Qin dynasty. Suppressing intellectual discourse on politics,
Qin Shi Huang tried to strengthen his political power.

Zhang Qian was an imperial envoy to the world outside of China. His travels are associated with
the major route of transcontinental trade, the Silk Road.

Wang Mang is a usurper & reformer who seized the throne from the Liu family of Han dynasty,
and founded the Xin. His rule was dictatorial, but his reform policy favored common people.

Sima Qian was the grand historian of the Han Dynasty.

2. Period 2

Equal field system was a historical system of land ownership and distribution in China used
during Tang dynasty. The system worked on the basis that all land was owned by the
government, which would then assign it to individuals (families).

Wu Zhao was a Chinese empress, who ruled officially under the name of her self-proclaimed
Zhou dynasty, from 690 to 705.

Xuan Zong is Chinese emperor during the heyday of Tang dynasty. However in his reign, Tang
imperial power began declining with An-Shi rebellion.

The imperial examination was a civil service examination system in Chinese empires to select
candidates for the state bureaucracy.

Zhou Xi was a Song dynasty Confucian scholar and the most influential Neo-Confucianist in

Neo-Confucianism is a moral & metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism. It

became prominent during the Song & Ming period.

Genghis Khan (Temujin) was the founder of Mongol Empire, which became the largest empire in


Khanate is a political entity ruled by a Khan. (Mongolian or Turkish word for King)

Ibn Battuta was a famous Islamic merchant who traveled through trade routes, and recorded
his journey in detail.

The Jomon period is the time in Prehistoric Japan. The name Jomon came from its pottery style
decorated by impressing cords (jomon).

The Yamato period is the time in Japanese history when the Japanese Imperial court ruled from
Yamato Province (modern-day Nara prefecture).

Prince Shotoku was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who
served under Empress Suiko.

Shinto is the traditional religion of Japan from ancient Japanese indigenous animism

Bakufu was originally the dwelling and household of a shogun. Later it came to be generally
used for the system of government in feudal Japan.

Daimyo was a territorial magnates who dominated much of the country in Feudal Japan.

Quran is the most important religious text of Islam. Muslims believe that the Quran was verbally
revealed by God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.

Hijira is the migration of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers frm Mecca to Medina
in June 622 CE.

5 Pillars of Islam are five basic acts, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation
of Muslim life.

Caliph is a title used for Islamic rulers who are considered politic-religious leaders of the Islamic
community of believers (Umma).

Shiite is the second largest denomination of Islam. The word Shiite came from Shiatu Ali
meaning pro-Ali group, whom the Shia believe to be Muhammads successor in the Caliphate.

Mamluks are the originally slave soldiers of Muslim monarchs. They became politically powerful,
and founded their own dynasties during the Middle Ages

Sharia is the moral code and religious law of Islam.

Sufism is a mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine
love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God.

Mahdi is a messianic deliverer who will fill the earth with justice, restore true religion.

Moor is a member of the Muslim population of what is now Spain and Portugal.

Averroes is a famous Islamic scholar in Medieval Europe.

Justinian I was the Byzantine emperor who recovered North Africa, Spain & Italy for his empire.
He also sponsored so-called Justinian Code.

Monasticism is a religious way of life in which one renounces worldly pursuits to devote oneself
fully to spiritual work.

Iconoclasm is the forceful opposition to the veneration of inanimate representations, religious

icons, and other symbols or monuments.

Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism in

Middle Ages Europe. Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for their lord who
owned that land, and in return were entitled to protection, justice and the right to exploit certain
fields to maintain their own subsistence. The manor formed the basic unit of feudal society and
the Lord of the Manor and his serfs were bound legally, economically, and socially. Serfs formed
the lowest social class of feudal society.

Investiture is the appointment if religious officials. Secular monarchs and the church were
opposed to each other with investiture issue in Medieval Europe.

A guild is an organization of people who do the same job. Medieval European merchandising
and manufacturing were under this system.

The Crusades were the wars that were fought by Christians in Palestine against the Muslims
during the High Middle Ages in Europe.

Magna Carta is the charter granted by King John if England, recognizing the rights and privileges
of the nobles, church, and freemen.

Hundred Years War is the series of wars fought intermittently between England and France
from 1337-1453: after early victories the English were expelled from all of France except Calais.
From this war, England and France established their separate independent nationalities and
became nation-states.

An Interregnum is a period of discontinuity or gap in a government, organization, or social

order: the Holy Roman Empire went through Interregnum in the 13th century.

Reconquista, meaning reconquest in Spanish, is a period of wars by Christians against

Muslim rule in Iberian Peninsula. Portugal and Spain were established through this movement.

Wat Tyler is a leader of the 1381 peasants revolt in England.

Nok culture, Bantu migration: ancient civilization

Nubia, Kush, Axum: near-Egypt civilization

Ghana, Mali, Songhai: sahel region civilization

Mogadishu, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Kilwa, Mozambique, Sofala: East Africa cities

Swahili: Bantu+Arabic culture & language


House of Medici was the ruling family of Medieval Italian city state Firenze (Flrorence). Medici
family was famous for its patronage of the Renaissance arts

Artisan is a full practice in the arts. Well respected and renowned for mastery of skills in all
forms of artistry.



The Society of Jesus is a religious congregation founded by Ignatius Loyola. Catholic church
admitted this order during counter-reformation period.

The 30 Years War was a series of religious wars in Germany between 1618 ~ 1648. Treaty of
Westphalia ended this war.

The Edict of Nantes was the law issued by Henry IV of France, granting religious & civil liberties
to the Huguenots.

Mercantilism is a theory prevalent in Europe during the 16th and 18th centuries asserting that
the wealth of a nation depends on its possession of precious metals and therefore that the
government of a nation must maximize the foreign trade surplus, and foster national commercial
interests, a merchant marine, the establishment of colonies, etc.

The middle passage was the stage of the Atlantic triangular trade in which millions of people
from Africa were shipped to the New World as part of the Atlantic slave trade.

Afrikaners (Trekboers) were nomadic pastoralists descended from mostly Dutch colonists (&
French Huguenots and German Protestants) in the Cape Colony.

The Janissaries were the elite slave officers of the Ottoman Empire. They provided the empire
with a well-armed and equipped army just like the Mamluks did in Abbasid Caliphate.

Jizyah is a tax levied on a section of an Islamic states non-Muslim subjects.

Harem is the place for women & their children in Muslim household.

Sikhs are members of a religious order founded by Guru Nanak in the 15th century India
Punjab region. There is only one true God in Skihism and it stressed on peace and brotherhood.

Foot-binding is painful tradition in China of binding young girls feet to keep them from growing,
and maintain small sized feet.

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of Qing