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Chapter 4 - The First Empires

Section 1 – The Egyptian & Nubia Empires

Section 2 – The Assyrian Empire
Section 2 – The Persian Empire
Section – The Unification of China
Section 1 - The Egyptian &
Nubian Empires
By Jose Rosario
A. At the end of its second period of glory, power
struggles weakened Egypt.
1. The Hyksos conquered Egypt, & ruled it until 1600 B.C.,
when Pharaohs restored their power & kicked them out.
2. These Pharaohs began some conquests of their own, in the
New Kingdom, Egypt was richer & more powerful than
3. Hatshepsut, a female Pharaoh, encouraged trade, but her
stepson , Thutmose III, removed her from power, he &
other pharaohs ruled over Syria, Palestine & Nubia .
4. The pharaohs of the New Kingdom did not build pyramids,
instead, they built tombs (in Valley of the Kings).
5. Ramses II (1290 to 1244 B.C ) stood out among the great
builders of the New Kingdom.
6. Around 1200 B.C., Mediterranean invaders attacked Egypt.
Ramses II
B. The “Sea Peoples”, attacked the Hittites & Egypt,
the Libyans took control of the land, but
followed the Egyptian way of life..
1. As Egypt grew weaker, the Nubian kingdom of Kush
became more powerful.
2. The people of Kush followed Egyptian traditions &
customs, & protected Egyptian values.
3. King Piankhi forced the Libyans out & united Egypt again.
a. He brought back Egypt’s glory & ruled it for a few decades
until the Assyrians invasion.
4. The Kushite kings settled in the city of Meroë, south of
Egypt when their kingdom entered a golden age.
a. The city played an important role in trade, & making iron
weapons & tools, & they traded with Arabia & India.
b. They also trade jewelry, cloth, silver lamps, & glass bottles.
5. The city thrived from 250 B.C. to 150 A.D. & fell by 350 to
rival Aksum, a seaport farther south.
The Assyrian Empire
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By Jose Rosario
A. The Hittite Empire
1. Their civilization was base on military power,
& their success was in part of their ability to
make iron weapons.
2. Soldiers fought with bronze weapons for
about 1500 years, but iron was harder.
3. So they kept their secret well guarded.
4. This brought a new age to history the Iron
The Assyrians
The Assyrian King
B. They also developed the use of horses to
fight wars, the horses were use to pull wooden
1. They learned how to breed large horses so they
mounted part of their army on the horseback
2. The Hittite built a large empire with their
military strength, they ruled between 1400 B.C.
and 1200 B.C. in the land that we called Turkey.
3. These people lived in wall cities made of huge
blocks of stone.
4. Their Empire fell by 1200 B.C. after a series of
invasions from other neighbors.
Assyrian Calvary
Section 3 – The Persian Empire

By Jose Rosario
The City of Persepolis
A. Persia, a new power, arose east of Mesopotamia,
in modern Iran.
1. Mesopotamia had good farmland & was rich in minerals -- copper,
lead, gold, & silver.
2. The Persians defeated the Assyrians around 550 B.C., & began their
own conquests.
3. King Cyrus led his army to conquer a huge empire which it stretched
from India to Anatolia (Turkey) 2,000 miles, in just over 10 years.
4. Cyrus won all this land in part because of the wise way he treated the
people there.
a. He did not destroy towns & cities, like the Assyrians, & his army
avoid to harm the people he conquered.
b. He let the people to practice their old religions, ex. The Hebrews
were allowed return to Jerusalem & rebuild their temple
5. Cyrus , a great warrior, but was killed in battle.
Cyrus, Darius & Xerxes
B. Cyrus son, Cambyses, conquered Egypt, but
unlike his father, he did not respect the Egyptians
way of life.
1. The next king, Darius, extended the empire, only Greece
escaped his control.
2. Darius divided the land into 20 provinces, & allowed each
of them practice its own religion, speak its own language,
& obey their own laws.
3. He built a 1,677 miles Royal Road to unite the empire,
messengers on horses made communication better.
4. He had metal standard value coins made that could be used
for business anywhere in the empire to increase trade.
5. During the Persian Empire, a new religion arose with the
concept of good (light) & evil (darkness) --these two spirits
were in a constant struggle.
6. These ideas influenced later religions.
Section 4 - The Unification of
A. After the fall of the Zhou dynasty, China became
a land of troubles.
1. Ancient Chinese values were forgotten, but thinkers such as Confucius
tried to find ways to restore them.
2. Confucius (born in 551 B.C) believed:
1. People would have to work at five basic relationships.
1. ruler & subject,
2. father & son,
3. husband & wife,
4. older & younger brothers, &
5. friend & friend.
2. The family relationships were the most important & children should
practice filial piety or respect for parents & elders.
3. Confucius tried to improve government by creating the basis of a
bureaucracy or a system of departments & agencies for running the
government. Educated people were needed in these jobs.
Confucianism: focuses on developing the ideal
relationship between individuals and society

To achieve perfect harmony

with family, community, and
society: Align one’s entire
being with the universal moral Based on the assumption that
order the individual is the smallest
unit, which makes up social
institutions of increasing
levels of complexity, such as
family, clan, community,
kingdom, etc.
B. Laozi, another thinker, said nature follows a universal
force called the Dao, or “the Way.” or Daoism.
1. Other thinkers formed a set of beliefs called Legalism or the use laws to
restore order.
2. Chinese people used the I Ching book, which give practical advice for
solving problems.
3. Other people turned to the idea of yin & yang. Or harmony between the
two powers or opposite forces in the universe.
4. A 13-year-old ruler became ruler of the Qin Dynasty, named Shi Huangdi
or “First Emperor.”
a) He ended the turmoil in China by using the ideas of Legalism to unite China.
b) He doubled the size of China by establishing an autocracy or a ruler has
unlimited power.
c) He forced wealthy nobles to give up their land in the country
d) He destroyed his enemies, control ideas by burning books, built a network of
roads, set standards for writing, law, money, & weights & measures to be
followed throughout the empire.
C. In the past, some Chinese rulers had built sections of wall to try to
block attacks from northern nomads.
1. Shi Huangdi had hundreds of
thousands of poor people
connect these sections of wall
and make a huge barrier.
2. When finished, the Great Wall of
China stretched for thousands of
3. These steps won the emperor
little support.
4. When he died, his son took the
throne. Just three years into his
reign, peasants revolted and
managed to overthrow the
5. By 202 B.C., the Qin dynasty had
given way to the Han dynasty.